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The pros and cons of moving to Italy

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The pros and cons of moving to Italy

On January 21, 2016, Posted by , In Moving to Italy, With 62 Comments

When I first thought about writing about the pros and cons of moving to Italy I thought “Really? Isn’t it pretty obvious?” but the more I thought about it I thought ‘Let’s dig a little deeper’. We all have our own ideas don’t we? But here are mine. If you have any more then leave a comment below.

 

So let’s go though the obvious pros

 

Food

 

imagesOk, I think we all agree, the Italian’s have a pretty good reputation in this area…but where do we start? I’ve always enjoyed food and before moving here I prided myself on being a bit of a foodie and loved dinner parties but these guys LOVE their food. They can talk for hours about their Mamma’s food, the food of their region, other regions, etc. My brother tells a good story. During their most recent visit here he decided to take the dog for a walk. He worked in an Italian restaurant for a number of years so he has a fairly decent understanding of the language. He tells the story that left the village there we 3 elderly nonni  (grandads) and an 18 year old talking about melenzane (egg plant/aubergine/brinjal depending where you are from) and when he returned an hour later they were still talking about it! He found this incredible but that is the way they are. I do find that most conversations here turn to food. It’s quite incredible that a discussion that starts out on some sort of ailment or the conflict in Syria gets you talking about cantuccini biscotti (biscuits). I’ve no idea!

 

So if you are planning to learn Italian before coming here for a short visit, start with the food groups, you can’t go wrong. One other thing I learnt about the food, apart from the fact that one dish is better then the next, is that I’ve learnt to eat a lot slower and savour each bite, as Italians do. Try it.

 

Weather

 

Ok, I think we all agree again! Well, what have I got to compare it to – I’m Scottish for goodness sake! The Italians love beach my story that the definition of a good day in Scotland is when the rain falls vertically rather than horizontally. “Really?” they ask, “Is it really like that? Tell me more…”. We are blessed here with long, hot summers and mildish winters by European standards.

 

The women people

 

womenI had to change the heading for obvious reasons, as my lovely wife often plays editor for me, so there is a good chance she may spot this. Ok, I’m biased, I’m very attracted to brunettes with big brown eyes and olive skin (thankfully my South African wife fits this profile). They are for most part well-manicured and love to dress up, and what about the men?…us British men don’t stand a chance so just as well I married before I got here!

 

Summer

 

I know we touched on this briefly above by making reference to the weather but this deserves a paragraph on its own. Summer is special, the nights are long,  everybody is out and there is much conversation to be had. Kids are out till late so there is more time spent together as a family, this leads me to the ….

 

Passagiata (the stroll)

 

This is a wonderful Italian custom where the Italian plays two roles – the observer and the observee (or protagonist).  passagiata in cinque terreGenerally the show starts at the piazza and ends at the piazza. The passagiata gives Italians the opportunity to dress up and show off while eating a gelato (ice-cream) if the fancy takes them. Once they get back to the piazza they have the opportunity to buy a coffee or a drink and to talk about the other actors (passers by) who are taking part in their own show or drama.

 

Sagras (feasts/festivals)

 

Back to food again I hear you say. But this isn’t just about the food, this also incorporates travel as one moves from village to village to taste the food that they are famous for. Generally speaking this takes place every weekend during summer. Someone once told me that ‘there is a sagra every day somewhere in Italy’ but the summer sagras are the best. If you are planning on holidaying during summer then make sure that you slot a couple of these into your itinerary.

 

Language

 

DSCN0257I think there is none like it. It’s rhythmic, its passionate, its sexy and its direct (straight to the point). I’ve read that there are significantly less words in the Italian language than in English (200,000 versus 800,000 – so on this basis alone it should be easier to learn, right?). This difference is down to the origins of the language. Italian has its roots in Latin whereas English has influence from the Anglo-Saxons, German, French and other European languages. But also based on one country’s lifestyle versus another. Italians don’t really have a word for ‘hangover’ and the word ‘drunk’ has one or two. I can think of a hundred words in English for the word ‘drunk’ without blinking an eye if you include such words as ‘trollied’, ‘smashed’ and ‘gazebo’ed’. So if you want to know what a hangover is then they will explain to you in Italian that it is ‘the headache you experience the morning after you have drunk too much the night before’ – honest to God!

