In people imagination Italy is associated to “Bella Vita”, monuments, churches, culture, beaches and, of course, food. Yes, Italy presents all these aspects, but not only. Italy has a long history of contrasts for independence, autonomy and freedom, and hosted a lot of people who spent their lives studying and gaining important results in all branches of knowledge and art.
The most important characteristic of Italy, above all, is the variety. Italy has the shape of a boot which extends from Africa till the Alps. Thanks to this shape, Italy presents a lot of climates: from the Continental in the North regions till the Mediterranean one in the coastal areas and in the south, with all intermediate climate facets. This condition influenced characters, ways of thinking, habits, traditions and all other aspects of life. So you find along Italy very different people, from the “Polentoni” (this is the way we call people form the north, Polenta is the typical corn meal porridge of this regions) till “Terroni” (persons from the south. The term is an epithetic for farmers). In people imagination the first ones work hardly all day, are distant with other people and pay taxes for all the country! Instead Terroni refers to people who spend time in finding solution for not working, live in a “low” way, are friendly and waste time eating (traditional meals could last several hours!). But despite these stereotypes, the best of Italy is that you can find all kinds of people, climates, monuments, arts, food and much more. Thanks to this variety and diversity, Italian people are very tolerant and open minded and everyone is welcomed!
Palermo is the capital of Sicily, the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the northern coast of the island, in an amazing bay. Palermo presents the signs of many cultures which have succeeded over the years: Roman, Arab, Norman, French, and Spanish. In the city centre there are many churches with different architecture influences, monuments and 3 street markets very similar the Arabic Souk. This combination of cultures, arts and people led Palermo to be one of the most interesting and hospitable city in Italy.
What you better know before you go there ...
Probably your teacher has good and valuable information about Italy and
what you have to know when you go on an international workexperience in Italy.
We offer some other information that can be usefull:
Leisure time, health / safety ...
Safety & Health issues
Workexchanges in Italy ...
Living and working conditions in Italy can differ from job-sector and age.
Allthough all Eu-citizens are free to travel, live and work in other Eu-countries,
can be different for different people. It's good to check the conditions before you go: find out here!
When leaving for a workexchange, things should be a lot easier. But still, it's good to check and avoid some surprises you don't like... For example early hours, nightwork, weekendwork, ...
In Italy normal working time is 40 hours per week, even if collective agreements may set normal
working time less than 40 hours. At maximum, people can work 48 hours per week including over
If the working day lasts more than 6 hours, workers must have a break for having lunch and rest. The
duration and other conditions of the pause are established by collective agreements.
Workers have the right to a rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours every seven days and to an
annual leave of at least 4 weeks (not consecutive).
In Italy healthcare is assured through the National Health Service. It guarantees universal health
assistance to all citizens regardless of gender, residence, age, income and employment. This is is a
fundamental right stated in Article 32 of the Italian Constitution.
Citizens from EU 28 Member States, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, may receive
assistance if they have a European Health Insurance Card, a free card issues by national governments, at the same conditions of Italian citizens. In detail, services are provided directly by public hospitals and private structures affiliated to the National Health Service.
Italy is a quite safe Country.
Of course, when you are in big cities, you must exercise normal safety precautions to avoid pick-pockets and similar thieves, as in all big cities in the world. If you exercise common sense and normal safety precautions you can spend wonderful time in Italy.
The telephone number in case of emergency is 113. It can be dialed from any public, private or mobile phone. You will receive assistance by the police and, if necessary, a patrol car will be dispatched.
Other emergency numbers in Italy are:
112 - Carabinieri
115 - Fire Department
116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club) road assistance.
118 - Medical Emergencies