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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI All,
We have finally set a date and booked tickets.
If there is anyone in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Lucca)or Abruzzo(a busy town) that can help us out with accomodation this is what we will be needing.
First of all: if anyone needs or knows of anyone in these areas looking for a housesitter please let me know, this will help us greatly.
Space for 4 at least 1 bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room. (1 year contract only) even better if we can sign a 3 month contract first, I know this is near impossible.
Fully furnished (we are only bringing the essentials with us, no furniture, kitchen appliances etc...)
Close to public schools
A town big enough to have work for a TEFL teacher
Work for my husband: he has an environmental scientist degree, horticulture, garden care, lawn mowing, fruit markets etc... He does not mind hard work and getting his hands dirty.
Italian tutors.
It will be great to finally get there and get started with a new experience.
 

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HI All,
We have finally set a date and booked tickets.
If there is anyone in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Lucca)or Abruzzo(a busy town) that can help us out with accomodation this is what we will be needing.
First of all: if anyone needs or knows of anyone in these areas looking for a housesitter please let me know, this will help us greatly.
Space for 4 at least 1 bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room. (1 year contract only) even better if we can sign a 3 month contract first, I know this is near impossible.
Fully furnished (we are only bringing the essentials with us, no furniture, kitchen appliances etc...)
Close to public schools
A town big enough to have work for a TEFL teacher
Work for my husband: he has an environmental scientist degree, horticulture, garden care, lawn mowing, fruit markets etc... He does not mind hard work and getting his hands dirty.
Italian tutors.
It will be great to finally get there and get started with a new experience.
I wish you all the best in your new venture.
However, it's only fair to point out some of the realities of relocating to Italy (or anywhere else in Western Europe, for that matter), esp in the current recession, as you have said in your previous post that you've never been to Italy. I know it's not easy to nip over for a short visit if you are based in Brisbane rather than London, but it isn't something we advise would-be migrants to do, esp if you are bringing over a family. Remember things work very differently in Italy, and the Italian bureaucracy is perhaps one of the worst in Europe. That's when having established support network (family, friends etc) is so important and valuable - someone who can show you the ropes and save you making costly errors. Remember most officials you meet speak only Italian and unless you are fluent (i.e. not just everyday conversation but technical matters like regulations, procedures, form-filling etc), you will struggle. They are not there to give advice, and unless your papers are correct to the very last detail, they may just toss them back to you and tell you to start again.
Even with your EU passport, getting TESOL job won't be easy, and you are arriving too late to fix up with a job, most of which start in September. Time to apply for a teaching post is in April/May, when they recruit for the next academic year. Most reputable schools (i.e. with decent pay and condition) want not just TEFL qualification but actual experience, usually 1-2 years min, as there's a lot of competition from established teachers from UK, Ireland and elsewhere in EU plus resident workers. Many schools are struggling with falling numbers and are actually making staff redundant rather than taking on new. Remember the recession has hit Europe much more severely than Australia.
Job for your husband is even a taller order. A couple of years ago, when there were enough English-speaking expats to service their various needs without having to speak Italian, it was possible to work as a handyman through word-of-mouth or with an ad in expat publications, but those days are now over. Many have left or are in the process of leaving, and those who stay or have to stay because they cannot sell their homes are tightening their belt and cutting out on all but the essentials. To work for Italian householders means fluent Italian, knowledge of local ways of doing things, good connections and for some occupations, recognition of qualifications and registration with appropriate professional or occupational bodies. The latter is fraught with difficulties - even those with qualifications from other EU countries, which in theory should be readily acceptable, still need to jump through hoops to have a chance of getting their status regularised. Without it, it's an offence to practise certain occupations.
Even for your children, don't assume they will quickly fit into their new environment, get settled into their new schools and start to speak fluent Italian quickly. To start with, not all schools or teachers are geared to accepting children with little or no Italian, and unlike in English-speaking world, schools and teachers do their job without interference from parents. If they offer extra Italian lessons, fine. If they don't, you cannot demand or even suggest they do something about it. Your children may become unhappy, tearful, begging to return home and be with their friends.
Not to mention any troubles you may have over housing.

Do you have a planB? If your Italian adventure turns sour, can you return home and pick up your life again, or are you burning your bridges now? When you can't get a teaching post, your husband has nothing to do and cannot earn a living, your children are unhappy and you are rapidly running out of money, what are you going to do? Remember you are on the other side of the world from your support network and there are no social security benefits you can claim (because you haven't contributed).

