Your interactive family guide to Italy as recommended by local mums | Last updated 11 months ago

Interviews with Mums

Lyn Gladwin - Turin

"People are usually keen to learn about new things and share stories. Its often a good ice-breaker when you meet someone. On the other hand, it can take months or years to feel accepted and this can be very isolating" (LG, Feb 2013)

  • What is your name, age and how long have you lived in Turin?
    My names Lyn Gladwin, Im 32 years old and I have lived In Turin for nearly 4 years.

    Whereabouts do you live and what is the area like?
    I live in the north of the city which is quieter than the centre but it still has good services such as shops, markets, bus links. I would love to live in the city but it is very expensive to buy there.

    Why did you decide to move there?
    My husband already lived there before we met and had recently bought a house.

    What nationality are you and your partner?
    Im Scottish and my husband is Italian.

    How many children do you have, what are their names and when were they born?
    I have a daughter, Isabella Catherine, who was born in Turin.

    Do you work and if so what do you do?
    I was a teacher before having my baby and Im still on maternity leave. Dont want to think about returning to work yet!

    What was your experience of having a baby in Turin? (if relevant)
    I was really worried about having a baby abroad because of the language difficulties and was terrified I wouldnt understand doctors and midwives. I was unable to attend any pre-natal courses as I was very unwell throughout the pregnancy so I read as many books as possible to prepare. However, the medical care I received was excellent and I was looked after so well.
    It was a very positive experience.

    How well integrated would you say you and your children are?
    My daughter is still very young so its hard to say! I would say Im only now starting to feel more integrated and I think having a baby has pushed me out the door to go and find
    courses to attend and meet other mums. The last few months have been great fun and I feel like I am really getting to know the city and make friends.

    What language do you speak to your children?
    I always speak English and my husband speaks Italian. We did some research before our baby was born to understand what was better for a bilingual family and for us it seemed the most natural thing to do.

    Do you think it essential to speak Italian where you live? How good was your knowledge of Italian before you moved to Turin?
    Its essential, yes. I dont know many people who can speak English in the area where I live. Just a few words here and there. I had no proir knowledge of Italian which made things difficult in the early days. Im not the most confident person so I found it really embarrassing when I had to go to the market on my own or go shopping. You have to just take your time with the language and laugh at yourself now and again.

    Do you rent or own a property and how did you find the renting/buying process?
    My husband bought the house where we live before we met so I was lucky and avoided and difficult paperwork!

    How welcoming have the locals been towards you and your family?

    I found it very difficult in the beginning as I didnt understand anything but I found people to be generally enthusiastic and helpful. Now, everyone stops me in the street to talk and ask about our baby which is nice.

    How would you describe a typical local?
    I would say someone who talks with their hands! Its not an easy question to answer since the area where I live is so diverse.

    What is your impression of childcare and education where you live?
    Have no real experience of that yet. From friends and relatives I have had a good impression of nurseriesand there are always lots of activities for kids to take part in.
    I dont know much about the schooling system but I have the impression they get a lot of homework even from a young age.

    What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in the region?
    People are usually keen to learn about new things and share stories. Its often a good ice-breaker when you meet someone.
    On the other hand, it can take months or years to feel part of the community and this can be very isolating.

    Is there anything you think would improve children´s lives where you live?
    Less traffic and pollution and more parks or places to go for walks without the fear of being rundown! I think its important for children especially
    to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I grew up in a very quiet, very green town and had a wonderful childhood, outdoors all the time rain or shine.
    I really hope I can give the same to my family.

    What advice would you give for anyone having a baby or thinking of relocating to Turin with children?

    Make your own decisions about where to have your baby. Only you can decide what you will is best for you and your baby. Its good to ask peolpe about their own xperiences but everyone has different standards and ideas,and whats right for them might not be right for you. Go to the hospital and ask for information or have a tour if its possible. If you are relocating, get to know the area you are considering moving to before you make any decisions.

    What couldn´t you live without in Turin?
    I couldnt live without the markets for fresh fruit and vegetables. I love the fact that there is always something happening in the city, too. You can never be bored.

    What could you live without in Turin?!

    I could live without the traffic and smog! There are so many cars in and around the city and the pollution can get quite bad.

    March 2013