Saturday, September 14, 2013


I thought it would be useful to my readers to write about the quality of life and standard of living in Tuscany right now. Much has changed in the last few years and there is a lot of confusion out there about what is really going on in Italy. Since I do live here in Tuscany full time and I am an American expat, here goes:

The economic situation is as bad as you probably have read about. The unemployment rate is extremely high and for the first time since I have been living in Italy (15 years), I have had acquaintances and friends confess that they are desperately hanging on financially. Most of the unemployment rate is directly related to the closure of many many companies, both small and large.

Having said this, can expats find jobs in Tuscany? Here one has to be creative, think out of the box and really research how he/she can utilize his/her skills which are not readily available among Italians. Do you have teaching experience? Are you willing and able  to teach English either to adults or to children? Here there is a strong need since English is being taught less and less in the public schools? What degrees do you have? Are you willing to work in the larger cities say Florence or Siena? There are many American companies in Florence and in the outskirts.

The tourism industry is still bustling mostly because the exchange rate is to the favor of the tourists. So any sub industries related to tourism are doing well. For instance, restaurants, hotels, cafes, farm holiday apartments, spas, airline, travel internet industries, tour guides etc. Of course here again you are more apt to find something in the larger cities in Tuscany. The competition is fierce so really dig into the skills that you have and put those forward to the best of your ability.

Food and wine are other industries that are still thriving. There are many many small and large companies that still need mother tongue English employees. Research the ones in the area you want to go to and cold call. Then follow up with an in person visit.

Remember you can still live in a small rural village and commute to the bigger cities if you need to.

Questions or comments??

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Grass is Always Greener: Living In Italy vs Living in the USA

Hello! I am back in Los Angeles just for vacation and as in previous times when I come back "home" from Italy I  notice so many things that I used to take for granted.

I do view things differently, with a positive attitude for sure and appreciate some things that just don't happen in Italy. Let's take a look at a few:

1. I love that stores are open all day in the United States. In Italy you have to rush to get errands done before everything closes down for lunch and then reopens in the wee hours of the afternoon.

2. On the same note, I love that everything is open in August. In Italy, don't look for your accountant, attorney, teachers, neighbors in August. Actually you can probably find them all at the closest beach where they will park themselves on month.

3. I love that there are few mosquitoes!!

4. I love that you can sit in a book store (the ones that are left) and literally read a book from cover to cover. Although I have never done this, I love that it is possible. In Italy the thought of even touching a book before paying for it can get you kicked out or at least be given the evil eye!!

5. I love that you can return almost anything in the USA and get a full refund! You better not even try this in Italy!!

6. I love Target and Costco!!

7. I love that I can buy medicine, get my eyes checked, buy clothes, buy food, buy gasoline, get my car washed  and eat at the same place in the USA. Talk about convenience!

8. It's not that I love the American post offices but it is that I despise with a passion the Italian ones!

9. I love the weather in the summer in Los Angeles. It does not get better then this no where in the world!

10. I love being able to get something done virtually in the USA within minutes! Wifi in Italy?? What a joke.