It's not my intention to burst your bubbles and pour cold water on your dream move. Maybe you have thought about these things and have an alternative. Fine! But I'm trying to inject a dose of reality so that you won't end up like so many others whose relocation has turned out to be a cripplingly expensive, painful mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
joppa, thanks for your info. We have a plan to holiday for 6 weeks before we decide to stay or not. We can easily return home to jobs and house and school if we decide not to stay in italy. Your advice is taken well thanks. I have been researching things for 5 years now and consider all sides. Thanks again. Maleena
 

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Fine!
But remember you are arriving in the middle of Italian holidays, with schools out and the country generally winding down for the August (Ferragosto) break, so you won't get a true picture of what living, as opposed to holidaying, in Italy is really about. Can you still upstick and return home relatively unscathed when things turn sour three months into your move?
 

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I tell people that if they want to make a full time move to visit during the winter. If you can manage the three months after Christmas then you might be okay. The smaller the town the more important this is.

People visit during the summer and think it's always warm and sunny.

Coming during the summer is expensive. You can spend more for a one week rental then a two month during the winter. It's unreal because the country is full of tourists. So the shops will be open more. There will be more events. You won't find an empty home to sit during the summer. It's high season for second homers. You'll be lucky to find a hotel room in some places. I'd really suggest booking a place to stay .

Basically any fully furnished place will be a summer rental. Which will be rented and expensive. Plan on buying everything. That's beds,sheets to kitchen sink. Literally the kitchen sink. If you're staying you'll need to do this sooner or later. Budget for it. There are various large furniture shops online you can check for prices etc.


Come over. But you can't decide anything during the summer.

Remember in small town Italy you need a car. That can mean one car per person working out of the home.

BTW have you considered the residence requirements? I don't remember them but until you have a job you'll need to meet various requirements to get residence. Until you get residence you can't enter the health system. So you'll need to budget for any medical costs.
 

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Coming during the summer is expensive. You can spend more for a one week rental then a two month during the winter. It's unreal because the country is full of tourists. So the shops will be open more. There will be more events. You won't find an empty home to sit during the summer. It's high season for second homers. You'll be lucky to find a hotel room in some places. I'd really suggest booking a place to stay.
So true! In Tuscany in July/August, a small house or a modest apartment rental for a family of four would typically cost 1000 euro a WEEK, more with swimming pool etc. If you are on a budget, I suggest living outside Tuscany, like Umbria (still busy) or the Marches, but work opprtunities would be less too.
There have been several programmes on British TV tracking the experience of families relocating to Italy, with their trials and tribulations. I don't know if any has been shown in Australia, but they are very revealing and highlight many of the pitfalls newcomers face, esp if their Italian is less than fully fluent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks to both of you. yes i have seen the 'great italian escape" and i know that their dreams of self sustainability etc... did not go to plan.
but as i said, we will be there for 6 weeks - 3 months to start with and have already arranged with real estate agents for a good deal at this time. It really helps if you arrange these things early. also i have an italian teacher who has been extremely helpful with organising things. she will be there when we arrive to help organise our papers.
we are quite easy when it comes to whetther we stay there or not. if it turns out to be a short holiday then so be it, if it becomes a full time move then great.
i have people telling me all sorts of things good and bad, you two are perhaps the worst but i knew everything you told me already by doing the research myself. As we are bringing children with us we have really thought things through. We are visiting the Italian consulate here in Brisbane to discuss the necessary papers and schooling for the boys. I dont mind having ppl tell me the bad things about moving to Italy, but have you two ever thought of adding some nice things into what you say, you tend to be down on everything you write not just to me.
Do you not like where you live?
Why did you leave your home?
I believe in trying things for yourself and if you go into things with your eyes wide open and not in fairyland then you won't be disappointed either way.
Why not try telling ppl what you did when you moved to the new countries you are living in and give some positive as well as all the negative advise you give.
Thanks again,
 

