Are you happy in Italy?

Hello everyone!

According to the 2016 UN World Happiness Survey, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are the happiest countries on earth.

How about you? Are you happy in Italy? Do you feel happier today in your host country than before in your home country? What has contributed to the change?

In your opinion, are locals in Italy happy? How can you tell?

Please share your experience!

In answer to your question .."Are you happy in Italy"?   No...not at all..Italy is a delusion.

That's a pretty strong statement - Can you provide some detail?

Gladly,  ..and when I have time I'll do so.

Italians are not happy. They are frustrated with the economy, the government, the health system, the quality of care given in both commercial and social system to users, the cost of living, the education system... just to name a few.
As a non-Italian, Italian resident for more than 5 years, I've come to understand that complaints are usually finished off with a 'buh! what are we going to do?!' statement, which translates to apathy and a feeling of helplessness to change.
My 'we can make a change' attitude from North America has left me disillusioned. Trying to bring about change is extremely difficult. Sending on complaints or feedback to improve systems or procedures (at the hospital, where you are likely not to find soap in a washroom or with the public transit system, where infrequent service busses can easily zoom past you, leaving you to wait for another hour, simply because the driver didn't slow down and see you), has been met with apathy or silence. When I ask, 'who can I forward my complaint onto?' I have been told 'nobody'. I believe that that nobody exists but is too busy having an espresso.
I live in the north, where the economy is doing well compared with the south. Wages are generally still too low to get ahead but luckily the people here benefit from their inheritances (the boom in the 60s and 70s) and combined with low paying jobs (by EU standards) can afford living expenses and the occasional holiday. I know that in the south of Italy things are not like here and are much worse. 
So, dolce vita....not even close. But I realise that a holiday-maker might see only the beauty in the country and for them I'm glad.
All that said, happy is relative. I am happy to have the choice to visit the mountains or the sea within a few hours. I am happy to live simply, enjoying good locally produced food and wine which hasn't been treated and modified in a million ways. I am happy to work to live and not live to work to pay a giant mortgage and car payments and a massive cellphone bill. The trade off is worth it but I prefer to see it as being satisfied with my choice to live here and not 'there', not 'happy'.

No..😕 because i live in REGGIO DI CALABRIA.. and no one cam speak here english just few persons and this city so dirty.. i don't like it... i m nit hppy here it's too much dirty... but the north side is beautiful and clean... but here too much dirt.. and the government of italy should have to checkout all the cities of italy about cleanness.... and also for work..

TO:   Hard-headed woman.   

You're absolutely right!!  I couldn't have said it any better!!    From where are you  originally?  USA?  I'm a Bostonian.

The apathy about everything is appalling.   All of my Italian friends in America encouraged me to come here...they were dreaming apparently  of what Italy "used" to be when they were kids...i.e. La Dolce Vita.  I found nothing of the's been a grand delusion. 

  As for the difference between North and South, I must say that,  having lived in diverse places in this country,  I prefer unquestionably the South.  In any country  or town or city,  the people are the most important resources...not the monuments and the history etc.    In the South, people are friendly, welcoming, sociable.  In the North  (at least in my experience)  people are cold, unfriendly,  distant, closed within themselves and can't even say Buongiorno!  I'll move back to the South as soon as possible.  The difference between the North and the South least in my opinion, is night and day.   You're right about the economic differences, but it ends there.    Inside of a week or 2 in the South, I had made some good friends.  In the North,  nobody even says hello.  I've travelled all over the world and the Polentoni are the coldest people I've ever encountered in any country.

We seem to share similar viewpoints and I'd enjoy chatting with you.  Let me know how to contact you.


By the way, ....I was reading your comment about the standard transmission cars.,  You are absolutely right!    These  people think that they are so Westernized and up-to-date...yet they are  infatuated with these standard trasmissions..which in developed countries went out-of-style 60 years ago

I am happy to be able to spend less than 500 bucks on rent and not have to live in the hood. Most of Italy is safe compared to most of the US imo.  However parts of the cities are changing for the worse.  Some parks, especially near train stations, are filled with thugs and violent crime does occur--.  You may read Italian news articles and look up statistics regarding the controversial categories of those who are the perpetrators.
I find the heathcare system far superior to the American one; there's that issue summed up.
The far north has slightly better infrastructure and social welfare systems than central and southern Italy but it's still Italy. 
If I could I'd go live in a northern European country like Holland or Germany.
The beaurocracy will drive anyone nuts but you can get far better food here than in the US.

