Where to live in Italy for 3 months?

Mar 25th, 2016, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
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If you love opera you may fancy somewhere close to Naples. Teatro San Carlo's opera season is right when you are visiting.


The little island of Procida is often overlooked by visitors but it has bucketloads of charm and good water connections to Pozzuoli and Naples. There are good language schools in Naples as well. If you wanted to see an opera, then you could overnight in one of Naples many beautiful hotels or B&Bs.

Blueeyedcod is offline  
Mar 25th, 2016, 07:46 PM
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I like Procida a lot, but I would find it inconvenient to have to use the ferry every time I wanted to go off the island for three months.

I might pick Orvieto. It is charming, beautiful cathedral and convenient train transportation to both Florence and Rome.
Saraho is online now  
Mar 25th, 2016, 08:24 PM
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I am leaning towards Florence. Perhaps, I should be in a larger area. Should I use airbnb for 3 month stay? any recs for language schools? thanks all
juliejohn22 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2016, 09:39 PM
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I was just weighing in to suggest Florence. It's nice to be able to see a movie every so often, and other cultural opportunities are inexhaustible. Anecdotally, I spent an October-late November here a few years ago, and there were many gorgeous days.

Look at apartments outside the tourist ring-- for example, on the Oltrarno beyond the Pitti Palace, or further west. The key words for me were "light" and "quiet," and it can be hard to get both in Florence.

There are many welcoming groups for expats here (Democrats Abroad was a lot of fun during the last election, I'm sure there's a Republicans Abroad), lots of music, yoga, beautiful walks in the hills, opportunities for language class, day trips, and generally pleasant, charming people.
colonna is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 05:40 AM
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Since you are open to other places, perhaps other countries, look at Aix-en-Provence, France. It is gorgeous, with a small central area of cafes and shops, opening onto a wide boulevard lined with Plane trees and fountains. It is great for walking and has lots of outdoor markets. The architecture and landscape is beautiful. Artists go there and settle in for weeks at a time and there is a language school. There is a lot of Moroccan influence in the food, so wonderful Tajines and, of course, excellent French breads and pastries. It is fairly easy by train to Arles, Avignon, Marseilles, etc. Much as I love Italy, Aix would be a dream place to live for a few weeks or months. In only the few days I was there, I met people who were staying for several weeks. Don't know about wind or cold or if it is bleak in winter.

Also, have a look at Alicante, Spain. There is construction on the perimeter which I do not care for, but the city center is very pretty, with a wonderful inside city market and lots of streets filled with cafes, ice-cream shops, etc. The city faces the sea and has a gorgeous grand promenade with huge (gigantic) trees and mosaic paved walk. There are language schools from a few hours a week to total immersion. It is a nice mix of young student vibe with music on the street and older residents carefully picking out a chicken or eggplant at the market. Winter weather is comparatively mild.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 05:53 AM
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I'm a city girl who needs close proximity to art, artists, numerous food choices, and layers of history. If I want to experience a hill town in the country, which I also love, I wouldn't hesitate to take numerous two or three-night trips, with or without a car. Have done it many times, especially to experience a special restaurant that most tourists never visit or to see a special work of art.

For a three month visit, Rome and Florence would be my pick. I'd spend quality time in both. The OP's dates are perfect for both cities. Early October is still OK in Venice, but once the floods arrive, the experience requires a survival kit. January in Venice can be fiercely windy and brutally wet-cold, the kind of damp freeze that makes your toes go numb. I've never experienced walking on colder floors in winter than I have in Venice. I ended up buying special boots for winter visits.

When I get older and decide to work less, I can easily imagine three-month jaunts. What fun!
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 06:32 AM
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If you love opera and want to take a langauge class, then consider Parma, with its many associations with Verdi and his home town of Bussetto just a stone's throw away by train. Beautiful, colorful Parma -- famed for Parma violets and Parma yellow -- is smaller than Florence but it is rich with treasures and atmosphere. All of it is walkable (cycling is common too) and it is well-connected by train to many other fascinating destinations in Tuscany, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. Can't recommend this language school personally but giving you the link to check out:


Florence is one of my favorite cities in Europe, and the core is easily walkable. By the end of October the tourist mobs will be thinning, so more of a chance to feel the lively Italian side of Florence rather than being surrounded thousands of tourists all the time.

Still, if you are looking for a special experience of Italy itself, going to a very lightly touristed but still lively and prosperous city like Parma would be fascinating, yet not isolated at all. You might consider some weeks in Florence and some in Parma.
sandralist is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 06:45 AM
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Oh -- and I didn't mention because I assume you already knew, but Parma is not only famed for Parma violets and Parma yellow (and I suppose I should add Stendahl's novel The Charterhouse of Parma), but there is Parma cheese and Parma ham (better known as parmigiano-reggiano and proscuitto di Parma), and Barilla pasta is made in Parma (and has cooking classes).
sandralist is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 07:04 AM
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For an opera lover, I'd have to suggest Milan. I love the city, anyway, apart from the Scala. It can be a bit gray in the winter, but we've been there several times in the months from October to December and found lovely weather each time.

If you're on the spot, you can get cheaper opera tickets as soon as they're released. I forget the procedure. We don't live there, so can't take advantage of this, but a friend of ours who lives in Milan does this, and is able to see nearly every opera they put on.
bvlenci is online now  
Mar 26th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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Trento and some of the smaller towns in the north look like the obvious idea. You may want to avoid the German speaking bits and certainly you will find some odd dialects but only up in the hills.

