Lifestyle changes for expats in Italy

Published:  10 Jan at 6 PM
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Italy’s ancient culture is one of the many reasons why it’s popular with long-stay expats, but living the Italian dream can result in serious lifestyle changes.

Italy is a draw for many would-be expats disenchanted with their countries of origin, with its milder weather, ancient history, wealth of delicious foods and laidback lifestyle all contributing to its appeal. Tuscany is a favourite for UK nationals, although many other regions including Sicily have their fair share of expatriate residents.

One thing’s certain, expats who go native when they arrive in Italy will soon discover key changes in their former lifestyle as a result. Living life the Italian way is unique to this land of food, wine and song, all of which take advantage of the country’s natural assets.

Perhaps the first change may well be seen in your everyday shopping habits, best done in the plethora of local markets and small shops. Those used to the weekly shop in a huge, faceless supermarket suddenly find themselves visiting local fishmongers, butchers, bakeries and market stalls just as their parents did in their home countries many decades ago. They’ll also find they’re cooking more and feeling far healthier!

New arrivals soon find they’re eating more than in their home country and, as a result, snacking less, thus keeping calorific intake at a reasonable level. Italians eat dinner late, at around 10 p.m., with four-course meals the norm. Italian breakfasts are as tasty as main meals, and the only downside is your new addiction to delicious desserts, ice creams, pastries and cakes.

Real coffee is an obsession in Italy, with even non-coffee drinking expats eventually succumbing to the delicious brews. Whether you prefer espressos or cappuccinos, there’s a huge choice of coffee shops and cafes, and tastes vary across the country along with regional cuisines and wines.

Perhaps the most important change is emotional, as the longer you live in this delightful country the more you’ll become like the Italians as regards letting go. All life is a theatre for Italians and, for Brits locked into hiding their emotions, letting go is simply an amazing, life-changing experience resulting in freeing-up your appreciation of everything including your artistic side. The culture, art and music of Italy can carry you away, making emigrating to Italy a daily journey of self-discovery.

Source – The Local
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