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

  1. The average salary is 1000€ per month (net). Our professionals make 50 to 70 percent less than their american counterparts.
  2. 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.
  3. Population density is high. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to hear my neighbours’ tv.
  4. 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

  1. Most of the time the weather 5 day forecast looks a lot better than Toronto’s.
  2. 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…
  3. Tuscany has everything: Art cities, beaches, mountains for skiing, lakes… Well not really such great lakes…
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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