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Why not try telling ppl what you did when you moved to the new countries you are living in and give some positive as well as all the negative advise you give.
As I said, it's not my intention to pooh-pooh your impending move to Italy and I wish you all the very best. But as experienced relocators (have changed countries of residence about a dozen times), and having been brought up in a family with frequent overseas moves, I know what it's like, both as an adult and as a child to move to a strange country with little to no local language skills. Of course there are many positives to a move - or else why would anyone bother to upstick and set up home in a new country? Italy has many positives - you don't need me to point them out. I have been to the country dozens of times and personally know several expats, so I can perhaps see things from another angle.
I didn't know how much homework you've done, and your level of awareness about contemporary Italian society, because you said you've never been to the country. Many, perhaps most, people who move continents with their families do so under a sponsorship from their current employer (internal transfer), government (diplomats, armed forces etc) or their future employer (head-hunted?), who will take care of the kind of things you've been asking on this forum for some time. Even for them, there's still a lot of adjustment to make and personal issues to resolve, but at least they aren't left to do everything themselves. Don't underestimate the power of Italian red tape, not just when you first arrive, but for every day of your stay until you leave. I know someone who has lived in Italy for 20+ years, but they still have issues with Italian bureaucracy which cause them endless headaches and irritations.
It would be far better just for you to come over for a month in April/May to try to get fixed up with a language teaching job (which you are allowed to do as EU citizen with no paperwork) - then when you bring your family over, you will have a guaranteed source of income and can deal with other matters that need immediate attention. As things stand, there is close to zero chance of getting a teaching post in July for September start, as all vacancies will have long been filled by then and staff already on annual leave. Not that it's easy to find a job at any time - as I've said the recession has hit Italy hard, and people just don't have the money to take English lessons, like many other things which aren't essential for survival, and you'll be competing with many experienced teachers who can't get a job either.
Also you soon realise how expensive Italy - esp Tuscany - really is. The cost of living is much higher than in Australia (in spite of favourable exchange rates), and things you have to pay out on, like rents, utilities, transport (esp running a car), clothes, and health insurance (you aren't eligible for state health scheme until you start working). You need a good level of income to survive with a family, and language teaching isn't particularly highly paid. I say to would-be migrants they should have enough savings to survive a year without working, which I'd estimate to be at least 50,000 euro in Florence, marginally less elsewhere. I think 3 months is too short a timespan to give you a realistic chance of getting established, esp if you have to wait till next spring to apply for a teaching job. You can still give private lessons (around 10-20 euro an hour) to tide you over till then.
Please don't take my advice negatively - it's meant to help you get most out of your time in Italy and avoid possible pitfalls.
Do tell us how you get on. We are here to help you.;)
 

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I don't think anybody has told you the bad things. There is no point hiding the things you'll need.

Living expenses can be very low. If you do things the Italian way. A modern diesel car is very cheap to run. Mine gets over 60 mpg.
 

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ILiving expenses can be very low. If you do things the Italian way. A modern diesel car is very cheap to run. Mine gets over 60 mpg.
Yes, but what about insurance? I hear insurance is much more expensive than in UK. I pay around £200 or 220€ a year here in UK for a family saloon (casco - fully comprehensive with max no claim bonus but not in a big city)?
 

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Insurance is half of what I paid in North America. Considering here I'm class 12 and considered a new customer versus North America when I was considered a long term good driver in the best class.

Here my insurance goes down every year. It was going up in North America.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As I said, it's not my intention to pooh-pooh your impending move to Italy and I wish you all the very best. But as experienced relocators (have changed countries of residence about a dozen times), and having been brought up in a family with frequent overseas moves, I know what it's like, both as an adult and as a child to move to a strange country with little to no local language skills. Of course there are many positives to a move - or else why would anyone bother to upstick and set up home in a new country? Italy has many positives - you don't need me to point them out. I have been to the country dozens of times and personally know several expats, so I can perhaps see things from another angle.
I didn't know how much homework you've done, and your level of awareness about contemporary Italian society, because you said you've never been to the country. Many, perhaps most, people who move continents with their families do so under a sponsorship from their current employer (internal transfer), government (diplomats, armed forces etc) or their future employer (head-hunted?), who will take care of the kind of things you've been asking on this forum for some time. Even for them, there's still a lot of adjustment to make and personal issues to resolve, but at least they aren't left to do everything themselves. Don't underestimate the power of Italian red tape, not just when you first arrive, but for every day of your stay until you leave. I know someone who has lived in Italy for 20+ years, but they still have issues with Italian bureaucracy which cause them endless headaches and irritations.
It would be far better just for you to come over for a month in April/May to try to get fixed up with a language teaching job (which you are allowed to do as EU citizen with no paperwork) - then when you bring your family over, you will have a guaranteed source of income and can deal with other matters that need immediate attention. As things stand, there is close to zero chance of getting a teaching post in July for September start, as all vacancies will have long been filled by then and staff already on annual leave. Not that it's easy to find a job at any time - as I've said the recession has hit Italy hard, and people just don't have the money to take English lessons, like many other things which aren't essential for survival, and you'll be competing with many experienced teachers who can't get a job either.
Also you soon realise how expensive Italy - esp Tuscany - really is. The cost of living is much higher than in Australia (in spite of favourable exchange rates), and things you have to pay out on, like rents, utilities, transport (esp running a car), clothes, and health insurance (you aren't eligible for state health scheme until you start working). You need a good level of income to survive with a family, and language teaching isn't particularly highly paid. I say to would-be migrants they should have enough savings to survive a year without working, which I'd estimate to be at least 50,000 euro in Florence, marginally less elsewhere. I think 3 months is too short a timespan to give you a realistic chance of getting established, esp if you have to wait till next spring to apply for a teaching job. You can still give private lessons (around 10-20 euro an hour) to tide you over till then.
Please don't take my advice negatively - it's meant to help you get most out of your time in Italy and avoid possible pitfalls.
Do tell us how you get on. We are here to help you.;)
that was a much better response this time. thank you.
as i said we are very flexible and are neither here nor there if we stay or not for a year. we can get by for a bit without income as we will still have pay from my husbands job here in aust for a while until we decide if we can stay or not. we will enjoy our stay whether it be 1 month or 1 year... thanks again and i will definitely let you know how we get on.
 

