Advice on relocating to Italy?

Old Aug 16th, 2013, 09:30 AM
  #41  
 
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The only advice I would in addition to the many rest thoughts above is to consider the rest of Italy. There are hundreds of incredibly beautiful small cities which most Italians have never heard of, never mind international travellers.

From previous posts, Tarquin kows a good few of these!

Padua, Vicenza or Piacenza.

I have always found Turin to be the least "Italian" city. More German, austere, conservative and industrial but still good fun.

Great to see our heroine Caroline is still in Venice!
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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"the native hospital was terrible"

Actually the Italian healthcare system is very good and in studies comes out ahead of the US one.

(Thanks Dickie!)
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Spaarne - there are no VA hospitals in Italy, but the VA does pay for civilian doctors to treat any service-connected issues I might have, just like an insurance agency would pay for treatment. There is an office for it and a specific division of the Veterans Administration. Their website (in case anyone else ever needs the info) is this: http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/fmp/fmp.asp

There are still military bases in Italy. I have been on the Aviano airbase and one of my friends was stationed at the Navy base in Naples; there are others. Yes, I have pretty much full access to services on the military bases, but I don't know for sure about medical. If it is available to vets, I am assuming it is on a space-available basis, and not automatic. I'm still trying to find out and have sent an email to the Naval Hospital in Naples.

Christina - that's entirely possible, yes.

Tarquin, ekc, and Dickie - thank you all for comments and links! While I have some initial ideas of what I would like, my brother says he will take me around to different places to see what they are like and help me decide where I would like to live.

I just want to thank everyone who has commented on this thread so far for being so helpful and informative. I'm very grateful to all of you! I appreciate the links and the questions that are helping me think this through carefully.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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We're all enthusiastic because we would like to do this too. Keep us posted!
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Tarquin - that's so understandable! I just hope I'm able to do this. Sometimes my friends tell me they are jealous of me for trying this. I tell them hell, I'm jealous of me! Assuming I get there, at least.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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Erynn

I have nothing to add except to say I wish you a lot of luck. I wish I could live in Italy for a year or so.
Please keep us posted once you are in Italy.

Check out Treviso, I stayed there for few weeks and really enjoy it.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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I have found a link for the letter of invitation document my brother will need to fill out, and have sent the link off to him. More correspondence with someone who has been through the process has been taking place (wonderful lady and so generous with her time and her advice), and I'm continuing to put things together for dealing with my condo here, as well. Here's the link for the English version if you find you need it:

http://www.my-europe-visa.com/IT-ZA/...invitation.pdf

I'm considering asking my brother to come back to the US for a visit when I have to go to San Francisco for my appointment at the consulate, and have him come with me. He speaks good Italian and I'm betting that would be helpful and possibly persuasive of the seriousness of his invitation and my intent. I bet he wouldn't mind a trip to SFO!
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Old Aug 20th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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Today I got a chance to talk with my brother. He's willing to come back to the US if necessary for the visa appointment, though he doesn't think it would be necessary. We are looking at ways to deal with the financial end of things and it looks like he may be able to help me out with that, though we are examining the technicalities of how to do it in the most effective manner.

Most of the people he needs to talk to are still on vacation right now, given that it's August, but he should be able to get some answers once September rolls around. I'm continuing to look at the things I need to do, and we area figuring out what we need to jointly tackle. After our conversation today, I'm feeling a little more confident about the process, but that confidence comes and goes; I tend to be a professional worry-wart when it comes to things where I have very little control.

For those of you who have done the residency visa application interview, what kinds of questions did they ask you? What kinds of answers were they looking for? Did you have only one appointment, or were you called back for a second interview at any point?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 21st, 2013, 09:50 AM
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I second the suggestion to look for the posts of Sarge56. She posted her email addy a few times, and would likely be an invaluable source of current information to answer some of your questions.

