Travel Oh no Roma-Italy ...killing me ...HELP !!!

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
GIRLS I need some HELP !!! Its hard to belive it , but its truth Roma is killing me !! I will explain why .

I moved to Roma from US year ago ,to be with my husband. Without Italian language , without friends , no favorite places , my favorite job , hobbies etc. Just for big love :biggrin:, what is great , but ......I need your help to try live here . I dont know how :pout::pout:....

Its totally different when you are here for vacation from you have to live here every single day . Any time when I am close to the airport my husband is thinking that I will runaway and will take a plain to US :broom:
He is wonderful man so I will stay :graucho:

I know its is different culture , and I dont know Italian yet ,but I feel like cant fit this picture, so cant see anything positive here . I went to the the best school in the town to learn Italian language and I was hoping to find some English speaking friends ...no luck. After 2 months I quit ....they dont even learn me how to make easy conversation ....ohh.... I dont know anybody who will understand my american mentality . Its not like I am crazy american girl ( I am from Europe , just lived in US for years )...I just miss US and my life there, I even miss Nordstrom Rack , Loehmann's , NM . Smily, helpful and open people . I think more easy coming life, favorite stores , my place in Starbacks, people who like to talk about fashion , best deals , just normal girls talk, events , movies etc.
I met some nice people here but they dont undestand why the life here is different than in US , why I dont like it what I see around and what is my problem here .I love to decorate and styling , they dont know for what ....ohh....because is my passion , fun , even some art , just part of our life ....
Make this clear I dont complain the country I just need some tips how to live here , where to go , where to shop ....and the most important one how to be understood.

Any places for English speaking girl in here 30' s to have a nice cup of tea ( yes ...no coffee ) with WiFi ...and great company to talk about some bags , shoes , style , great stores.....and smile :biggrin:


HELP ............because soon I will frick out :sos:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Hmmmm...Maybe you know where to buy big fresh Christmas tree in Roma ...Santa is coming to town ....
 

maryg1

K in a circle
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Aug 29, 2006
6,697
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Italy
I'm sorry you have to go through this, but I think it would be difficult everywhere if you miss so much USA.
how long have you been living in Rome?
Language: you really have to force yourself to speak Italian, it's not only for your chit-chat life (which is important for us women), but for your everyday life. Try to watch some films in Italian with English subtitles, learn some Italian songs lyrics (that's how I've learnt English, apart studying it for so long), read Italian magazines (Vanity Fair is one I really like), it's really a better way to learn a language.
People in Rome are really easy going, very open, they love life. They're not closed as people might be in Milan.
Unfortunately I'm not from Rome, so I'm not of any help for places to go...are you living near the centre? Maybe you could try to go out and explore the city yourself, searching for nice bars, shopping spots, search for a nice hairdresser or a salon (they're called centro estetico).
If you need some more help feel free to PM me.
 

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
maryg1....thank you so much for a nice tips and words . I am in Roma a year. For sure the bigest problem is language I know , thats why I tried the best school without result ( I came to US without English too , but I found great school and teacher , I know my English never will be perfect , but I feel comfy ), I wish to meet some English-Italian speaking friends that will learn me Italian when we having lunch together ( like J. Roberts in her new movie :biggrin:).... See I dont have people around who speak Italian to me , only my nice neighbors ...Ciao...come stai...
I have like 20 minutes in metro to the center ( driving there by car is nightmare)...I know the Via del Corso , most popular shopping street in Roma, all designers stores , but be honest isnt fun for me to go to the store and pay full or "saldi "price for something that I can buy in US in best price ever. Thats why I am using web sites and still buying in US. Hunting for me was fun , thats why I miss that a lots. Even I discovered outlets stores here, but I cant compare them to te US outlets prices .
You are right ...I love Vanity Fair...even in Italian ...:yahoo:

Oh ...Dear...you touch my big problem here ...hairdresser....oh I have hard time to find good one here. I dont understand why ?! I am light blond girl with some highlites, they have a problem to make my color looks blond not yellow or orange , and I always have a visible roots after leaving beauty salon. Trust me I tried the best hairdresser here who is working with Italian stars to the few otheres , same effect .

