Stories of Italians in London

italiani a londra

Welcome to London, welcome to the new Italy. As we reported in the in the article “Italian Invasion to

London” thousands of Italian have been moving to the UK’s capital in order to get a job and chase their

dreams, that are currently unattainable in Italy. This mass migration represents an unsettling phenomenon

for our nation, because the migration especially concerns young people, who after graduating don’t get

a job in Italy and so are forced to move to the UK, where there is a more meritocratic system. Here, our

fellow countrymen restart their career from scratch, for instance as waiter or barmen, making quiet the

famous cliché which depicts young Italians as “big babies” and lazybones.

Roberto, 27 for example moved to London last summer, after several attempts to find a job with his degree

in law. Now he works as a waiter in a restaurant close to Piccadilly and doesn’t exclude to turn his career

in London: “At the moment I’m working as a waiter and attending an English course, but my plans are to

attend a Master here in London, because the situation now in Italy is awful and I don’t think it will improve

swiftly”. Those who have already got an excellent English level, but haven’t had work experience in the

UK, used to apply for internships, which are the first step towards beginning a career in the UK. Elisa, 30,

for example, works part time as an intern at “Cv and Coffe” three times per week and meanwhile works as

a waitress at the week end, because London is a such expensive city that she can’t afford to live in it with

just an internship, that usually refunds only expenses. “I got a degree in Political science and International

relations, but no-one called me in Italy, so I decided to take my chanches in the UK”, she said.

Then, there are also those who had a job in Italy, but lost it because of the economic crisis. “I had been

working in the information technology department of a big company, but due to the crisis it started to cut

back resources and I was sacked”, said Leonardo, 32. “I decided to invest the money I had earned to move

to the UK and now I’m studying marketing management at London Southbank University. He added: “It

isn’t nice to go back to being a student at my age, but I hadn’t a choice”.


Mattia, 31, has the same story. He was working for a company after getting a degree in Political Sciences at

Roma 3 University, when he chose to move to London because the company was in trouble. “I have been

living in London for 1 year and two months. At the moment I’m working in a cafè, but my aim is to open my

own company in the UK, where there are still opportunities for young people”.

However, coming to the UK doesn’t guarantee success. There are also unlucky stories such as Melissa, 30

who graduated in Psychology. “I arrived in London 1 year and an half ago and after cutting teeth I became

the manager of the yogurtmaker for which I was working. Unfortunately, the shop went out of business and

now I’m starting from scratch again, working as waitress”. She added: “I’m sick and tired of living in London,

I think of coming back to Italy in the summer”.


Unfortunately, an Italian degree doesn’t permit you to work in the UK in the sector you have studied

for unless you have an excellent English level. In fact, it’s easier to get a job after have attending a UK

university or a master’s, as Cristina, 30 did. “I arrived in London 3 and a half years ago, after graduating in

foreign language and translation. Here I attended a master’s in translation at Imperial College and now I

work freelance for several companies. I surely can say I have achieved something”.

This kind of emigration grows day by day but keeps being underestimated by Italian politicians. It’s time

they face this problem, because Italy has been losing several brains that could be used to rebuild the

country. Nobody comes in London because of the weather or the food, but just for a fair crack at the game

of life. Italians who live in London ask only for the chance to do it also in their beloved country.


photo []