This blog My Sardinian Life receives daily hits from people looking to move to Sardinia, Italy. So, I’ve compiled a little list for those out there searching for a life less ordinary in paradise. The search engine terms which brought people to my little blog are always written in English: Sardinia cost of living, move to Sardinia, jobs Sardinia and so on.
Canada, England, Australia and America want ‘in’ on this little island secret but before you pack your bags, take these pointers into consideration. My intention with this post is to put into perspective what day-to-day life is like on the most stunning island in the world – Sardinia, Italy. Disclaimer: these are just my opinions.
8 things you should know before moving to Sardinia, Italy
- The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. Life has its ups and downs all over the world, and living in Sardinia is not going to take your downs away. Be sure you are making the move for the right reasons. Question everything! Have no fear!
- Visit the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country before setting foot on the plane.
- For Australian/American and Canadian citizens looking to work in Sardinia, Italy. As a tourist, you are granted a 90-day tourist visa. See this awesome post by my Australian friend who lives in Bagni di Lucca, Italy. She explains it perfectly in her post titled: Getting a visa for a long stay in Italy. This link is directed to Australian citizens, please check with the Italian Embassy or Consulate where you have residency for up-to-date information. Click here for a list of Italian Consulates in Canada. Here for a list of Italian Consulate/Embassy in Australia. If you know the links for the Italian Embassies or Consulates in England or The United States then please leave the link in the comment section below. Thank you!
- Looking for a job? Good luck, most of the country is out of work and in Sardinia, it’s even worse. The unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2008 was 8.6%, by 2012 the unemployment rate increased to 14.6%! The rise in unemployment was due to the global financial crisis that hit Sardinian exports, mainly focused on refined oil, chemical products, and also mining and metallurgical products.
- Living – Do you want to live in one of the stunning, small and rugged towns or do you prefer larger cities where everything is easily accessible? There will be more opportunities in the larger towns in Sardinia than the rural areas, however, you will need to apply for work while you are still in your home country then have your employer start the paperwork for your work visa. Please check out this super fabulous post by Sara Rosso titled – Help! How Do I Live and Work in Italy? Sara has lived in Italy for like a billion years and she knows what she’s talking about. Be sure to give her a click over at Ms. Adventures in Italy. You won’t be disappointed with what you find over there.
- What are the best work sectors in Sardinia? Agriculture, fishing, construction, mining and tourism. If you’re experienced and speak Italian and are looking for seasonal work try a basic google search for hotels in Sardinia, find their email and drop them a résumé. Last year, I worked in a 4-star chain of popular hotels as a waitress. The pay was €1500 a month, seven days a week, every day was a split shift and I worked about 10 hours a day.
- 2013 is the year where everyone suffers from the worldwide financial crisis and there is no exception for Sardinia. I’ve lived here for 5.5 years and can honestly say that this year will be a hard one. Over the past few years, I’ve watched in angst as the number of tourists dwindled. We are now in our first week of July and when I walk into town it’s empty but for the local shopkeepers. My little town used to fill up with eager tourists lining the streets for local pecornio, gelato or pane, not this year.
- Speaking Italian. As a tourist, you will be fine journeying through this lovely island, as an expat you will find it difficult to get by on a day-to-day basis without speaking or understanding Italian. English is not spoken nor used in Sardinia. Sure, there are other expats who speak English in Sardinia but the locals … forget it. You’ll be lucky if they even speak Italian! There are over 200 distinctly different dialects spoken in Sardinia and the further away you are from touristy places, you’ll hear less and less Italian. I am greeted daily in the local dialect, my neighbours speak to me in dialect, when I go into town all I hear is dialect. To understand dialect you will need to first understand Italian, and my advice is to take a course before you come or study hard, like I did, on your own.
- Cost of living. It’s expensive. Very expensive. In the six months, I was in Cayman, the price for a bag of potatoes increased to €o.70! Oh, snap! That’s all sorts of crazy
bullshit! Today’s Gas Special is €1,74 a litre. $2.38 CAD a litre. $2.48 AUD a litre, you get the picture, riight? Please check out two posts I wrote last year titled: Cost of Living 2012 | Sardinia, Italy and The Daily Groceries | Sardinia Italy for more detailed day-to-day expenses.
I sincerely hope this post puts some things into perspective for the people searching to move to Sardinia. It’s not easy and it’s not all fun and games. If your dream and desire are big enough to make it come true then do it!
Have I missed any important points for someone searching to live in Sardinia? Please tell me in the comment section below.
Is it your dream to live la dolce vita? I’d love to hear about your journey in the comment section below.