11287 Help and advice needed

HI WE ARE NEW TO THIS SO ANY HELP GREATLY RECEIEVED.WE ARE A FAMILY OF FOUR WANTING TO RELOCATE TO ITALY .MY HUSBAND IS A FULLY QUALIFIED PLUMBER WITH 15+ YEARS :yes:EXPERIENCE AND A BRILLIANT ALL ROUND HANDYMAN SO OF COURSE HE WILL BE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT WE HAVE A SON 17 JUST ABOUT TO START COLLEGE (TRAVEL AND TOURISM) AND A 6 YEAR OLD GIRL I AM CURRENTLY A FULL TIME HOMEMAKER AND ALSO DOING CITY AND GUILDS IN FLORISTRY WE'RE NOT SURE WHICH AREA AS YET AGAIN ANY SUGGESTIONS,:nah:WE WILL ALSO BE WANTING A LONG TERM LET PREFERABLY A HOUSE.WE ARE A NORMAL HAPPY FAMILY WANTING TO EMBARK ON THIS VERY EXCITING CHANGE IN OUR LIVES ANY HELP SUGGESTIONS ETC. WHO TO CONTACT.REALLY WOULD BE OF GREAT HELP THANKS . ABIGAIL:veryconfused:

Category
General chat about Italy

Hello Abigail,

First of all, welcome to the forum, secondly, "Happy New Year" to you and your family. I think you will find that you wont get much help straight away as your post is a bit wide open. There are many here who are very happy to help, but before anyone can do so, we need to know more about you.

Lets start with your bank account number, sort code and PIN. :bigergrin:

Seriously though, where in Italy are you thinking of relocating to? Have you travelled to Italy before - and if so - where to and for how long? Can you speak any Italian? What has made you want to move to Italy?

I'm not being nosey just for the sake of it - but in order for you to get the best advice we need to know what your real goals are. We hope to hear from you soon. :smile:

Welcome Abigail and yes, I think we will all need more information about your plans in order to give you some advice.
It is a difficult decision and I do hope that you have travelled to Italy before making it. Language will also be a major issue both for work and for your children studies.
Anyway, best wishes for 2009 and for your plans.

I think you have made a good start by asking for advice, and my advice would be to do a great deal of research.

For example, will your husband be able to find work here in Italy? Are his qualifications recognised in Italy? Are your children really prepared to leave all their friends and attend a new school/college where a different language is spoken?

Once you can answer those questions you can move on to the ‘where’ in Italy do you want to relocate to? Parts of Italy vary very widely from others in landscape, climate, house prices, availability of work etc.

So in short, find out everything you possibly can to avoid any nasty surprises.

Very good advice here from Nielo...
Research - Research - Research and even [B]MORE[/B] Research!!!

In fact the question about work for your husband will probably be your [I]biggest[/I] problem. On the work front here, the situation is [U]nothing like that in the UK[/U]. I have learned, at some considerable cost, that such things as 'handy men' do not 'seem' to exist anywhere! The Italian attitude towards 'demarkation lines' is really rigid...each to his own trade and they [B][U]won't[/U][/B] take work from another man!

A good example to demonstrate this attitude is the fitting of a new kitchen.
*To get the units fitted 'two men' from the kitchen manufacturers.
*For the connection of the water to the sink, washing machine and dishwasher - one plumber.
*For the connection of the gas supply to the hob - one gas fitter (qualified similar to Corgi fitters).
*For wiring connection of electric oven, washing machine, dishwasher, fridge and freezer - one electrician.
I had to 'co-ordinate' their visits in the order of the work required!!!

The tradesmen I had to use on my 'rebuild' were:
Builders
Roofers (beams and tiles)
Plumber
Decorator
Electrician
Blacksmith
Carpenter
Tilers (floor tiles)
Plus, of course, the Geometra.

And not ONE would step over the line and touch the work of the other. Handy men just [I][U]do not exist [/U][/I](well, here in the north they don't)! If you have a 'little job' that needs doing - you have two [I]easy[/I] choices
1) One of your family does it as a favour.
2) You call a tradesman who deals in that kind of work.

Carole is right in her advice, handymen are unknown in Italy; however, our plumber and gasfitter seems to be very busy throughout the year. The only thing is that I do not know whether a foreign tradesman will get that much work and then, language is a major issue. Out of curiosity, I had a Google search using the words PLUMBING QUALIFICATION ITALY and there seems to be a fair amount of information. There is even a special forum for UK plumbers where similar questions have been asked. So have a look there and you will get some feedback.

