I thought it would have been easy to write an article about Italy since it is my Country, although I live abroad I still belong to it and it belongs to me, but no, it wasn’t so easy.
Trying to look at it in a subjective way is impossible for me, so I have decide to change approach, I will share just a few info about Expat community in Italy and then I let you read how Italian people answered some of my questions about their (our) Country.
So, what about Expats in Italy?! In 2020, Italy's foreign population was 5.3 million and Lombardy had the largest part, followed by Lazio and Emilia-Romagna.
Although there are many multinational companies in Italy, I would suggest to learn the local language as soon as possible in order to expand your opportunities, but also to understand better Italian mentality and culture, of course don’t forget the no-spoken language, Italians are famous for the gestures, remember?
Depending on where you are from, it can be a bit difficult to adapt to life in Italy, in some areas of the Country, for the salaries that often don’t match so much with the cost of living or for the lack of English knowledge, but if you are really willing to leave there and you are able to adapt a bit to the circumstances, you’ll love it. My tip is not only to study Italian in advance but also get informed on how to organize things when you move to the new Country, more specifically, the City where you are moving to. The more you can prepare, the less you have to worry.
Italy is the Country with the higher number of UNESCO SITES, 55 to be precise and it is the 5th most visited Country in the world, you won’t get bored there and your expat life will be an eternal tourist life to share with other expats and locals as well.
Travelling through Italy can often require the car but I have seen already a lot of improvement in transportation at least between the major cities. Unfortunately, the South is not yet taken care enough, anyway I trust we will get there. On the other hand, there are many airports and nowadays they are literally connected with any destination in the world.
The following are the questions I have asked to Italians people on my personal Instagram account and scrolling down you can read their answers and click on their names to find out more about them:
Italy is unique! In which other country in the world can you find our beaches and sea, mountains and culture? Art, history and tasty food. Ah Italy and Italians, have you ever met other people with our creativity? Of course, we are not perfect and there is always room to improve, but our warmth is unforgettable. If I could suggest a magic experience in my city it would be to watch the sunset from the top pf the Milan Cathedral.
Italy is that place that art and nature made wonderful. Every city tells something about a so long history and testifies the presence of various and different populations that have left a lot of their culture in Italy. I would like to see an improvement in the infrastructures and connections via transportation also because the gap between north and south is still big from this point of view. There are definitely some expat communities especially in the North. To whom should think to come to Venice, I suggest to get lost in the small streets (calli) without really taking care of where to go and enjoy the beauty of every corner, to the ones that want to visit Sicily instead I would recommend to don’t miss the landscape and what the nature offers as well as the historical buildings and the monuments which have an uncommon beauty. It is difficult to answer about the best characteristic since also the welcoming (that is our strength) is different from place to place, so maybe the safe choice is FOOD.
Italy is a gem (even if doesn’t shine as it should). It got history, culture, art, landscapes and views, food… it misses nothing. But well, I would definitely improve the transportation system, both for logistic than respect of timetable (maybe the issues are different based of which area of the Country we are talking about). I do believe there is a big expat community. In Naples I would suggest to visit Sant’Elmo Castle to enjoy the view of the whole city from the top.
If I should describe Italy I would use the example of Arlecchino carnival mask, as muchcolours for his suit as many characteristics for Italy and Italians in our culture and landscape, from north to south. Would be nice to improve the punctuality of transportations and I don’t think there are many expats even if it depends on the cities. In my city, Messina, I would suggest to visit the clock tower of the Cathedral. Last but not least, the Italian best characteristic is to be able to make things happen even with not a lot to use.
Italy is full of history, amazing beaches and mountains and tasty food. I would suggest to pay more attention to street cleaning and transportation, making possible a more effective and easy way to connect the cities also to don’t obligate the tourists to use the car. I believe there is a big expat community. I am Sicilian and I would suggest to come to Sicily and since I am from Palermo, to visit my city. I believe the best thing Italy got is its story that it is told by its monuments.
Hi! To a tourist that comes to visit Rome (my city), I would suggest to get lost in the small streets of Trastevere and then to visit more than the Italian Capital, although to go around the villages (borghi) of the whole Lazio region, overall in the area called Ciociaria.
In Italy you can find everything you are looking for, sea and beaches, mountains, lakes, valleys, hills, history, nature, art. EVERYTHING! From north to south, sometimes it looks to be in 2 different countries, but it is not! I would create an app where to buy tickets for transportation all over the Country (and I’d improve the service in general), and a better knowledge of English would be also a great improvement. I have no clue about the expat community. If I have to suggest what to visit in Rome, I would say Giardino degli Aranci. The best thing Italy got is food, never boring and it is almost impossible to don’t eat well.
True, Italy is the Country of contradiction, but tell me which other place got this perfect mix of art, beauty and food, is there another place where just the fact to eat pasta carbonara in Trastevere or an arancin watching the Teatro Massimo in Palermo can make your day?! There is a reason why it is called “Il Bel Paese” (the beautiful country), right?!*
We would say Italy is a concentration of natural beauty, of any kind, that you can find art in any corner and then you will always discover something new to visit. Thinking as tourists we would like to see more care from tourists and Italians too respecting the environment and keep it clean. So no to napkins, cigarettes, chewing gum and receipts thrown around as if the streets were a big bin basket.
I would talk about the difference from region to region (that is our richness) and I would like to see the streets cleaner (I do speak about Sicily mostly). Anyway in Sicily I would suggest to go to the east part of the island, to don’t forget about the villages (borghi), visit the roman villa in Piazza Armerina, go to Pantalica and Syracuse for at least 2 days. I guess the best thing Italy got is the combination of history and lasndscape.
I am sure you have noticed that food is very often mentioned, it is part of our culture, it is part of our social life and it is a way to take care of people we love. There are many companies that also provide the service of sending Italian goods abroad, as the business is growing not only for Italians that live far from their own country, but also for foreigner that appreciate Italian food. One of these business is Nuovabottegaitalia, take a look and get (your belly) inspired!
Do you want to explore more about Italy? Don’t forget to check our IG account to receive a freebie of 2 Italian itinerary tours! Plus, check our YouTube channel to travel through Calabria and Sicily with Lorena's video.