“You’re moving to Italy? Are you sure that’s a good idea!?”

Monviso view, Langhe, Piemonte, Diano d'Alba

No, we’re not sure it’s a good idea, and yes we’re doing it anyway. If I had a Euro for every time an Italian has questioned us for wanting to leave the UK with our “Golden Pounds” (someone really said this…) to live in this country of high taxes, chaotic politics and somewhat confusing bureaucracy I’d nearly be able to afford to insure our new Italian car. What these people forget to mention though, or maybe don’t even notice is that despite its problems, Italy, and specifically the part we want to move to, has a remarkable amount going for it… for a start it has a proper climate, with hot summers and cold winters. It has proper mountains and half decent beaches. There are incredible cities but also beautiful little towns and villages. Then there’s the food and the wine.

But let’s not get carried away. I’ve never really bought in to the romanticised, Dolmio-adverted view of Italy. It’s not somewhere I’ve always wanted to live. I don’t dream of the dolce vita and eating ice cream under the stars while strolling along a promenade in pink chinos. So how have I ended up here?

This time last year, my wife and I were living in Bristol, in the UK, working every hour under the sun in jobs we didn’t really enjoy. I know this by no means makes us unique, but many of my friends have jobs they like, or at least they are on a career path towards a job that they will eventually be able to enjoy. Neither of us had that, largely because by our mid-thirties we have both still failed to work out what we want to be when we grow up.

Having realised all we were doing was making enough money to continue to go to work, we decided to do something about it. But what? We sat down and we talked. And reasoned. And talked some more. Desperately trying to come up with a plan, something we could do to make enough money to survive while giving us the freedom we craved. We talked about retraining, about getting new degrees, about moving to France, to Spain, to the US, even to Portugal, but none of it seemed right. Eventually, I think out of desperation, my half-Italian wife, who has a family home and lots of family members in Italy, suggested Italy.

Now this may have been tactical on her part. I suspect she was holding it back until all the awful plans had been exhausted before hitting me with it. Had she mentioned Italy earlier, maybe I would have just dismissed it. Instead, having trudged through so many dreadful, frankly unworkable ideas, when Italy finally came up it seemed perfect!

So that was it. We were moving to Italy.La Morra view of Langhe, Piemonte, tourism

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10 responses to ““You’re moving to Italy? Are you sure that’s a good idea!?”

  1. I hope that the move goes well for the both of you. Italy is a wonderful choice, even if it does have problems.

  2. France is the 2nd largest economy in Europe , Italy is third , both countries go through very hard times economically speaking, on my opinion if you chose Italy you have nothing to lose or regret , the most important is to be in good financial condition .

  3. Swap the word ‘Bristol’ for ‘Coventry’, and your situation is identical to mine! I don’t think moving is an option for me and the wife, so we just try to get away on as many holidays as we can between the daily grind. Hope things go well for you.

    • Thanks! I think we were pretty lucky in that everything combined nicely to make moving possible, before that we were doing the same as you, escaping on as many holidays as possible!

  4. Hi I am from Canada and have a house in Italy along the beachside. I am contemplating on moving to Italy. I love it there. I have 3 children under the age 13 I am worried about them. I speak italian and so does my husband but my children don’t . I really want to do this .When I am in Italy I feel complete. let me know how you guys are doing
    tina

    • Hi Tina,
      I can’t really comment on moving to Italy with children as we don’t have any just yet. I imagine they would pick up the language fairly quickly though. I will say that I’m really loving it here. It’s not perfect, not by a long way, but then nowhere is. I think if you can put up with the negatives then there are so many positives to living here. For me the positives definitely outweigh the negatives! Best of luck, and let me know how you get on.

  5. Ciao Richard, I’m reading your posts in order from the beginning: fantastico!!!
    From an italian point of view, the title of this post is a good question.
    But I think that, as every girl has her own “prince charming”, everybody has to follow its own “job charming”.
    And you have choosen one of the better places to live in Norther Italy. Nice shot!!
    I live in Villastellone, 45 minutes by car from Alba and I take a ride in the Langhe as often as possible.

    • Ciao Alberto – thanks for reading everything, I really appreciate it! And you’re right, sometimes you just have to do what you think is best. We love it here in the Langhe and are really enjoying getting to now the whole area, so we’re happy with our decision so far, although, as you’ll see if you keep on reading, we’ve already had a couple of frustrating days!

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