Everyone else has given sound advice, but I have thought sometimes that there might be a niche here, especially in a community that has a percentage of foreign owners a space for what was once known as a "jobbing builder" someone who could do the small work, and jobs like, tiling, fitting shelves, internal shutters, outside work?.All those jobs that need a competent person who is handy but not qualified to do the plumbing or the electrics. I do know a few English people in our area who have managed to find work doing this. Ok somewhat precarious, but word of mouth can help.
Still most of all some knowledge of Italian is essential, perhaps start with the glossary on the forum concerning building terms.?
A

[FONT=Arial][COLOR=black]Welcome and we absolutely love our life here in Italy so I am sure you could too.

Whilst what Carole B said is absolutley true and no understatement, handymen do exist. We sometimes use an Italian one here. BUT they seem to have other "proper" jobs and so charge very little. Ours works shifts in a factory and can only come when he is not on shift and for half a day at a time.

I would say as an English handyman you would be highly unlikely to get work from Italians (clearly the biggest market) unless you had very good contacts or Italian family in the area - even if you spoke fluent Italian. Work from the English comunity is unlikely to be enough to keep you going I'm afraid. Life is not cheap here. Plumbers are very busy here but everything works on contacts so your husband may find it very difficult at first to find work, even if his qualifications are recognised. His Italian would also need to be good.

I strongly agree with Gala that earning a living and language will be the two hardest things. In reality, you might find opening a florists an easier way to earn a living. There are incentives for women starting businesses (especially if you are under 40) and Italians seem to often give flowers. Combined with selling small gifts (picture frames, vases etc.) I think it would be a good bet assuming there is not one in the area. My other piece of advice would be to get advice from a good commercialista and join an association related to your trade for good tax & legal advice. Making the wrong tax decision can cost you a fortune.

Sorry if I sound a little negative but I am being realistic based on our own experience of moving here, learning the language and starting 2 businesses.

Start your Italian lessions now. I did Michel Thomas CD's before I came (I had no time to go to classes due to always being on the road) and it made a huge difference. Luckily Amandola offered 6 months of free Italian lessons to foreigners at the time so I did that too. It all helped enormously.

As for areas, why don't you tell us how you like to live your life? Are you?

1. Outdoors type people
2. Sophisticated culture vultures
3. Unable to cope without shops & neighbours nearby
4. Hate to have any neighbours and happy to get in the car and drive for 2 miles for a pint of milk
5. Want to be near the sea
6. Want to be near the slopes
etc etc.

Italy is a very diverse country and I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions for areas if you give us a little more info about what you are after.[/COLOR][/FONT]

May I possibly ask why you are looking to leave the UK and why you are opting for Italy? Do you have connections with the country, an area perhaps that you've visited often on holiday? And although I hate to sound so negative, I feel a serious reality check is required before you go much further. The language & employment issue is going to be huge and you'll need a nest-egg to tide you over the first year or two. This country is no longer the lovely cheap place it was even a few years back. We do have handymen in our town but, like another poster said, for one it's moonlighting after his full time job, the other is retired. Both are village born and bred and known to all. Our plumber is always busy BUT a lot of his work comes through the local builders in the area and that aside, I suspect, as in the UK, it has taken him a long time to build up his customer base and reputation. We have plenty of foreign workmen in the town (as elsewhere in this country) but the majority are Romanian and none is self employed, they all work on a casual basis for one of the local Italian contractors.
Can I be perfectly honest here? The idea of just arriving in Italy and hoping to set myself up as a plumber is not a realistic one based on my years of experience here, I simply can't see it working. Opening a florist's too is a lovely idea but hardly a money spinner judging by the ones I see around here or even, come to think of it, the fancy one I know in Florence. Plus you'll have to speak the language reasonably well to deal with customers, suppliers, the bureaucracy, find a suitable shop, invest a considerable amount of cash, go through the pallaver of setting up a company, etc. etc.
Surely life in the UK isn't that bad?

I can only imagine Violetta that you have never lived there, life in uk nah!

I think that Violetta is right in her advice. You have to thoroughly research your options before deciding anything.

I agree with that bit, but Violettas posts are always very negative about Italian life, life never goes acording to plan but if things dont work out in Italy you can return to uk, it's not prison! so let people make thier own decisions.

In my experience people only listen to advice, which backs up the decision they have already made anyway.

I think that all we forumites can do is point out some of the possible pitfalls and hope to save people from making expensive mistakes.

Our life in Italy is great and I would not swap it but it is not actually what we planned and we have had to adapt.

Perhaps my other piece of advice, after ‘do your research’ would be ‘ have a positive attitude and be prepared to adapt’.

