Everyone who hears where I live and what I do for a job (after a stint teaching study abroad I became a professional blogger and then moved into marketing) responds in pretty much the same way: “wow, you are so lucky”. It is mostly true that I am lucky, though not all because I live in Florence! In “my world” – and I think most expats here would agree – living in Florence Italy has its positive and negative aspects. Don’t think I don’t weigh these out on a regular basis! Here are just 4 pros and cons of living in Italy – I’m sure my expat friends would have a lot to add!
Negative points about living in Italy
- The average salary is 1000€ per month (net). Our professionals make 50 to 70 percent less than their american counterparts.
- There are only a dozen channels on tv and there is no Tivo, not that you’d want to watch most of that stuff later, either.
- Population density is high. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to hear my neighbours’ tv.
- A ridiculous amount of burocracy and paperwork for anything official (from marriage to paying a bill at the post office).
Advantages to life in Florence
- Most of the time the weather 5 day forecast looks a lot better than Toronto’s.
- The distance from city to city is short in Italy, and Florence is centrally located so it’s easy to get out! Just kidding… What I mean is that there are good options for day trips or longer voyages, and cheap flights from the nearby Pisa airport, too. Not that I take much advantage of that any more due to the next point…
- Tuscany has everything: Art cities, beaches, mountains for skiing, lakes… Well not really such great lakes…
- A ridiculous amount of burocracy! If you have a sharp appreciation for irony and absurdity, Italy’s burocracy provides a load of daily laughs – you don’t need to subscribe to those websites full of funny photos of kittens in odd positions, the daily newspaper will do the trick.
- It’s not all “la bella vita” but hey, a lot of it is. Life, and food, is generally better here. Oh I cheated, I said four points.
As I said this is just a short list (the idea came to me while on the bus the other day). My many expat readers will have much to add in each category I’m sure – right? PS: I decided to stay away from politics here and elsewhere on arttrav, so we’re not mentioning all that under the negative points. That wouldn’t be fair.