Most Italians don’t speak English. Of course, when you visit or move to a new country you should always do your best to speak the native language. In tourist areas, you are likely to find that more Italians will be able to speak English, however if you go to the more rural areas you may be the only English-speaker for miles. It’s important to at least have a good grasp of Italian before you move.
If you have at least some Italian vocabulary up your sleeve it will help you to become fluent much faster. If you actively try to speak and learn while living in another country, it usually takes an average of three months to become fluent. So if you work hard, it will be no time at all before you are free from struggle.
Learn About the Culture
Before going to Italy make sure you learn about the culture. It is important to be respectful and also prepared for your life in a new country. Italians like to greet each other with hugs and air kisses on each cheek. Whether you are a man or a woman, you will experience this form of greeting, so it is best to be prepared for it, especially if you are not a fan of touching.
It is important to remember to always keep your shoulders covered when entering a church. If you are wearing a sleeveless shirt, then invest in a scarf or shawl to drape over your shoulders before you go in. This applies both to worship and sightseeing.
An important rule while eating is that you must always wait until everyone has been served their food before you can start. While this is common practice in many European countries, it is important to remember when dining with friends or family, as this a custom that is taken seriously both in and out of the home.
Find a Place to Live
Your budget will give you a good indication of where you can and cannot live in Italy. The central cities and tourist areas are notoriously more expensive than rural areas. An example would be that a studio flat in Florence often costs around 1500 euros a month to rent, whereas somewhere more rural is around 60 euros per month. None of these prices include bills. However, apartments and rental houses in the cities are often incredibly well maintained, so there is less worry about building damage and repairs.
The cost of living in Italy is also relatively low, especially compared to the UK. So while you may be paying a fair chunk of money on rent and bills, food and other amenities are often very affordable, which helps to balance it out a little. Many Italians in the cities do not own a car due to the fantastic public transport, so to save on costs it might be worth doing the same.
Find a Job
Finding a job in Italy is not nearly as easy as it used to be, especially with growing rates of unemployment. As a result, if you are considering moving house and settling in Italy it is important that you make sure you have secured a job there first. This will provide you with the financial security you will need to survive, especially since the first couple of months in a new place are often the hardest.
If you make sure you do your research and stick with these key points about moving to Italy, you should be just fine. It’s a beautiful country, and you are sure to have an amazing time when you do move there. Just make sure you pick up a phrase book and a language course and get started looking for some work so that you can go into the next chapter of your life with confidence.