 

Cheap

 

Being Scottish we have a reputation for being tight (not true!). So this is not the main reason that I’m in Italy, but it helps. It’s lovely to pay only €1 for an espresso or cappuccino (Starbucks would go bust here!) and €3.50 for a margherita pizza and 20c for a 1.5 litre of water (although I could pay 5c but that is another post).

 

Above are a few of my other favourite ones.  We’ll save some others for another post, such as the amazing surroundings, beautiful art, great medical healthcare and good public transport.

 

And the not so obvious cons…….

 

Language

 

Ok, so you have to learn another language.  I leave it there! A number of my English speaking friends brought this up in a poll, please refer to my post entitled ‘The Language…….where do I start?‘ for my real views on this one.

 

Dirt

 

As a tourist your do not notice the graffiti, messy streets and tired old buildings but as an expat you do.  Often times I look at where I live and I think ‘Oh my God, there are housing estates in the UK that are cleaner and newer than where I live – what will our overseas visitors think of us?’ But so far so good, everyone loves it.

 

Expensive goods

 

This relates to everything that Italy does not make, all imports such as phones, cars, white goods, electronics, etc.

 

Utilities

 

We follow on from above.  Gas, fuel, electricity are significantly more expensive than abroad and I have worked out that the amount of money I have saved on my 17 €1 espressos per day gets swallowed up in my electricity bill, my plan is to drink more coffee per day so as to come out on top!

 

Mentality

 

Italians are not open-minded and are a little anal.  Some examples of their way of thinking include not expecting anyone to swim until 3 hours after eating; not eating ice as it will damage your insides and never go out with wet hair as you will die of pneumonia.

 

Unemployment

 

In comparison to the rest of Europe and particularly the UK and Germany (although that might change with the influx of refugees in 2016), unemployment is pretty high and so many of the fantastic graduates that this country produces are heading overseas, it is such a pity.

 

Last con for now…… looking Scottish in a country full of dark-haired, dark-eyed and dark-skinned Adonis’s …….. I had to throw that in!

 

Summary

 

I think that we will agree that in any country there is good and bad and so without picking each country apart it’s a case of  ‘make you bed and lie in it’.  You make the best of where you are. We are here and we will make the most of it.  I think the pros out way the cons and we are genuinely very fortunate.  I love the UK but I love Italy just that little bit more!!

 

If you feel that I have left any out then please leave a comment below and maybe we can update this from time to time.

Summary
Article Name
The pros and cons of moving to Italy
Description
The good, the bad and the ugly (and also the bellisima) on moving to Italy
Author
Publisher Name
italianbraveheart
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62 Comments so far:

  1. Kristena Calhoun says:

    That was a lot of information to take in, but I like how you threw some humor in your article as well. When moving to a new place or even visiting a new place you always want to do a little research beforehand. Maybe get a lay of the land and the people. You definitely want to learn about their customs and cultures so as to not offend anyone. I think what you have done for someone looking to go to Italy is a very good thing. Keep up the good work and always keep the humor in it.

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Kristena,

      Thanks for your lovely comments. Some might say that you need a little bit of a sense of humour living in Italy!

  2. Dominic says:

    Hi Brendan, I love your sharing on the pros and cons of moving to Italy. I have a friend who worked and stayed in Italy for about 12 years. He mainly stayed in Milan and he really loves his stay over there. He wanted to stay in Milan for good, but I guess his local girlfriend was too homesick, so I guess he relented. So he ended up, opening up an Italian Restaurant here back home, and wow Italian recipe seems to be really authentic. There were some visitors that commented that his pastas and pizza tasted different, and he replied of course his is different. It is because he follows the real Italian way of cooking and not going for the commercial route of big chain franchises such as Pizza Hut and Domino Pizza J

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Dominic,

      I can think of nothing worse than spending 12 years in a place, loving it and then having to leave.

      I can only agree about the difference in the food between the chains and the small pizzerias. The chains load their pizza with salt and additives to cater to the masses. I love the taste of a thin crust pizza with real buffalo mozzarella (not the yellow stuff from a packet) and slices of fresh tomato. Yum!

  3. s a h says:

    Hi this site is very well made and the content is fantastic as I was reading through I found there was very interesting topics like the food the WOMEN lol and the weather I have never been to Italy but after reading this website I am very fond of booking holiday there, I will be sure to pass this website on to friends and family.

    • Brendan says:

      Thank you for your kind words, it makes it all worthwhile. My wife runs a holiday rental business so if you are or friends are interested in booking something up have a look at http://www.italianholidayrentals.co. Closer to the time if you have some questions or are looking for ideas while you are here, just ask.

