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5 things you love/hate about living in Italy

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1 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 5th November 2009, 2:39 pm

Ill start it off! I love lists!

LOVE about italy since thats more important

1.passionate personalities, yelling, hugging, crying , screaming haha weird but i love it

2. not being in an office 9-5... i love to work but italy has really made me take things down a notch and enjoy life more and made me think outside the box when it comes to work.

3. amazing meals! having a rountine i have finally realized is a good thing.. eating a good lunch and dinner complete with fruits and nuts and coffee is amazing and miles away from my turkey sandwhich eating days as a student

4. cheap travel, hop on over to pisa airport and i can take ryanair , easyjet anywhere thats cheaper than in america.. and the easy train accessibility is a huge plus too

5.expats! i love that 90% of people are already filtered ( in the sense they have a reason to be here, left something behind, chose a new life ) which makes meeting new people alot easier..


1. beauracracy, visa issues have made me feel lowest of the low and virtually helpless not to mention the people who seem to enjoy making my life worse harder t the comune.

2. politics... ehh my problem is i am veryyy passionate about politics which is annoying i know.. seeing how one person can have control of so much and not seem to care about his people is incredible to me.. and the people that LET him ..

3. lack of international food, yes florence has choices.. are they really good?? ehh.. allright and VERY expensive.. dinner at my fav spanish restaurant for 2 will be no lower than 35 euros. plus the italians that claim all other food but italian food is crap

4. inability to make lasting and true italian girl friendships.. i posted a thread about this on expats which was interesting.. i have lived here for over 3 1/2 years and can honestly say i dont have any real italian girl friends which makes me sad. sure i have aquantences but REAL friends.. not so much..

5. people who suck at their job but have it anyway.. you know what i am talking about, ive worked for several companies here and let me tell you. alot of people have a job who dont have a clue how to do it/ or do it right/ efficiently.. or tell me I AM doing something wrong to make themselves look better.. ugh

anyway.. i thought it would be fun to list what we love/hate ... needless to say i LOVE italy which is why i stay here and even when i go back home, im excited to visit home but i rarely want to stay... i think its just the "idea" of being back home you know? .. anywho have fun!

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2 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 5th November 2009, 4:28 pm


-people love kids here and revere mothers. This is great since I'm a mum now and am often with my toddler. She's also blonde and blue eyed which helps (exotic I guess).
-I love the food culture here - especially shopping at my local food market and the fact that things are seasonal and generally yummy
-Italy has forced me to think outside the box workwise and I'm happy in my job now
-long maternity leave (if you're lucky enough to have a proper contract)
-Rome is beautiful
-cheap and easy travel. Unfortunately we don't travel much because of my husband's business (he runs a B&B) but at least we know that we could


-bureaucracy and 'menefregismo' - never seen anything like it before moving here.
-high taxes combined with no services. I just got out of hospital where I shared a 6 person room and shared a toilet with 18 people (cleaned once a day) - no soap and often no toilet paper - yuk!
-related to above -corruption and government waste
-the current government
-sexist images of women on Italian TV
-lack of meritocracy or even any protest that it isn't a meritocracy 0 people just assume that the only way to get a job or a promotion is by being well connected
-baby/kid unfriendliness - while Italians love kids they do very little to make life easier for parents and kids ie. no indoor play spaces, few playgrounds, no ramps for strollers, cars parked across ped crossings, no lifts in the metro etc.
-the job market and low, low salaries
-it's hard to find 'ethnic' food here and lunch options are limited. I get really sick of pasta and/or panini for lunch. It would be nice to get some Thai or Indian food for lunch every once in a while IYKWIM pig

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3 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 5th November 2009, 7:54 pm

Alot of the food
Friendly people
That its warmer here than the UK especially longer in winter!
My babysitting job and the family
My friends on this forum
The beauty of italy and all the many places to see
The bus and metro here better than the ones in london
The other expat women i have met!

That we dont get snow
Missing my friends and family
Missing some english foods and the menu's arent very varied here
That they dont have charity shops!
Not being able to make italian friends as they all seems to have a million friends already!
Beggers everywhere (most of them arent poor!)
That learning italian can be very hard
Not being able to speak english all the time so i tend to be more quiet than i really am.

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4 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 7th November 2009, 11:48 am

you have listed most of my pluses and minuses
but just to add my 2 pennith worth, more personal things coz the general things are covered.

-the fact that I have managed to find a wonderful church community here full of really genuinely caring people. Although I don't actually follow their church beliefs ((I am asgnostic, or at the very least confused...but that is another topic) but despite the fact that I don't go to the church services I am accepted and feel cared for. I feel like I have someone watching my back, and those of my children. (These people are in the main Italian, although there are some English as well..and they have become good friends Yea! I ahve good friends in Italy and u thought that was impossible? It CAN happen!)
- My in - laws. Sometimes they drive me crazy, but they are always there, they are good company, and again they have my back covered.
- Living near the sea. My kids may not have alot of the privileges of their English cousins...but 3 months at the sea every year ain't bad.
- I like being different. I am English, I have 3 kids, people think I am crazy. I would rather be seen as crazy than Italian hee hee
- The fact it isn't a pub/ lets get drunk culture. Love going out for dinner with friends or having friends less done in the UK. MY parents have friends round like NEVER! My Parents-in-law is like an open house.
- The fact kids are not so much of an inconvience here.

- Fact that in my area there are no pavements and I have to spent most of the time traffic dodging.
- The fact that after all these years I assume people look at me and have already decided I am not worth knowing (coz I am not wearing the right clothes, not Italian etc.) and so I already feel defensive and a bit aggressive.

