Hey y'all! Today I'm answering more questions about Italy. This is so fun for me to do and often encourages self-reflection. I always learn so much when I type these up. Thank you so much for the questions!
A: We are very lucky in that we have English speaking landlords. It's very easy to get things done when I can easily speak the language. With that being said, I have had some tricky situations (getting XRays where no one spoke English, enrolling the littles for Italian preschool) where the Google Translate app has been my best friend.
I've also made Italian friends and they have been INVALUABLE. I can muddle my way through most conversations now but there are certain things that I have no idea how to express verbally! It's super intimidating and overhwhelming!
A: We live downtown, so our "neighborhood" is pretty much like the downtown of any city. As far as the layout of our apartment goes, one thing I had to quickly get used to is that Italian homes don't have wide open spaces/great rooms like American homes do.
We have three floors and each has a small atrium with rooms that open up off of it. The ceilings are really high and this apartment actually has quite a bit of square footage, but it took some getting used to because the layout is so different!
The kitchens here are A LOT smaller than American kitchens. The appliances are different too. Our freezer can't even hold a gallon of ice cream!!! We shop as we eat much more, as opposed to big grocery trips like I did in the US. There's simply not room to store everything!
There is no central air...we have a few small units in some of our rooms. It seemed so hot last summer but we've adjusted and no longer notice. I feel that the US is going to seem so COLD to us when we move back!
Our washer and dryer are small and take much longer to do laundry. A wash cycle (the short one) is one hour. And it takes at least an hour and a half to dry laundry. It's been a major adjustment to say the least!
A: H and S attend American school on post. They had some very real worries and fears about being in a school where they didn't understand the language so we chose to honor their wishes and keep them in American school.
C and L will be attending asilo (Italian preschool) in the fall and will hopefully have two full years before we move back to the states.
I am on post a lot...that is where I drop the girls off for school and that is where I pick up our mail. We have a US address/APO address. I also buy a few things at the commissary, though I MUCH prefer to purchase meat and produce locally. I do love having a PX for purchasing our toiletries and American books,etc. I'm also at the library on post often. I'd say it's about 50/50. I love spending time around Vicenza!
Okay. That's it for today. If you have any questions about what it's like to be an expat in Italy, leave a comment!