But dont worry .... I dont give up....;);)
 

lara0112

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Dec 11, 2006
7,505
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I can't tell you about Roma (love the place myself..) but I can tell you about adjusting to a new place when you find it hard. I only completed this part myself recently although not in Italy or Europe (I currently live in the Middle East but come from Europe originally).

anyhow, your problem isn't the place itself but that you miss the US and thus find it hard to adjust. things don't come easy, all of this takes time and currently you are being very critical. I understand that but it doesn't help you. your problem may be the language but the friend-thing can be helped - just join any activity where you will meet people, get a simple part-time job where you are able to speak English (maybe tourist related?) and learn Italian as well. what helped me most to adjust was the job situation and time to get to know everything.

for the shopping: see, I don't think it is helpful to you to be annoyed with prices - it is different than US (and still a lot cheaper than here ;). you can still go around the pretty shops and order from US but enjoy that. is it possible that you have too much time in general?

as for the hairdresser: i have seen lots of Italian women with amazingly done hair so I would suggest to take your husband with you, and explain exactly what you want (why doesn't he speak Italian with you, or is he no native speaker either?). allow yourself to like the place - ROma has amazing things to offer but it is for sure different to the US. if you are going back at some point with your husband, forget the US right now and concentrate on where you are. if you are not going back any time soon, allow yourself to deal with the change (loss maybe) but you will never like another place if you expect it to be like the US. good luck!
 

5elle

Member
May 21, 2009
2,210
0
Are there any ex-pat associations you can join? Does either the American embassy or your own country's embassy know of any ex-pat events that you could attend? Does your university have a Rome alumni branch?

I am sorry you are going through this. I do think you need to find some sort of ex-pat existence so you feel normal. If you can attend events and network with other ex-pats you will not feel so alone. You can swap stories, get tips and build friendship.
 

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
lara0112....Thank you for the advice . Trust me if I will visit Roma for even month vacation I will love this place too....for living isnt that easy here...

I am sure you are right in some points . I have a lots of time ......yep ....I was very busy person in US . I was most of my days an my cell and traveling around. What I can say. Here ..hmmm... I think isnt the problem a new place just mentality, possibility ( first I moved from Poland to US and I falled in love in my new place , than after 11 years I moved from US to Italy.... ). The country is amazing , that is truth , like I love Toscany , but we have to live in Roma ....in some points beautiful city , but not realy make me happy .

Life: Maybe I expect to mach , but some of things around bothers me .Maybe you can think is funny or I can sound like old fashion girl , but after one year here the first time in the restaurant I got the plate with my food before mu husband , usually boys first than girls. When my husband is holding the doors open for me or other women thay are like... WOW ...thank you !!! That isnt big deal to respect women....be honest I dont feel this here.
Dont take me wrong , but even my friends from US who visited me here are also agree, that is so great be here for vacation but not for living . Its totaly different to compare the life in US.
Anyway I am here and try the best , learn Italian ( my husband is speaking our native language and Italian , but of course is easy for us to communicate in our language) , seen everything what is possible to see , my husband is taking me everywhere , for events etc. But that isnt about that.I think somebody who was in same situation (moved from US to Italy will know what I mean ) will understand me.
Again I dont complain the country or people.

Hairdresser: I seen a lots of women with beautiful dark hair , but not the one who dyed them to the blond , the blond color here is more yellow and orange. I even stopped some girls an the street to ask about their hairdresser but they always been a tourists from different countries. No luck for me again.....and yes my husband is always with me in beauty salon and translate what I want. If they speak English I explain too....

Shoes: I am high heels girl ....good luck to enyone who is walking in heels here . I ruined my shoes very quick , what I need to do ...throw the 100 pairs to the garbage ...I CANT ....I love my heels ...!!!!!!!!! So they are sitting in the closet and miss me :crybaby:....I miss them too....so sometimes I am taking them an the walk....around the house.