  4. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Brendan,
    Excellent post, I love Italy a lot especially the food! I’m from Malaysia but I love cooking Italian dishes rather than the local dishes here because for us, its a new flavour entirely.

    My favourite dish is the risotto – I know seafood risotto, mushroom risotto and even cheesy risotto as well. I want to delve more into the culture and maybe settle down in Italy one fine day.

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Riaz,

      Its great to hear from a fellow Italophile. I can understand your desire to eat Italian over your own national dishes, although Malaysian food is great. I only had Scottish cuisine to compare to so Italian was an easy choice! I’m going to be adding recipes to the site soon so keep a look out!

      One tip I’ve learn’t here from Italians when it comes to risotto, they tell me that the ‘mantecatura’ is the most important part of the cooking process…the beating in of the butter and cheese. I hope this helps.

  5. Ray says:

    Hi Brendan,

    I love your site!!!!! As I was reading oh my god I’d love to go back to Italy again (it’s been 10+ years since I was last there), nice food, summer, men (LOL)… Then utility bills, I didn’t know that. And the biggest surprise is the “mentality” section – perhaps you could write more about it for us in the future? Well I found it very interesting, in terms of different culture comparing to UK/Scotland.

    Thanks again for the great article,
    Ray

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Ray, its got better, get back here! I think the men too!!

      I have already added your suggestion onto my blogging list, so watch this space.

  6. Norman says:

    Living in Italy. This website has lots of great information for those who want to live in Italy. I love the way the Italians speak I love the accent. You have broken down it seems just about every area to make your readers aware of this country and what to expect. You also talk about the pros and the cons. I like it.

    • Brendan says:

      Thanks Norman. I’m trying to cover all bases for those looking to move her, to holiday here or just looking for a little injection of something Italian. If you think I’m missing something then let me know

  7. SamDal says:

    Fantastic summary of Italy Brendan! I had always wanted to buy a villa and retire in Tuscany somewhere but you know, it seems it’s a place that anyone can find comfort in.

    It has the simple, traditional elements of good conversations (about food! hahha), strolls, family, etc and at the same time it also offers something for the tourist and expat.

    Don’t get me started on Italian food and women, those two alone would have me very, very happy for a long period of time 🙂

    • Brendan says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Your plans were the same as ours, to retire in Italy but something happened and here we are now. Out of all the European countries I believe that this is the easiest to settle in, but that’s just me!

      There are plenty villas around here so when you are ready give us a call!

  8. NemiraB says:

    Hello Brendan. I wonder in which region of Italy do you live? I know that it is really big difference between North Italy and South.
    Food different, a culture too, people from North where Milan is, are tall and eyes are blue. Of course, not everybody is a model, but through all Italy we can find a lot various things which are unique for particular place.
    I wonder how long do you live in this great country?
    I guess that a love was a main reason that you transferred from Scotland to Italy, is it?
    Overall I think that you are lucky one because to be surrounded with all great things what Italy can offer, it is a bliss.
    In every country there are cons and pros, but Italy can offer a lot more compare what unpleasant can happen.
    All the best, happy writing, Nemira.

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Nemira,

      Thanks for stopping by. We are based in North Tuscany in the Lunigiana region and have been here 2 and a half years, so we are still very new and have a lot to learn; but the experiences in moving are very vivid. You are quite right about the differences in the Northerners and the Southerners in all respects but there are still a lot of commonalities, particularly their passion.

      You are quite right I moved for love but not of a woman but of the country itself; best thing I ever did (apart from getting married and having kids – my wife might be reading!)

      Pop in again sometime.

  9. Viljoen says:

    Hi Brendan

    I really like this article and it was funny as hell LOL. I did not know the rain fell horizontally in Scotland. I am from South Africa so I know that the women here are very attractive.

    I would like to visit Italy one day and maybe go to Rome. I always wanted to see the colosseum. I must say that Italian Braveheart is a good fit.

    • Brendan says:

      You definitely have to put Italy on your bucket list!

      Like I said, the I definitely couldn’t comment on who is better between the South Africans and Italians otherwise I might find divorce papers in the post. Lets just say that they are equally beautiful.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the humour, sometimes you ahve got to have a sense of humor to live here.