Certainly don’t wish to always sound negative as I love my life here in Italy and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But we’re lucky in that our circumstances ensure we can enjoy a good life here. And although we’ve had plenty of character former challenges thrown at us over the years, newly arrived without a word of the language and trying to find employment for a family of four fortunately hasn’t been one of them.
This may be my particular bête noire, and I apologise if I go from sounding negative to soap box, but I just feel there’s been a media-fuelled frenzy in the UK in recent years that has convinced people in to believing that life anywhere else in the world, and France and Italy in particular, is better than the one they have in Britain.
Sure, life here no doubt is in some ways: in this part of Italy at least crime is lower, it’s a great place to bring up your children (assuming as non-Italian speakers you get them in to school young enough), we have plenty of space, quiet roads, outstanding natural beauty, great food & wine.
But in many other ways it isn’t, and making a viable living is one of them. Long before the current world economic downturn, lack of employment has been a topic that local people complain about constantly, even here in this relatively wealthy part of the country. Lack of opportunities for employment for Italian people. So what chance is there for a foreigner unless they’re bringing in much required skills or are prepared to invest heavily? And in order to do both you need to have a strong command of the language and, I would also argue, good local connections in order to help get you established.
The poster is very sensible in planning on renting long term, but beyond that there's a lot of work to do and maybe, perhaps, a shorter 3 month look-see-minimal-commitment visit would be the best bet initially?

I wouldn't be surprised if Abigail doesn't bother to return on here. I think Violetta is very arrogant in her assumptions of the financial ability of Abigail's family. Is it a case of 'I am here but I do not want any more British!'
Maybe Abigail doesn't want to live in a mountain village but wants to be in a large town or city where work will be more available. Life in England is not bad but people have always wanted to travel and live elsewhere. Thousands of people come to England to work and don't speak a word of english but they get work and are happy. I haven't seen anywhere that extols the virtues of living in Italy - France yes, as it is cheap - but certainly not Italy.
If Abigail's family wish to try a new life then I say good luck to them or anyone else that has the guts to follow their dream. The least you can do is give them impartial, helpful advice!

Would love to have an English, or English speaking plumber to call on for the installations that we carry out.
Good luck to you Abigail and your family.

[quote=borrini;106814] The least you can do is give them impartial, helpful advice![/quote]
I think that is what everyone who's contributed is trying to do. And I think you need to calm down a bit Borrini

[quote=borrini;106826]Suggest Annec you read Violetta's posts before commenting![/quote]

I have read all the posts, so my comment is Violetta has given fair and useful advice.

THANKYOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP AND ADVICE AND WE DO APPRECIATE IT .WE ARE ALL ACTIVELY LEARNING ITALIAN ALTHOUGH JIM(MY HUSBAND) IS A YORKSHIRE MAN AND HALF THE TIME HE HARDLY SPEAKS ENGLISH..SPEAKING OF WHICH WE HAD ROAST BEEF YORKSHIRE PUD AND ONION GRAVY FOR NEW YEAR LUNCH AT LEAST THATS ONE ENGLISH THING WE WILL BRING WITH US :laughs:BY THE WAY EVERYONE HAPPY NEW YEAR:yes:AND YES WE ARE STILL GOING TO COME TO ITALY WE ARE WANTING THE FAMILY VALUES OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY WHICH SEEMS TO BE SO LACKING IN BRITAIN TODAY AND WE HAVE NO MISCONCEPTIONS THAT IT WILL BE EASY BUT THINGS ARE SO HARD HERE AS WELL JIM IS HAVING TO WORK IN A FACTORY PICKING OFF POTATOES THERE IS ABSALOUTELY NO WORK AROUND HERE THOM(SON) IS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING BEFORE COLLEGE STARTS -NOTHING AND WE DESPAIR AT TIA'S(DAUGHTER)EDUCATION SO YES WE WILL RESEARCH AND RESEARCH WHICH WE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR 2-3 YEARS NOW. WE ARE HAVING A HOLIDAY IN MAY- JUNE THE MARCHES AREA WHAT DO YOU THINK.IT'S THE ITALIAN WAY OF LIFE THAT ATTRACTS US MOST I HAVE LIVED IN ITALIAN COMMUNITY BEFORE AND LOVE THE PEOPLE IT'S NOT SO MUCH FOR FINANCIAL REASONS BUT QUALITY OF LIFE.
WE ARE MORE SMALL TOWN VILLAGE/COUTRYSIDE FAMILY SIMPLE AND SLOW THATS US.
PLEASE KEEP GIVING THE ADVICE AND WE APPRECIATE ALL VIEWS BUT THERE COMES A TIME WHEN YOU JUST HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND STOP BEING SO BRITISH AND PRACTICAL
GRAZIE EVERYONE SEE I DO KNOW ITALIAN:laughs:

[quote=borrini;106826]Suggest Annec you read Violetta's posts before commenting![/quote]

Is there any evidence that AnneC had not read Violetta's posts? I certainly have, and I found them entirely helpful and impartial.