Shopping : High designers are great like everywhere...but the prices are killer here . I love to shopping but with some fun , hunting , deals etc. Who dont like it coming back home with some bag and enjoy it ....this is a little happines.
Other than that its different style here ... , so I have a realy hard time to find something in good fabric and very classic style ( ZARA, STEFANEL , H&M of course are good...but I miss BCBG , True Religion , R&R ). One more thing about some fashion here , what I see an street a lots of fakes bags , belts ,glasses, scarfs , shoes even jeans ....sometimes I dont wanna carry my LV bags ( I dont see only a copy of my LV Manhattan yet , the other styles you can buy an next street from LV store..That was a big suprise for me ...I am in Italy ...fashion country!!!!!!!

Driving : heheheh...of course I am driving here becuase that is my big hobby , but I think I have to switch for something different ....driving here isnt fun anymore....is nightmare...ohh ...I miss US...

Ok ....I have a hard time here for all year long ....and of course I need to stop compare Italy to US ....but just need to find a way to do it ....I figure it out that what was fun for me in US isnt fun for me here ....

....but I dont give up ....becauase my LOVE is here and ITALY is beautiful...!!!!
 
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Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
5elle....you are absolutly right I need to find some ex-pats here. Thats what I am thinking . We are going for big event to our embassy this year ....so I have my finger crossed :biggrin:. Wish me luck .

and....:ty::ty:....for tips and nice words...
 

Lady Stardust

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Nov 28, 2009
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Elissabeta, I can relate to your story, I moved to Sicily for a while when I was 16 to be with a boyfriend at the time and it was the same thing, I was completely moved and dropped into this place and didn't know what was going on, and it can be disorienting, it's almost like being drunk in a way. Back then I didn't speak Italian (I learned afterward...nothing like timing :P), my bf and I spoke French together so outside of him I was very isolated. My only friends there were his friends and family who all accepted me and I got along with (except for one guy who was just nasty) but I was like you I still felt out of place. I got over it though, I stopped thinking about what I was missing and was just happy to be there w the man I loved (and this was my first love ever so it was big for me) and now I actually prefer being there rather than here, I'm not planning to stay in the US (I want to move once I'm done with school (to Paris though). Can you maybe work out something where you fly back to the US often? My thing now is missing Italy which I consider as a second home since I did a lot of growing up there and now I try to still spend as much time over there as I can, maybe you can do that with the US? I also second 5elle's suggestion, finding other Expats would help too, Rome actually has a lot of them. My main thing with moving countries is basically not so much about sacrificing as it is switching. You don't really need to give things up (stores, habits etc) just change the way you do them if that makes sense. Find the Italian equivalent of your interests and likes. Hope that helps! :smile:
 

lara0112

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Dec 11, 2006
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elissabeta: I can totally relate although, I will be honest, compared to where I am (as much as I love it) Rome is still a lot more interesting.
I think the idea of the expat community sounds great but I would still suggest you either get a job or join some fun time groups to also meet Italians. It will integrate you so much more. I work in an institution here that is a joint project of the country here and my home country and I can always tell the difference between those of my colleagues from the same place as me that engage with locals and those that remain amongst themselves. why not look for an American institution for employment or for fun time? often locals also work there and you can join both!

as for true religion, bcbg etc - there is of course always online shopping for the brands you are really missing, I do that a lot. and I found some brands here I could never find back home so like lady stardust said: i found my equivalent to home. I'll be honest though: it took me 2 to 3 years to feel completely happy.
 

maryg1

K in a circle
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Aug 29, 2006
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about shops: when I suggest you to wander around the city for nice shops, I meant those small cozy shops where things are also handmade, not the big shops like Zara, H&M or the premium designers one.
Fake bags: yes, many people here wear fake bags (mainly LV) and that's why I'm loving my hermes more and more. but you have the real deal, and you know it!
driving: I can understand driving in Rome can be a pain, but again you have to stop to relate it to driving in the USA. do USA have those tiny streets? NO! why do you think we have such small cars like 500?
I'm attaching here a link about cool addresses in Rome - picked up by an American journalist. the article is in Italian, so there is a little bit of exercise for you!
http://roma.corriere.it/roma/notizi...sNewYorkTimes-roma-zanini-1804074861225.shtml
 

maryg1

K in a circle
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Aug 29, 2006
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Life: Maybe I expect to mach , but some of things around bothers me .Maybe you can think is funny or I can sound like old fashion girl , but after one year here the first time in the restaurant I got the plate with my food before mu husband , usually boys first than girls. When my husband is holding the doors open for me or other women thay are like... WOW ...thank you !!! That isnt big deal to respect women....be honest I dont feel this here.
that's never happened to me, I always get served before men. it's quite strange that you get served after your husband, restaurants here usually pay a lot of attention to these details.
 