  10. Nate says:

    Hi Brendan it’s a very useful article I haven’t been to Italy on holiday as of yet but it is on my list of places. I think the problem of basing a what its like to live in a country from your holiday is that you romanticise the country based on your holiday experience. It’s useful to get an independent opinion of someone who ha has actually emigrated there!

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Nate,

      I agree often time seeing a place through holiday eyes is not ideal but if you go back a few times and try different experiences liek taking a language or a cooking course there for a while it will give you a different experience. I found that nice we had decided to go we started to see things differently and were exploring different things…not the best beaches to go to but the best schools. THe point I wanted to make is that its not as difficult as you think. I moved countries at 46 with two kids (9 and 11 at the time) and have never looked back. Its easier than you think.

  11. Anh Nguyen says:

    Brendan, what a straightforward and detailed description of the live in Italia. I love how you point everything from the woman to the dirt. I’d love to see some more images in the post, as someone who hasn’t been to Italy, it will help a deal in visualizing the country.

    All in all, I think Italy is a great country (… I still find it hard to believe how a whole country can just not go out out of fear of dying from pneumonia though). I’d love to visit it one day, you seem to know a deal around there so can you tell us more about how to get around the country as well as the living expenses in detail?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Anh,

      Thanks for the comments. I will definitely make a point of loading more images..we have hundreds from our travels. We know the place pretty well but still have some much to see. I’ll put together a post now on travelling and living expenses, great idea.

  12. Nancy Boey says:

    I just love your writing style and I read straight through until the end. I love Italy and have done travels through Tuscany, it is just beautiful. You have a unique writing style with humour and you sure kept my attention captivated. The theme is clean and light and your font is an excellent size as well. Thank you very much for providing us with this information. I am looking forward to learn Italian. Graci por tutti ???? Is that correct ?

    • Brendan says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Hearing your kind words re-affirms our decision.

      Regarding your question…I’m sure it s right…what language are you speaking? (only joking). The correct phrase is ‘grazie di tutto’. I love the fact you tried; that’s what it’s all about.

  13. Zhanna says:

    Hi, Brendan!
    First of all i should say that i LOVE ITALY. I’ve been there so many times and think that never enough) Yes, I adore italian cousine, italian bla-bla-bla from the morning till the night – they have so beautiful language! I love their taste in arhitecture and design, the way they show off) I like the weather there, the climate.
    So, Italy is really my love. I never was thinking to move there but always glad to go for date with this lovely country.

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Zhanna,

      That is a beautiful way to put it….’to go for a date with this lovely country’ …it sounds so romantic and Italy is just that.

  14. Maureen says:

    Hi Brendan I loved your article on moving to Italy. I grew up in a little town which was know as Little Italy. The majority of the people were Italian. The church had services in Italian and in the summer there was some kind of parade that they held. One thing I really remember was the various smells of food wafting out of open windows in the summer. I never turned down a invitation for a meal from one of my Italian friends. I think you found a great place to live!

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Maureen,

      I feel very blessed where I live. You are right about the food smells. I’ve never really experienced that anywhere else in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to go straight home, and sometimes when I go home I’m ready to go back out again because whatever my neighbour 2 doors back was cooking smelt better than what was at home

  15. Tar says:

    Hello Brendan. FIrstly, I’ve never came across such a post as this. I don’t think anyone would list out both cost and benefit of moving to a country.

    It’s amazing that you post such analysis. It shows the genuine, honest thought you share with us. I appreciate and admire your work.

    It’s hilarious when I read about ‘The people’. I think I have a motive now should I set up a plan for a visit to Italy. I should thank you for that, Brendan.

    • Brendan says:

      Thanks Tar for the kind words. Often times it’s easy to go to a foreign country and to spend time on ‘what you miss back home’ but this is home now and I love what it offers but it’s not perfect, where is? For me the experience has been phenomenal but that’s not necessarily the case for the next man. You just got to be open-minded

  16. Cj says:

    Hi there,

    Brilliant article! It is really well written and kept me intrigued throughout.

    I must say, I will definitely move to Italy for the food. Thanks to your article, I now know the weather is also good. I think this can be the two most important aspects to me.

    Would really not mind moving there or even just visit for a vacation.