- The 'bella figura' it drives me crazy.
- The fact that I can't trust Italian parents to put seatbelts on my kids, therefore I don't want Matteo to go out with his friends.
- Why can't I be blunt and tell the truth...why do I have to tell a lie becasue it looks better?

This is not a complete list...just the tip of the iceburg!!

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5 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 7th November 2009, 11:54 am

That's funny that you say the sea is one of the things you like about living here in Rome, Lizzie. As a former Sydneysider the beach (and swimming in general) is one of the things I miss most living here in Rome! Yes there's Ostia but it's polluted, really hard to get to and just yuk. Also you have to pay to go there.

I should add one more 'hate' to my list. I hate the summers here in Rome. Boiling hot (even hotter than Sydney!) and there are no public pools or places to cool off - and, as I said, the beach is really far away, overcrowded and polluted. Also I hate the culture of the 'stabilimenti' where you have to pay for a clean beach! I really miss Sydney beaches where it's clean, non-polluted, and FREE (also right in the city). Also the ocean baths and the pools. I feel sad that my daughter is missing out on these things.

Anyway - do you have a beach house where you go for 3 months of the year? Or do you go to Ostia or something from Rome on the weekends? Just curious.

The only beach I've been to in Itlay which I thought was ok was Sperlonga. But that's too far from Rome for a quick trip (we don't have a car.)

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6 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 7th November 2009, 11:58 am

I miss going to the pool to! i dont understand why they dont have public pool's here especially as its so hot in the summer! I bet if someone opened on they would make tons of money it would be so popular!

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7 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 7th November 2009, 12:13 pm

i live about 20min from Ostia, but if you drive up the coast there are the Cancelli which are free, the beaches aer maintained well, althoguh of course u r right Piccolina, the pollution isn't good. I come from the midlands in Uk, nearest beach 2 hours it is all relative. Have my sister in law in Clareville Avalon, so know where u r comign from! WOuld LOVE to live there, u go to the beach...miles of sand and no one in sight. or u go to ostia and jostle for you 1 sqm. But at lesat there are no sharks or killer jelly fish (although this summer matteo did get stung by a jelly fish!).
My Parents in law hired lettini and umbrellone at a stabilmento so I went there because at least I had company, loos etc. I just paid the entrance (6 euro for me, 2 for Matteo and the 2 littles ones went free, G was at work). But that was just to access the water, which peed me off as technically I didn't need to pay as the first 5 mietres of sand are free...ha ha seems ludicurious (did I make that word up from ludicrous and riduculous?)) doesn't it? But with 3 kids and no patente I didn't have much choice, oh and I need a life guard near by with 3 boys bobbing around in the water! The boys had a great tiem. I had a thousand panic attacks everyday, but a nice tan!

Claire, if u take the metro to Palisport linea B there is a outdoor pool right at the metro stop. of course u have to pay, but u can pay half day, full day etc... Next year you should get the train to Ostia (takes about 30 minutes from Magliana) and go to the beach, there are free bits too...sometime u should meet up with us....we'll have to organise it! Expats go to Ostia. Also here is Osita Antica..which is really nice, but not when it is too hto.

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8 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 10:07 am


the weather,its always the wright weather for every

the city is beautifull

the lakes are not to far from where we life.

the sea is beautifull

the food is great.


i think most italians are have no respect for you in the busses.when you got a child on you'r arm ore you are pregnant

transport is not childfriendly.

streets the same.

that forein food cost so much,and you cant find everything.

things are so expensive here

you cant ride a bike!!!!!!

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9 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 11:22 am

Thats true about bikes!

I have seen a roma city centre tour all on bikes a few weeks ago lol Laughing

I think they should just have alot of the centre of Roma as walking areas only with no cars and let people use there bikes there. I think it would be much nicer and less dangerous! lol!

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10 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 11:29 am

- the way that fresh veg are so cheap in the local markets, and that there's a man with a mobile veg shop who parks right outside my building every day
- cheap, good, local wine (hehehe)
- my local market. Not only do they do loads of fruit and veg, but they do clothes, which is a saving grace. I bought a pair of real leather, knee-high boots there the other day, which are the most comfortable pair of boots I've ever bought, for 40 euros. FORTY EUROS! Very Happy
- the fact that, despite eating biscuits and nutella for breakfast, and pasta every day, I'm losing weight. Oh yes. Cool

- I can't get Germolene here. Waaah.
- As Lizzie said, 'la bella figura'. Ugh.
- Super-expensive clothes
- the polluted water down here, which means that I have to buy bottled

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11 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 11:36 am

Katja remind me when i visit the UK in the spring and i will bring you some Germolene back!

Thats one thing i have to have to and my mother insisted i take back with me when i saw them in October:D So i can happily get you some! Smile

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12 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 11:48 am

ClareRoma wrote:Katja remind me when i visit the UK in the spring and i will bring you some Germolene back!

Aw, thanks Clare - that's really kind of you. Luckily, though, I'm going back at Christmas, so I will bring back a vat-load then. My ear-piercing got infected recently and I ended up having to pay NINE EUROS for a tube of antibiotic cream. affraid It did work after about 3 days, but Germolene would have sorted it out much quicker hehehe.

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13 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 11:53 am

I would stock up on that sort of thing if you are going back there Very Happy make a list and walk into Boots and fill your basket! lool

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14 Re: 5 things you love/hate about living in Italy on 8th November 2009, 4:16 pm

yeah, and if u want paracetemol u will have to go to a dozen different pharmacies just so you don't overdose yourself .

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