Moving to Italy
Offering residents an attractive lifestyle filled with family, scenic beauty, world-famous food and wine, expats moving to Italy will be seduced by the country and its passion for la dolce vita, the sweet life.
Italians are fiercely proud of their country and show strong regional alliances. They are also a nation with deep Roman Catholic roots that are entrenched in everyday culture and customs. This is most obvious in the central role that the traditional family has in Italian society.
The focus on family extends into business in Italy as well. A large proportion of Italian businesses are family-owned, from major corporations to the smaller enterprises that make up much of the local economy. Businesses with other forms of ownership still often follow a strict system of hierarchy where age and seniority are respected.
It cannot all be good, however. Italy has gone from having one of the best employment rates in the world to suffering under the effects of the global financial crisis and the Euro crisis, dipping in and out of recession for several years. Unemployment is up, especially among the youth, and competition for jobs is high.
Still, the expats who are lucky enough to move to Italy would be hard-pressed not to stop and enjoy the patterns of daily life. One of these is the passegiata, a much-loved evening ritual where beautifully dressed couples and friends enjoy a gentle stroll through the main streets and piazzas of the old town – just about every occasion in Italy is a reason to celebrate with good food, wine, family and friends.
In a country that is famous for its fashion, major emphasis is placed on appearances. For Italians, the way a person dresses and acts indicates their social status, family background, and level of education. This emphasis on la bella figura, presenting a beautiful image, extends to a person’s confidence and body language, and means that first impressions are important.
With so much on offer, from innovative creative industries to the majesty of its monuments, the impression Italy leaves on expats is often one that lasts a lifetime.