Best of luck with your endeavor!
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Old Aug 21st, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Holly - I've been talking with her already and she has been great. Thank you.
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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And appointments are available at the San Francisco consulate's visa office starting in October. Still waiting to hear back on some vital stuff from my brother, though probably won't until after September 1st.
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Oh well, that's only Sunday! Sounds like you have things well in hand - good luck.
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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Caroline - true enough, and thank you. I'm not sure when my brother will get back to me. It could be a couple of weeks yet. I'm busy with about a billion things, and have a clearer list of what I need to take with me now that I've seen the SFO consulate's appointment website. I'm setting out to get those things that I don't already have. Some are easier than others. I am still feeling nervous about the whole thing, but I do feel like it might be possible. I'm trying very hard not to be impatient with myself and with the people around me that I'm depending on as a part of this process.

People are coming to look at my condo, though I've had no offers yet. I've been selling things slowly but surely. It's hard to not want it all NAO KTHXBAI. My friends are astonished at how well I'm holding up (as am I most of the time) but I often feel a bit untethered at the moment, lost in limbo because of how uncertain everything is.

Knowing when appointments will be available at the consulate makes this feel much more real to me, and a touch of underlying panic has begun setting in, but I'm keeping a handle on it. I have been through far worse things in my life and come through the other side. This is scary but doable. I worry about not having everything in order. I worry about running up against one of my brother's time limits on an important issue. I worry about my dog - but a friend of mine has agreed to look after him when I go to Italy until I am able to get my own place, so as not to further burden my brother with a sometimes difficult dog.

As problems come up, I find ways to deal with them. It's not always how I envisioned I would handle it, but new doors open. If all goes well (and I know there are no guarantees), I might be in Italy around the new year. It's some intimidating stuff. I am muddling through. Being a stubborn whatsit does have its good points. I know sometimes you just have to dig in your heels and keep tugging in order for things to come loose and begin to move in the right direction.

Next week I'll be having a visit from a Canadian friend of mine who spent the last year in Granada studying Spanish and Arabic and writing poetry and learning flamenco. I'm really looking forward to hearing about his experiences. He just got back about a week and a half ago and is very excited to come see me. I have a big box of books for him when he gets here.

And now, I have to remember to breathe.
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Are you fluent in Italian? If not, become so. Average Italians don't speak another language with any efficacy. And you need to know what is becoming a secret shared language used by fewer and fewer (as Italy's population dwindles).
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Old Aug 30th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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Russ - I'm learning, though it's currently going slowly. I haven't currently got access to a teacher, but I do have online resources and books. My brother is fluent and once I'm there, I'll definitely be working on it even harder! My brother's friends all speak English, as they work on or near the airbase at Aviano, so I can ease into it and they will work with me on my language skills.

I made my appointment at the consulate today, for October 9th, with a target of going to Italy in December if all goes well. I spoke to my brother today about some details. He's off to Austria for a motorcycle rally tomorrow, and will be gone for the week. When he gets back, more paperwork gets filled out and dealt with.

I've been in touch with my friends in the Bay Area about picking me up at the airport, that I have a place to stay, and making sure I get to the consulate for the appointment on time. Talked to my mom about my progress and passed my brother's greetings on to her.

At the moment, I'm indulging in a minor panic. I'll get over it though, as I'm off to a party this evening with my gf to listen to her band and watch some fire spinners. In the coming week or two, more paperwork, buying plane tickets, getting more of my stuff out of the house and into storage.

Pardon me while I flail from stress and excitement.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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I was down at the Italian consulate in San Francisco on Wednesday. My appointment went very well and, while I don't have a visa in hand right now, they said it should only take a few days and told me to "enjoy Italy" so I suspect the visa will be approved and that I'll be moving there in December! Just thought you might want to know.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Wonderful news, Erynn! Will keep fingers crossed for you.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Great news Erynn!
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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Congratulations! This is a wonderful thread to read and I wish you all the best in your adventure.

suze, green with envy, here in Seattle
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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Thanks, everyone! It's not real until I have a visa in my hot little hands, but my brother is very confident (he said there should be no problem now that they had his invitation), and I am feeling pretty positive. I shall keep you posted!
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