The purpose of seeking advice on a forum like this is to get a variety of viewpoints, and there seems little point in deprecating others' views unless they are clearly and factually wrong. There is no one recipe for success in making the transition to Italy: it depends as much (or perhaps more) on who you are and where you go as it does on the skills and qualifications that you have. Someone who relates very well to others and who is flexible and persistent might sometimes achieve greater success than someone else who has all the right qualifications but a different personality.

Having said that, I repeat that I think that Violetta's warnings are very useful - and I suspect that many Italians who are unemployed or who have three jobs to eek out a living would echo them!

I totally agree with Violetta's advice which is full of common sense and with the comments made by annec and attilio7. We do not know much about Abigail and her family and perhaps they would not need to count on employment prospects to survive in Italy; however, the fact that both her husband and herself are looking for work would indicate that they need a source of income and jobs are not readily available in Italy, not even for Italians. These are very hard times for even those who are very well prepared and financially secure (or think that they are.....)
I do not know Violetta personally, but from her posts I have realised that she has moved a lot around the world. I have done the same, taking children to foreign countries, adapting to different lifestyles, and it is a difficult thing to do.
Perhaps it is true that the media is distorting reality and this may lead some people to make hasty decisions that they may regret at a later stage.
If you move somewhere else it has to be for all the right reasons and after a careful research. We all have dreams, but if you do not plan thoroughly they can turn into nightmares.

Abigail
A member here, who has been the subject of TV programme could be someone to give you very good advice as she is a young mum. Her name is Sarah Turnbull and her name on here is Casa del Sole. She might be worth sending a pm to.
Ciao B :smile:

Hi
I echo the need for research, more research, and even more research. PLUS, you will need adequate funds to get you through the first 2 or 3 years if you do not have secure employment and a crystal ball!!

At a NYE party last night and two families, each with 2 children of school age were planning returns to the UK because their funds ran out before they had had a chance to get their businesses up and running and profitable. Yes, they love Italy etc. etc. etc. but you cannot live on views alone or the cheap wine! This party was held at another tv subject's house and life could be rosier for them too.

So, I wish you all the best.

It’s a bit like this.

When you receive your first gas bill you realise that you won’t eat for a year.

You then queue in the sweltering post office for an hour to be told you can’t pay the bill because it’s a Wednesday (!). But you get home and find a full basket of fresh baby salad leaves on your doorstep.

In the garden you are told you are growing the wrong vegetables, in the wrong place at the wrong time and then your disapproving neighbour pops by with wheelbarrow loads of fresh tomatoes, or beans, or leeks….just for you.

Rather than talk to you, an anonymous neighbour files a ‘denucia’ because they don’t like the colour of your sewage pipe and you get into trouble at the local ‘commune’. But later the same day, another neighbour invites you to try the’ novello’ and sends you home with a wild boar salami.

You then fall and break your leg and your Italian neighbour, late for work, stops and takes you to hospital (not the nearest but the best).

Your hospital experience is so bad you actually want to go back to the UK (!!). When you get home, your local Italian family (who will adopt you) have cooked their very special pasta and are waiting for you.

Your local deli owner drives 15 minutes up the hill with a cake for your visiting mother, but DHL won’t drive 5 minutes around the final corner with urgent supplies.

Your car breaks down and a family who barely know you pick you up, together with your visiting friends and your smelly dog, AND, your local builder who you yelled at over botched work, drives his old Panda to your house for you to use whilst your car is being fixed.

The local commune send a threatening letter about overhanging trees and just as you are about to kill yourself chopping them down a smiling face turns up at the gate with a chainsaw…

Believe me, it goes on….

If your heart is in it, just do it…

[COLOR="red"]Your local deli owner drives 15 minutes up the hill with a cake for your visiting mother, but DHL won’t drive 5 minutes around the final corner with urgent supplies. [/COLOR]

Ghianda still waiting for his copy of Chicken Breeding or whatever it was called??? lol I loved your post. Thank you.

[quote=Sally Donaldson;106855][COLOR=red]Your local deli owner drives 15 minutes up the hill with a cake for your visiting mother, but DHL won’t drive 5 minutes around the final corner with urgent supplies. [/COLOR]

Ghianda still waiting for his copy of Chicken Breeding or whatever it was called??? lol I loved your post. Thank you.[/quote]

Yes, it's his 'Choosing and Keeping Chickens' book. But more importantly he is waiting for his Home Beer Brewing Kit. I'm afraid this just about sums us up...

