Books

Living in Italy
The Real Deal

Book Cover
Book Cover

READERS ON LIVING IN ITALY:

What an entertaining book! Every page brings a big grin to my face    Richard2411 November 2021

I'm not a big reader but I read it in one go!    Romanista Amsterdam April 2020

Stef Smulders is a natural storyteller. With equal pleasure, he lets the reader enjoy the beautiful aspects of Italy    Anketencate9 November 2019

Reading this book is a delight from beginning to end    HaskeS April 2014

Written in a smooth and vivid style, read in one sitting    MvanEngelen March 2014

If you think you can put the book down until tomorrow after a chapter, you're mistaken    IdeVaal April 2014

Such an enjoyable depiction of this adventure in Italian culture, so relatable!    CarelEdwin September 2021

By the end, I felt like I truly knew the people from the village    MarielGGV February 2014


Emigrating to Italy, who hasn't secretly dreamed about it? Judging by the popularity of shows like "Living under the Sun", there are many. But actually doing it, that's a different matter. Letting go of all certainties, leaving behind family and friends, and immersing yourself in a completely different environment with different rules, customs, and language: it's no small feat.
In this book, the adventures of two Dutch people who took the leap into the unknown are humorously recounted: experiences in buying and renovating a house, obtaining a citizen service number and a bank account, registering with the municipality and health insurance, importing a car, and numerous other matters that posed various (bureaucratic) difficulties.

Dozens of stories in which an equal number of problems are solved in a completely Italian way, often leading to puzzled Dutch eyebrows and hilarious scenes. In this book, the reader encounters countless characteristic Italians, from sympathetic to villainous, from touching to shameless. Real Italians made of flesh and blood, sometimes cliché, sometimes unexpectedly original. But always worth getting to know.
ABOUT MAFIA-LIKE REAL ESTATE AGENTS, MUSSOLINI-LIKE CONTRACTORS, SHADY PLUMBERS, ITALIAN NEIGHBORHOOD FEUDS, CRIMINAL VETERINARIANS, HOSPITAL ADVENTURES, LEARNING TO DRINK WINE, EATING PIZZA, THEATER VISITS, TRUFFLE DOGS, AND MUCH MORE!

Stef has a smooth writing style and you'll breeze through all the stories. ... As a result, it's an easy read. Stef is excellent at observing and reporting on everything that happens with a lot of humor. He takes the Italian situations as they are and doesn't pass judgment anywhere. Jeanette van de Lindt, Bazarow.com

The book reads very smoothly, with short stories that bring the original blog posts to life, and can be described as a combination of 'Help, I Bought a House in Italy' and enjoying La dolce vita. Aniek Rooderkerken, Italie Uitgelicht


Living in Italy is available in paperback (€15.95) and e-book (€5.95) format at:

Amazon.com or Google Play and other stores


Excerpts

Lazy brokers

"Buttini checked everything: did the dimensions match what was stated in the land registry, was there any illegal construction or extension, did the size of the plot match? 'È tutto in ordine, non ci sono problemi,' Olita exclaimed at every opportunity, as if he blamed us for hiring a real expert to check on him. But we were well-prepared and had listened to all the horror stories about buying a house in Italy, so Olita could go to hell."

checking
Stubborn contractors

"No, he didn't want any grappa or wine. He was a teetotaler, claimed he. We looked at Torti in astonishment. A teetotaler in this region? You must have an incredible amount of willpower for that! However, later I caught him with a shopping cart at the Cantina Sociale, the wine cooperative where the local boozers replenish their rapidly dwindling wine supply for two and a half euros per bottle. What was he doing there? Buying a bottle of grappa for his daughter, was his excuse. One bottle, with a shopping cart? Later it turned out he knew exactly which wine went with which dish and which vineyard produced good wine and which didn't. But perhaps the latter also stemmed from his stubborn nature, which we would come to know quite well. Torti always thought he knew better."

builder

Also available by the same author: Beyond Ciao and Learning Italian with Word Puzzles

Beyond Ciao Word Puzzles