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Poland vs Italy vs Spain for an expat?

26 Oct 2019 #1
Where do you think one can live a better life? I am talking in terms of rent/cost of living x salary? Rome vs Madrid vs Warsaw on a local salary? Or Krakow vs Barcelona vs Milan? Or Rzeszow vs Lecce?
pawian 224 | 24,572
26 Oct 2019 #2
Why such stupid locations?

You sound like a reasonable young person. You certainly deserve more than some fusty cities inhabited by hoary mugols.

I think Polish Słupsk is the best option of all for you. Rober Biedroń, a very progressive, intelligent, open-minded politician, used to be its mayor for a few years. It is sth that can`t be ignored so easily.
OP Jjjam
26 Oct 2019 #3
^Słupsk has terrible weather, I bet it's overcast most of the year.
pawian 224 | 24,572
26 Oct 2019 #4
Just like the rest of Poland.
In that case, with weather preferences involved, the problem is solved. Choose Spain or Italy. Good luck.
Class dismissed. hahaha
Miloslaw 20 | 4,859
26 Oct 2019 #5
For overall quality of life out of the cities you mentioned it would have to be Barcelona.
But there is the Catalan independence thing to think about.
But in terms of jobs, climate, culture, cuisine, friendliness, history, cost of living etc, it is the hands down winner.
pawian 224 | 24,572
26 Oct 2019 #6

Don`t forget females.
Miloslaw 20 | 4,859
26 Oct 2019 #7
Catalan girls are very nice.... ;-)
pawian 224 | 24,572
26 Oct 2019 #8
Tell us about your experiences with them....
Miloslaw 20 | 4,859
26 Oct 2019 #9
You are outrageous!
I have been happily married for 30 years.
These experiences were a long time ago.
And I will not share them on this forum.
pawian 224 | 24,572
26 Oct 2019 #10
You are a true gentleman, indeed. This is the British culture I expected from you in another thread. Thanks.
PS. However, it always amuses me when males boast about their conquests in front of other males.
Dougpol1 30 | 2,567
27 Oct 2019 #11

Just awful. My daughter lives there. That's the only positive about the place. That and Catalonian pride in their rightful cause against the quite ridiculous Spanish government in Madrid. Polluted, full of tourists, disgusting, uneatable cuisine, unbearably stuffy and hot in summer, a haven for crime, a football team that always wins because it is a business, not a sporting club - hard to say anything good about the place (but she clearly likes it).

Oh, yes - Barcelona has what must be Europe's biggest second hand record store ( I did find something positive after all, and Warsaw leaps up the Dougpol likeability scale when comparing the two....)

Slupsk, on the end of the scale, isn't much nicer. If those pesky Russians hadn't destroyed it....
mafketis 37 | 10,941
27 Oct 2019 #12
Catalonian pride in their rightful cause

Catalan independence is neither proud, rightful or a cause...

There is no legal basis in the Spanish constitution (approved of by an absolutely majority of the Catalan electorate in 1980 or so) for an independence referendum without the approval of the central government.

Those leading such a referendum are lawbreakers, period.

And the EU has made it clear it does not want an independent Catalonia as a member. You're against Brexit but pro Catalonian independence (Catalexit? Catexit? Catalida? (blend of Catalan and salida) How do you square that circle?
Dougpol1 30 | 2,567
27 Oct 2019 #13
neither proud, rightful or a cause...

Says you. It's really none of our business though, is it? You cannot apply the academic argument to every single case, though here the point would be applicable for you and me, non-players in this.. But, you have likely been there, and observed Catalans and Basques to be different, and the Spanish have run a ram through the problem since the 1930s. My daughters' fiances' family are Catalan, not Spanish, and never will be. Those are the facts - not some academic argument that you hold on to to solve every point. Do you always stick your nose in everywhere Maf? You must be fun at the proverbial party.

Brexit but pro Catalonian

I square that circle, as you put it, ( and I do not subscribe to the theory of consistent policy across the board) because one is a right wing government forcing it's agenda on its people, and the other is a right wing government forcing its agenda on another people.
mafketis 37 | 10,941
27 Oct 2019 #14
You do realize the current PM is a socialist*, don't you? And that 'agenda' is called a 'constitution' (ie 'rule of law').... and the EU is fully on board with the Spanish government doing whatever it takes to stop Catalan independence (which has never really polled over 50%....)

I do remember that an election or two ago in Catalonia and independence party publicly proclaimed that the election was a de facto referendum on independence and said party lost ground.... so they regrouped with some fringe parties to try to push it through anyway.