  17. Maurice says:

    Great title, italian braveheart. And also a magnificant country. Have been there a couple of times also with the love of my life in the beginning of the relationships. Lots of memories come above. My parents also live in switserland near to the italian border. Really digging it there and probably going to live there again soon

  18. bioelectrobot says:

    For me, the pros and cons of such a move would definitely not be obvious, so I’m glad you wrote this article. It is certainly nice to eat good food, however, I don’t think I could handle talking about food for more than a few minutes. Syria and biscuits? I wouldn’t know the connection, either.
    Has the horizontal rain conversation every led to a lengthy food conversation in Italy?
    How about the pizza? How does pizza in Italy actually compare to British or even American pizza? Better? Worse? The same? I’ve always enjoyed pizza. I suppose in Italy, a pizza famine would be unheard of or quite rare.
    Sounds like you’re enjoying your time in Italy. Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative post.

    • Brendan says:

      Talking about food here is a way of life, so you’d learn. I bet Italians could combine these two subjects, you might start your conversation about Syria but I can guarantee you’ll be talking about biscuits by the end of it. Pizza will always be best in Italy, it is Italian….enough said.

  19. troy says:

    I am overjoyed that you have had such a excellent connection with the Italian community. One day I hope to take a vacation with my wife to Italy. I have met many Italians here in the United States and their deamenor never changes where ever they go. I just cant get use to the kissing part especially from other guys. What initiated this type of action in their culture?

    • Brendan says:

      …in much the same way that Italians don’t understand a fist bump. Why fist bump when you can have a kiss?! I can relate to that. Where it came from I’m not entirely sure, it must be from Roman times.

  20. Tamara says:

    Wow, very interesting article. I love the pros and cons that you pointed out for Italy. I find Italy very interesting, but never considered to live there, probably because I also live in a Mediterranean country. I have visited Italy few times and always had a great time there, especially in ski resorts :). Great article, Tamara

    • Brendan says:

      It is fascinating. I find their culture overwhelming sometimes. I love their passion and yet simplicity. I love the fact that whether an olive tree is getting enough water or if a focaccia is to salty is more important than the speed of one’s internet. We live in different worlds sometimes.

  21. Hannah says:

    Fantastic article, and one I can resonate with being a British expat in Sardinia. I lived in a small town in Sicily last year and found it a very different experience to Sardinia – in relation to dirt/mentality/unemployment. Sardinia on the other hand is all the pros and more, considering I grew up in a run down London suburb, Italy gets my vote still! Great topic. Thanks for a great read.

    • Brendan says:

      Ciao Hannah,

      Piacere di conoscerti. I was beginning to think i was on my own there for a minute! All the comments and questions on my blog seem to be from people who love what we have done and envy us but I hadn’t heard from any expats. Please keep in touch, I’d love to hear some of your stories and be interested to know if my experiences are similar to yours.

  22. Adam says:

    Hi!

    First of all I would like to say thank you for this article, I think it’s far the best I’ve seen in this topic in the past few months!

    Language. Honestly, one of the reasons I would love to move to Italy is the language. Beaceuse they say it’s easy to acquire. Well, my question is: Is it actually easy to learn? How easy did it go for you?

    Best wishes! 🙂

    Adam

    • Brendan says:

      Thanks Adam, when it comes to the language it’s all in the state of mind. If you have a love for the language and a thirst for it and make every effort to speak it then its easy. Generally speaking most of us know a good 100 Italian words already…espresso, cappuccino, spaghetti, pasta, pizza …and then all the English words that are used every day here…computer, download, windsurf, shopping, pressing; and then there are hundreds more that sound the same…paracetamolo, meccanico, dottore, medico. You see, you’re nearly there!

  23. Liz Martin says:

    On the subject of pros and cons: Thursday, Friday and Saturday were hot and sunny which gave us an opportunity to get out into the wilderness we call a garden. Today is Sunday and it is wet and windy, but not a con, as we will head down to the coast where it will surely be sunny and have a seafood lunch.

  24. Afees Alli says:

    Hey nice site, I learnt a lot about Italy. I had no idea that according to you, Italians are closed-minded. I have heard about the unemployment rate being very hing in Italy.I have never been to Italy but I would definitely love to visit because of the food. Nice content, very informative.

    • Brendan says:

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, Italians can be quite set in their ways and take a lot of convincing otherwise. I had dinner the other night with a group of friends and had no chance convincing them that the common cold was a virus and has nothing to do with wet hair!

      But their food is good!!

