Pluses and Minuses

What are the differences between life style in Milan, Italy, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

With or without my late husband on my life in Italy are as follows:



Pluses:  1. Going out for a weekend since it is only an hour car ride or even only for lunch or dinner or tea or coffee in places out of Milan: A charming hilly town of Bergamo; Lake Como; Bellagio; Switzerland or if you like to stay for a whole weekend in Lake Garda (Sirmione where the charming fairy castles are. Torre del Benaco. Limone ((my favourite), Riva del Garda, Verbiano). It takes more than 2 hours care ride there, then that too is so worth your time. 

2. Then walking to any of your favourite bars for a cappuccino or espresso in the city.  Bar in Italy is a place where you mostly stop for beverages and only at cocktail hour you may order your Aperol Spritz and alike, that will be served with titbits. And never go there to sit by the bar itself for a drink. Either you stand or sit on tables provided, outdoor or indoor. Some bars still charge extra when seated on one of their tables.

3. Or going to the charming restaurants your choice with a guarantee that the food is excellent and fresh.

4, The climate is excellent for me personally as I love four seasons.

5. Good looking and stylish men and women all round especially in the city centre (San Babila, Via Montenapoleone (the Rodeo Drive or New Bond Street of Milan) which is not far from where I live but also in other areas such as Corso Vercelli, Corso Magenta, Corso Buenos Aires (Milan’s High Street) which is 500 meters walk from my ex-apartment.

6. Structure of daily life and traditions in general that for every hour and every kind of custom even in food has its season,time, to make, do or eat. 

7. There is an unspoken rule of clothing yourself that the Italians would embrace you more open and willingly for they respect that in you most of all, however, in today’s Milan… globalism of styling oneself is much more accepted by the new generation of Italians due to Internet and being a European Communion country.

8. Since I have succeeded in tapping on what’s Italian, I have two wonderful, genuine, amazing Italian close lady friends that are true to heart and I am very grateful to have met and have them in my life.  They actually are from my late husband’s connection.

9.  Age for a woman is not an object as long as she knows how to dress the right way in the stylist way if you are in tune to the well-dressed or certain class of Italian men.

10. True, genuine, loving friends in this city. I miss them being here in Jakarta. They are truly kind-hearted indeed.

11. Health Service.


Minuses: 1. People speak loud which is the norm most of the time. They don’t let you speak in edgewise. They are not good listeners unless you speak anything negative but never ever comment any negative about their people or their country. They can do it but not you as foreigners.

2. No flexibility in terms of having a common-sensical approach to life or things in general as they are so adhered to customs and traditions, the rigidity of their takes in life surprised me as one of the discoveries of living in Italy for decades. Yes, Italians are known to be warm and friendly, but that is just the superficial aspect of tourists or image the outside world made.

3.  Easily offended people. Their egos are immense! There’s no other world to them than Italy. Very judgemental people down to the nitty gritty of anyone’s appearances. Mostly negative since their language consists mostly of curse words which is the normal practise. Their take on things are always based on what they find negative.

4.  Everything is pricey. 

5. As a city, it’s not an exciting city for night life.

6. Very restrictive in many ways. 

7. Apartment is not fully functional ly-designed, old, no guest room. No proper kitchen.



Pluses: 1. So happens my house here in Jakarta is a villa with a swimming pool and a wonderful tropical garden with some fruit trees that I own outright thanks to my dearest husband, Pietro.

2.  This same villa brings income or on yearly-rental tenant although for 2 years going on 3 without it as Jakarta is no longer a city of houses and swimming pool but filled with modern apartments with amenities.

3.  Villa brings Bed & Breakfast income as well. 

4.  Having everything served by the housekeeper, gardener/nightwatch man and what not as it is the custom to have many people serve you when needed.

5. Cheap taxi fares that I don’t need to own a car.

6. Cheap cost of living as long as you adhere to local food etc.

7.  Friends that make me feel at home here in Jakarta and we are more and more close that truly gives me a sense of comfort and joy.

8.  They have everything here, wide selections of food, clothes, entertainments and cinemas with English-speaking movies. Great French Restaurants/Food.

9.  Relaxing life here at home surrounded by a tropical garden, swimming pool, gazebo, fish ponds.

10. Great supermarkets are near and in the vicinity and online shops are convenient.

11.  International life styles with events etc held by friends and by the city itself.

12.  Gentle, friendly, easy going, kind people and happy.

Minuses: 1. Too hot and humid for me although now I am slowly acclimatised to the local temperature.

2.  Import stuff are expensive especially wines.

3.  Styles are random and non-existent, let alone on men.

4.  No structures in food and celebrations. 

5.  Superficial with materialism.

6.  Expensive medical bills.

7.  Traffic jams everywhere.

8.  No outdoor living.

9.  No Italian espresso/cappuccino culture. Just Starbucks.

10.  No great Italian food unless you go to certain pricey places perhaps.

11.  No walking in the street culture hence the pastime of people-watching.





And so here are the lists of my life in the two countries above.  I will also make a vlog on this as per requested by one subscriber.




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