I've spent a bit of time in the Catalan influenced fringes (some of my favorite parts of Spain) and can read newspaper Spanish without any real effort. I can figure out some written Catalan but the independence movement has ruined the language for me..


Do you always stick your nose in everywhere Maf?

I refuse to apologize for having broad horizons and many, many interests. You should try it! It's a great way to keep the mind fresh!
Dougpol1 30 | 2,567
27 Oct 2019 #15

Yes, like Italian, quite pleasant to read. Italian is much easier for limey to speak. I was babbling away happily after 2 weeks in Naples:) But maybe it was the local wine...

And yes, the PM is a Socialist, but will always play the central government game, which is an extremely autocratic one, in the view of many. That's what is so annoying to many - whether it be London, Warsaw or Madrid. "Let's have 'strong' government - so I can wash my hands of all responsibility, and they can do the dirty work for me."

I am sorry that you can't see the Catalan point of view, but they are so comfortably off anyway, by British standards, that they would probably be bored if they didn't have something to fight for:)
OP Jjjam
27 Oct 2019 #16
Wouldn't Rome be a better all-rounder than Barcelona? It doesn't seem to get much hotter than Sofia in summer and the winters are way better than Sofia. Also it's much closer to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and even Sweden and Denmark (my other favorites!). Also closer to Germany for trips to Bavaria. Spain is just close to France and Portugal.

Also it has more sun hours than Sofia even (I was surprised my home city of Sofia sees more sun than most of Europe, I consider it overcast and a bit depresing in winter, go figure). I felt the worst in the Netherlands - I became vitamin D deficient while there.

I like Polish, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Hungarian, and Swedish culture. I like everything about Poland except the grammar (language itself sounds good but too hard to read) and the weather. Krakow is lovely and would be an upgrade over Sofia, but Sofia seems more beautiful than Warsaw imo. The Polish food is so-so (too much meat and potatoes, too few tomatoes, fish and peppers).

For food I consider Italian and Hungarian very good (lots of use of tomatoes in both). In general Hungary feels the most Southern of all Central European countries and it's also the sunniest (they have some Asiatic/Turkic? influence as well). The language is hard but they say it's easier than Polish to learn once you get its logic. I didn't like how reserved the Czech are and even Slovaks were too shy for my liking. I found Hungarians friendlier than both. Austrians and Germans are TOO reserved and I don't expect Swedes/Danish to be any better unfortunately!

Spaniards on the other hand come off as too crass/agressive to me, Spanish cities are well maintained but I also find the language doesn't sound as nice as Italian and even Hungarian, Swedish, Poish. It sounds uncultured/crass-like (I prefer Latin American Spanish). Central and Southern Italians felt almost like relatives, very relatable to me while Northen Italians seem cold and reserved like Austrians and Germans.

My ideal climate would be (Central or South) Italian winters and Swedish summers. Alas, it's impossible. :)

Genetically Hungarians and Central/South Italians might be closest to us, Bulgarians from those so maybe that's why I feel a sense of camaderie with them.
Lyzko 42 | 9,502
27 Oct 2019 #17
More people in Poland and Italy nowadays are apt to speak a higher quality English than in Spain, I've found!
They used to say, for at least twenty-five years or so, that is, in the tourist trade, "Spain's Different!" And for a
very good reason; she still lagged well behind the rest of Western Europe in terms of general English fluency
following the death of El Caudillo in the early '70's.
mafketis 37 | 10,941
27 Oct 2019 #18
More people in Poland and Italy nowadays are apt to speak a higher quality English than in Spain

I think it's about the same in both countries, very low (and why should it be high, anyway?)

I've had classes with students from Erasmus from both countries and.... yeah, I was not real confident they understood much. There was one reasonably fluent Italian and that was it.
Lyzko 42 | 9,502
28 Oct 2019 #19
Don't forget though, Italy has something called BEC (Business English Certificate) and so is far more focused on using English with foreigners in Italy than was the case, definitely when the Lira was in place!

Recent experience with friends visiting Italy over the past year or so, even those who made an attempt at trying to converse in Rome, Florence and other major tourist centers, were usually politely encouraged to speak English, since the staff especially were all eager to use their English:-)

Compared to when I first was in Italy as a teenager with our high school tour group back in the late '70's, today, French is a rare curiosity and the outdated caricature of the barely English literate Italian with a funny accent and hand gestures, is basically a thing of the past, according to what I've read.

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