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If you come in Abruzzo go for Pescara. If you need tips in which are the best zones to locate let me know as I live there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i won't be going to abruzzo, just because of the frequent earthquakes. not saying that it isnt lovely area. my italian teacher warned me about different areas of italy that i should not live in. she has been a very good help. i believe it is very cheap in abruzzo compared to other places but i will stick to the other side of italy.
if we do end up there, i will definitely contact you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks for info on cars and insurance... i also pay more than that for car insurance in Australia. I pay about $500 a year for a little Suzuki Swift. I have been driving for 15 yrs on a rating 1 (best rating) it seems to go up every year here too.
 

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well, there's a bit of unjustified fear about my area now. By the way the seismic areas are the one on the inside as you may easily discover by looking at this map:

http://cattaneo-lescienze.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/files/2009/04/mappa.gif

pescara is in the yellow zone so it's safe, plus in history there were no significant earthquake in the area. I don't know if your teacher actually know about Italy, I do because I'm italian effectively.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yes my teach knows about italy she was born in Bologna and lived there for more than 30 years, but yes she would have only heard what goes on in the news. and she also had earthquakes where she lived too.
i understand that different areas are safer than others.
as i said we have areas that we would like to live, but if we find work in other areas than we are definitely open to living there.
thank you for your information i will look at the map.
 

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Abruzzo

I just saw your post. I am in Abruzzo, did you get everything here resolved? Christine



HI All,
We have finally set a date and booked tickets.
If there is anyone in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Lucca)or Abruzzo(a busy town) that can help us out with accomodation this is what we will be needing.
First of all: if anyone needs or knows of anyone in these areas looking for a housesitter please let me know, this will help us greatly.
Space for 4 at least 1 bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room. (1 year contract only) even better if we can sign a 3 month contract first, I know this is near impossible.
Fully furnished (we are only bringing the essentials with us, no furniture, kitchen appliances etc...)
Close to public schools
A town big enough to have work for a TEFL teacher
Work for my husband: he has an environmental scientist degree, horticulture, garden care, lawn mowing, fruit markets etc... He does not mind hard work and getting his hands dirty.
Italian tutors.
It will be great to finally get there and get started with a new experience.
 

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Just to add to all the sensible but painful advice given, researching for 5 years is all well and good and will prepare you to a certain extent, but you will find being in Italy quite different to how 'real estate' agents paint a picture. It is good that you have a freind who can help with paperwork, but you will have to hit the ground running and learn to be indepdant of people who can do things for you. I know ex-pats who cannot make it work and return. The one's that do seem to be financially solvent, retiree's etc.,. sorry to be doom and gloom. Why not stay the maximum period of your visa, and treat it like ' a year out' teach your children yourself, but arrange for them to spend the odd day at schools to see how they get on. I think it is them who need to be given priority re settling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
we have been and gone already

Hi everyone thanks for your advise. We ended up only being in Florence for 3 months it was a great holiday. We will return to stay when the kids can decide whether they want to go or not.
 
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