Living in Italy: Amy Moved From Britain to Puglia, Italy via Germany and Started To Write Enroute

Amy came to Southern Italy via Germany teaching English as she went.  She now runs one of the most popular expat Brit blogs online. Find out about her life in Puglia here.

1. Where are you from originally?

I’m from the UK.

2. Where do you live now?

I live in a small town in Puglia, Southern Italy.

3. What first attracted you to your new home? Did you try anywhere else on the way? Did you move for work or for lifestyle?

I initially moved to take a new job. I spent some time in Germany before I came here, but then decided to try something different. The lifestyle here compared to that in Germany is definitely rather different!

Italy 2010 © by RickC

4. What kind of property do you live in now? Will you stay here? What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?

I currently live in a flat in the centre of town. It’s a great location and rent here isn’t too bad at all. I’d like to continue living in this town, preferably in the centre. There is a very relaxed way of life in this part of the country, and this suits me perfectly!

5. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?

For my job, I use English and socially, I use Italian. Learning has been a gradual process, and not without difficulty. However, after 2 years of living in a community where very few people speak English, my level of Italian is fairly good. I’m not an expert with the grammar though!

6. What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?

I’m an English teacher in a small, private school. I teach 5 days a week at the school, and have classes of all ages and abilities. I don’t work with any clients in the UK, and my contract is Italian.

8. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros? Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?

I am paid in Euros. I have a postal account here, as that is free of charge.

9. Do you have children? If so, how did they adapt to the move? How are their schools? Are they bi-lingual? Are their good future career opportunities within your new country?

I don’t have children.

10. Did you bring any pets with you? Or leave any behind? How did this work out?

I didn’t bring any pets with me, but now I’ve got 2 little terrapins! They are easy to care for and love sunshine, so southern Italy suits them well!

11. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?

I thoroughly enjoy living in southern Italy, and feel more at home every day. I know some fantastic people and the lifestyle here is perfect for me. I’m not a ‘big city’ kind of person, so a small, traditional town with friendly people and lots of sunshine is fantastic. There are things that I miss about the UK, and being away from family and friends is hard sometimes, but I get on well here, so I think I can safely say that yes, my life is better here than it was before.

12. What are the best things about living in your new country? Has the move been good for the whole family?

The best things about living in southern Italy include (but are not limited to!) the fantastic weather (we really do have a lot of sunshine!), the friendly people and of course, the incredible food. I also love the challenges that I come up against. Living in and adapting to a foreign country is never easy, but it’s incredibly satisfying where you finally feel like you fit in and you feel comfortable.

13. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?

There are several cultural differences that can prove challenging. The beauracracy can be a bit messy here, and taxes are high. You’ll need to know the language if you’re going to embark on any kind of work venture. Meal times, opening hours and driving are also different, and Italians don’t know how to queue! The main problem for me is the lack of punctuality though. I hate lateness, and most people here aren’t exactly know for their punctuality! You do get used to it though. Eventually!

14. Are you here for good? If so, why? If no , why not?

I’d like to think that at least for the foreseable future I’ll remain in Italy. I’ve considered moving to the north, but the lifestyle is much more similar to that of the UK, with bad weather and a more hectic lifestyle, so I think I’ll stay put in the south!

15. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?

Move to the south! The north is great (despite the weather!), and I would recommend visiting places like Florence, Bologna and Milan. I know people who live in these cities and they absolutely love it. But if you’re like me, and enjoy a quieter, slower pace of life (with incredible food!) move southwards. You can really experience la dolce vita here! Language wise, you may be thrown in at the deep end, but embrace it. Learn the lingo, don’t ever look at the time, and get ready to try the best coffee you will ever taste!

About the author

Amy is a twenty something Brit living and working in beautiful southern Italy. She teaches English, is a keen blogger (find her at sunshineandtomatoes.blogspot.it) and thoroughly enjoys the laid back southern Italian lifestyle. She is attempting to learn the art of Italian cooking, but does prefer the eating part…

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