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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Portable Internet

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

How we moved to Italy. Navigating the Internet

PART 23: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps we took.

We are in Puglia until the end of September, then back again in the winter.

Step 1: Our goal is to take care of emails, research and accomplish various tasks for some hours each day while in Puglia.

Step 2: Fears. As our decision to move to Italy evolved, we wanted to ensure that we could keep connected with friends (relationships) and libraries (research) and be able to log into office emails. We read about some internet challenges in some expat forums.

Step 3: How. We made a list of what we would need to remain connected. Our list included: stable internet, the ability to read office emails, and a quiet space.

Step 4: Seamless. We wanted the internet experience to be seamless.

Step 5: What we tried. Since we are renting we wanted a portable internet service.

To establish our internet connection, we tried several methods. The first was a portable internet device available in Italy. These devices can be carried anywhere in the country and are convenient but slower than the services installed in the house. We tried this solution, but I couldn't get to my office emails.

Step 6: What worked? Sometimes the easiest solution is the best. Since we have ATT, we tried to use the iPhone as a hotspot. The cost of the International ATT pass is $10 a day or a maximum of $100 a month. This solution worked like a dream.

Step 7: Local calls, hotspots, and texts. Since most cell phones now offer the possibility to have a virtual SIM card, it is possible to have an Italian number and an American number on the same phone. So we equipped one of our phones with an Italian number for our needs within Italy (local texting and calling within Italy, etc. I use Iliad for this), and we use the American number as the hotspot.

Step 8: Workspace. When I work on my computer in California, I often visit a library or coffee shop. In Puglia, I've only seen someone working in a coffee bar once; our Italian friends tell us that bringing a laptop to a library is unheard of. Before setting up one's computer in a coffee bar, they added, one better ask the proprietor since they probably will only want the table used for a short time.

Some have responded to this post that working in a library or coffee bar in Italy is not uncommon; I’d love to hear more.

Workspace needs:

During the week, my partner and I do research, take care of emails, and accomplish various tasks online.

When I am doing research online, I need quiet. I mean, quiet. But there are two of us in a lovely one-bedroom apartment.

We eventually each found our comfort spot; his in the kitchen and mine on the terrace. Every afternoon we have a dedicated space and time to accomplish tasks online. It all works like a dream.

Insights: As we move forward in our adventure of living part time in Puglia, we are finding solutions for each issue. All in all, it is pretty seamless.

Watch for my book coming in January: "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy."

More next time.

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