Sternchen

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May 16, 2006
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I can relate to your story, since I moved from the US to Germany after living in the US for 15 years and basically growing up there.

I think the first thing you need to do is stop complaining (I'm not trying to be mean) and try to see things in a positive way. Stop comparing Italy to the United States, they are not the same and never will be. Italians have a different way of doing things, different views and opinions. Embrace that and try to incorporate that into your life. I'm not saying that you have to become Italian, but try and understand it.

You will only truly learn the language when you have no other choice but to. Don't surround yourself with english-speaking people, because you'll only speak english with them and will never learn Italian. Also try to speak Italian with your husband. I know it's easy to revert back to your mother language, but try not to. Join an Expats group (there are enough there!!) to meet some new friends. They will also likely help you learn Italian :smile:

As for shopping: all the Brands you mentioned are available in Italy, too... you just have to find them. Try to keep an open mind - Italians dress differently than Americans do. ...and you CAN wear your heels in Rome - you just have to learn how to walk on cobblestoned streets.

Driving can be a pain in Europe, that is true - but that's just something that you have to get used to. Tight roads, smaller cars, different road signs, different rules of the road.

But my main point is: stop comparing Italy to the US... or you'll probably never be happy
 

maryg1

K in a circle
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Aug 29, 2006
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Italy
I've made a search for hairdressers in Rome, I don't know if you've already tried these but it doesn't hurt:

- Aldo Coppola (famous nationwide) P.zza di Spagna 31 tel 06 69202255
- Luca Picchio (Compagnia della Bellezza) viale degli ammiragli 44 tel 06 39740332
- Roberto d'Antonio via di Pietra 90 tel 06 6793197
- Bettarini Via Jenner 118 tel 06 58233983
- VIA CRISPI 49 tel 06 69925208

Prices can be quite high here, but we don't have prices when it's about our hair! (and, bags, and shoes, and nails...)
 

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
Girls what I can say ....:ty:.... all for understanding . You are great !

Lady Stardust.... what a great story . Yes I know those feelings very well. I am sure if will have my family and friends around me that could be more easy. I wish to travel to US anytime I want , but that will make me hard time to back to Italy ...I know that. So its to early for that ....
Wish you the best for your moving to Paris !!!!

lara0112....wow 2-3 years , I will think about that . Also about job .I wish to do it something outside home, but in this moment I cant.
I am not sitting home . I am driving to the city , learning about history , when my friends fly to visit me I am showing them Roma etc. I always did same in US . I am doing a lots of project around my home , I am working an my book etc. So I am not sitting and crying ....I try like it where I am ....but its hard....
 

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
maryg1....yoa are amazing GIRL ....thank you for all:hugs:

I will read this article now with my dictionary ( husband)....:biggrin:

Thank you for all those hairdressers . I did tried 2 of them , but still have 3 an list , right ??? I know the best hairdresser is wort every penny , but I also know not the name , place or price make him genius . I paid the highest price for highlites here almost 400E to lower 120E. No happy at all.
I have appiontment to new place next week , will let you know the result if dont like it will try the places from the list .

Restaurants: What can I say ....maybe I am not lucky one , but I also asked other women and they have same experience here. Even my husband figure it out that too. He was the one who almost jumping to the ceiling when I got my plate first. I was in shock.

You are right Sweete about the streets here , but also driving rules make me crazy . Nobody is staying in the line , when is 2 lines than is 3-5 cars ...I was like oh God what is going on here !!! Now I know that is only the way to be able to drive ...ehhhh.
Before I came here my husband tried explain that the driving will by hard for me ( even I am rise driving lover)... and he wants me to change my car for Mini ....but I coudnt because my car is my baby :blush:....what can I say...I love big cars with big , great sound engine like you love your new H....( I am fall in love in H too....but for this moment the H dont love me back , I am waiting for this day so much :love: )....

One more time :ty:so much !!!!!!!!