Living in Italy: Pros and Cons
There are many great reasons for living in Italy as an American. Ultimately, it offers a great experience to both expats looking for work and to retire. However, there are pros and cons of living in Italy vs USA to look at first. Not all aspects of life will be better than in America and it is worth it to compare the differences.
Check out our article on the pros and cons for differences living in the Italy below!
Living in Italy: Pros and Cons Disclaimer
One disclaimer to start with is that there are differences in living all throughout Italy. Living in Rome, will be different than Milan, Naples, Turin, etc. For this reason, the differences between Italy and USA are broad and may not apply to every area in the country.
Pros of Living in Italy
There are many pros when living in Italy vs the USA. The fact that so many Americans are living there right now should be a testament to that. We’ve listed some of the many things that expats love when living here.
Amazing Food and Wine
The first things expats write to us about is the amazing food in Italy. Where else can you get the most authentic Italian food, than in the country that created it. From real handmade pastas to authentic margarita pizzas, you’ll be sure to have something incredible to eat here.
Culture and History
With it’s long history and great preservation, Italy retains some of the most famous pieces of history in the world. There are some of the greatest buildings still standing such as the Roman Coliseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is also home to legendary artists like da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. In Italy, you’ll always be able to experience a little bit of the past anywhere you look.
Easy Home Buying Procedure
For countries like America, Italy offers a reciprocal home buying policy. This means that property is pretty straightforward to buy. Many countries make it much harder for foreigners to buy a home compared to Italy. It becomes much easier to live or retire in Italy if you have a permanent place to stay.
Cons of Living in Italy vs USA
Unfortunately, there are also cons when living in the Italy vs the USA. When living here, many Americans have experiences that are unappealing and detract from the overall experience. We’ve listed some of the many cons expats have told us they experienced while staying here.
Language Barrier for Many Americans
Many people can speak English in the main cities, but generally prefer to speak Italian. This means that when trying to communicate with locals, you may have a hard time. Though there are also many expat communities in Italy if you want to have an English speaking experience.
Expats Still Pay US Taxes
Given that you are an American expat in Italy, you still have to pay income tax to the USA if you make money. You can get rid of your US citizenship and become an Italian citizen, but that is a drastic way to avoid this. Most expats pay the taxes to both countries as many want to return in the future.
If you are plan on moving here before employment you may have a harder time. Many spouses of expats try to look for work, but struggle to find jobs with the same ease they did in America. People retiring in Italy don’t have to worry about this issue, though it does end up being a big problem for some.
Want to Live in Italy
With the pros and cons of living in Italy, there are definitely reasons to move here. Even though there are downsides, nowhere is perfect. Italy has had a boom in Americans living there for good reason anyways.
If you are moving or thinking about moving, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is a premier moving company. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country. There are definitely more differences between Italy and the US, but we’ll let you experience the rest while you’re there.
To get started fill out our Online Quote Form or read another of our Italy guides below.
More Italy Guides
Many Americans will notice various pros and cons living in the UK compared to the USA. As an American living in the UK, you will find that there are differences from life in the states. Through our many moves, we’ve heard back from expats on things they would have liked to know before beginning their UK life. To help with acclimating to life in the UK, we’ve compiled some of the major differences for expats living overseas.
Check out our article on the pros and cons for differences living in the United Kingdom vs the USA below!
Living in the UK: Pros and Cons Disclaimer
To start off, it is important to understand there are differences in life throughout the UK. Areas are different even within the same country. Living in England will be different than Scotland, Ireland, Wales, etc. For this reason, the differences for the UK vs USA are broad and may not apply to all areas.
Housing in the UK vs USA
Housing in the UK is different in many ways to the housing you may be used to in the states. One of the most notable differences is the size of the houses in the UK. They are significantly smaller than US houses on average. Beyond size, there are also differences in amenities and appliances. Another housing difference noticeable right away is the outlets use a different plug style. Also many bathrooms do not have plugs and if they do they need to be away from the shower/tub. Almost no houses in the UK have air conditioning, while in the US air conditioning is almost standard. Since the UK is pretty interconnected, public transport is usually abundant. This means you can get to where you are going more easily without having to drive. There is also a lot of things do in most urban cities.