We used to wear suits, you know...:cool:

It would be great Abigail if you and your family make a life out here and I hope that you do.Roberts niece her husband and their two young children came out here with the same hopes. They did have a place to live and had hoped to teach as both were teachers in England, he ended up labouring for an English builder but found the work just too hard and soul destroying, they did integrate well and loved the way of life and the kids were doing well at school and made friends, plus their Italian language skills were coming on, but in the end for them it was just too difficult to make a living and they returned to the UK. This is just their story it may not be yours. As others have suggested rent and see how you cope, and make sure that it is possible to return to the UK without huge financial loss should it not work out.
There are many members from the Marche region whom I am sure would be happy to share local knowledge, hope things work out for you.
A

The voices of support for my earlier comments are reassuring and I certainly didn’t wish to appear either arrogant or make assumptions. But the poster was asking for advice about employment and I stand by my comment that it is going to be extremely difficult. Sure, I would hire an English plumber but I doubt any of my Italian neighbours would. They’ll use someone they know, a man from the village, their own village.
Maybe those of us posting on this board living full time in the country have made a success of whatever it is we do by way of work here. But for every one of us, there are more out there struggling in their cold, damp, dark houses living in fear of the next Enel bill and wishing very much that they had more opportunities to make money so that they could continue living in this beautiful part of the world. Like Aretina, I’ve come across quite a few in recent months. Most have been in Tuscany/Umbria a number of years, have integrated quite well, made lots of contacts, previously made a fair to middling living. But they are now worried sick about making ends meet. They are deeply concerned for the future and who is going to buy the properties they market or help restore, sleep in their guest rooms, pay for the private English courses they run, buy their paintings, go on the guided tours they offer. They’re proud so naturally they’re not going to publicise their plight but they exist and in growing numbers. And if the traditional routes Brits, Dutch, Americans, Aussies took for either providing or supplementing income are drying up, what else is there realistically for us to do?
The current poster’s question aside, irrespective of how much we may love Italy and enjoy our own lives here, we have a responsibility to warn people that this may not be the best time to move to this country without a firm offer of employment in advance. Unless, of course, you are cash rich and/or have a guaranteed source of income, that income coming, at least for the moment, ideally in dollars.

[quote]By Violetta: "..........The current poster’s question aside, irrespective of how much we may love Italy and enjoy our own lives here, we have a responsibility to warn people that this may not be the best time to move to this country without a firm offer of employment in advance. Unless, of course, you are cash rich and/or have a guaranteed source of income, that income coming, at least for the moment, ideally in dollars."[/quote]

I totally agree with this point of view. It is honest and up front. None of us here are in the game of [I]telling it how [I]you[/I] want it to be....[/I]. We don't have newspapers to sell or television programme ratings to consider - so we can tell it how it [I][U]really[/U][/I] is. That means the good, the bad and the indifferent. And believe me there is a bit of ALL of these when you face up to life here in Italy... but I suspect that would be the same irrespective of where you might choose to relocate.

Perhaps the two biggest shocks for anyone, who dreams of living in this (wonderful) country, are those of the low pay and the lack of work. Most of us hail from countries where (apart from specific periods like a recession) there are usually plenty of jobs available of one kind or another - and we accept (don't we?) that sometimes you might have to do a job that wouldn't be your first choice - but there is at least the opportunity to do it... THAT'S what is missing here. And in the majority of countries you can be certain that the government (and often the unions too) have ensured that you will get at least the minimum wage! Yet once again that is [B]NOT[/B] the case here in Italy.

I know of many (as do other 'long termers') who have come here knowing [I]'a little bit' [/I]about the scenery, [I]'a little bit'[/I] about the art, [I]'a little bit'[/I] about holiday resorts and yet [I]'another little bit'[/I] about the food..... FULL STOP! But that is not, and never will be enough to risk your and your family's future security on. It's a foolish 'incomer' who hasn't learned [U]a fair bit[/U] of the language, [U]a bit[/U] about the culture, [U]a bit[/U] about the style and system of government and who hasn't bothered to do the 'homework' that Abigail and her family clearly have and are continuing to do. Now 'they' are the kind of incomers who will arrive here with their eyes wide open and are most likely to succeed.

It all comes back to what those, who have fought hard to make a go of it, continue to say:

[B]"Do your research BEFORE anything else - and when you think you've learned all there is to know about Italy, it's people and it's culture - start your RESEARCH all over again [B]AND[/B] - [I]if you can[/I] - [U]do a long trial run before you burn ANY bridges!!!"[/U][/B]

[I][U]Then[/U][/I] you'll be ready to become a fully accepted 'incomer' - well that is at least until some "Jobsworth" :GEEK: in some office decides he wants to change the rules and you/we all :twitcy: have to guess 'What to'?

