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Just one person's story:https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/style/italy-retirement-ho...Raised their kids, took Italian lessons, rented out their house and stayed in a town in Italy for a while. Then sold their house, and moved permanently. Sold their cars, too.Behind a paywall, sorry. A bit of bravery to take the leap, but they did prep (e.g. learning Italian).
They must love the food!!Isn't Italy one of those places where you shop for groceries daily? Everything freshly prepared? Must be quite an adjustment compared to life in the US.Are there still stay at home wives in Italy? Where do they find the time?
We live within the center of a beautiful historic town that includes a nearby river that we take walks along almost every day where we arrive at the “Specola,” which is an observatory built on top of an ancient tower. We shop, go to restaurants and outdoor fruit and vegetable markets, meet friends all within a few block radius of our apartment. We can take a train to have lunch or dinner in Venice whenever we want. Before the pandemic we traveled easily all over Europe.Sounds good to me.
We stayed for a week in Padua (where this couple lives) in 2019. It's a wonderful university-centered small city. We stayed on the top floor of a family's villa two blocks from Piazza Signori (where the couple in the story lives). Our take-away from our brief experience matches that of the couple in the story completely: we'd be very happy to live in Padua--and in fact we'd re-booked the apartment for May 2020 but then Covid turned the world upside down.Padua was ground zero for the worst of the initial Covid hit in Italy. We're reluctant to consider seriously a long-term move to Europe until the pandemic situation resolves a bit more. But DW and I talk almost weekly about renting the Padua apartment for 2 or 3 months to get a better feel for life there.I took 3 semesters of Italian as an undergrad. It comes back (sort of) when I'm there. I'd be happy to sharpen it up. Of course, almost everyone in Padua speaks at least some English.
I'd prefer to retire to a country where I can understand the language. My first choice would be Vienna, although not right now.But there's a major issue in retiring anywhere in Europe: health insurance. In Austria I'd have to provide my own, private health insurance until I'd lived there for five years.
Re: language. I can always take classes (as the couple in the article did). Or I could just move to Spain. I had five years in school. I've found that if I spend about a week among Spanish-speakers, it starts to come back. By the end of one week I am much less choppy in my speech.Yeah, health insurance would be a problem. But if only for five years, I think I could cope. I thought most made you ineligible unless you worked for five years there. That I would not be up for. I'm done working, or will be very soon.1poorguy
About learning to speak Italian when you already speak a little bit of Spanish: I did post-doc work at a NATO Advanced Studies Institute class in San Miniato, Italy in the mid-80's. I had taken two years of Spanish in High School, then lived in California where I took adult ed classes in Spanish, then traveled around Mexico and South America where I picked up more Spanish. I was never fluent, but I could communicate with Spanish speakers if they had any desire to understand and communicate with me. Sometimes I had to ask a lot of questions about what some word or phrase meant.So with that background in Spanish, I prepared for Italian. Before going to Italy, I spent about 2 or 3 months listening to language tapes to learn Italian. I had about a 20 minute walk between my house and campus each day and used that time (coming and going) to learn Italian. At first, knowing Spanish can actually be a problem when trying to learn Italian because they are so similar . . . but often not quite similar enough. Eventually, though, the similarities work in your favor. After about a month in Italy I spoke Italian well enough that NessieSpouse was impressed. She didn't know how much of my conversation with locals was me asking them to repeat or explain. She simply observed fairly long dialogues that ended up with me understanding what we were trying to learn. I always felt that if I had been able to stay in Italy for another month or so, I would be proficient enough that speaking and listening to Italian would be natural and comfortable, but I never really achieved that.When I was younger, I always thought I might choose to live in Spain or Italy or somewhere in South America some day and figured I was in striking distance of actually being comfortable and relatively fluent in the language of the country. But I recognize now that my motivation and focus on studying languages is not nearly as great as it was when I was younger. I still have boxed audio language courses on the bookshelf in front of me right now, but have become too lazy to want to do the work and study. If you really think you would like to retire and live in Italy soon, it might serve you well to start some kind of language learning soon, while you are motivated. I think you'll find the Spanish to Italian transition to be reasonably painless.
I severely lack the ability to learn foreign languages. Sometimes I struggle with English.PSU
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