I do believe that original question was .."Are you Happy in Italy? "   Was it not ?      The answer is NOOO..  Can't wait to get out  of this country.  Italy is a complete delusion.  The South is FAR  better than the North..but the North is poisoning the South, drop by drop.

Can you provide some details?


skjornjeld if the bureaucracy drive you nuts do not go to Holland unless you speak Dutch. England,Ireland maybe Germany but defo not The Netherlands ;)

Ah yes! The bureaucracy of a municipality in Holland: first take a number, then you have to go drink a free coffee, then you have to go use their free internet, then finally, after 5 minutes you get served. Too much for me!

It defo was not that easy in Holland,not at all!

not if you are not an EU citizen it isn't. otherwise, all i can say is that everybody will have a different experience depending on the circumstances.

No am not happy..and i wish i never came here in the first place.

Absolutely not....
I have lived all over Europe including Luxembourg, Croatia, Germany, Cyprus and of course here in Taranto, also in Cyprus and Kenya but this place is right at the bottom of the pile, completely off the scale...filthy dirty, surly 'natives', rip-off merchants preying on non-Italian speakers, bureaucratic nightmare, expensive utilities... I think that rather than use a host of expletives I will leave it at that!
Would I recommend anyone to come here to live? Absolutely not - if it was not for work I would not be here either - thankfully I will transfer back to Luxembourg early in the New Year and I will not be back!

I live in the centre of milan near to MILANo centrale...the neighbour hood here near me seemed that they have no pbm with their leading lives more over I feel comforted and I feel happy here...but not more than that of my mother country.

Hi, i live on the landside next to Venice at this moment, the place is beautiful.. In summer its completely full with holidaymakers and it makes a difference as there are 7 months a year 'happy' people all around the area. I work on a campsite for 8 months a year but there is another 4 months where you have to work. At this point i am doing a course to study the language because i did notice that as a foreigner when youre not able to talk italian ( i know enough to save myself ) its going to be difficult as im experiencing now with finding a job. So to answer the question, i am happy but its very difficult to make a 'life'

I am EU citizen. But as you mentioned everyone has different experience.For example I am happy here in Italy so far although many things drives me mad. I lived in 5 different countries and in each one has pros and cons.

I was asked to respond to this post, so here goes.  I LOVE  living here in Italy.  I live high up in the Apennines Nr Barga, Lucca.  I have lived here full time for the last 5 years and it has not all been easy, I have had some interesting incidents the last only being last night when the cingahli upset my horses and they escaped from their fields and ended up in the centre of Barga!! So this morning started with a visit to the Police Station.

Living high in the mountains I have had to get on with the local people, infact I have been so fortunate that I was adopted by a local family.  They are my rocks, they have helped me learn the language (more so than the local Adult Education teacher - another story!), I have a family here.  They have introduced me to many of the local movers and shakers and although as I have already said life's little challenges have been many they have helped my transition.  I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Without being controversial I do think that the Italians are a very reserved race, it takes a little while for them to open up to you, but when they do life here is greatly enhance.  Barga has a huge exPat community and I have many friends who live in Barga itself and are not as happy as me.  They have found it difficult to learn the language, they mix mainly with other exPats and find living here a lot more difficult.  But this is where the controversiality comes in...

Many of them want to recreate a second little Britain or Scotland here, rather than taking it for what it is.  I love the simplicity and the tradition.  I am here to experience Italy and the Dolce Vita.

I remember when my husband wanted to move here full time, I resisted for many years, wrongly I thought I couldn't live here, I thought the people would be stupid (sorry!) and how wrong was I.  I have learnt so much, we have started an Italian company, I have become a contadina, I am learning a new language, I dance, I write, I paint, I talk and get involved with the local people.  I love their resolve, their strength and I value their friendship.  I am so very lucky.

I live in a house, with the most spectacular views, the drive is a forest strada but our old Jeep makes it seem like an autostrada, well ok I exaggerate a little on that one.  Every day I have to drive 11 kilometres to look after my horses lower down.  I am always amazed at the beauty of the place and I am so thankful to the visual stimulation of each day.

A lot of it is your own expectations, I have none, I change the things I can change and I accept the things that I can't.  I value each and every experience  and there isn't much that I haven't been through.