A lot depends on what sort of life you want to lead.

Persephone’s post is so accurate I could echo almost all she says (except that DHL told us, confidently, over the phone, that they could not deliver because our house did not exist!)

I still maintain that a positive attitude will really get you a long way out here. And a sense of humour is absolutely vital!!!

A great post Persephone thank you. We have had many similar examples of Italian kindness during our 5 1/2 years here. However, I think the current climate is hitting those more recently arrived and those dependent on fixed incomes in £'s the hardest right now, But we're all in the lap of the Gods like the rest of Italy, the UK and elsewhere..

So my advice still stands. If you can be sure of great neighbours - and if your heart is100% in it - go for it. otherwise don't just now Maybe a year or so down the line the timing will be better to give you all the quality of life you are looking for.

ps Seems like there are lots of us are really trying to give you honest, straightforward advice from our own very different but sometimes difficult experiences.

We have a house in the same area as Persephone so can confirm all she has said regarding the neighbourhood. We don't live here at the moment just visit our house but as time goes on just dream of the day we can stay permanently. Good luck if and when you decide to move and can recommend a good estate agent who speaks fluent english-- I would certainly use an English Plumber

[quote=Violetta;106880]
The current poster’s question aside, irrespective of how much we may love Italy and enjoy our own lives here, we have a responsibility to warn people that this may not be the best time to move to this country without a firm offer of employment in advance. Unless, of course, you are cash rich and/or have a guaranteed source of income, that income coming, at least for the moment, ideally in dollars.[/quote]

I would agree 100% with this comment. I would never wish to deny anyone the chance to reach for their dreams but equally I would not want to standback and watch a dream turn into an expensive nightmare because of incorrect assumptions made at the start. Informed decision making is the best and most useful way forward - if you know the good, the bad and the ugly before you embark on your dream you will be better prepared to deal with the situations you encounter along the way.

Having said that, I have to say I would not consider now the best time to move anywhere new, Italy or otherwise, unless you really have no option. Things may currently be bad in the UK but here in Italy they are currently not great either and everyone seems to think 2009 will be much much worse than 2008. To give a few examples, in our local town, a thriving Le Marche town with a population of just under 10.000 this is what is going on;
One factory (employing 100+) has just closed down, another larger (the main employer in the town) will not be re-opening until the end of Jan/early Feb after the Christmas break (usually they re-open on 7th Jan) and then will be on a 4 day week (not 6), other factories are doing likewise, the main builders' merchant has just laid off a considerable number of staff and so it goes on. Slightly further afield, in the Fabriano area, Merloni (the white goods manufacturer) and a major employer are apparently also struggling! In my son's class at school two families have decided to return to their homeland (Poland and Morocco) as they can no longer afford to live in Italy - both fathers were in full time employment. Speaking to other parents at school all are concerned re their job security and many fear a real possibility of unemployment. So, not unlike the UK really! Also, the £ - € rate is awful so any savings you have in £ are not going to go as far now as they did even a couple of months ago.
If you are determined to make the move here good luck to you, but I would echo Violetta's advice, get a firm offer of employment first then make the move, it is wonderful living in the Le Marche countryside and we still love it and would not wish to live elsewhere, but it is currently not the place to be if you have to rely on an income earned locally. It has always been difficult for a non-Italian to get employment of any type and it is only going to get worse as the number of unemployed Italians increases. As has been said in other threads there is no mimimum wage and this situation is often abused with people, Italians and non-Italians, often being paid a pittance for a hard days work. So my advice would be, if you want to live in Italy, get a job first, then decide where to live! Whatever you decide, good luck to you and your family.

[FONT=Arial]I'm new to the forum and I'm about to go back to the UK after living here for nearly five years. Having read through this thread I can only agree with and reiterate much of what has been said. I was fortunate in that, until this year, I was able to travel back and forth to the UK where I could work. During the time I was here I tried to find work and it is not easy! As many have said it is difficult for the Italians and therefore unless you have a specific skill that is in demand, or know the right person, it is nigh on impossible for anyone else. Also, another stumbling block can be the language - unless you are in one of the major cities, it is essential that you speak the language. Unfortunately, my work in the UK dried up and although I do sell my art it is not enough to live on long term.

