One of the things I love best of having started my blog is the chance to get in touch with many people and other bloggers.
I love to discuss and exchage points of view with people with different experiences, cultures and nationalities. This makes you feel close to so many friends, even at distance. Each of them with different interests and passions, but all linked from following a blog or from writing their own where they talk about what they particoularly care about. Sometimes it also happens to find bloggers with very similar passion to yours…that’s what happened with Issa, an American lady who moved in Le Marche seven years ago and I got in touch with thanks to her own blog: Le Marche Magic. Please keep reading this wonderful interview, which is also the outcome of a beautiful interaction between bloggers 🙂
Where are you originally from and when/where did you move to Italy? Did you move with family?
- I did not move with a family but on my own at 39 yrs of age. I moved here from where I was living at the time, the smallest state in the United States called Rhode Island. I moved here to be with my grandmother who lived in Florence. I say lived cause she passed away over a year ago. [We’re very sorry to hear that]
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
- I found the transition extremely easy, since I am a woman who loves the challenges life presents me. I love people and traveling. I feel mother earth is our home and would love to meet as many different types of people with also different beliefs than my own, I feel this will complete me on my own life’s journey.
How does the Italian culture differ from home? Which aspect of Italian life was most difficult to get used to?
- To be specific, Le Marche how it differs from home is that the lifestyle here is wholesome something I have not to pay a whole paycheck to have but here it is a way of life that I love. For me there was nothing difficult to get used to, it all came naturally to me because I feel this is a way of life we are supposed to live.
What are the locals like? Do you mix mainly with other expats?
- I love the ‘marchigiani’! They have a way about them of watching you for about a year to sum up who you are before letting you in…This is good, because we all should pick the people in our lives the way we pick our fruit…I mix with expats who have integrated in to the lifestyle here only.
Was it easy meeting people, making friends and integrate into the community?
- Yes, I have been very fortunate to have made many many wonderful life friends and also have been the witness/ maid of honor for a dear friend, as well. I do have a habit of making lifetime friends wherever I go.
Is there anything you miss about living in Usa?
What do you enjoy most about living in Le Marche and the Italian lifestyle?
- The way I am able to live my life, healthy.
What’s your favorite Italian food?
- Very hard question to answer because every region has a specialty, but I am partial to seafood. No I love seafood and vegetables … and here it is all fresh and that is wonderful!!!
In our blog we try to incentivize people from all around the world to find out more about Italy and particoularly about Le Marche and their local tradition. Have you ever visited Le Marche before and if so what did you love the most about Le Marche?
- Before 2009 I had never heard of Le Marche…and I love EVERYTHING this is why I also have started a blog to bring the world here…secretly because it should remain a treasure always and the tourist that come to visit should be people who want to keep the traditions and help keep the goodies of Le Marche. I would hate anyone who came and disrespected this beautiful region of Italy. I would never want it to become like Venice or Florence or Rome for that matter.
How difficult was getting a work visa/permit?
- I was lucky to have found my soulmate here…but I did try and get a 1yr visa and it is not an easy thing to get if your an American. First they want to know if you have at least $100,000.00 dollars in your bank account (I kid you not) they want proof…and you also need to have a monthly check from , social security or retirement. Just to make sure ur not coming here to steal work. I personally had over $45,000.00 and a letter from the Secretary of State of Rhode Island and a letter from someone here in Le Marche (who is very influential) to say they would house me free of charge to just write my book….yes, at the time I wanted to write a book as well. But when I met my husband to be, not a lawyer would touch me, but to be honest with the internet and my wits I managed to get all the paperwork needed through New York and a firm I hired there.
How does the Italian work culture differ from your country?
- Here they believe in family and…vacations.
How does cost of living compare to home?
- It is so much cheaper here to live.
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Italy?
What are your top tips to any future expats or people considering moving to Italy from abroad?
In retrospective is there anything you would change?
- Not a thing.
Why should people visit Italy?
- Well from everything I have written above, it is obvious that I believe that every human being should travel. “Mother Earth is our home, just like you know all that is in your house. One should visit and try and understand as many humans beings living on our planet. Maybe we don’t incorporate always their lifestyles into our own, but what makes us RICH is at least understanding where they are coming from.” [Quote by Issa:-)]
You are also writing your own blog. Can you tell us a bit about it and when/why did you start your blog?
- Yes my blog is called Le Marche Magic, I love where I live here in Le Marche and have found MY OWN special place on our mother earth. I would like to share it, I feel the untouched nature of Le Marche can really help and touch many people. Even if they come for a visit or to live. Le Marche is a way of life.
I hope you all enjoyed this enthusiastic and pleasant interview from Issa.
Please don’t forget to visit her blog about Le Marche: http://www.lemarchemagic.com
I closed my original interview with a
“GRAZIE MILLE ISSA!”
and I’d like to share her lovely reply…
“You are very welcome! I hope I answered all your questions to your satisfaction. It was extremely easy for me to write all my answers since my fingers just flowed with love of writing about the place I love. A place called Le Marche.
With pleasure”, Issa 2/21/2017 Grottazzolina