My grandma’s country <3 You’ll know everything! Italy, from north to south, is very different. The country is incredibly diverse and full of life. I have to admit: it’s my favourite country in Europe to visit. I also really, really liked Macedonia and Slovenia, but Italy is still my favourite. From Puglia to Veneto, or Sardinia, every region of Italy is full of spectacular discoveries, and the people are full of life. Amongst themselves, Italians are wont to say that the inhabitants of the Dolomites and the mountains in general are colder: we welcome around sixty young people from these regions to Nantes every year, and they are always much more sociable than us French. And it’s no mean feat to say it: it’s a Breton who’s telling you so! Here’s a quick overview of what to expect during your work placement abroad in Italy.

Budget for your work placement in Italy

The budget varies depending on the city and the time of year; it’s complicated. Between €700 and €1,200 per month. So the easiest way to work out your budget is to contact us: it’s free and there’s no obligation. International Horizons will help you finance your move to Italy. But as far as flights are concerned: if you leave from a major French airport (Lyon, Lille, Paris, Nantes, etc.), they’re really very cheap. I’ve already made return flights to Milan at €22! Italy and France trade a lot, and there are lots of flights to many Italian cities. I’ve never taken a flight costing more than €100 return, except to go to Sardinia: but that was during the school holidays, so it was a bit more expensive than usual. Depending on the city, your budget will indeed vary: Venice, Rome and Florence have a reputation for being expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper than in France! You can halve or even treble the price of drinks on the terrace, depending on the city: a clear advantage if you want to try the Ugo Spritz in the sunshine. Bari, Catania, Vincenza, Bologna and Naples are more affordable. Property is cheaper there, so it’s easier to find accommodation that won’t break your wallet. As for food, it’s still very affordable, no matter where you go. Be careful, though, there are a few things to look out for: sometimes service is not included or indicated in the prices, but only at the bottom of the menu. Some restaurants also charge for cutlery and bread. So it’s best to find out! Tourist and cultural activities, on the other hand, are fairly expensive. 20 quid to visit the Duomo in Florence! But it’s worth it. Italy really is absolutely splendid. You can still get free admission to the national museums, just like in France, if you’re under 26. If you’re going to be there, plan on spending 100 euros to visit! On the other hand, the train is much cheaper than in France! And relatively efficient. I often take it to get around the country. Italians think it’s expensive, until they come across the SNCF. No train available? You can also carpool, which is a fairly well-developed method in Italy. In fact, there are a few towns to visit throughout Italy! To help you find your way around property, ask the team. We’re pretty well informed on the subject, and we’ll be able to give you a good indication of what you’ll need in terms of budget for your work placement in Italy.

What you need to know

Italy is the country with the most UNESCO listed monuments in the world: almost 50%! Rome and Florence are veritable museum cities. Florence is incredible. But really, everything there is beautiful, well-maintained and clean: from manhole covers to private balconies, it’s all there to be seen. Italy has a very impressive material heritage, regardless of the region. Last summer, I went to Puglia (my feedback here!), which I’d never been to before. The town of Monopoli is just fantastic, it’s a real eye-catcher, as are Polignano a Mare, Bari… it’s a real treat. If you’re less into cities and more into nature, Italy also has something for everyone: the beaches of Puglia or Sicily, the mountains near Aosta, Venice or Turin, the volcanoes near Naples… there’s something for everyone. The country has a huge variety of landscapes, which are radically different from north to south: it would be impossible to compare them, which would be the same as comparing Marseille and Lille, or Nantes and Lyon! The landscapes, atmospheres and colours are totally different, even poles apart. Italy can be visited several times. I’ve been going there once a year since 2013, and I still haven’t got round to it, and I’m always just as pleasantly surprised, no matter where I go. About your work placement abroad: in Italy, management is very hierarchical. But Italians are generous, and you’re likely to get a very warm welcome! Italians are reputed to be very tactile and talkative: and it’s true! As an Italian myself, I’m very tactile, and when I go there I feel like I’m finally at home: everyone’s talking to each other, everyone’s hugging each other, it’s great! When you walk around small towns, or even in the old town of Milan or Bari, you don’t know where the restaurants and private tables are. It’s all mixed up together, it’s very family-oriented, very generous! Whether you’re in Bari, Palermo, Florence, Rome, Venice, Turin, Milan, Udine… your work placement abroad will be under the sun 🙂 And just so you know: we can even find you an internship in Belluno, Italy! And while we’re on the subject: Italians are tactile, that’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean that all Italians are. On the other hand, you shouldn’t feel attacked if someone puts a hand on your shoulder, or if a grandmother grabs your face and says: “Ma que Bello! It’s commonplace. Even the vocabulary: you can go and buy your cigarettes at the tobacconist’s and someone will tell you that you’re handsome. That’s what Italy’s all about too: compliments without any complexes. I’m always impressed when we welcome young Italians to Nantes: they have no trouble telling each other they’re beautiful, flirting with each other very frankly… and sometimes arguing and raising their voices. But the big advantage is that they generally don’t hold grudges! Italian can often be excessive, but you have to accept it, it’s an important cultural element and an integral part of Italy. My grandmother always threatened to “bleed me in the mouth” if I said a swear word when I was little, but she never did anything about it! A final cultural detail, which is less and less true, but still exists: matriarchy is very strong in Italy, but even so, although the role of women is very important in the family landscape, they are still often the ones who do the cooking, and so on. For more anecdotes, you can also read our article on local customs in Italy or read our blog post on the subject!

Your work placement in Italy

Italy is a country with a varied economy: anything is possible. It’s one of the most economically developed countries in the world, so when it comes to internships, there are no limits! Anything is possible in Italy! You’re not going to do maritime engineering or fashion in the middle of the mountains, but the team is here to help you make the best choice, depending on what you want, but also on the requirements of your school and your language level, English or Italian. Because, even though many Italians speak fluent French, you need to have a good level of Italian or English to be able to do your work placement abroad in Italy. You also need to be aware that the better your language skills, the more responsibility you’ll have within a company: your project needs to be realistic in terms of the skills you have and those you want to develop during your work placement in Italy. Are you ready to go on an internship in Italy? Then send us your CV in Italian or English. Then we’ll give you a call so that together we can work out your internship project abroad. Working with International Horizons means giving yourself the best possible chance of landing an internship. Convinced that your next internship is in Italy? You’re right: contact us: it’s free and there’s no obligation! For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.