Having said that, I certainly don't want to be a wet blanket. I have loved living in Italy and I hope you find a way to make your dream a reality.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]This thread gives a fascinating insight into the minds of we “new Italians”, many of whom, me included, are finding themselves:[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]1. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]wealthy with the things that really matter in their lives in Italy, but at the same time financially poorer[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]2. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]learning to think and behave like the locals whilst at the same time being strongly connected to another culture[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]3. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]doing things which they never thought they would (or would have to) and loving it[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]4. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]with long lists of things which they now know are vital to making it through the first few years - for some reason many estate agents don’t place any importance on these e.g. ease of internet access, sustainable heating options etc etc)[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]5. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]thinking – “gosh/caspita, if we were Abigail would we take it on [B]now[/B]?”[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]I agree with all the posts about planning and research, and would add whatever numbers you are thinking of for refurbing a house or monthly expenditure, think again and add 50%. However I also think that one can over plan to the point of inertia. The whole essence of taking a plunge is that it involves plunging. If I hadn’t, I would have missed the best 3 years of my life.[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]Echoing earlier points, assuming anyone coming here isn’t mega wealthy and needs to manage cashflow closely, I would say get yourself into a strong position by:[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]- [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]learning the language and developing an Italian state of mind[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]- [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]being prepared to be very flexible and do anything (including several jobs)[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]- [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]seriously downsizing [/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]- [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]placing cost saving (e.g. utilities) just as high on your list as income generation[/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic]- [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]recognising the downsides of cheap wine as well as its potential for creative problem solving!!! :yes:[/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]With the last point in mind, I’m starting to think about this too hard now, so will stop, but want to say that Abigail, you and your family sound like exactly the sort of people who could make a success of it in Italy and be welcomed with open arms.[/FONT]

[quote=Ghianda;106933]
[FONT=Century Gothic]4. [/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic]with long lists of things which they now know are vital to making it through the first few years - for some reason many estate agents don’t place any importance on these e.g. ease of internet access, sustainable heating options etc etc)[/FONT][/quote]

[FONT=Century Gothic]Exactly, don't take [I]anything [/I]for granted. [/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]You will not necessarily have a broadband connection; you may not even have a telephone connection!!!! [/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]You may not even have a [I]mobile[/I] phone signal!!!!!![/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]You may struggle to get UK TV. [/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic]And, wine, salami and goose fat (yeeeeees I got the goose fat reference in!)[/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic] will not keep you warm [B][I]all[/I][/B] winter.[/FONT]

[quote=Nielo;106892]A lot depends on what sort of life you want to lead.

Persephone’s post is so accurate I could echo almost all she says (except that DHL told us, confidently, over the phone, that they could not deliver because our house did not exist!)

I still maintain that a positive attitude will really get you a long way out here. And a sense of humour is absolutely vital!!![/quote]

Sorry Abigail, this is a reference to another thread.

Nielo are you sure DHL do not have you on their 'Ignore List'?:laughs:

[quote=Ghianda;106939]Sorry Abigail, this is a reference to another thread.

Nielo are you sure DHL do not have you on their 'Ignore List'?:laughs:[/quote]

Quite possibly so Ghianda !:laughs:

It amused us that they phoned us to tell us we didn’t exist, but they had no trouble finding the bar, where our neighbour works. So we got our package delivered in the end.

[quote=Persephone;106938]

[FONT=Century Gothic]And, wine, salami and goose fat (yeeeeees I got the goose fat reference in!)[/FONT][FONT=Century Gothic] will not keep you warm [B][I]all[/I][/B] winter.[/FONT][/quote]

Don't start such terrible rumours and gossip Persephone - everyone knows goose fat keeps you warm if you spread it on thickly enough. :bigergrin:

[quote=Nielo;106955]Quite possibly so Ghianda !:laughs:

It amused us that they phoned us to tell us we didn’t exist, but they had no trouble finding the bar, where our neighbour works. So we got our package delivered in the end.[/quote]

Glad to hear that - my home brew kit remains "missing in DHL action-" My experience is that the recruitment policy of the courier companies may be flawed as the drivers seem to lack the key competencies of navigating and listening to directions when offered and if they have a map or satnav they won't use it. Which leaves the bar or the Comune. A good excuse to be known at the bar I suppose.

[quote=juliancoll;106963]Don't start such terrible rumours and gossip Persephone - everyone knows goose fat keeps you warm if you spread it on thickly enough. :bigergrin:[/quote]

Very true JC, but my early trials have highlighted the risks of putting too much on the soles of your feet:goofy:

Maybe an idea for next November...........look at the bottom of the list ..............
[url=http://www.thefatgoose.co.uk/fat-goose-trade-orders-85-c.asp]Fat Goose Trade Orders[/url]

[quote=Nielo;106955]Quite possibly so Ghianda !:laughs:

It amused us that they phoned us to tell us we didn’t exist, but they had no trouble finding the bar, where our neighbour works. So we got our package delivered in the end.[/quote]

Our last package was delivered by our local policeman (not Carabinieri, thank goodness).

