The Olive Trees in Europe 2 – Living in Italy

The location says a lot about the lifestyle you might be living in. Obviously, between the different countries it is quite easy to see, because many are distinguishable, language, rules and geography.

The location of the city within the country is also important. In Brazil, for example, because of its gigantism, it is easy to observe cultural differences from north to south.

In Europe, due to its history, this is more accentuated. Italy, a smaller country than Mato Grosso do Sul, reflects what happens in Brazil, even though it is thirty times smaller. It would be as if one of the Brazilian states reflected the reality of the whole country. In Italy, it is so. There is a marked difference between north and south, climate, people, development, dialects. Yeah. In Brazil, in spite of the phonetic differences (except for rare exceptions, there are no specific dialects of each region). In Italy, in addition to the official Italian language, more than half the people speak the dialect of their region, incomprehensible among the Italians themselves from different regions. It’s almost impossible for us foreigners. In fact, Italian language is a phenomenon closely linked to its history. Official Italian comes from the dialects (and not as the opposite as we might presume). Its official standardization in schools, in the media and mobility of people strengthens it, to the detriment of the dialects, which are losing space.

With this, with some of this geographical limitation, I observe in the north, where we are situated, and some curiosities in business. Of course, it draws attention that differs from what we are used (to describe something that is just as it is in Brazil is boring. It is assumed in this case that both do what seems logical. Or, what would be worse, both are wrong and no one noticed). Differences intrigue us and, for this very reason, this interest us.


So, it follows some of these differences:

1- Everything is registered: the prepaid phone line, the bank deposit, the lease agreement, the insurance of the car before even being able to drive, the officialization of the residence, etc. It is bureaucracy, no doubt. But, everything very traceable and controlled.

2- There is a very strong consumption of what in Brazil would be exquisite: wine, healthy foods, cheeses, meats. Even the products of high benefit, high in Brazil, consumption is intense.

3- The same product have economic options for its acquisition. Even in the same market, the same product with prices with a greater variable of price x quality, in which a simpler product, is effectively cheaper.

4- The price of human labor is expensive. Thus, there is an appreciation of autonomy, “do it yourself”, etc… With this, a meal that is cooked at home may even be cheaper than in Brazil. In the restaurant, it will certainly be more expensive than Brazil. Perhaps because of this, the products are of great quality, because who buys is the same person that uses it. In this sense, there is an intense use, for example, of the dishwasher, vacuum cleaners, intelligent kitchens and cleaners of excellent qualities, very widespread and used. This is the trend in Brazil, when householders no longer delegate domestic tasks to third parties. At this point, we are still decades behind.

Italy highly values a good product or service, with a scale of concern for financial returns somewhat different from ours. I will still need plenty of time to understand the different logic here, even if it does not fit the concept we have already established. A compulsory insurance can be almost the price of a cheap car. Many products in the town’s shop are even cheaper than the hypermarket.

It is a land of hard work, many opportunities and a lot of learning. In time, we’ll get the hang of it.

See you next time.


Guilherme Oliveira

Corporate Transactions | Europe

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