Hows life

08/28/2009 - 16:58

Hi ,I have lived in Puglia for four years now and have come across most of the items coming up on this site, planning permission, ENEL, Geometres, banks etc, I find that the majority of the time the problem lies in the obvious , language, culture and sometimes downright b.......dy mindness from the incomers. We might think that the north eastern european idea of right thinking is appropriate here in Italy, my thoughts are that this not the case,and, I expect  some critism for this statement , but as in any culture when we learn to live within that culture with all its "limits and strengths" then do we become at ease within it.Italy is a country with many styles,some bordering on the absurd, but on the whole this is a place where tradition is front and formost, live with it and life can be  you wish it to be, fight against it and you will lose and go home to the cold and damp.I love it here and will never go back.


 you will have to explain that one... are you talking about scandinavians...  if so you might be right although am sure that they as the much larger majority of northern europeans buying here would know a thing or two about fitting in... if its people from Newcastle it could just be the fact that no one outside that area can understand much of what they say but everyone likes them because they always smile when they say it .. so they should fit in well toono matter ... i do find it somewhat absurd that you make such a general sweeping statement about most of us considering your short stay here in Italy.... cannot really undesrtand where you are trying to get with this... 

Fair comment, which i was looking for. My definition of northeastern  is those countries not bordering the Mediterranean to the north east, and i was not talking about the 99.9% who do fit in .I was however talking about those who continually moan on about how it was better in (uk/Belgium/Germany where ever) and those who think that the apparent lack of that countrys food or beer is somehow Italys fault.The vast majority of my friends here are hard working Italians who take great pride in their country and traditions, and they find it amusing (to their great credit) that some of the incomers don't appear to like it here. Why do they stay? is a common question, and I have to agree.Good word "absurd" I will have to remember it in the future

There will always be a certain percentage of incomers who will miss their old country and lifestyle. This happens everywhere. Don't get me wrong, we all remember certain things from the past that we liked very much and this is fine. They are memories. The problem starts when those memories occupy most of our thoughts and this is a sign to move back to your old country, because life is too short and there is no point in spending it complaining about what we left behind.But if you enjoy living in Italy or in any foreign country and you feel good about it, you have made the right decission. I always say:"Ubi bene, ibi patria"Where I feel good, there is my home.

Hi all,surly if one is committed enough to move to a new country then hopefully they will have thought about the factthat they are leaving behind all the things that they held dear and have decided that they can be managedwithout. Its really important to embrace all aspects good and bad of ones adopted country.In my opinion its lack of mental stimulation that sparks off nostalgia. without goals and aspirationsone can become bored and start to associate the "good times" with what has been left behindand blame the feelings of ennui with the new lifestyle.I've got a house in Italy but at the moment due to heavy work commitments cant go there so i'm a bit jealousof you guys arguing the toss about whether you miss the UK or not.I have to make do with a fix of 4 hours of Italian TV each night a bottle of soave and some pasta to satisfy my love of Italy.PS. horror of horrors I've just found out that my family are of French Breton decendancy. Ce la vie!

I have been in Italy for just over 5 years and would never consider going back, don't even like visiting Uk, am very settled and happy here, for me it was definately the right move, but it's not always the case.I have seen quiet a few people chuck it in and go back, I can only say I personally would find going back a much harder move than the move out here, as you could never go back to your old life (if thats what you wanted) It would probably be a new town/ house/job/school, and lots more changes, what if this doesn't make you happy, where do you go next?Having seen people make this choice it makes me feel more content knowing I am happy here, once people decide to go back they become a real pain,  because they feel the need to justify (probably ro themselves) the decision and there is nothing worse than a failed expat.What was once a beautiful long hot summer becomes unbearable heat, The once lovely, friendly ,helpful nieghbours become then nosy b..stards from next door, and the fantastic food becomes boring and samey,  so not like fish n chips then?This behaviour really bugs me, if you like it stay and if you don't, then go back!

Sparkys' posts are always informative, full of detail and useful. Can I suggest that his positive approach is the main reason that he has learned to live with the more negative aspects of life here and takes full advantage and benefit from the positive.My wife says that in the UK we used to do a list of 10 things we needed to do in any day and we'd be unhappy and/or stressed if we didn't do 9 of them. Here we are lucky to achieve 2 but have learned to cope with that as the pace of life is so different.  The bureaucracy can get you down, if you let it, but the people more than make up for it and I wouldn't swop a day here for a day back in the UK.What we have learnt is that if you moan you get no help at all, if you are positive and ask locals for help then shortcuts appear and life is much easier. Actually living with the Italians, rather than at the side of them, has served us well and we are getting along very nicely. Long may it continue.Thankyou Gala for your wonderful phrase,"Ubi bene, ibi patria" we will now, somehow, get that included into our build (and ask our Italian teacher why we haven't learnt it before).

Don´t blame your teacher, because it is not Italian but Latin and attributed to Cicero. But I have always loved that phrase because it suited us fine having lived in many different countries. Wherever you feel great, that is your homeland.