Housing in the UK Pros
- Public transport is generally accessible to housing in the UK
- Many large cities offer great amenities nearby
Housing in the UK Cons
- The housing is generally smaller and less roomy
- Different setups from homes in the US
Food in the UK vs USA
There is a wild difference in many aspects of food in the UK vs the US. Within the administrative level, many food items allowed in the US are actually banned in the UK. One item to show that difference is eggs. In the UK, hens vaccinations are mandatory which makes the eggs safer from salmonella. In the US, this is not the case and is the reason why American eggs need to be refrigerated. There are also interesting cultural difference such as people in the UK use a fork and knife for most meals. Eating a rack of ribs with your hands looks normal in the US, while this could be gross in the UK.
Food in the UK Pros
- Generally safer due to more strict regulation
- Local UK foods that can only be found there
Food in the UK Cons
- Costs on regulated items may be more expensive
- Some food may seem odd coming from America such as haggis
Drinks in the UK vs USA
Many Americans have different drinking habits compared to the UK. A majority of Americans drink soda, while British people drink tea. There is always a surprise for people from the US when their drink arrives with no/less ice. People in the UK believe that ice waters down a drink and is preferable without ice. Sizes are also one size down in the UK. A large there would be a medium in the US.
Drinks in the UK Pros
- Tea is a healthier option compared to soda
Drinks in the UK Cons
- Changes in drinks from soda or coffee to tea may be difficult
Work Culture in the UK vs USA
When Americans go to the UK for work, they are always surprised by the difference in work culture. Employees in the UK generally prioritize work life balance, and companies usually provide 20-30 days of paid time off. The US on the other hand has no minimum vacation days and having 10 is considered very good. Conversely, salaries in the US are higher on average and allows more wealth flexibility comparatively. Within work, British people have different customs and practices as well. There will generally be a lot of tea, small talk, and pub going after work.
Work Culture in the UK Pros
- More vacation days
- Better work life balance
Work Culture in the UK Cons
- Lower salary for similar jobs
- Need to adjust in new environment for American expats
Want to Live in the UK?
If you are moving or thinking about moving to the UK, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is the premier moving company to the UK. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country.
There are more pros and cons to living in the UK, but we’ll let you experience the rest while you’re there.
To get your move started, fill out our Online Quote Form or read another of our UK guides below.
Additional UK Guides
Other Pros and Cons Lists
There are many pros and cons living in France compared to the USA. As an American living in France, you will find that there are differences from life in the states. Through our many moves, we’ve heard back from customers on things they would have liked to know before beginning their French expat life. To help with acclimating to life in France, we’ve compiled some of the major differences for expats living overseas.
Check out our article on the pros and cons of living in France below!
Living in France: Pros and Cons Disclaimer
To start off, it is important to understand there are differences throughout France. Just like anywhere else, areas are different even within the same country. Living in Paris will be different than Le Havre, Marseille, Bordeaux, etc. For this reason the differences for France vs USA are broad and may not apply everywhere.
Language in France vs USA
One of the most noticeable differences in France vs the US is the language. French is the primary language spoken in France. Even though many French natives can also speak English, they generally prefer to speak in French. Even if you proficient in French from a book, be ready for the speed and slang you may encounter there. Beyond the language there is also conversation customs that are different. Customs like kissing on the cheek or refraining from smiling are both things you will need to watch out for as an American.
Language in France Pros:
- A great opportunity to learn a new language
- Many areas where you can speak English such as expat communities
Language in France Cons:
- Speed and slang can confuse people even if they learned French
- New customs may be awkward for Americans
Cost of Living in France vs USA
Almost everything you buy in France is more expensive than the USA. There are a few cheaper things such as bread or wine, but even those are similar in price. Rent is the largest expense for most expats and natives alike, especially if you choose to live in a place like Paris. Americans living in France find eating and living prices take a majority of their extra pay. On the other hand, social services are free or close to free. This means there won’t be a need to pay for services like healthcare. It is also important to also remember that France has one of highest standards of living. With great work life balance, the increased cost of living in France may pay itself off in the lifestyle compared to the US.
Cost of Living Pros:
- One of the highest quality of life in the world
- Cheap or free social services
Cost of Living Cons:
- Goods are more expensive in general
- High taxes may make wages seem smaller
Service in France vs USA
There is a drastic difference in service between France and the USA. Most Americans will complain at least once they encountered bad service. Though it is important to realize that the service is acceptable for most Europeans and the US is the service outlier. In the USA, waiters generally rely on tips to make up their wages so they may provide better service. Whereas in France, wait staff are paid regular wages and it is irregular for them to receive tips. This leads to American servers being friendly and chatty, while French servers generally leave you alone.
Service in France Pros:
- You don’t have to tip for service in France
- Staff won’t bother you during a meal
Service in France Cons:
- Need to waive down staff when you need service
- Less friendly than service in the states
Want to Live in France?
