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??


Anonymous said...

A few summers ago, I got to go to Italy to study abroad for my art major. While I was there, I got to taste some of the best food and every now and again, I find myself craving many of the wonderful foods I experienced! Would anyone happen to know where I could find really good and decently priced Italian food products?

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Really like everything you are writing, I'm thinking of coming very sooner, but do you hear of the possibility of paying someone rent and eventually owning the place later or having the option to buy it. I've heard of this option somewhere.

Unknown said...

Thanks! You brought up a good question which I myself was thinking about. I think your best bet would be to do some basic research even with local real estate agencies. I'll do the same!