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Travel Tips

Why become an au-pair in Italy?

With it’s incredible history, beautiful landscapes and delicious food, Italy is always a popular choice for au-pairs. If you’re thinking about becoming an au-pair look no further: these are the top 8 reasons that will definitely convince you to become an au-pair in Italy!

1. Italy is STUNNING

There is quite literally beauty around every corner you turn in Italy. Ancient historical cities with buildings over 2000 years old, breathtaking mountain scenery, picture postcard beaches and charming towns with impressive architecture. The country is so varied and there’s always somewhere new to explore! What’s great about being an au-pair is that you get the daytime off when the children are at school, so you can spend your days walking round and exploring the local area!

colosseum rome italy  Venice beautiful italy  siena italy

gressoney italy cinque terre spiaggia beach cinque terre spiaggia beach

2. Italy has great food!

Pizza, pasta, lasagna, risotto, bistecca: the list of delicious foods in Italy is never ending! Even in different regions the speciality dishes vary so you’ll never get tired of the food! And lucky you – as an au-pair you’ll get to experience homemade Italian food every night! If you’re super lucky, the family might even teach you how to cook some Italian dishes!

pizza Italian food arancine Palermo trastevere rome

3. You get to learn Italian

Italian is THE sexiest language ever. Ever. And it’s totally possible with some dedication to learn Italian fluently in your year as an au-pair. Being an au-pair is a great way to work in a foreign country without needing to know the language as the family will speak with you in English. However, you’ll find that you’ll want to learn the language just to make every day life easier (and to show off to your friends at home of course!). And trust me you’ll pick it up. Whether it’s from language classes, making friends with the locals, or from the hot guy at the pasteleria on the corner you go to every morning.

italian flag  turin italy alps italian cafe

4. Many families in Italy are looking for au-pairs

Nowadays getting any job in Italy is pretty tough, even for Italians. But getting an au-pair job in Italy is surprisingly easy: Italy is one of the countries where families always want au-pairs. Au-pairs are constantly in high demand in Italy, especially native English speakers. This is good for you as it means you don’t have to accept the first family that comes along, you can pick and choose and search around until you find something that really suits you. Do you want to live in the city or countryside, do you want to look after older children or much younger ones, boys or girls or you don’t mind?

It’s not only important to think about these things, but also whether you will like the location of the house – is it easy to get around and are there good transport links so you can go off and explore during your time off? And of course, the most important thing should be that you have a good feeling about the family,

The website Au Pair World connects au-pairs with families and is the website all my au-pair friends and myself used to find our host families. It is very simple to use – just create a profile and search for suitable families! You’ll even find that often many families will approach you!

Trastevere rome  rome italy scooters italy

5. You are surrounded by good looking people

Italians sure know how to look good. They are all glamorous and know how to dress well! Sometimes even your host momma is gona look more trendy than you (say whatttt??). On the flip side though, there’s a lot of eye candy in Italy and many au-pairs end up with a hot Italian boyfriend!

6. You’ll see so much of the Italian culture

Even though most au-pairs in Italy come from other parts of Europe, Italy still has many unique things in it’s culture compared to other European countries. Their explicit attention to detail or the fact they are dressed prepared for a snowstorm for half the year. And don’t even think about the biggest sin you could do in Italy: leaving the house with wet hair (yes even the boys with really short hair need it blow drying before they can leave home)! Many of these things would go unnoticed to the regular tourist, but being an au-pair and living with a family you’ll get such an insight into Italian culture that you just can’t see elsewhere.

street food Rome rome padlock bridge rome skyline sunset

7. The houses and holiday homes!

Most families who can afford an au-pair are pretty well off so you’ll usually get to stay in a really nice and spacious house! I even had a whole granny flat to myself as my host family had such a big house! As an au-pair you’ll get to live in a beautiful home that you definitely wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. And the best part – you don’t even need to pay any rent!

