Familiarity Breeds Contempt

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Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by Geotherm on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:05 pm


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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:41 pm

Geotherm wrote:Moved the link to this new one, as Steve suggested.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/11027075/Expats-face-400-million-tax-raid.html

Sorry Geo my quip was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I do think people should be aware of this, especially those thinking of buying here and those recent arrivals like ourselves even....

But is this not the right link  Truth about la dolce vita ?

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by Geotherm on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:28 pm

Thanks Steve. My fault as I still had the first one open.
Old age catching up ...... Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:47 pm

No problem Geo, I think they are both great links. Quite co-incidental this one as we were just talking about this very subject yesterday. You don't seem to get too many people talking about falling out of love with Italy and I believe many ex-pats are leaving. I think many are either too busy moving, feel guilty or ashamed about their perceived failure coming here. We have no illusions on this score, at the moment we still love it, but realise this is likely (as a good friend once said) a 20-30 year holiday.  Smile  Smile  Smile

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by casa del campanile on Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:19 pm

stevegwmonkseaton wrote:No problem Geo, I think they are both great links. Quite co-incidental this one as we were just talking about this very subject yesterday. You don't seem to get too many people talking about falling out of love with Italy and I believe many ex-pats are leaving. I think many are either too busy moving, feel guilty or ashamed about their perceived failure coming here. We have no illusions on this score, at the moment we still love it, but realise this is likely (as a good friend once said) a 20-30 year holiday.  Smile  Smile  Smile

During our seven years here we have met quite a few “expats,” most whom hail from GB and have noted that their level of satisfaction with their Italian adventure seems to be dependent upon their original motivation for coming to Italy. For those who wanted to leave GB for whatever reason(s), it seems they have a lesser satisfaction factor than those who wanted to come to Italy. Just a totally unscientific observation viewed through  the prism of many glasses of vino rosso.
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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by ghiro on Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:34 pm

stevegwmonkseaton wrote:We have no illusions on this score, at the moment we still love it, but realise this is likely (as a good friend once said) a 20-30 year holiday. 


I'm confused.  Sad   Did your good friend say '..this is likely...' or '....this is unlikely....' (to be) a 20-30 year holiday?

It's important because people thinking of coming to live permanently in Italy need to be very certain as to why they're doing it,  As cdc has already very astutely pointed out you either come to live in Italy because you want to or you come to live in Italy because you don't want to live in the UK.  Very, very different.

And life can never be a holiday forever because, eventually, reality will catch up with you.  As someone once said 'When you move the first thing you pack are your troubles'. 

Life in Italy can be hugely enjoyable and rewarding.  It can also be filled with irritations and frustrations.  It's how you manage to balance these two that will determine whether you stay - or go.


Last edited by ghiro on Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Sense!)
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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:54 pm

casa del campanile wrote:
stevegwmonkseaton wrote:No problem Geo, I think they are both great links. Quite co-incidental this one as we were just talking about this very subject yesterday. You don't seem to get too many people talking about falling out of love with Italy and I believe many ex-pats are leaving. I think many are either too busy moving, feel guilty or ashamed about their perceived failure coming here. We have no illusions on this score, at the moment we still love it, but realise this is likely (as a good friend once said) a 20-30 year holiday.  Smile  Smile  Smile
During our seven years here we have met quite a few “expats,” most whom hail from GB and have noted that their level of satisfaction with their Italian adventure seems to be dependent upon their original motivation for coming to Italy. For those who wanted to leave GB for whatever reason(s), it seems they have a lesser satisfaction factor than those who wanted to come to Italy. Just a totally unscientific observation viewed through  the prism of many glasses of vino rosso.Fred
No Fred, I think it's quite likely correct if I think about the few we know that have returned or are thinking on it. Their reasons for coming in the first place are a significant factor in my view...

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:10 pm

ghiro wrote:
stevegwmonkseaton wrote:We have no illusions on this score, at the moment we still love it, but realise this is likely (as a good friend once said) a 20-30 year holiday. 
I'm confused.  Sad   Did your good friend say '..this is likely...' or '....this is unlikely....' (to be) a 20-30 year holiday?

It's important because people thinking of coming to live permanently in Italy need to be very certain as to why they're doing it,  As cdc has already very astutely pointed out you either come to live in Italy because you want to or you come to live in Italy because you don't want to live in the UK.  Very, very different.

And life can never be a holiday forever because, eventually, reality will catch up with you.  As someone once said 'When you move the first thing you pack are your troubles'. 

Life in Italy can be hugely enjoyable and rewarding.  It can also be filled with irritations and frustrations.  It's how you manage to balance these two that will determine whether you stay - or go.
.. Well she actually said that she was looking on it as a 20-30 year holiday, which for someone now 72, on her own, looking after a vast amount of land with olives, lived here for more than 10 years, is quite an interesting view point. From the people I've met here (ex-pats), there are more than the 2 reasons you state, or degrees of them. For example one of those that came here simply because it was warm and the houses cheap, no real previous experience of Italy. Unfortunately I've found that many have come here and not been "very certain as to why they're doing it", hence like you (I suspect), think it a good topic to be raised. Obviously I see it from only one point of view (apart from the other ex-pats I personally know here), retired. Those who work here or work in the UK and simply have a holiday home here, will perhaps add to the picture.

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:11 am

I think this is a really interesting topic. I totally agree with Casa del Campanile's post. There is a really big difference between coming here to leave the UK and coming to Italy because you love it.

In response to Steve, I have found over the years that we have gravitated away from from the retired ex-pat set. Not because of any personal dislike or other vicious reasons but we just lead such very different lives. We work here (hard!) and are bringing up our small daughter and just aren't available to do the socialising that is required. We have other interests and are probably more interested in what happens in Italy than in the UK as this is our home and will be for as far as I can see into the future.