  25. Daniella says:

    Hi Brendan,

    I found your article very interesting, I really enjoyed reading it!
    I often comes to your website to read about Italy as I love this country even though I never been there:) You have given all the information needed to plan to live in Italy or travel as well. But I would like to know if Italy has a community where they can welcome people and offer them a job and a housing for a while as a volontaire, just to try and see if it suit you to stay in Italy? If so, this would be wonderful!
    Thank you in advance

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Daniella,

      Have you ever thought about being an ‘au pair’? There is quite a demand for English speaking nanny’s especially in the larger cities like Milan and Rome.

  26. John says:

    WOW! Awesome post on the pros and cons of moving to Italy!
    You make some really good points, the weather, the women/people (LOL), the language, the festivals!
    I thinks it would be fantastic to live in a foreign country and Italy sounds like a good option,
    Th only con for me would be the unemployment as that can cause a lot of social issues.
    All in all, it sounds like a lot of fun!
    ~John

    • Brendan says:

      Hi John, I’m glad we struck a chord. Regarding unemployment, as I said before if you are of the mindset that you want to work then you will. There are jobs in Italy like everywhere else in the world, ‘where there is a will, there is a way!’ Millions of Italians are working, why is that?

  27. Win Back Your Ex Comments says:

    Ahh this took me back a little.

    A few years ago I was dating a girl from Italy (from the north) and visited many times and even speak some of the language.

    There are a lot of pros and cons as you point out, but the biggest hurdle is getting to grips with the language (at least to be able to communicate efficiently).

    It is a beautiful country and I recommend anyone one to visit, not only to live there, but even for a holiday.

    Thanks

    Chris

  28. Funkydunc says:

    Hi Brendan,
    Never been to Italy, although espresso is the only form of coffee and Italian food is my favorite European cuisine.
    Some Australian friends tried living in Italy for six months but they found it very expensive and left.
    Question is, I gather you live them now. How long have you done so?

    Regards,
    Duncan
    (expat living in Asia)

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Duncan,

      We’ve been here now nearly 2 and a half years. I’ve got to applaud your friends, they at least gave it a bash. OK, it didn’t work out financially unfortunately but at least they had that experience, many want to try it but don’t. For my part I find it slightly cheaper than the UK, so being a Scotsman anything with the word ‘cheap’ in it is is a bonus! (I jest, of course!)

  29. Daniel Lara says:

    Hey! Really interesting post. I had a short stay in Florence for about 5 weeks, and I can agree with everything you say. Even though being Brazilian and with latin background I could say the culture is more similar than Scotland’s, I feel that Italians are so unique that you could probably write 100 blogs posts about this same topic 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes there is never a dull moment! Coming from Scotland I feel like us and the Italians are worlds apart sometimes.

  30. Tammy says:

    I love they way you explain you points 🙂 I guess the biggest con for me would be learning another language. I just do not have the time and very happy the phones do it for us now. I can imagine the food is great. I would be nervous if the area has a lot of graffiti because in the USA that would mean bad area and gangs (avoid at all costs) Love the review!

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Like I said, language shouldn’t be a problem. Italian is not that difficult and English-speakers can be found (depending on where you go). The food is great and depending on where you are in the world graffiti (or street art) is seen as a form of art; so this doesn’t always mean that the area is dangerous.

      I’d always suggest a visit first if you are nervous about such a move. Hell, we visited for 7 years before we took the plunge!

  31. Jose says:

    I really like the way your writing style, it is very informative, but it is also very humorous and entertaining. I enjoyed the part where you said how your wife would see this so you crossed out women. I actually didn’t know about Italians being closed minded at all. What are there thoughts on religion and atheists and such?

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Jose,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the humour, it is a large part of my life and and has certainly helped me in my transition to the Italian way of life. Interesting question on their religious views. Italy is still very catholic and although there are less of them practising the religion they still feel very strongly about it and the Pope does feature very prominently in the news almost daily. Thoughts on atheists I couldn’t really comment on as it hasn’t really come up in conversations with my friends but when it does I’ll let you know.

  32. Kevin says:

    Hey Brendan
    Great article. I’m an English guy living in the USA and spent time in France and Scotland. Sometimes it can be daunting to move somewhere else even if they do speak English. I love how you broke it all down in to sections and explained everything well. Reading it has now made me want to pack my bags again and go see it for myself. Keep up the great work, great article.

    • Brendan says:

      Thanks Kevin. You are quite right. I lived in South Africa and found it more difficult moving to England than I did moving to Italy. Most people believe that language is the main barrier but language can be overcome. Language should not be the reason why you don’t contemplate a lifestyle and culture change.

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