Oh wonderful, living in Italy must be a dream, well, it is: with some many views and historical sites , you cannot certainly get bored. But hang on… life in Italy is not all “rose e fiori” (roses and flowers) as an Italian would say, quoting Rocky Balboa. Here you find the top ten best and worst things about living in Italy, some of them are from an English perspective too.
10 Best Things About Living in Italy
- Weather: without a doubt, Italian weather is better than UK’s. No matter where you live in the country, North or South, there is much more sun and less rain.
- Culture & history: wherever you look in Italy, you will find something cultural or historical around you. Did you know that Italy is the country with the most UNESCO sites in the world?
- Variety: Italy is rich in natural landscapes, you can find mountains, lakes, hills, literally anything and this diversity make the country even more interesting.
- Family bonds: Italians are very attached to their families, family is really everything. Some youngsters decide to live with their parents until they get married, this seems a very logical and economical solution. There is something magical about this, which makes generations closers.
- Wine: Italian wine is diverse and special, from the Prosecco of Trentino to the Tuscan red wine, there is something for any liking. The wine is not only very good, but also cheap.
- Food: everyone in the world knows Italian food – no need to speak, oops write!
- Local pride: Italians love Made in Italy stuff, they consider it superior to anything else, this counts for fashion items but also with food. This is perhaps one of the most amazing and romantic things about living in Italy.
- Beach in Summer time: when you go to the beach in the UK, even in a sunny day, it might be cold, that’s why you use this [picture] complex system to keep the wind away. On the contrary, you would appreciate some breeze on an Italian beach.
- Coffee: Italian coffee, comes strong and quick, nothing like Costa’s waiting time. Espresso is certainly the most famous coffee in the world, and you must know that it costs only about 1 Euro in Italy.
- Dress sense: for some reasons, Italians have a good dress sense, maybe because they are surrounded by beautiful buildings and unforgettable paintings: they like to care about what they wear. I consider this one of the best things about living in Italy because you would seldom notice a fashion faux pas, unless it’s a lost German tourist.
10 Worst Things About Living in Italy
- International food: unfortunately international foods in supermarkets and international restaurants are not that popular in Italy, just yet. So be prepared to find mostly Italian food.
- Sandwiches: lack of sandwiches and meal deals in supermarkets might be daunting for an English tourist. Italians are not used to fancy cold sandwiches from the fridge, they perhaps rely on a fresh sandwich prepared in a bar or similar.
- City Tax: hotels request a city tax (tassa di soggiorno), this amount is payable per person per night and varies, for example in Rome you can expect to pay from 3 to 7 Euros per day!
- Motorways: motorways are not free, you pay according to the length of your journey, so be aware when you see autostrada this might be the quickest way to go somewhere but also the most expensive one.
- Drivers: it’s not a myth, Italians drivers are rather out of line. Most of them, they drive aggressively and don’t let people cross very often. This is perhaps the worst thing about Italy.
- Shop assistants: English shop assistants are extremely polite and helpful, but I don’t think the same good customer service skills are shared by the fellow Italians. Generalizing is always wrong, but we must say that you are more likely to find a moody shop assistant in Italy.
- Kettles: a kettle is one of the fundamental domestic appliances in any English home, but this is an alien item in Italy. So don’t expect kettles in just any hotel room, the reason relates to the cultural habits, Italians don’t drink much tea and don’t drink soluble coffee – however I am still trying to convince my mum that it’s a good item to boil water for pasta.
- Beer: pub is an iconic place in the UK and so beer. In Italy it’s slightly more difficult to find a place with a vaste selection of beers. You will find mostly Italian beers and some German ones, but they do exist in niche places with craft beers, you just have to be good at finding them.
- Cover charge: most of the restaurants apply a cover charge, it can be between 1€ and 3€, so do your maths before choosing a restaurant.
- Non parlo Inglese: many Italians don’t speak any English, so language barriers can be difficult to overcome. Just be ready with your phone app translator or an old fashioned pocket dictionary.
What do you think would be the best thing about living in Italy? And what would be the worst for you? Share your thoughts.
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