Interview with rompipalle in Naples
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Date of Interview: March 29, 2007
Area of Italy you live in?
Let us know a little about yourself?
I am married to a napoletano DOC and we have an 11-month-old daughter, Lucia Ruth. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, but spent over a decade in the Bay Area, losing my accent and learning to be groovy. I have been in Italy for 2.5 years, the first 8 months in Rome, the rest in Naples.
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
During my 11th year in the Bay Area I felt I had had enough of it, enough of the USA, enough Bush, enough driving, enough hyper-capitalism, hyper-individualism. Then my relationship of five years broke up and I said to myself (and out loud), "Hey! I can move to Rome. I'm moving to Rome!" Just like that, having never been to Rome, I moved. I lost a lot in the process, but have gained more than I could ever have imagined.
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
I originally had a residenza elettiva and did what I could to get a permesso di soggiorno in Rome. The questura really messed with me. When they finally prepared my permesso and then said they wouldn't give it to me because I had lied to them about where I lived (not true), I told them they could take their permesso and...file it. Now that I am married to an Italian citizen, I have a permesso di soggiorno (well, I have the receipt; it's still not ready yet), good for two years.
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them ?
How long have you been here?
Since August 2004.
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
Rome was easy to adjust to since I'm familiar with big cosmopolitan cities. Naples is another story. See blog for details: undertheneapolitanson.blogspot.com.
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap?
To have done it sooner!
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
My advice would depend largely on the part of Italy one chose to live in, but overall I would say, particularly to Americans with La Dolce Vita misting their eyes, that Italy is a very messed up country (the bureaucracy, the economy, the government) and the people are more tribal than one might think. It's not all smiling nonnas fighting to draw you to their bosom and feed you pasta all day.
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
With a daughter like Lucia, I don't think I could ever complain of disappointments ever again. But, of course, I will! I am sad that it is so hard to make a go of it in Naples. With the cost of living so much higher than the earning potential, it's a struggle to make ends meet. Because of this, we are actually seeking to move, either within Italy or to Spain. I will asking loads of questins about a move within Italy in the forum...
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
Much of my neurotic self-obsession has been blissfully transferred onto an obsession with Naples, understanding it, loving it, hating it, blogging it. Naples has taken the place of my beloved Bay Area shrink, the treacherous streets my new couch.
Do you think that you will stay forever?
Forever is a very long time. I doubt it. I'll have to see what's best for my daughter.
Can you think of any other questions that should be added to this questionnaire?
What's your sign? Just kidding.
Can you think of anything that you would like seen added to this site?
I haven't done a thorough navigation yet. Can I get back to you on that?
Thanks for creating and keeping up this site.