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Italy | What do expats find most challenging? | Expat Exchange
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Via Garibaldi in Turin, Italy

What do expats find most challenging?

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We asked expats and digital nomads what they find the most challenging about the local culture in Italy. They wrote...

"Most Florentines are not friendly and do not care for foreigners. Nothing here has to be as difficult as they actually make it. If it's not Italian, it's not as good. Italians have a lot of pride in themselves and are some of the most arrogant and racist people I have ever met. They are also the most self-centered I have ever encountered....Italy starts with I! If there is a line, one will always jump to the front and ask questions, etc. There is no consideration if there are people waiting behind them, they will take their time to get their stuff done first (b/c it's all about them :0)) Itlians are VERY loud and unaware of when they are yelling in your ear or on their phones in a contained public space (ie bus, office, etc.). There are museums, cafes, restaurants and shopping; however, after a month or two, the novelty wears off. I prefer big cities and a wide variety of entertainment options. Florence doesn't have this," commented one expat who made the move to Florence, Italy.

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"Expats in Italy may find the language barrier to be the most challenging part of adapting to the local culture. While many Italians are learning English and are happy to practice, it may be difficult to navigate daily life without speaking Italian fluently. Additionally, many Italians have very specific ideas on how to conduct oneself in social situations, including greeting others and dress codes, which may be confusing or even overwhelming for newcomers to the country who are not familiar with the customs. The local custom of taking lunch and dinner late in the day, may also be difficult for those used to dining at an earlier hour, and may require some adjustment," remarked another expat in Italy.

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What do expats find most challenging?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Via Garibaldi in Turin, Italy

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