Who are you?
I am Sarah, married to Tony. We have a daughter (Axa Elisabeth, born 2005) and a son (Raj Dominique, born 2007). We are originally from San Diego. I home-school our children and my husband does marketing for an Italian company.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
We first moved to Italy in 2008. Tony is of Italian descent, and I've always wanted to live abroad, so Italy was the natural choice. We spent seven months living in two different towns in Piedmont (Saluzzo and Chiusa di Pesio) and trying to convince them to recognize Tony's Italian citizenship jure sanguinis (by descent). His citizenship was finally recognized just as the business we were still running in Southern California failed during the Economic Downturn of 2008. We spent a year back in the United States tying up loose ends, and finally made it back to Italy in April of 2010. After a couple of months in Florence, we decided that what we really love is the beautiful North of Italy.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Learning Italian from scratch was an adventure, as were a lot of other things, like discovering that shops and restaurants were never open when we wanted them until we became more Italian in our habits. We quickly learned that the easiest and most enjoyable way to do things in Italy is to make friends. In my experience, Italians are almost without exception friendly and helpful. And they love to practice their English and talk about what life is like in California.
How did you find somewhere to live?
We initially wanted a short-term rental, but found out that they just don't do that here, especially if you're not in a tourist spot. Just like with everything else, we found a nice Italian real estate agent who was willing to take us under his wing. He helped us get a codice fiscale and open a bank account, as well as (of course) finding us an apartment...
Read more at http://www.expatfocus.com/expatriate-italy-experiences-sarah-tony