I want to live in Sardinia – answering your questions

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (8)Once in a blue moon this little blog receives an email about the cost of living in Sardinia, Italy and today I am answering one readers email.

Dear JP,

Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that you follow along My Sardinian Life and I hope I can shed some light on your decision to move to Sardinia, Italy.

Your questions answered:

“Based on various information, most importantly your blog, it seems to me living a simple life in Sardinia would cost us (couple with a little one on the way) 12K€ per year. That is, including rent, insurance, food, transport (thankfully we can drive since we’re EU), etc. There doesn’t seem to be any rent under 350 euro/month on the various immo web sites, insurances would add a hundred, 400 for food, 50 for gas, leaving a hundred for the rest & incidentals. Seeing the GDP per capita is less then 20K, it seems to me that jobs paying 1000 net per month are not to be found on Sardinia. So my first question would be: do you think we are completely off the charts with our budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia?

Searching for the simple life in Sardinia can be done but will need patience and hard work.

Rent

Any apartments closer to the sea will cost you more. If you move away from the sea even just 15 minutes you can lower your monthly rent by a good €50. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle with your landlord about prices. If you decide to move to Sardinia in the middle of August expect rent to soar! Try moving here sometime between September – March when most rentals are empty.

Food

We are a two person household and I spend about €120 a week on groceries. This includes: food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoos & soaps. Food is expensive in Sardinia. Yesterday my husband came home from the local farmers with: 3 melons, 2 watermelons, a crate of figs, 2 onions, one giant peach, 4 cucumbers and 5 zucchini, he paid €25 – at a discounted rate.

Gas

Gas is cheaper in the larger cities like: Sassari, Tempio, Cagliari and Nuoro. If you find yourself in an out-of-the-way little town with a car running on fumes expect to pay at least .20c more. We live in a small little town and if I look out my window I can see the price of gas: €1.77 a litre.

Jobs

I work in the hospitality industry which is very seasonal (only two months a year) in Sardinia and I make €1500 a month. This is because I have over 23 years experience serving the public and I speak English. I would never settle for €1000 a month. Others that are doing the same job as me are making between €1000 – €1700 a month. Be ready to haggle for your salary like I have done.

In the off-season I teach English to school aged children and I charge €15 an hour. Those with a degree in English charge anywhere from €20 – €45 an hour.

Do I think you are completely off the charts with budgeting 12K/yr for a simple life in Sardinia? No. But I would try to find a job considering you have a little one on the way.

Like you our Italian is cosicosi, then again, we’d need to speak the local dialect more then Italian. You say on your blog for the kind of jobs you are looking for you need Italian. I’m wondering, how well does one get away with basic Italian in daily life? Outside of your town, are you being looked at as a tourist as soon as you “open your mouth” and being treated as a tourist, or is integrating with the locals and being treated as one feasible? What is your experience having lived there a few years? Can one feel “at home” after a while and be treated as “a local”?

I don’t speak the local dialect to anyone but my husband and nor should you. Most locals are offended if you speak dialect. Study Italian and study a lot. Every Sardinian speaks Italian and will understand you when you are at their shop ordering chicken cutlets for dinner. Learning and understanding the dialect will come with time and patience but its most important to learn Italian first. Just forget that a local dialect even exists.

I’ve now been in Sardinia 5.5 years. The first year(s) I was treated like a tourist but that soon faded when the locals saw my face every morning in their shops. I am now considered half Sardinian and I have integrated myself into their lives with much patience, understanding and a few flubbed upped words. Locals are more curious about your life and who you are. They are very welcoming, kind and completely honest but you must make the first move. Be sure to say buongiorno when entering shops even if you don’t see anyone.

Well JP, I hope this answers your questions. Please fell free to add any more questions in the comment section below.

And to any of my Sardinian followers: if you have any insight for JP and his family please speak up.

Kind regards

Jennifer Avventura