When life in America gets a little rough, many people find themselves dreaming of moving to another city or a different country. Those travelers head to destinations around the world, but Rome has a large number of expatriates living within its city limits. In the hopes of discovering what it means to live in this Italian city, we sat down to get the details from a woman who moved to Rome two years ago.
How much of a language barrier exists, and how did you learn how to cope with it?
Thanks for having me. To be honest, the language barrier was one of the hardest things I thought I would deal with when I moved to Rome, but I found that it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. I highly recommend sitting down with a guidebook and learning some simple phrases and words before coming. I found that it was easier to learn the language when I tried talking to locals. I asked for help from my favorite baker and restaurant owners, and they helped me pick up some of the things I needed to use every day.
What about getting around town? We see people riding scooters in movies but is that really accurate?
Believe it or not, scooters really are pretty common! I suggest renting one from one of the local shops, but if you plan on living in Rome, you should consider investing in a motorbike. The city streets are so narrow and crowded that it’s almost impossible to drive in a full size car.
As much as I love my motorbike, I also like walking. Walking lets me get around the crowds, and I don’t have to worry about traffic either. If I go somewhere that I can’t walk to, I usually check with the public transportation system. The buses are pretty cheap.
Did you know many people when you first moved to Rome, and how did you meet new people?
I actually didn’t know a single person when I moved here. I came here during college for a few weeks, fell in love and knew that I would always come back. Moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone was a little scary, and I spent the first few weeks feeling lonely and homesick. All of that changed when I decided to go out and meet new people.
If you really want to meet new people, don’t act like a tourist. I can’t tell you the number of people I see every day with a guidebook in their hands and a confused look on their face. I didn’t want to look or act like a tourist, so I started talking to people on the street and my neighbors. The more I talked to people, the more my language improved and the more friends I made. I also suggest looking for meet ups around the city. I made new friends just by looking for book groups and groups of singles. I found several groups by looking online, but you can also find those groups by checking with coffee shops, libraries and other public buildings. They usually have community bulletin boards with meetings listed.
Wow, thanks for all of that helpful information. It looks like moving to Rome is a little easier when you practice speaking beforehand and work with the locals. We’re sure our readers will find these tips useful if they consider moving abroad.
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