If you are moving or thinking about moving to France, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is the premier moving company to France. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country. There are definitely more difference living in France, but we’ll let you experience the rest while you’re there.
To get started fill out our Online Quote Form or read another of our France guides below.
Additional France Guides
Other Pros and Cons Lists
There are many pros and cons living in Germany compared to the USA. As an American living in Germany, you will find that there are differences from life in the states. Through our many moves, we’ve heard back from our customers on some of the things they would have liked to know before moving. To help with acclimating to German life, we’ve compiled the major distinctions from expats in Germany.
Check out our article on the pros and cons of living in Germany below!
Living in Germany: The Pros and Cons Disclaimer
To start off with the pros and cons, it is important to understand there are differences throughout Germany. Just like any other country, areas are different even though it’s the same country. Living in Berlin will be different than Hamburg, Munich, Bremen, etc. For this reason the differences in Germany vs US are broad and may not apply to everywhere.
Language in Germany
A very clear distinction from the US is that people in Germany speak German. Though you can get by with English in many areas, it is still best to learn German. You will find the native Germans will treat you much better when attempting to speak the language rather then make them speak English.
- Get by in many areas with just English
- Opportunity to practice new language
- Some areas only have German speakers
- German is one of the more difficult languages
Money in Germany
When living in Germany, the main way you will pay for goods is through physical Euro. Card transactions are somewhat complicated in the country. Now some purchases are mandatory to pay in card, while some places are impossible to pay with card. This means you should always carry Euro on you to make sure you’re prepared. Though there are abundant ATMs with fair exchange rates to use.
- Abundant ATMs so easy access to physical cash
- Euro is one of the most common currencies
- Not all places take card so you need to carry Euros
- Need to start banking there to avoid all the fees
Expat Communities in Germany
With the increasing amount of Americans living in Germany, many expat communities are growing here. Expat communities are great when you first start to live in the country because you have life from USA in common. To find these communities people generally use groups in Facebook or local meetup websites. Many groups have local events which makes it easy to meet in real life. Also all major military bases in Germany have large expat areas around them.
Expat Communities Pros:
- Finding expat communities helps ease into the country
- Easy to find with website connections
Expat Communities Cons:
- Relying too much on expats won’t offer a full experience
- Still need to go out of the way to meet expats
Food and Drink in Germany
For many, the food and drink in Germany is one of the main reasons to live here. Famous dishes like schnitzel and bratwurst are popular among locals and travelers alike. Fresh baked bread can be found in almost every town and you must try the classic pretzel from its origin. When talking about drinks, everyone knows Germany is famous for its beer. The drink is so popular, people choose to drink non-alcoholic beer when they can’t drink the regular version.
Food and Drink Pros:
- Regarded as some of the best food and drink in the world
- Germany has a diverse range of national dishes
Food and Drink Cons:
- Heavy focus on bread and meats
- Not as much diversity as the USA with global foods
Service in Germany
Americans should be ready for a drastic difference in service in Germany. Many Americans complain about the service since it is not as good, but it is important to look at the reason first. In America, the serving culture has tips and are very attentive. In Germany, servers are paid more wages and don’t expect tips. They aren’t as attentive, so you should be ready to waive them down if you want service. Also, the the language used can seem rude, but they are really just straightforward.
- No tipping so prices are what you see
- Servers will leave you alone unless you need them
- You need to waive servers down if you need anything
- Straightforward language can seem rude
Rules in Germany
Germans are more strict about rules and laws than Americans. Even small infractions such as jaywalking will get you in trouble, so you better be prepared to follow the rules. The rule keeping does help make towns peaceful and very few people go against these norms. Something else almost all Germans observe are closed shops at 6pm and on Sundays. This means you better be prepared with food and groceries or you may not have something to eat during these times.
- The peace is very well kept in the country
- There is structure with norms regarding culture and law
- Germans frown upon actions that you may do in the US such as crossing the street unprotected
- Very few things are open past six PM and Sundays
Want to Live in Germany?
If you are moving or thinking about moving to Germany, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is the premier moving company to Germany. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country. There are more pros and cons to living in Germany, but we’ll let you experience the rest while you’re there.
To get started fill out our Online Quote Form or read another of our German guides below.
Additional German Guides
There are many great reasons for living in New Zealand as an American. Ultimately, they offer a great experience to both expats looking for work and expats looking to retire. However, there are pros and cons of living in New Zealand for Americans to look at first. We’ll take a look at them and why there are still enough reasons to live in New Zealand.