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Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:12

I would advise you to live in the city. The Italian, esp Tuscan, countryside is marvelous, but it's not easy to make friends. I'm not saying it's impossible, but cities like Florence and Rome have expat communities in place that can help you get settled in. In the countryside, especially people of a "certain generation" (ie older) are unlikely to open up and welcome you to their bridge parties (which are likely burracco, not bridge), let alone be people you can depend on in an emergency. Nothing against them, and it's not impossible, but chances are better in the city for this kind of personal connection. IMO.

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 02:16

When I got here in 1999, I was a very type A, very precise person. I've found that life in Italy improves a lot when you learn to let go a bit. Oh, I'm still overly precise, micromanaging, like to be on time, like things to get done kinda person. But I've learned to be more flexible. Never assume things are going to get done, never assume the customer is always right - basically, lower your standards - and it'll be a pleasant surprise when it does get done or you do get service. This applies to the working world as well. Try to get your colleagues, staff and clients to comply with your plans, and if there's a fixed end date or goal, make it clear that it has to happen for then. You can always use your status as a foreigner to excuse your ridiculous demands. But then sit back and relax, somehow it'll work itself out. There's no point in getting a stomach ache about it.Now excuse me, I'm late for a work appointment.