Grazie, Sprostoni. There are several versions of the same phrase and several authors have been quoted as stated by Alan h. Here is a good summary for those interested in it: it has been said that it may be a phrase that shows disloyalty towards your homeland, I interpret it differently. To me you call "home" the place where you live and where you feel well.

 generally i jump in with both left feet in these sorts of discusions...basically trying to defend what i see as simple and described wonderfully by gui gia...nigelh and gala... gala as aways being very diplomatic... my philosphy on life is that of her latin quotation and as a less literary person epitamised in the words of a song i like...wherever i lay my hat... which is  also based as well on my admiration for the words of the Lee Marvin classic " wandering star"...such a wonderful singing voice...unlike many of you that have travelled the whole world i have always chosen European countries... and have spent more than half my adult life at least living away from the UK ... and have always felt comfortable with where vere i have laid my hat...  even with the dastardley French... that have always treated my bastardisation of their language with as much politeness as those of my Italian neighbours of today... basically i think because i never desire anything that isnt available where i live... if i did i would jump on an aeroplane or in the car and go andd get a fix...having lived here for seven years or so now... it was only this year that the wandering habit kicked in...needed a fix my son and i got up early one morning and drove off to france..germany and austria for a trip...hugging the northern alps... so always maintaining a safe distance to the border in case of withdrawal symptons... i enjoyed it all very much...i love french cooking... and enjoyed the 5 course meals each evening... and especialley finishing off with cheese..and the wine... its taste is so much different to the Italian wines of Abruzzo... more delicate... bavarian food and the tyrol..heaps of chips and one of my favorite snacks curry wurst...  i loved the organised way of everything in all these countries the Jura in France is as beautifaul as anywhere you could wish...the Black forest, the castle of leopold...and Salzburg one of my favorite cities ... and the wooden chalet hotels.. a picture and all so clean... but after ten days of travelling i had had my fill...missed the unexpectedness of life here at home... and so we both agreed without a word to head back south one morning... had had a wonderful time...people that i had known for a lifetime almost had all been very kind and suprised when we popped in for a drink... hadnt seem them for twenty years or so..and might well be another before i do again... a few hours drive and we were back on the racetracks of the italian autostrada.. the chaos of ordering a coffee in an auto grill and at Bologna the usual traffic jam as yet another accident..happened in front of us... caravan flipped... they always seem to do ... and we all came to a standstill...  praying that the drivers behinds were awake... but for me this is life now..home... i felt at home in France...we got chased by the police...thought it was speeding...but no customs and excise...took us off to a remote car park where another ten or so douanes people were waiting with their guns... one police car behind us another with a lovely red sign in french and english.. insisting we follow... when i reliased it wasnt police i was so relieved they looked at us even more strangely when i started smiling and treating them like long lost friends... meanwhile my son had hardly looked up from the psp console in the back... anyway they were looking for guns and counterfeit money... we have a car with sort of blacked out windows... we were travellin off the autoroute near the german border.. i wanted to fill up with diesel before leving... and we had Italian number plates... i felt quite proud to be stopped because of that ....made me feel more Italian ....a sort of sense of brotherhood with my chosen neighbours of today... anyway we all had a good laugh... they had led me to a car park near a shopping center with extraordinary cheap diesel...and after checking with them that it wasnt cheaper in Germany ...  i thanked them for my escort to the petrol station explaining that i could most probaley have found it myself and we parted on best of terms...  being french they did one of their shrug type things..  what i am trying to say in a very long winded way is that every place is worth being happy in... you adapt and if you are willing or able..its not language in a verbal sense its your body will find yourself being treated well everywhere... language is not a problem... its attitude...  i have argued and got ridiculed and continue to get ridiculed for my views on accepting and adapting to life in a different country...  i get so tired of the stupidity of the comments about the food because people are just too stupid to order from a proper menu...  the inability of people to get work done...not because they cannot speak Italian but they most probabley couldnt have done it in the UK or where ever without the same problems because they have never done it anywhere... why do people think that when they cross the channel they suddenly are capable of runnning a building project when they have barely mounted a shelf before in their lives... or take on an acre of land when they have always lived with a postgae stamp lawn back and front...sure..its good to take on challenegs keeps us all going...but accept its often ones own limitations that are the cause of problems...back to food for one last word... i have no problems with wishing to eat or cook diferent cultures food... but its the attitude that it not being available here is something wrong ...  for two reasons... one is that as the marche people have proved it is available and seemingly easily enough... the other point is that should you choose to live in say cornwall as opposed to london or manchester or any  mid to large city in the UK... you will find exactley the same thing... i lived in devon.. and a fresh food market dealing in exotic type foods was not a common site... my advise is if that is an important life choice for you go and live in Milan, rome, florence,bologna, naples... wherever...there you will find all the choices that you would have found in the cities you have just moved from...  buy a ruin in the middle of a field half way up a mountain... and we are talking here levels of Ben Nevis or snowdon... the latest thai restaurant will be just as hard to find... its not the Italians that have the problem its your thought process... a gold star to anyone that arrives at the end of this post..and thankfully its not really directed to anyone on here..well they dont post their drivel on here luckily ...they post about these sorts of things on other less intelligent places...  where i am cited as the devil incarnate for not wanting to join in their whinging pom sheep like mentality... and no everything here is not wonderful, not for anyone Italian or foreign, but its Italy , and i like most Italians that i know that dont work for the civil service will complain about everything to do with Italian life from job fixing to taxation and corruption.. but again that Italian and its true.. you just learn to take advantage of the way they do things here...

