If you love Sardinia and think you’d like to live here full time then here are a few things you should bear in mind:
Do you need to work or will you be retiring? If you need to look for work then you should speak fluent Italian or be CELTA qualified with 2 years experience (or the equivalent qualification for teaching another sought after foreign language such as German, Russian French or Spanish). There is teaching work in Sardinia, however without experience and any knowledge of Italian you may find it difficult to get many hours. If your Italian is good enough you could get seasonal work in a hotel or restaurant. These are generally 4 month contracts which include accomodation. There is little other work. You could translate but you need a very good knowledge of Italian.
Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who got transfered to Sardinia…. it does happen.
I’ve lived in Sardinia for 7 years, I have a degree in Graphic design, a CELTA and speak fluent Italian, Last year I started teaching and have continued this year, gradually building a reputation. I now also translate part time. I’m lucky to have a job.
My husband speaks fluent English and French along with Italian, he works 4 months a year as a restaurant manager. It’s not easy supporting a family with so little work. If you’re interested on reading more listen to Jennifer Aventura too.
Many places will only offer a temporary contract so you can forget about things like loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Learning Italian is a must. Get lessons, throw yourself into Italian life unless you want to live in a bubble of expats with whom your only common ground is probably the English language. This was my experience anyway. Most English people I know who live near me are retired, they don’t have much time for me and my brood and I don’t think they understand the daily struggles of life in Sardinia.
Life in Sardinia is slow paced, old fashioned and ridiculously frustrating. There is a form for everything, and they need to be filled in every year, (for example, child benefit should be reapplied for every year even if no changes have occured.) You really do need to know lots of people otherwise things just won’t happen for you, I had been waiting for over 6 months to get my daughter assessed for speech therapy, when I mentioned it to my friend she said, oh my friend works there, I’ll call him. So we got an appointment. The SYSTEMS are long and complicated, I bore myself talking about it, in fact, I can’t really think about it beacuse I find it so frustrating. People shrug it off and say, oh well in England things are different. But some of it is common sense and laziness. Too many people have jobs because they know someone at the top. Hence lots of incompetent people – mainly within the councils.
Probably the best aspect to living here is the fresh and organic produce. If you live in the countryside then you and your neighbours will likely have an ‘orto’ veg patch. People share their bumper crops amongst friends and family. I rarely buy fruit and vegetables during the summer. There are lots of wild fruits that you can pick from along the roads too. Figs, prickly pears, blackberries, pears, almonds, asparagus, mushrooms.
I live in the countryside in north central Sardinia. An area known as Anglona. It’s handily positioned between 2 airports. It’s blissfully quiet. All I hear through the winter is the sound of cow bells in surrounding fields, in the spring the frogs wake up and sing their hearts out and in the summer the air is filled with the sound of crickets. It’s beautiful. It’s a shame so many tourists don’t bother with central Sardinia, it has a lot to offer, huge lakes, moutains, great bike paths, rivers, nuraghes and traditional villages.
Let’s not for get the beaches, although, if you have to work like most Sardinians throughout the summer months, you won’t get much chance to enjoy these! This is Tinnari, a cove once used by pirates and accessible only by a very steep and difficult footpath or by boat excursion, it’s worth the hike though, it’s hard to find (almost) empty beaches in August in Sardinia.