Salve tutti da Nottingham

07/14/2009 - 09:45

Hello my name is Conrad and I live in Nottingham, England.   Way back in 1982 I was fortunate enough to be posted out to Sardinia with the RAF with my wife and two bambini. We were very young ourselves and spoke no italian.  We lived in Quartu St Ellena near Cagliari for 3 years.  Although a culture shock at first we soon realised that there was a strong sense of communityand the good people of that town took good care of us. Even when we ventured off around the lovely island we were always looked after. We returned to mainland Italy back in 98 during part of a cruise, managing brief visits to Rome, Pisa & Genoa.  Now many years later as we reach 50 we have come to realise that we were never happier than when we were in Italy.  We are seriously thinking about retiring out there.   I have started learning the language again building on what I picked up years earlier and we have planned visits to Venice in September and Rome next June.  Thanks to the low cost airlines we want  to visit somewhere in Italy every 3-4 months.  Our objective  will be three fold. For me to practice my communication - to appreciate the culture and to decide where we would like to live out our days.Arrivederci !   


Hi Conrad!Thanks for joining the Italy Community and for sharing your experience.You must have learned a lot about Italy and Italians!I strongly agree with this:"Although a culture shock at first we soon realised that there was a strong sense of community"Once I was told the same thing: Italians always want to do everything "insieme", with other people. I must admit this can be quite shocking at the beginning, especially if you are used to live in another way.When I travelled abroad I enjoyed some walks along the river or in a park alone - da sola. In some towns I was more likely to enjoy spare time to recollect my own thoughts. Maybe the town, the atmosphere, the places inspired me to do so. This is my personal sensation.

In reply to by Valentina+c

Grazie Valentina,I think the most obvious cultural difference is the British are somewhat reserved in their approach to life especially when meeting people whereas Italians generally are not afraid to ask questions yet still remain respectful and tend not to be judgemental. I cannot ever remember having a bad experience except when we first lived in Sardinia we took over an apartment that was previously occupied by Germans.  Having blond hair they thought we were Germans and were cold towards us. Once our landlord put the word around we were inglesi they could'nt do enough for us!  I understand the Sardinians have a deep routed hatred from what took place during the war.  I hope that the Sardinian's of today have forgiven what transpired in the past and welcome all to their land.  I dont think my fellow brits at the time had much tollerance to the laid back way of life but I loved the fact that the Italians/Sardinians ( they are only Italians if Italy are playing! ) would do almost anything for you as long as it was domani !  We revisit Sardinia next year, 25 years have now past and it will be interesting to see any changes.I have subscribed to your subjects/thread and hope you invite many more to the community.Ciao !

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Gerbillo,I'm sure we will fall in love with many places. One of the reasons to retire in Italy is the climate. As you are no doubt aware the south has a better climate. There seems to be a divide between the rich industrial north and the poorer rural south.I think I am just a non materalistic peasant at heart so I think personally I would like a quiet village or small town in maybe Calabria or one of the neighbouring regions.Are you Italian?  I expect London has a large italian community.Take care Conrad. 

Thank you Gala.I noticed you live in Spain with a home in Italy.  Not having ever tried to learn Spanish are the two languages similar?I can see from learning Italian where many english words derive from. I guess it comes down from the Latin.Your italian home sounds idylic. Lucky you!Kind regardsConrad. 

Grazie Lucia.Tommy Cooper?Currently I am self studying using Linguaphone, Poisner and a few other interactive packages. I am also reading as much italian text as possible. Having lived in Sardinia for 3 years I have picked up much but I want to learn italian to a good standard.I will definetly be thinking of one to one tution as I progress beyond the beginner/ intermediate stage. Meanwhile if you know of any evening classes starting in September in the Nottingham area please let me know.I live over in Eastwood.Ciao ! 

Hi Conrad,Tommy Cooper eh? Not a bad guess! It's actually the current England football coach, Fabio Capello!This picture featured on one of my recent advertising posters with the headline 'Fed up with 4-4-2? Then try 1-2-1 Italian tuition'.I know that Eastwood is a bit far from Newark, but I do teach a lady who comes over from Ilkeston who has a 2-hour lesson every 2 weeks to make it worth her while.If you can't find anyone more local then please give me a call when you are ready.My number is 01636 674008.Best wishes - Lucia H) H:) H:-) :grade:  

LOLGrazie LuciaYes I can see now it's Fabio.  I get more enjoyment watching Fabio than the team. He is really interesting. Never seems to show his emotions. There is definetly a likeness to the late Tommy Cooper though!I think I would be a bag of nerves in a one to one teaching situation but hopefully my self confidence will grow as I progress.A presto! 

