What it’s like to be an American banker in Italy in 2019

Jenny, 26, the financial analyst from Illinois, just sold her home and is relocating to Italy with her fiancé, Andrew, a 27-year-old British guy. But she’s not leaving the life behind; she’s moving in. On the move: A (long) look at the career options available in Italy.

Jenny’s got a 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house in their home state of Illinois. But it’s in the suburbs. Plus, there’s the fact that her fiancé — a Brit — has a job in London. After weighing every move option, Jenny and Andrew found Milan (or “Mama Nancy” as she calls the city) and decided to follow her dream. Here, she explains what she likes about the city and its housing options for a professional woman at the peak of her career.

What’s your ideal job?

I love everything about finance, from the regulation of stocks to the Wall Street culture to the fact that I’m working remotely (over the internet) and catching up on email in between trading hours.

What’s your ideal apartment?

I love architecture and design — but then again, I can’t say that I have a particular style: I like loud paint colors and big, detailed vases.

What do you see yourself getting paid in Italy?

That’s difficult to say. I think the union contract the company has with the city pays excellent rates and I can call on apartments at my own price, so I can afford my own place whenever I want.

Where do you want to live and work when you’re settled?

I’d like to keep working in finance for an as-yet-unidentified firm as long as possible, but I’d be interested in other roles that allow me to integrate myself in the city and, in the meantime, get a taste of the culture.

Where do you see your future family home being?

I think of the most beautiful (and totally unexpected) city in the world — not Beijing or Lisbon — but Florence. When my fiancé asked me where we want to live, I blurted out Florence. Being from Illinois, I know it well. I like to walk everywhere and parks are everywhere. The Amalfi coast is also an appealing spot for us both and it’s super-easy to get to from anywhere in the world.

What is your favorite place in Italy right now?

I know the most popular place is Milan, but I’m choosing Venice. I love the postcard-pretty towers (and I’m Greek, so I love the ships too) and I’m impressed by how much the city transforms. Plus, it’s especially great for Americans: the language isn’t that different from English, the cuisine is delicious and the traffic makes everything move faster than the streets of Chicago or New York.

What advice would you have for young professionals today who are ready to take the leap out of the U.S.?

I know that it’s not easy. When you break out of your comfort zone, it can be lonely, and even scary. But you’ll thank yourself. If you want something, step up and try it.


U.S. Ambassador to Italy John Phillips, who has succeeded Jeffrey D. Gerrish, will be addressing international students at Binghamton University on February 4, 10 a.m. in Chorziuef-Bunyolo Student Center.

Lindsey Abramson on CNN, February 1, 11:20 a.m.

Charles Babington on NPR, February 7, 5:20 p.m.


Why L.A. has the power to pull people from across the world in the age of Trump

The Time John Oliver Abandoned a Single Suitcase to Find Americans in Italy

Nilima Isaac on Today, January 15, 5 a.m.

Sekandra Wright on WSJ, January 22, 9:10 a.m.

Holly Woodard on Washington Post, January 23, 4 p.m.

This article was originally published in November 2016.

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