Before you go I'd warm up your italian, along with duolingo you may find this lad http://www.italianoautomatico.com/in...video-lessons/ interesting, very much the new style of learning he lives in the far north of Italy.
bilboburgler is online now  
Mar 26th, 2016, 08:54 AM
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Excellent!! I am of course only replying from my own personal preferences and perspective, but for me 3 months in Florence would be heaven. 3 months in a smaller village, not so much (ha-ha)

I'm still working full-time, but as soon as I am not I'd do something like this in a heartbeat. It's exciting and challenging certainly, but hardly scary or unachievable.

Buena suerte (yes I know that's Spanish)
suze is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 11:24 AM
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Short blog article what to expect in Florence in winter

sundriedtopepo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 11:49 AM
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As soon as someone mentioned language schools, I skipped to the end to say PERUGIA!

I don't know when the semester starts but there are classes at the school for strangers. There are 7 (?) colleges in the town and vibe is wonderful. Please look at my TR 'Perugia and Rome by Train and Bus' for an idea.

The other place that popped up is Orvieto. I agree about Padua.

My feelings are based upon a few days in places so do keep that in mind.

Please let everyone know what and how you proceed.

DH and I loved Pisa--we returned after a brief visit and made it a base. We stayed at the Royal Victoria Hotel. It had been the family home and the owners brought the phrase 'old world charm' to the forefront.
TDudette is offline  
Mar 26th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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juliejohn22 You don't sound naive you sound like someone who is open to making a change and taking a chance. It's is something to be admired if you ask me, particularly in the face of loss.

Personally I'd head to Rome but perhaps that doesn't fit your criteria, we were there for a month a few years ago (in December) and had a great time. However, I wasn't looking to connect with a local community though we did meet up with friends of friends. Just incase Rome is of interest or you intend to visit here are some suggestions from my blog.


We've travelled for anything between two and five months in Europe a couple of times over the last few years and here's the attitude we took with us - we were going to try something new, see new places, live in a different way, explore, examine and see how it felt. We weren't in search of an "authentic" experience and we felt like whatever we learn (good and bad) was all information about the place and ourselves. Curiosity is an amazing fuel and it sounds like you have a positive attitude.

One thing I would look into is "Meet Up" they have all sorts of different groups all over the place and you may find something that matches your interest. Several people I know used it very effectively in Paris to meet people. We've met lovely people through Conversation Exchange which I'd highly recommend too.

Another thing to think about is that yoga can be quite hard to follow in a foreign language though sometimes you'll hear and recognize the sanskrit word for a pose. My first few attempts in Lisbon were quite laughable, but the teacher was patient and after a few classes I did better! A friend of mine loves Bikram because it's the same all over the world, convenient but boring to me!

Best of luck!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Mar 28th, 2016, 09:01 AM
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thank you welltraveledbrit. I agree about yoga; may be difficult to understand. The "meet-up" idea is very good.
I will look into Parma, Orvieto, and Perugia, Milan
thank you, sandralist for all the sites. wonderful
I am going to start duo lingo and watch Italian movies.
this is a fun journey already!
juliejohn22 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2016, 09:48 PM
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Forget the south of Spain -- it's no warmer, lol.

Got cable tv with search? Plug in "Italy" and "all" and see the amazing things that come up -- House Hunters International has had a number of great shows on Italy, (the one on Lucca is about an American moving there) then there is the PBS stuff -- and the food shows.

it is true that it may well be cold and rainy -- are you sure you wouldn't rather wait until March, April and May. In the meantime join an Italian class and make some friends? Consider a town on a good train route to Rome or Florence or Venice where you can visit the amazing art.

Right now I'm learning Italian from the Pimsler tapes -- not great but I got them cheap and it's a good start... hoping to go this summer myself -- as a teacher it's my only time to go... I love Rome so very much I can only go there I'm afraid, but if I weren't going to Rome I would look at Ostuni,and Siena, and I would definitely look up the Americans there.

It's very hard to make friends anywhere I'm afraid, but be creative -- offer a English coffee circle in the middle of the day or tutor students -- or exchange English help for Italian help -- or other skills that you have -- it can be done. But yes, plan to spend a lot of Euros in cafes, and fill up your ereader before you leave, you cannot download from Amazon from Europe (unless that has been changed in the last few years)

I really like the person's idea of taking a class at a university -- even if it's "just" Italian -- and a university town will be bound to be interesting

Best of luck!

TravelinFeet is offline  
Mar 28th, 2016, 10:23 PM
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PS: Where in the US have you lived? A few thoughts on those places might help us think...
TravelinFeet is offline  
Mar 29th, 2016, 04:30 AM
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Don't live in the Naples Italy region. The mob dumped over 11 million tons of toxic and nuclear waste in the region and still burns toxic trash sending the cancerous plumes in the air. The U.S. Navy won't let it's personnel use the water for anything or live on the 1st floor of off-base housing. They won't sell local produce or cheese in their military markets because the water table is contaminated. About 50 communities are considered contaminated, at this time. Think twice....
Colter is offline  
Mar 29th, 2016, 04:54 AM
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Lots of good ideas here.

IMO, the Florence area has the added advantage of allowing for easy daytrip/overnight/weekend visits to Rome...as fast as 1:19 and as cheap as 38€ (round-trip) by train.

ssander is offline  

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