Covid-19 in South Africa: The National State of Disaster has been lifted as from 5 April 2022.

Italian Expat Interview

Read here our Italian expat interview with an expatriate from Italy. Romina has experienced expatriate life in various countries before moving to Cape Town. 

Name: Romina but everyone calls me Romy as it is easier to pronounce.                

Nationality and Profession: I am Italian and I have a couple of work projects down the line for 2015 which I cannot disclose yet, but in the meantime I opened a fb group called 'mamme italiane a cape town' which will hopefully connect me to all the lovely Italian mums who live there.

When and where did you move from? We will move back down from London in July but we lived there for a couple of years before.

Have you lived as an expat in other countries? Yes: UK, Ireland, Colorado, Australia

View over Constantia Valley/Cape Town Southern Suburbs

Italian Expat Interview

Why did you choose to move to Cape Town?

Because I love it with all my heart, the colours, the smells, the contradictions... It's where I feel I belong the most. And my husband is Capetonian. 

Do you have children and how old are they?

They are 7 and 5 years old.

Where do your children attend school? What is your impression of the school?

They will attend St George Grammar in Cape Town, the only experience I have with this school so far is the contact with the admission department and they are fabulous! So nice helpful and efficient! 

How did the children settle in? Any tips for moving with kids?

Our kids are used to changing country, they have already lived in three different ones and love travelling very much. My tip is to make them involved in absolutely everything: choices about schools, areas, houses, planes etc, it has to be an exciting time for them in order to enjoy it, they need to have a say and not be spectators.

Where do you live in Cape Town?

I will move to the Southern Suburbs, I love it down there as all my friends and family live there plus it's so green it doesn't make me miss the English greenery.

What were your first impressions of South Africa? Any culture shock experiences?

First time I went to Cape Town it was 10 years ago and boy the city has changed a lot and for the better. I find Cape Town to be very European with an African twist and I love it as I think it's so easy for an European to get settled in here. Only thing I don't like is the huge disparity between wealth and poverty as it is very striking and painful to watch. Culture shock? Yes, culturally is very different from where I originally come from but also very enriching. 

What were your best experiences in Cape Town?

Getting married in Noordhoek beach under the best sunset in the world. Walking in Llandudno beach before or after work to recharge. Safaris

Anything that is not so great when living here?

Load shedding, it is a nightmare but with some preparation it is ok.

What about Cape Town living expenses, compared to your home country?

Much cheaper for food and leisure but the rental market is very high and not too different from London prices.

Which expat services, restaurants etc. would you recommend to other expats?

'Brass Bell' in Kalk Bay for breakfast, Sushi at 'Beluga', picnic with amazing views and loads of families at 'Cape Point Vineyards' in Noordhoek, 'Dario' in Hout Bay for authentic Italian food coffee and hospitality 

What should expats definitely know or bring when coming here?

They should bring lots of patience because 'African time' does exist indeed especially in the public offices.

Anything from Cape Town you miss when you go back ‘home’?

I miss the scenery, the freedom to walk barefoot pretty much anywhere and the rusks.

Many thanks to you, Romina, for sharing your insights and favourite places in this Italian expat interview! Wishing all the best to you and your family. Enjoy your time! Contact Romina for info on her new networking group for Italian mums go to the Facebook group 'Mamme Italiane a Cape Town' or click here.

Looking for more infos into living in South Africa

Living in South Africa - Expat Guide Book by Regina Graeff and Derryn Campbell

Read here another Italian Expat Interview - Interview with Francesca - here.

Image Credits on and this Italian expat interview: own images and

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