Wednesday 16 July 2008

Italy - take it or leave it...

I have been thinking that perhaps I will not leave Italy after all... I was contemplating moving to Cyprus, Greece, the Canary Islands... but bel ragazzo and I were talking last night and maybe we will stay in Italy.

Who knows? I am so confused and that silly old sign that I've been waiting for still has not shown its face! Come on....I need some help here with my decision making. Just a teeny little sign would be enough.

Those who know me will be laughing as they read this as I change my mind one million times a day. I always have many thoughts going through my head (the same as everyone else) except I voice all my million thoughts.

Bel ragazzo
does not care where in the world we go just as long as there is a beach - no more city living in the summer time. So now we are contemplating Sorrento. I have been there before and it is a beautiful town, just down the (cliff hanging)road from the glitzy resorts of Positano and Amalfi, a short boat trip away from Ischia and Capri, and if I crave city life I can hop over to Napoli in no time at all.

Why am I thinking of staying in Italy you ask? Was I not saying I wanted to experience new cultures and life? Yes, I was saying that. However I am scared of foreign countries a bit. After living in Portugal. The areas that I saw were literally overrun with tourist - mostly British. There were Irish pubs and English breakfasts signs as far as the eye could see...the town of Albufeira WAS PRACTICALLY ENGLAND only with better weather. Seriously it was that bad.

I am worried that the Canary Islands and Greece will be just the same and I cannot bare the thought of living in a new place for 8 months if the place has given it's soul to the tourist market. I have been to many of the Greek Islands and I do love them, but the parts in which I would be working would cater very heavily for the British market...perhaps the islands are best saved for a holiday where I can chose which parts to go.

I know I work for a British travel company so I am going to always be surrounded by Brits, but at least here in Italy I can be certain that Italy will never, ever in a million years let the tourist market take over and change what already was. Italy is an arrogantly proud country with a 'take it or leave it attitude.' You see that especially in Rome: the streets are dirty, the metro is a joke, and prices are astronomical...yet the tourists come. The tourists will always come as Rome is the Eternal City - the Colosseo is not going anywhere, nor is the Vatican or the Trevi Fountain. You will struggle to find an Italian bar serving English breakfast, you will struggle to understand the people, you will get fed up with the poor customer service, you will bitch and moan about the heat, the pollution, the cost, the dirt, the beggars the...the list goes on.

The bottom line is you will come to Italy because Italy is simply Italy.

You will come to Italy because all those things you don't like are secretly those things you love: the chaos, the passion, the craziness, the confidence, the food, the beauty, the language, the history, the people, the attitude, the country, the life.

I cannot deny it - I am one of these people. I often complain, yet I don't want to leave. Italy has cast it's magical spell upon me and I think a lot of you reading this will understand me completely. Once you are here it is hard to find a more beautiful place to live and work. Once you are here you want to stay.


Romerican said...

Can I give you my two cents about Sorrento? I actually lived & worked there in tourism (years ago, in '96- '98) and was miserable there. It's a lovely place to visit for about a week tops, in MY opinion. People are very narrow-minded, the town itself is limited, the only saving grace was I was a boat ride away from Naples. I'm a city-girl by nature but I can get by in smaller towns (I also lived & worked in Verona and liked it much better than Sorrento).
Plus, Sorrento is very small but over-crowded with tourists, it's like you couldn't get away from them...
Sorry, I had to share that with you. Maybe Sorrento's changed since then, hope so for its own sake!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Romerican,
To be honest I had always said I never wanted to go to Sorrento...but then look what I just wrote about wanting to go there! I have always been a big city girl too - Taormina was the first 'town' I have lived in but then that was such a beautiful place that it was in a world of its own.
Thanks for your comments, I need all the advice I can get. Actually what I need is this stupid sign to 'tell' me where to go :=)

Delina said...

Sorrento is alright - small and you'll get your fair share of Brits there too. But a good thing about it is that it's great as a base to move around to other places - either the rest of the magnificent Amalfi coast, or even Naples like you say. A car/scooter would be nice to have too to really appreciate the area.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Delina,
You are right in that it is a great place to explore, and I know there will be heaps of Brits there...but at the moment I am leaning towards Sorrento more so then Greece.
But then again...who knows...who knows...
I would have a car though which would be good once I get over my fear of parking!

red said...

I've only ever spent a weekend in Sorrento and I thought it was lovely- like Delina said the location is perfect for exploring. There would be lots of English speakers there- mostly tourists. Don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. I couldn't live there though as I'm a total city addict. Good luck.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Red,
I get a little annoyed with lots of English speakers, but there is nothing much to be done...I do think as you and Delina have said one of the biggest pros is being in such a great area - and not too far from the city of Napoli either.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I loved this post. I totally understand what you're saying. Even as I stood in the Comune close to tears I had no regrets about moving to this crazy city.

I like that there isn't a Starbucks on every corner and a building like the Pantheon wasn't torn down for a mall.

Rome really "shows off" during sunrise and sunset. Such a ridiculously beautiful city. The eternal city can be a pain in the butt but I still love her. (most of the time...esp. when I don't have to do anything official. ha)

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

So Italy has gotten under your skin too? Glad to hear it is not just me! And Rome does show off at sunrise and sunset - I love it at the night time too when it's all lite up.