Hey guys! Welcome to Wednesday. The day where I write and explain all things Italy. If you would like to know more you can check out my blog Living on Now Time
or see my Instagram
Moving to Italy to be an Au Pair is a huge life-changer, but I’m sure it will be one of the best decisions of your life as it has been for me. However, Italy is so different to Australia in terms of culture and lifestyle. Looking after two kids in Italy means adapting to their lifestyle and having the free-time as an Au Pair means I get to create my own lifestyle here in Italy. It’s pretty amazing!
This week I’m going to show you what a typical day here in Italy looks like as an Au Pair.
I wake up every morning around 7am to get the eight year old girl ready for school and take her to the bus stop. Breakfast is usually milk and sweet biscuits, I was quite surprised that this is an acceptable breakfast, but this is a very typical start to the morning for Italian children.
Once her teeth are cleaned, hair is done, and she is on her way to school, I am totally free until the afternoon.
I love this time because I get to explore Milan, meet friends and have “me time”.
Generally, I start my free time at the gym to get a killer workout in because otherwise the pasta will take up residence and I’m simply not going to let that happen. I think this is a really nice way to start the day and I know a lot of Au Pairs that go to the gym every morning, it gets your body awake and moving for the rest of the day.
After the gym I like to meet up with friends almost every day. I think this is really important because in countries where your native language isn’t spoken it can be isolating without friends. My friends and I love to explore the city together, have picnics in the summer and spend time at cafes in the winter – in winter you must order the thick Italian hot chocolates, they’re like nothing you would have tried before.
We are always on the hunt for the most amazing cappuccino and brioche (sweet croissant) for breakfast. We spend a lot of time searching for amazing cafes. During this time, we also plan trips. I like to go travelling at least two weekends per month and luckily so do a lot of other Au Pairs. Travelling Europe while I live in Italy has been a huge priority for me, so we spend this time organising the perfect weekend adventures.
I was also going to language classes twice a week, but I just graduated from Italian A2. Public language courses are offered in Milan by the Commune di Milano and are surprisingly cheap. I highly recommend taking a language class, just for your own knowledge, understanding and ability to communicate with locals.
Lunch time is different every day for me because sometimes I have to be at home when the 11 year old boy finishes school to prepare his lunch. Usually I’m at home around lunch time anyway because I hate to miss lunch time with my Host Mum and boy. Why? Because I love the importance of family and food, they go hand in hand here in Italy.
Pasta is the staple lunch for almost every Italian. I could never imagine eating pasta for lunch in Australia but here I consider myself somewhat of a MasterChef when it comes to cooking pasta. I like to prepare the pasta like a typical Italian and create variety for example, pasta with pesto, bolognaise, vegetables etc. It’s really awesome to be living with an Italian family, they share with me their typical Italian way of life and now it’s hard to imagine life any other way.
In the afternoon at 4:30pm I collect the girl from the bus stop and we usually make a little stop at our local panetteria (a bakery that sells fresh meats and cheeses). The afternoon snack is an essential task in Italy. We usually eat mini pizzas, bread rolls with pizza toppings or a toasted sandwich. Normally Nonno (grandpa) will meet us here and we all enjoy the snack together.
After the snack what we do depends entirely on the day, sometimes the kids have sport or hang-out with their friends, other days we get to stay at home playing games. Whatever day it is, we always like to make the afternoons as fun as possible.
During the week, my Host Mum always cooks dinner. We normally eat Italian cuisine which I love. For example, zucchini cakes, meat balls, soup, rice and vegetables. Believe it or not Italian food isn’t just pizza and pasta. After dinner, I am free. Sometimes I go to hang-out with friends while other days I teach private English lessons.
On the weekends I am totally free and as I said I love to spend my time travelling but if I’m here in Milan I always go to lunch at Nonni’s (grandparents) house with all of the extended family. I value this time so much. Everybody is relaxed, and we can enjoy a three-course meal all together. Nonno takes time to explain the history of each dish and the cultivation of the wine to me. He has a lot of pride in sharing fine food and wine with his family over the weekend. I am so lucky to have had this typical experience with food here in Italy. Food and family are the centre of the Italian lifestyle, now I understand why.
So that’s it, my typical Italian day as an Au Pair here in Milan. I hope you will join me next Wednesday for a brand-new post.