Why do some Italians complain about living in Italy? I.e. What makes life hard to live in Italy? I’ve heard many say that if they were young they’d leave the country.

Italy is a fantastic country to live in, as long as you do not need a job or to carry a business.

A. Bureaucracy & taxes

The Italian State genuinely hates entrepreneurs: it is basically impossible to do business in Italy. Those doing a business in Italy should be considered modern heroes, in my opinion. There is a constellation of bureaucratic hurdles, inefficient public officers, notaries, accountants, lawyers, whatever, that you are forced by the law to consult (and pay hefty fees to) even BEFORE you start a business. After you start it, there will be a multitude of completely irrational tax deadlines with draconian penalties (that change every year), bureaucratic checks, useless controls, etc. that actively make your business frankly impossible. Bureaucrats will do anything in order to take no responsibilities, live in medieval times, detached from reality, and they hate businessmen & risk-takers. This impacts all Italians as beaurcrats infiltrate more and more areas of the daily life and are largely unaccountable for their inefficiency, nepotism and, oftentimes, corruption. Continue reading “Why do some Italians complain about living in Italy? I.e. What makes life hard to live in Italy? I’ve heard many say that if they were young they’d leave the country.”

0

By how much are professional footballers/soccer players better than amateur players?

When I started working as a trainee lawyer in Milan many years ago, I frequently went to grab lunch in a coffee shop close to our firm.

One of the young baristas there was a very nice guy who happened to play in the AC Milan Primavera(the semi-pro youth team) and occasionally train with the AC Milan Serie-A pro team.

It was year 2002–3, so this guy met and trained with the legendary AC Milan line-up which eventually won the Champions League against FC Juventus in Manchester in May 2003 under Carletto Ancelotti’s helm. Continue reading “By how much are professional footballers/soccer players better than amateur players?”

0

What do you like most about living in Italy?

I am Italian and have been an expat since 2010. After living in London for 2.5 years, I currently live in Hong Kong but I regularly come back to Italy for (long-ish) holidays and to see the parts of my extended family still living there.

What I like the most about living in Italy is the following:

A. I know the people: people in Hong Kong change country every few months or after a few years at most. If you make a good friend here in Hong Kong, be sure that next year most likely he/she will relocate elsewhere. I remember that after 3 years in Hong Kong I basically lost all my friends here, one by one, because they had relocated elsewhere. Cost of living is simply long-term unsustainable if you are not local and/or benefit from a first mover advantage (ie. those that moved here 20 years ago). In Italy this would be impossible: in Venice or in Milan I have the same friends living there since the past 20 years (!) and none of them would even dream about relocating abroad. They have kids, a house, a solid job: their life is positively set in Italy for good; Continue reading “What do you like most about living in Italy?”

0

Are there many Italians in the French Foreign Legion, and how does the Italian government view these people?

I only indirectly know of an Italian guy who was involved in the 80s in a football-related riot between two different supporters factions, where one young man ended up being killed by a knife wound.

He was indicted together with half a dozen of other supporters who joined that fatal fight: once the investigation started, it was a clear that one or more of them would have given an exemplary sentence and eventually would have served a very long sentence for homicide. Continue reading “Are there many Italians in the French Foreign Legion, and how does the Italian government view these people?”

0

The Premier League has the “top six” where matches between them are always engaging. Is there an equivalent top six clubs in La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, or is the competition in these leagues dominated by fewer clubs?

In the 2000s in Italy’s Serie A, we had the 7 sisters (Juventus, AcMilan, Inter Milan, Lazio, Roma, Parma and Fiorentina).

In those golden years, the Serie A was undisputedly the best league in Europe as well as the most difficult and engaging: the best players from all over the planet went to play there.

These were the years of astronomical investments made by Italian tycoons who purposely decided to gain exposure on the Italian scene by pouring a lot of money in their teams in order to buy the best players available on the market. Continue reading “The Premier League has the “top six” where matches between them are always engaging. Is there an equivalent top six clubs in La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, or is the competition in these leagues dominated by fewer clubs?”

0

Are there any EU capitals that are surrounded by mountains that are good for skiing and winter sports?

If you have not evaluated it already, I recommend you to seriously consider Milan(Italy’s business capital) in the North of Italy.

Milan is easily reachable by most European & Italian cities via its three airports (Linate — the City Airport, Malpensa — for International Routes, and Bergamo — ideal for Ryanair and Budget Flights), as well as bullet train connections (Freccia Rossa & Italo) stopping at Milano Centrale Station. Continue reading “Are there any EU capitals that are surrounded by mountains that are good for skiing and winter sports?”

0

How do you continue living after very bad financial decisions?

Start saving with no mercy.

We all do mistakes and we all take bad financial decisions sooner or later in life.

Personally, after a big financial mistake, I normally enter into an extreme saving mode.

In this way I am able to:

  1. Regain focus on what really counts in my life;
  2. Appreciate how little I need to live a joyful life;
  3. Accumulate quickly a not irrelevant sum to make up for my mistake;
  4. Appreciate that my values are stronger than a financial loss: I do not let this loss destroy my mood for a long period of time.
  5. Understand from my mistakes so that I do not make them anymore in the future.

I know first hand that a bad financial mistake is painful, but I hope that with focus, patience and perseverance you will regain what you have lost and never lose confidence in yourself.

0

What is the best ski resort?

These are my personal favorite ski destinations, with nice resorts and reasonably easy slopes in Europe:

A.If you want to ski on the Mont Blanc: Chamonix (FR) or Courmayeur (IT). Nice resorts, reasonably updated lifts. Nice multicultural/younger crowds. Excellent food at reasonable prices. The offer of apartments, AirBNB and Hotel rooms is very large, so even in peak season you can find something for almost any budget. Downsides: cars everywhere during peak season! It’s a mess to move aroundunless you walk (but the villages are pretty large so everybody uses the car).

B.If you want to ski on the Matterhorn / Mount Cervin / Cervino: Zermatt (CH) or Cervinia (IT). The slopes are fantastic and the domineering view of the Matterhorn is absolutely intoxicating (of the two sides, the Swiss one is probably more beautiful). The slopes are well groomed and the lifts have mostly been renovated in the last 10 years. Ski teachers are multilingual and very kind (but cost like a London finance lawyer!). Zermatt is completely car-free and you can reach it very easily by train from Zurich or Milan: fantastic. Downsides: Peak season is after January 6th (Orthodox Xmas) because of the inflow of wealthy Russian visitors (in January prices are very high). Also: there is basically no nightlife (at night the silence and gentle light system throughout the city will make it look like a fairytale Alpine village) and the people skiing there are mostly the age of your parents.

C.If you want to ski on the Dolomites: Cortina d’Ampezzo (IT). Excellent slopes with very nice views over the Dolomites. Food is good and the village is beautiful and well-maintained. Hotels are a bit old but with charme. The crowd is mostly Italian, with the occasional foreigner. Downsides: Cortina is very expensive (not just for Italian standards: I compared the prices in January and they are generally on par or more expensive even than Zermatt)and it can only be reached by car or coach bus. Also, you will most likely need a car to move around as the city is pretty wide and some of the best slopes (San Cassiano, Alta Badia, etc.) are only reachable by car. The closest slopes are Faloria (walking distance from the city center) and Socrepes (take the n. 3 bus). January/February is peak season, so prices are normally driven up too.

0