I too thoroughly enjoyed your post Adriatica (John?)  You need a gold star for writing it let alone for us reading it! When looking for a house to purchase Ron and I met an elderly Irish/Italian couple who said to us "if you want to come and live in Italy you have to come with a vision".  We took those words on board.  They explained that a lot of people visited Italy for a holiday deciding they wanted to buy a house there and once the novelty had worn off, finding the winters long and lonely at times (those up in the more remote areas), that the grass was not necessarily greener but maybe a litle warmer, that life iin the mountain could be colder in the winter and very rainy in the spring, etc, etc.,  then some returned to the UK, or wherever.  Living and holidaying in any country being so very different. I have lived in various countries throughout my life, ie the Netherlands, France, Germany, Cyprus, Belgium and Denmark (yes, I was an Embassy and Forces dependant) and have embraced the various cultures and languages accordingly.  I have never really missed certain foods as I love all food types (with the waistline to prove it!) and have eaten the food stuff of the country I have been living in.  We have had our house in Picinisco (near Cassino, Frosinone)  three years now and feel that we have been accepted into our small village and made so many friends. We feel so very, very at home when we are there.  Unfortunately we still aren;t living there full time due to work commitments in the UK but are working on getting over there as soon as we can.  And we have a "vision". We have bought a lovely house in a typical Italian cluster of houses (4) yet there is only us and one 84 year old man living in this cluster.  We have numerous outbuildings we are adapting into studios and our vision is to have, for about 5 or 6 months of the year, residential glass art holidays, where people learn various forms of glass art design and making, including Venetian glass.  As a professional glass artist myself, I cannot envisage ever giving it up but the one thing I get such pleasure in is teaching others to work in this medium.  I have had tremendous interest in the holidays already, and hopefully our new venture will work and I will spend many years (or what I have left) living in a country I adore, working at what I adore.  And what is even better is that I am flying out to Rome tomorrow, driving to my house about 1.5 hours south, to spend 2 weeks there! Yayyyyyyyyy!!! Maralyn

 sebastiano keep promisng ourselves a lunch at your restaurant one day... but you know as well as anyone how life here takes its toll on making plans,,, still i really must do it for real before the year is out... once our son is back toschool and lifes routine is a bit more set will make a booking...Maralyn, my in law family on the father side is from Frosinone.. i know it from various family gatherings... he had 11 brothers and sisters.. and most of their families are stll living in that area ... we dont often do the trip down...but its very pretty and i like the route through from Sora... actually we pass thru casino more often ...on the way to Caserta... maybe one day when your here permanentley we can meet up and add to our waistlines...

 you get a gold star for making me get back to this thread and looking at the terrible spelling on the reply post to seband maralyn...since corrected a bit... you know i really am not one for bothering in that respect aloowing peole to sort out my word conumdrums themselves but even i couldnt understand what i had previously written...  would love to meet up... and will do this sometime soon hopefully 

First of all I agree entirely with Afriatica and Gala having had experience of living all over the place myself.  In fact I have never lived in my 'home country' which according to my passport is the Netherlands. Getting back to Sparky's original comment though, he is right to critisise incomers who keep comparing their country of origin with their host country, however the holier than though attititude as in 'oh how integrated we are compared to those misguided souls" is just as bad in my opinion.

Adriatica, yes it is a really lovely trip through the mountains. Sora is about 20 minutes from us on the Sora/Cassino road. As you travel to Cassino from Sora we are in the mountains on the left signposted Atina. I am visiting Caserta this week going to the Reggia di Caserta.  Somehow I don't think we will get to see all the 1200 rooms in this palace!  Have you been there?If you are doling out gold stars then I think I deserve one as compensation for the fact I am only on 2 weeks holiday and not in Itally permanently!!  And yes, I would love to meet up with you when we living there full time.Maralyn

yes... its quite a chore.. getting around all the rooms... my wife insisted we do the tour 15 years back.. my preference is for the walk from the palace to the end of the drive... ... it always looks closer than it is ... bu its miles ... in some ways i hate the place as well... it cuts Caserta in half... and we are always getting caught in traffic jams because of the single lane tunnels that you have to use to get to my in laws home there... have an excellent holiday...  and when you manage the move will be interested to see your work and studios...  as well...