Plus, many Italian families who have an au-pair often have summer houses and take skiing holidays in the winter too. My friends’ host family had a castle in Tuscany that they would regularly retreat to in the summer. An actual castle can you believe it! Not that I’m jealous though – I got to go to upmarket Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites for a week skiing in the winter, I spent 6 weeks in the summer lying on the beaches of Sardinia, and had a month long summer retreat up in the Alps. Many Italian families take their holidays in Italy which is great as they’ll usually bring you along so you get to see even more of this beautiful country!

gressoney saint jean italy cortina d'Ampezzo Sardinia beach

8. There are many other au-pairs around so you’ll make lots of friends!

You might not realise this at first, but making friends with other au-pairs is really important! If you choose a family that live in quite an isolated location, it might be hard to find other au-pairs that you can meet up with and make friends with. Therefore I always advise to pick a family living in the city as there will be lots of other au-pairs you can easily connect with. Especially at the beginning it is vital to have this support from other girls in your situation, so you can go to each other if you feel homesick/having problems with your host family or just need to let things off your chest!

Even though you’ve got your friends at home, really make an effort with other au-pairs who live nearby. Join Facebook groups for au-pairs in the local area and arrange to meet up at the weekends or when the children are at school. I developed such strong friendships with some of the au-pairs I met, and still to this day we are so close!

rome vespa cucina italiana Spanish steps Rome

 

And those are my top 8 reasons for becoming an au-pair in Italy! If you would like to read more information on frequently asked questions about au-pairs, continue reading below!

 

What is an au-pair?

Au-pairs live with a family and basically act as a big sister to the children in the family. Their main role is to help look after the children after school and teach them English in a fun way. They’ll often play games with the children and tell them stories and they’ll always speak in English. Even if the children don’t understand at first, slowly they will pick things up. Often au-pairs are in their early 20’s and work as an au-pair abroad for a year before going back to their own country to work.

Why do people choose to be an au-pair?

The main benefits of being an au-pair are:

  • being able to live abroad
  • luxurious free accommodation
  • ability to immerse yourself in learning a language
  • working part-time hours thus enabling you to travel in your spare time
  • immersing yourself in a different culture
  • making friends from different countries and walks of life

Being an au-pair gives you a base, it gives you a purpose, and it gives you the opportunity to meet some incredible people!

rome italy Palermo Sicily horse drawn carriage Palermo Sicily cathedral

How much do au-pairs get paid in Italy?

On top of having your own room in a (usually) nice and spacious home, rent free, you’ll get a small salary. Au-pairs in Italy usually get between €70-€100 per week. No bills to pay, no commuting to work, no need to dress up smart and do your makeup for work (unless you want to!), so all the money that you get is yours to spend. If the family takes you out for dinner, they will cover the cost, if they ask you to come on a holiday with them, they will cover the cost. All they expect you to do is to look after the children, interact with them, play with them and most importantly, speak to them in English.

Why it is so important for an au-pair to pick the right family:

Being an au-pair in Italy was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. However, not everything was plain sailing at first. I kind of rushed into the whole thing at the last minute and so just picked the first family I found. They inevitably turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I just really didn’t feel comfortable whilst I was there. Whilst I was living in an amazing apartment in a fabulously central area of Rome, living with that family was pretty miserable, that’s why it is so important to not rush into picking your family and making sure you choose the right one!

When you do pick the right family it is amazing. They start to feel like your second family, and years later, I am still in touch with mine and hold them close to my heart!  Click here to read about my au-pair story!

piazza Navona Rome italy colosseum rome italy shop in Rome

Conclusion:

Italy is an incredible country in which to have your au-pair experience. As Italy is a popular country for au-pairs, you’ll find there are many other au-pairs around that you can meet up with, and I was so glad for the friendships I developed with the au-pairs living near me! You’ll learn so much about Italian culture, Italian food, the Italian language and the Italian food, and I can promise you, when your year is over, you definitely won’t want to leave!

If you’re thinking about becoming an au-pair in Rome, check out all the best spots in Rome here!

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