Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can You Continue to Live as An American While Residing in Italy??

Before moving to Italy over ten years ago, I remember saying to myself that I would try to continue to live as an American while residing in Italy. The point being that I would try to avoid all the negative aspects of living in Italy and yes there are negative aspects. I would not fall into the "image is everything" philosophy, would not rush home to make meals, would not buy fresh bread everyday, would not turn into one of "those Italian women" who are at the beck and call of their families, and would not burden myself with all the bureaucratic mazes one has to go through almost daily in Italy.

Interestingly enough during the first years while I was still single and living in the metropolitan city of Milan, I was able to continue to be the American. As any single person, I ate when I wanted to, dressed as I wanted to, went to the gym, worked hard at a job I somewhat liked and all in all I was able to continue to be the American.

Things slowly changed as I moved to smaller and smaller towns. I found myself doing more and more the things that "those Italian women" do. While I am not single anymore, I don't think I am at the beck and call of my familly but I am buying into some of the Italian ways of doing things. Now my philosophy is "don't reinvent the wheel". If Italians have been getting by doing things this way, it must work and if it doesn't work no skin off my nose. There is always "domani" or tomorrow.

I have also realized I have the incredible luxury to be L'Americana (the American) or be Italian when it is convenient for me but that is our little secret. If I want to dress down and wear flip flops until October...I am The American! If I want to not have fresh bread in the house for days...I am The American! If I want to be overly obsessed with safety for my children....I am The American! It works both ways you see. I can also be the Italian when I want to let things slide until tomorrow or double park, etc.

I haven't figured out how to avoid the whole bureaucratic maze but am constantly researching how the Italians get around it. Will keep you informed with details. In the meantime remember if you move to Italy, you really have the best of both worlds. It is not so bad being L'Americana!!

5 comments:

jean said...

Interesting. Italian or American, it's all your personal choice,isn't it? So long as you enjoy what you choose. :)

Happy 2009, L'Americana!

OurExplorer - Tour Guide & Tourist Guide
local guides, local wisdom

Lucia said...

I agree. Thanks for your comment. It is all about being happy. It is nice to be able to have the best of both worlds. Happy New Year to you too!!

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, how can I move to Italy and be able to work. I read that its almost impossible to get work visa's in Italy or Spain. Any suggestions.

Elana

elanadw@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, how can I move to Italy and be able to work. I read that its almost impossible to get work visa's in Italy or Spain. Any suggestions.

Elana

elanadw@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Loved this post! For an American who just became an Italian citizen and will be moving to Italy, good advice. Actually I have enjoyed many of your posts. Thanks!

Wayne