Moving a family to Italy

tammy garnett Image
10/01/2010 - 15:59

Hi there everyone, My husband and I are really interested in moving to Italy. We have 2 small children - a 4 year old son and a 4 month old baby girl, so we were wanting to find out from the online community which part of Italy you would recommend for a family like ours. I have posted messages before asking about the different areas, but now that I have a growing family, Id like to know where the best place in Italy is for families to live and to raise children? I would also like to know if anyone can help us with some websites to look at for available jobs in Italy (teaching) - Is there a well known website or two with posted jobs available or should I rather just search for the schools and look at their online sites? Thanks for the help in advance. We look forward to your helpful replies :)   Kind Regards, Tammy...x



yes, i seem to remember that you posted some time ago. Whilst you may feel very tempted to move to some rural venue with your children this could work out to be the wrong move.As you say you will have to work the amount of non manual employment in rural areas is next to inexistant.Perhaps you ought to look at somewhere quite close to a largish town preferably in the north of Italy this might just be able to balance the need to be in a fairly rural setting with adequate facilities and work not too far away alongside good school and health facilities.IF i were to make a suggestion i might perhaps say somewhere along the line of Reggio Emilia-Parma -Modena ,this area with a young family probably offers the best prospectives all round.OH yes, there is a tendency on this forum to say "come to my area,it's the best" whilst this answer is answering your question and not promoting where i live which i would regard as unsuitable in your position..

the area around Reggio Emilia is considered one of the best for quality of living (read that somewhere in an italian newspaper), but areas around Milano are also to be considered (Varese to the North, Liguria to the South, but they probably suffer a bit more from higher prices on the property market. Italians around Milan have no problem commuting 60 km to work every day. You may avoid that moving further down towards Reggio Emilia. In any case, if you need to work, you should definitely stay in Northern Italy, which stops at the river Tronto in Le I was told by a fellow Abruzzese who worked in Le Marche :-) Abruzzo and further south, the only way forward is self-employment, but here you'll have to consider a very slow startup phase. God luck

I agree with both Sebastiano and Sablanico. Anyone interested in moving to Italy without a certain income from pension, property rental or whatever, must give absolute priority to locating work. At the moment, it's difficult enough for Italians with all their advantages of networks, fluency in Italian and knowledge about how Italy operates to find well-paid employment. It's therefore good that you seem to be very aware of the need to find employment. It seems to me that the most sensible way for you to approach the question of where you want to live in Italy would be to choose from the various work options open to you - if there are indeed options. It would be pretty pointless for me to tell you how wonderful Abruzzo is, when I know it's very difficult for even locals to find work here. I think it's possible that a single person or a couple could manage to live very cheaply in rural Abruzzo if they were happy to accept a much more old-fashioned style of life that of the typical modern suburb-dwelling Brit, if they were willing to work hard raising and preserving virtually all their own food, if they were the sort who were willing to take on any sort of work for a few Euros and were able to go out and find it and, most importantly, if they could afford to buy a property outright so they had no mortgage or other financial commitments. However, children make all this much more complicated and risky. For example, running a car can be very expensive in Italy, but I would not be happy living here with a child without a car available in order to deal with any possible medical emergencies. While schools are free, the books parents need to buy for their children are not. Nor, I understand, are the yellow school buses one sees around. And, of course, the speed at which young children outgrow clothing and shoes adds to the expense. It seems to me that rural Italy can be a wonderful place to be a child - at least it's the sort of place I would have loved to have grown up in - but it's possibly not the best place in Italy to be the parent of a child! Bottom line: I suggest you forget about all the wonderful places you might move your family to in Italy for the moment and concentrate only on finding out if there's work for you somewhere here. Al

If you are hoping to teach then I would suggest you restrict your search to where the international schools are to be found - a search on google will bring up the organisations to which most of the schools affiliate themselves and provide details of all their websites. As you would suspect they are mainly situated in the major cities, so Rome and Milan but there are others, including the European school in Varese. The international schools tend to employ mother tongue speakers and those who trained in the appropriate country, ie the British schools employ UK trained teachers, the American schools, USA trained etc etc, whereas the state schools do not, our son learnt English at school but with an Italian pronunciation! Also, as there is a major shake up currently taking place in the state sector, with threatened job loses as the number of teaching posts is being drastically reduced, it is extremely hard and in some areas nigh on imposible for an Italian trained teacher to get a job never mind a 'straniera'. As to the other points raised, I would totally agree with the other posts. We lived in Italian cities (Rome, Verona and Varese) for a number of years when our children were young  before heading to rural Le Marche. Lovely though the countryside is, and the children loved and benefited from the freedom, from a parents point of view, life with young children was so much easier in the city. If you are teaching it may not matter, but one other consideration if you are having to find work (pretty impossible in rural areas as has been said), school hours do vary from region to region and even town to town, the total annual hours are the same, but how they are organised varies. Many schools still operate on  a 0800 to 1300 basis with Sat am - this means that unless you have available child care, work opportunities are again limited as there is practically nothing in the way of part time work, jobs are full time and due to the amount of competition the employers do not have to offer flexibility to attract applicants so you play by their rules or don't play at all! Good luck!

we are from Piemonte , Monferrato, living in th eUK at the moment, but for sure I would recommend our area for a growing family... Work in Italy is always a issue but you could look for a teaching job in Alessandria or Casale! Would you be teaching English?   Paola

Thank you everyone for your helpful information! I will have a look and do some research on the places you have all mentioned. We will be looking for jobs in International schools and at the moment, like you have said, the jobs seem to be in the larger cities such as Rome and Milan. My husband is a PE teacher for both prep and grammar school and I am a pre-school - primary school teacher, but we will be going over (hopefully) on my husbands passport as he has a european passport. Can anyone recommend any schools - like the well known, popular schools in Italy? We will definately be going to wherever the jobs are, but to get information from people who know the country will help us to eventually see where we would like to go, and persue that choice. I will do some research and Im sure I will have other questions once I have done so. Kind Regards, Tammy...x This is the link to the English Speaking yellow pages published by a group based in Rome and the 'Schools - nursery to high' section. At a quick glance it looks as if most of the main international schools are listed with the exception of Sir James Henderson in Milan and the European School in Varese. I know there is another in Verona but can't remember its name, something like Aliero Alieri. The other option is the international schools sited on NATO bases, there is one near Naples who employ internationally and various American bases notably Vicenza (who only employ USA teachers). You are 100% right to follow the jobs rather than arrive and then start the job hunt - good luck!