Okay, so your embassy or firm has just seconded you for a couple of years in Italy. Maybe you are coming here with your partner and kids. The first few days or weeks have passed, you recovered from jet lag, visited your new office and met lots of new colleagues, maybe also found, via your employer, a good accommodation and did some sightseeing.
But what to do when you feel lost? There must be times when you feel like reconnecting with fellow expats or when you are really in need of advice from them. Where do you go? What do you look for?
Here you find a small list of resources for the English–speaking expat with family (especially small children) around the cities of Rome and, partially, of Milan.
Resources to make you life easier
Bellies Abroad is a network of English-speaking professionals who can help with pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, motherhood and family in Rome. It comes from the experiences of Kiersten Pilar Miller, a born and raised New York City girl who worked in film production as an Assistant Director and decided to stay in Rome where she is raising her daughter. Please mention Educazione Globale if you get in touch with Bellies Abroad.
The little reader is a bookshop dedicated to children and teenagers. Here you will find a very nice selection of books for children and teens from zero to young adults in both Italian and English, a cafe with sweets in the American tradition and, last but not least, many activities for younger readers, like reading aloud in both English and Italian. It is located near piazza Vittorio.
The Hazelhut is an activity based English-language center, I have been there and wrote about here in Italian. It aims to provide a wholesome family-oriented experience for children and schools. It is managed by two British teachers and aimed mainly at children aged 8 -13. They organize courses, weekends and summer camps and offer a wide range of activities besides a beautiful rich natural environment only an hour off Rome. Here is The Hazelhut website. Please mention Educazione Globale if your children attend.
In Rome, the city of many churches, you will find some that are also English-speaking: mainly the Catholic American Church of Santa Susanna and the Anglican one which is All Saints. Both conveniently located in Central Rome.
For art lovers, ARTandSEEK is a non-profit association based in Rome that aims at bringing adults and children closer to art appreciation in fun and interactive ways. They organize arts and crafts labs and visits to art exhibitions.
Another useful resource is The Children’s Choir of Rome. Founded in 2015 by American music educator and choral director, the CCR is an English-speaking choir that is open to all young people in the Greater Rome Community who are between the ages of 7 and 18. Participating in the CCR provides a great opportunity for non-native English speakers to practice and improve their English language skills while making music with new friends who share similar interests. The Children’s Choir of Rome provides high quality, age-appropriate vocal training to young people of various musical backgrounds and abilities.
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InterNations is an expat social network. I must admit I was on this for a while but I then canceled my profile as it all seemed geared to party–goers, which, with a full time jobs, plus this blog, 3 kids and many interests, I am definitely NOT. But maybe you are…
Wanted in Rome is an online and paper mag that has some cultural information and a lot of classified advertisements in Rome, such as accommodations in bed and breakfast or apartment rentals. Incidentally, it is also the venue where I advice friends to search for English mother-tongue tutors and baby sitters and I also got one of my many au pairs from there. Wanted in Milan is the same mag for the city of Milano.
Romeing is another online and paper magazine in English for expats and tourists in and around Rome. It covers lifestyle, culture, nightlife, food and events in the Eternal City. It is also a free pocket-sized monthly issue which can be found in various distribution points around Rome including embassies, hotels and museums.
The American in Italia is an English-language monthly magazine based in Rome, Italy and The American Magazine is a monthly publication with articles on culture, politics and lifestyle in Rome. ANSA English is Italy’s largest news wire service and a leading world news agency, with real-time news updates in English.
060608 it’s a service with which you can purchase entrance tickets to museums, exhibitions, theaters and events and then collect them on the spot. Besides surfing the site www.060608.it, the service can be reached by calling 060608, at the cost of a local call.
If you have a school-aged child please refer to my post for Expat families in Rome: how to choose a school in the Eternal City, where you can find out the different options you have and to The Italian Education system explained to English Speaking Expats. In Rome there are a plethora of International schools: American Schools (offering from pre-kindergarten to High school with American diploma, AP or IB), British Schools, from nursery to GCSE and IGCSE and A levels or IB again, and Bilingual Schools, which are Italian schools offering up to 16 hours a week in English or of subjects in English.
There are also American Universities in Rome, mainly John Cabot University In the heart of Trastevere and the American University of Rome – AUR that are both members of the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI).
Hope you have a great time in the Eternal City!
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