Now that the house is complete, we have to go about furnishing it.
That raises the inevitable question about what, if anything, we will bring or send from the States. Some people move with whatever they can fit in a suitcase or two. Others end up shipping pretty much everything they own.
We’ll probably be closer to the former. For one thing, we won’t be there full-time initially. We don’t plan to sell our US house for another year. For another, we are at the point in our lives where we want to streamline things and live more simply. We will probably end up selling or giving way most of our stuff. Besides, shipping a big container is expensive.
So I envision us buying the furniture and most of what we need once we’re there, and bringing (or sending) clothes, personal items and a few books, plus those things that are difficult to find or expensive to buy in Italy:
I am not a cook, though living in Italy might just be the nudge I need to finally learn. Ed, on the other hand, is a good cook and so he plans to bring his favorite cookware and knives. We’ve been told that high quality cookware can be quite pricey in Italy.
Something Ed noticed on his latest visit to the house is how tiring it is to stand on a tile floor for an extended period of time, so we’ll be sending at least one of those anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen.
Here are some of the other things we’ll be packing:
Rubbermaid storage containers
Ice cube trays
Gallon Ziploc freezer bags (you can get smaller Ziplocs at IKEA and a few other places, but the big, thick ones are hard to find).
Aluminum foil and Saran Wrap
Non-metric measuring cups and spoons (to make American recipes)
Large plastic drinking glasses
Spices & ingredients
Everyone loves Italian food, but we non-Italians sometimes want a little variety in our cuisine: Mexican Thai, Indian, etc. Good luck finding ethnic restaurants, unless you’re in a big city. Not only are they a relative rarity, but so are the ingredients to make ethnic dishes, not to mention traditional American recipes (especially when it comes to baking). You need to bring your own. Here’s my list so far:
Peanut butter (you can get it in Italy but it just isn’t the same)
Packets of dry gravy mix and ranch salad dressing
While prescription meds tend to be cheaper in Italy, OTC meds are almost always more expensive, so we’ll stock up on those:
Huge double pack of Ibuprofen from Costco (very expensive in Italy)
Towels and Bedding
The towels I’ve seen tend to be small and thin and more expensive than here. Washcloths are non-existent. I plan to stock up at Bed, Bath and Beyond and HomeGoods.
The bed sizes are a little different in Italy (a bit longer and a bit narrower), but US sheets can still work, and we have a better selection at lower prices.
That’s it. When I think about it, there really isn’t that much we’ll need to bring. I’m pretty sure that over time we’ll find acceptable substitutes for most things or discover we don’t really need them after all.
But for now having a few things from home should help ease the transition.
What would you take with you if you were moving to Italy?
Image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure
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5 thoughts on “Deciding What To Bring With Us To Italy”
Definitely peanut butter. When we were visiting a few years ago, we went shopping and couldn’t find peanut butter anywhere. They had that chocolate hazelnut spread everywhere, but you cant use that in place of.
We’re going back next year for 3 weeks and we are bringing a small container in the suitcase.
Hi Audrey- I have found peanut butter, but a tiny jar of Skippy sells for about 6 Euro.
Also, have you looked at Amazon Italy for some of the stuff you can’t find? It may be more expensive but it may be worth it
I have become a convert to Amazon.it…have found lots of things for the house.
Excited to find your blog. We are sort of where you were five years ago maybe? But we are already expats, having moved to Israel almost four years ago. It’s funny because most of the stuff you want to bring are the exact same things Anglos here miss (or have people bring them; people who visit Israel are well known to be used as “mules”). I literally laughed out loud the first time I found pure vanilla and saw the price. But we brought a whole shipping container when we came here and my husband is in the US all the time and brings me everything as my aforementioned mule.