I have also seen many, many times that when a couple moves here and one really wants it and the other is less bothered/not interested that this really can be a problem. The break-up rate amongst the UK ex-pats that first moved to Marche was staggeringly high. At a guess I would say over 50%. I think it's probably easier making the move there now as there are just so many more Brits and other nationalities in Marche so a bigger support network if you like. If you really don't want to learn Italian and mix only with ex-pats you could now manage it fairly easily!

I think also finances has a big impact on people returning. When I did the compromesso on my first Italian house the rate was €1.65 to £1!! It's been as low as practically parity which is a huge drop. If you rely on a GBP Sterling income then that makes a massive difference.

Sadly I think the property market in Italy prevents a lot of people who want to go back to the UK from doing so as they find it so hard to sell at the price they want or need.

I have to say I found the article a little bit irritating because many of the things he was complaining about have always been the same in Italy and frankly I don't see them changing especially as Renzi the wunderkind seems to be making very little impact. I do agree with his statement that most people live in fear of the knock on the door as the Italian system makes criminals of us all - very, very true. IMHO it will take a few more years for the old school politicians and patriarchs to die off and then we might see some changes. Whether it will be for the better or worse - who can say?

Is it easier to run a business in the UK - YES!
Is it cheaper to run a business in the UK - YES!
Is it a better place for families in the UK - ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Are we going back - NOT UNLES THEY DRAG US OR WE BECOME DESTITUTE!
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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:07 am

I do agree with much of what has been said, particularly the "vino rosso prism" suggested by Fred. Some people tend to forget that fate, or God's will, or whatever you want to call "changing circumstances" will affect our lives, no matter how carefully we make our plans. Having to move on is not a failure, as long as we enjoyed every minute of both past and present. We cannot totally control our future, but we do have to seize the moment. "Tempus fugit" ( time flies) and old aphorisms are wery wise. My favourite one is "Carpe diem" or enjoy the day or the present and have a look at these explanations Carpe diem
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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by The Original Relaxed on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:12 am

I found the whole tone of the article a bit difficult. So, the chap is pissed off and taking it out on Italy: I think he would be equally pissed off if he was in the UK. 
He has five children, unsatisfactory accommodation, a wife who's religion he takes a pot-shot at, and he's no longer receiving the staggering sum of €7500 per month for writing articles. Tell me which journo is, these days, in either country!
The only difference in the UK is the white powder would be hidden in a trash can rather than a pomegranate tree.
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the truth about la doce vita...

Post by sebastiano on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:25 am

i too found this article very interesting.
i also agree with what Admin wrote on the whole.
As far as this fellow in LIDO DI DANTE is concerned,he has evidently taken life very "lightly" until now ( gravy train?) and during the years of the vacche grasse made little effort to estabish his family in a decent house,continued to have more and more children,and,at his own admittance lived/lives quite a boheme life style.
I have seen as much if not considerably more than him over an even longer period in this country going back to the mid seventies.I enjoyed,with my italian wife a very good life in Milano with a lot of work and excellent salary for many years,long summer holidays in italy and other european countries.20 years ago we decided to do what we had been thinking about for a while...give all that up,move to the countryside,buy a small holding and open an agriturismo.With immense difficulties above all financial we finally acheived our objective.We have now been operating for the best part of fifteen years.
we have to work very hard,and in the busier summer months ,as at the moment, the working day can be easily 16 hours long,we haven't had a proper holiday since 2004 etc etc.Nevertheless all the work we do allows us, provided we don't stop, to live in a beautiful place,and enjoy certainly a quieter rural lifestyle.
Since the advent of the crisis/recession it has got considerably harder,not so much in the sense that guest numbers have fallen which for the most part they haven't it has been the difficulty of the surreal taxation policies the fact that at the end of the year over 50% of everything we have earned (AND DECLARED) has been taken away between direct tax (irpef) social security(INPS) and a myriad of smaller taxes of all kinds all this is making life less sustainable at least by previous levels.we do not intend to stop or leave.we just have to continue to "cross the river" and hope to get to the other side.
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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:06 am

Well, some superb and very interesting replies... Yes I know I've lots of time to read them Smile . I've watched the people work here, no idea of nationality, but assume mostly Italians. Seen them drinking beers at 10am , but realised they had been up half the night tractoring, they work hard! However I'm also aware I now live a much more rural life, that and a new country is very different. I too found a lot to be desire in the article and the image it put over by the man seemed a bit of a blast from the past. Thanks to all for the replies, I'm off to DIY a new gate...

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Housing bubble

Post by Nielo on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:58 pm

I have observed people coming and going over a number of years for a wide variety of reasons.

I, personally came to live in Italy both because I love Italy and because I was fed up with the UK. My circumstances have changed dramatically and my life style in Italy is so different that it's difficult to make a comparison. I certainly never thought I'd be stacking two tons of wood ready for the winter!

People are free to make their life choices and if they decide to return to the UK, I don't see it as a "failure", it's the choice they make for their personal circumstances at the time, that's all.

However, I do think there are difficulties in making the return journey, mostly that of selling a house in Italy. Italy hasn't experienced the same housing bubble that's happened in the uk and it's often difficult for people to sell and recoup the costs of buying their property in the first place plus the costs of renovation. Even if they do, they are likely to find the house prices in the UK have risen out of reach.

I did a little research, I've no intention, at the moment, of moving but I estimated what I'd be likely to get for my house ( big, rural, with land) in Italy, did the currency conversion and looked at what I'd get for that money in my old haunts in the Uk. I'd be lucky to get a static caravan on one of those Park Homes sites.

For me, it doesn't matter but for others this could prove quite a blow and is worth thinking about.

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