Yes, I have been ripped off by some of the people I have put my faith in, yes they have been of Italian decent but the real people, the real Italians I have met are genuine and go out of their way to help you.  Yes, I find their shops excessively expensive, but there are ways around this.  There is so much I love, their food, their wine, the climate, the arts, the music, the vast array of friends from all over the world, people that have chosen to live here.

But why live here if you are not happy.....  cx

Such a lovely and true post sensone :) I am always saying if you are not happy (me for example in The Netherlands )just move somewhere else. I did several time and I hope I found my happiness here. X

Ciao Priscilla
It hasn't been easy living in Italy but I guess im getting used to it. The challenge has been the language as english is not really accommodated here.i have learnt the language making it easy for me to do shopping or ask for advice. Homesickness is not as bad as it was before. I communicate with friends and family abroad daily through social media.What i have adopted is trying to relax a bit by going for movies,exhibitions and the church. I do miss my home because there was lots more to do with my friends than here.Unfortunately friends and food from my country is scarce to me.I don't mind italian food is awesome but once in a while i need my own country food.

Friends have been hard to find for me unfortunately though i try to find.People around me are normal but its fun sometimes if you have your earphones listening to a song and sing along or dance.Such  is joy to me but i noticed that its not really "approved" to do that in public.

Maybe with time if i find friends and a job i would be really happy in Italy

Happiness is something that we must find in ourselves before we can find it anywhere else.  What Sensone gives to me is a sense of belonging, of being home....  cx

Not at all ...

well if you are from one of the newer member states in eastern europe then you would have gone through more bureaucracy with restrictions to work etc., for a certain period.

Not at all skjornjeld we joined EU in 2004 and I did not have any work or other restrictions ,actually I had a nice and well paid job in the research lab and the job was the only  thing I enjoyed in The Netherlands,so please let's drop the subject as We already agreed everybody has different experience.

The restrictions could have gone up to a maximum of 7 years, in which case some of this bureaucracy you experienced in the Netherlands could have carried on until 2011.  If it didn't, I'd sure be interested to know just where this bureaucracy in the Netherlands that applies to all EU citizens including those without restrictions and that is greater than that found in Italy, is.

I still don't know what  restrictions you are talking about. I lived there from 2010 till 2013 with the family (me,Italian partner at that time and baby girl born in Bronovo hospital).  I neither mentioned the bureaucracy in Holland was greater then Italian one.I said it existed there as well ,maybe on more organised level  (not messy like here) but  it was inhuman and robotic. Now I really don't want to go into the details of my private life there but I post here some info found on website which describe exactly my point of view. I really don't understand why you are trying to convince me this country it is so great. It was not for me neither my family!!!! And on the top of it We found Dutch people unwelcome and not friendly at all (comparing with Irish,English or on this matter Italians). … nkenstein/ … asy-steps/ … therlands/

By the way I think the topic was Are you happy in Italy not Are you happy in The Netherlands :D

As far as your source of counterargument, Oana sums it just fine: "Nice article, but I also believe that it is exaggerated! :)

I've just moved to the Netherlands after a year living in Italy. Ummm, if you think that the Dutch bureaucracy is difficult to bear, than the Italian one should seem like a sisiphic hell broke loose"

By the way, you were the first one to mention the Netherlands and its bureaucracy in response to my comment about Italy.

Thanks for playing.

Sri lanka also happiest county

Hi guys I am planning to visit Sweden for Xmas with my kids we have permesso di soggiorno 5years with my national ID card no passport will that be ok for us please I need help thanks.

nothing to get anything here in is the big problem of who and how to feels more happy...

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My Italian Landlord said: You love Italy more than Italians!
I asked why? :
He replied: because you can compare.
I spent 10 years working as a Copper in Johannesburg, South Africa, and then I spent the last 20 years travelling from 1 war zone to the next, working for an international organization.  Now living in the South of Italy, it feels like a never ending vacation. Fresh food, every day. Electricity, potable running water from any tap and fountain in town. No one shooting at me.  I have not been hijacked once.
The crime is incredibly low, compared to some of the places I have lived. Homicide is unheard of.  According to Wiki around 49 people are murdered in South Africa every day. How can one compare?
I suffered a heart attack, 3 hours later, after receiving the Angio/Stent treatment, I was walking up and down the hospital corridor.  Most other places I would have died.
The questions:
Are you happy in Italy?  I am VERY happy
Do you feel happier today in your host country than before in your home country?  MUCH happier, thanks
What has contributed to the change? All of the above.

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