The following article, written by Patrick Browne, appears on The Local.
So you’re finally moving to Italy and are ready to throw yourself headlong into la dolce vita?
Congratulations. However, moving to Italy (or any other country for that matter) is often fraught with difficulty. Here are a few common mistakes foreigners make when living in Italy.
Making only expat friends
Italy can be complicated. Its bureaucracy can baffle and most of the information you need to live a rich and full life is probably going to be written in Italian or bad English, if it’s written down at all.
Making a few Italian friends right away will really give you the inside track when it comes to living in Italy, as they will be able to guide you when you can’t find the information you need. They will also be eager to help you get a handle your new language and culture, so it’s really worth going the extra mile and befriending locals.
Thinking you like things
Speaking of language, you should stop saying you like things: in Italy, things like to you or please you.
That’s just how the Italian verb for like ‘piacere’ works, which is an alien concept for most visitors.
So if you wan’t to say ‘I like it’ you have to say ‘a me piace’, literally ‘it likes to me’ or ‘it is pleasing to me’
So far so good, but if you want to say ‘I like them’ you have to then change the verb for its plural form and say ‘a me piacciono’.
Super importantly, if you want to tell an Italian guy or girl you like them, you have to say ‘mi piaci’
Assuming things will be open at lunch
Italy is often referred to as ‘a country of small and medium sized businesses’ by economists. While this has wide-reaching implications for the country’s economy, it also means something very important to ordinary people: almost everything is closed at lunch.
All public offices, banks and shops close at lunch with the exception of large supermarkets and high-street chain stores.
It is therefore a bad idea to assume you will be able to use your lunch break to go and do things like get a bank statement, take your shoes to the cobblers or get some keys cut. Annoying yes, but it does mean that you have no other option other than to stop stressing out and have a proper sit-down lunch. Continue reading at The Local.