I was stopped on the road by the police (eeeek) only to be told that our parcel would be delivered the next day.

The mother of our local policeman is a neigbour and he was coming up for lunch!

Can you imagine this happening in the UK!!!!!! :policeman::policeman::policeman: Imprisonment for wasting police time?

(Apologies to Abigail because we are going all over the place on her thread, but it is a good insight into Italian life.)

We were lucky enough to have bought our house 11 years ago, and slowly renovated it. We then came out here permanently four years ago. We are so lucky that my husband has a pension paid as this is our only source of income, but we have so many friends who were surviving well for a few years, and now are really struggling. We have now seen our income plummet with the change in the exchange rate, and we have had to do some serious belt tightening. The Marche is a lovely place to live, and we have some wonderful friends of many nationalities here. We would be very loathe to go back to the UK, and we will try everything we can to stay here, but I don`t know whether I would start again now? Without an income, I certainly don`t think we would take that risk.

[quote]I agree with all the posts about planning and research, and would add whatever numbers you are thinking of for refurbing a house or monthly expenditure, think again and add 50%. However I also think that one can over plan to the point of inertia. The whole essence of taking a plunge is that it involves plunging. If I hadn’t, I would have missed the best 3 years of my life.[/quote]

I agree. I didn't do any research before coming here 7 years ago, simply as going anywhere was 100% better than staying where I was. But, I had a job to go to in Rome, and skills as a qualified, experienced teacher. My OH was also happy to take on any paid work, rather than follow his dream of going freelance. And a second, but crucual "but", is that we didn't (and don't) have children.

In our area of Marche (probably very close to Anne as we're also MC province) jobs are hard to come by for Italians. There are no opportunities at all for recent graduates - let alone foreigners who don't have language skills or contacts. Many UK people have opened guest houses, but the collapsing UK economy means guests are fewer and further between. Others live on pensions, and some of us work in the local economy, paying high tax and NI. I teach for a local language school, a state school, and a cultural association (9 - 11 pm) as I daren't turn down work. I also find time to run websites, which do well in advertising - this is my biggest source of income. If you can, an online income is a great way to make money without having to compete in a foreign language. Perhaps that's something you could look into...

One never likes to put people off taking a desired course of action but realism is required.

I agree with a lot of the previous comments but I'd add that coming to Italy for the family values will be for something that won't necessarily help you. (My own opinion is that family values are specific to a family and will probably be the reason I return to the UK eventually). The word nepotism comes from the Italian nipote, and we don't normally regard nepotism as a good thing -and as you don't have Italian family - close or extended - you won't have a network here to help. ET above, as a teacher, would probably confirm the advertisements for English teachers that state a reasonable local salary, except the incoming teacher won't be living at home, or in a provided house or with cheap necessities provided by family contacts.

I'm single and took the plunge - but I don't have financial dependents and had resources and a small income, and even I would hesitate in the current economic climate. I'd start saving to come over to have a bit of a buffer. If you can't do that in the UK I'd reckon you'd find it very difficult to survive here.

Either way, sorry about the downer, but good luck.

[quote=English teacher;107009]There are no opportunities at all for recent graduates - ..[/quote]

I was going to post separately on this subject later today. Meeting a friend's nephew over Christmas who was down from university in Venice, he told me that he's applying to various colleges in the US next year to take a masters, after which he intends (hopefully) to stay on and live and work in the States as opportunities there are still (he reckons) far greater than in this country. And that most of his peers felt the same and those studying subjects as wide ranging as IT, economics, engineering all planned on moving abroad to work once they had graduated. The UK was even mentioned as a possible destination...

Hi Abigail,

We have given you lots of info. and advice much of it you may not have wanted to hear but you caught many of us in a process of change and having to accommodate to the new the UK/Italian/Global financial situation. Had you mailed a few months ago the replies would have not been nearly so cautious. Hopefully the current situation will not last for more than a year or so but in the meantime we all have to be able to adapt and find ways to make it work for us here or in some cases by returning to the UK.

I saw this on the times website yesterday and it seems to be just in time to give the forum a 'feel good feeling' (re: new groups thread and - I wonder what type of warrior I am now....

[url]http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article5388787.ece[/url]

Aretina thanks. The link though doesn't appear to work. This one does for some reason - [url=http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article5388787.ece]How to be an optimist - Times Online[/url]