Yes its not going to be easy. Meanwhile I have to contend with less exciting places. Next week I 've got Tottenham and Altrincham to visit   Seriously though I do love the UK. We have a great country but I feel more tuned into the Italian lifestyle. 

Welcome Conrad, and hope you enjoy the Community. Well I am from Nuthall so not far away (Mum still lives there) - small world isn't it?  We moved to Le Marche a couple of years ago, after buying our house here 8 years ago and renovating it and have never looked back. It is certainly an unspoilt part of Italy, with stunning countryside, mountain walks, peace and quiet, very uncommercialised and has great beaches too! If ever you want to visit let us know - would be good to catch up on all the news from 'home' - hear the IKEA trading estate has been expanding over these last few years! 

Hi Sarah and Mark.I live in Eastwood. Moved there a couple of years back. Yes there are alot more shops now at IKEA.  Not a bad area to live. I work in Derby ( Railway Signalling Engineer) but prefer living on the Derby / Notts border. Plenty of nice walks for the dogs.I doubt it is as nice as were you are. Le Marche seems to feature more prominently than anywhere else in the forum and it sounds idylic.  Maybe I should look at scheduling a visit in the spring of next year to experience it for ourselves!Take care you lucky people

 [img][/img]Better late than never!   Come our way... Liguria ... [img][/img]

Hi ConradMy husband was also in the RAF and was posted to Latina, sort of west of Rome.  He vowed he would eventually live in Italy one day as he was totally in love with the country and people. Also like you, we went on a cruise and visited Rome and the Italian Riviera which confirmed that Italy was the country we loved the most.  Fortunately my sister in law is Italian so over the years we have stayed with her and my brother in their house near Atina (Frosinone) and three years ago, after numerous visits in various places in Italy, we bought our house in Picinisco, near Cassino.  No regrets whatsoever.We intend to move over permenantly as soon as possible but have to sell my art business first and settle other property matters.  I returned from there yesterday after 10 gloriously hot days well into the high 30c (over 40c in Rome last week when I was there) and heard all about the torrential rain and the "Durham Canyon" that has appeared nearby due to the excessive wet weather. (Thought the UK was going to have a heatwave this year).We have been accepted into our community totally which is wonderful.  In fact we were there this past week because last weekend was the festa for Santa Giuste and our house was chosen as the place the saint was taken to and our house was blessed.  A wonderful occasion with a brass band, dignitaries, the mayor, chief of police, priests, crowds of people all coming up our long driveway into our piazza.  Fabulous.  As it was about 8.30 and getting darker I brought out all our large green bottles and hung candles in them to light the way.  Looked great.Now I am back to work but have a healthier looking skin colour.  Cannot wait for 6 September when we return.If you want information on our area (prices are still good but rising) which is the Abruzzo, Molise and Lazio National Park, let me know.Maralyn

Hi Maralyn .... you lucky lady .... I am green with envyIt's difficult not to fall in love with Italy.  Wow that that  festa for Santa Giuste experience will be in your mind forever ! I would sell up and move to Italy tomorrow if I could but unfortunately I am a railway engineer and can only specialise in railway systems compatible to the UK. The Italians have a good railway but thier systems of control are very different. Besides which my italian is not good enough to work in a professional capacity over there.  So for now I will have to contend with visits and reading about you lucky people who have already settled out there  Kind regards to your husband and your goodself.

HI Conrad ,Love the new avatar!Maybe we should start a new group 'Poor S**ds who would love to live in Italy and can't'.We could cry on each others shoulders and perhaps the posters who have managed the move will take pity on us and send us olives  and bottled sunshine.

Yes Dublin patrizia it's not our fault our jobs and family keep us bound to foreign shores when our hearts lay in Italy !We want all those who blatantly leave us feeling deprived and depressed with their lovely italian homes to feel ashamed of the mental cruelty they inflict  which we have to endure everytime we log on !   Ah one day we shall live the dream !