Saturday, November 16, 2013

Living in Italy: The Pros and Cons Pt. 1

left to right: Husband & I in Munich, Germany, Cliff Diving location in Italy, Seafood pizza, Venice, Italy

The longer I live in Italy, the more I feel equipped to tell you all the nitty gritty of living here. Mind you, I've only been here for roughly ten months, but I feel like I know enough to give you a few pros and cons. So for those of you ladies who's husbands are trying to get stationed in Italy, if you've already got your orders, or if you're just curious about life here, keep reading! 

Cons:

1. Italy is not at all like what it is in the Lizzie McGuire movie. Bummer, I know.
2. Italians are not exactly the nicest people, but then again, I'm from the South. So my views on courtesy may be different than yours. Southern hospitality is unheard of here. 
3. Getting things done can be quite the pain in the rear. Italians REALLY like their leisure time, so most businesses are closed at random hours during the day (Reposo), and during August, almost all local businesses take a month long vacay. Lucky bastards. They aren't quick to move, either. So patience is key! 
4. While most people know a bit of English, the preferred language is, of course, Italian. This is expected, but the language barrier sucks nonetheless.
5. Getting used to Italian/European customs can be pretty hard. Or really, REALLY hard in cases like mine. 
6. You're not exactly wanted here. Think about it. If Italians were to open a military base in America, the entire country would more than likely go hay wire. 'MERICA! 
7. There's no such thing as mexican food or a good burger. Everything is Italian or made with Italian flair. 
8. No Alfredo sauce. None. Alfredo is an American Italian thing. NOT Italian. 



left to right: Garmisch, Germany, Vicenza, Italy, Jumping Germans at Medieval Times.

 Pros:

1. You live in ITALY! 
2. Gelato. The dessert of the gods. At least in my mind. 
3. You can travel pretty much anywhere in the EU on a long weekend. *Phone call home: "What are you doing this weekend?" "Oh, just going to Paris. No big deal."* 
4. Long weekends. Since we're in a different country, the soldiers (or airmen or sailors) get American AND Italian holidays off. Now, think of all the holidays America has. Now imagine how many holidays a country over 2000 years old has. It's definitely a plus. 
5. Going back to #1, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Think of the stories you'll get to tell! 
6. Experiencing a different culture. This one has been tough for me, but I'm slowly starting to appreciate it. It definitely gives you a new understanding of people. 
7. The scenery. Everything in Italy is ridiculously old. It amazes me that there are 1000 year old churches and buildings here. The oldest building in America is less than 250 years old. How crazy is that?! I'm able to marvel at things daily.

I know that this list wasn't exactly the longest, but I figured it's a good starting point. Maybe after my next ten months my list will have doubled, and hopefully only in the pros! If you have any specific questions, or actual PCS related questions, please feel free to comment!