Dr. Brian Smith, Faculty – Fall 2014

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Living in Italy

Below you will find valuable information about living in Italy. Depending on which program you will be teaching for, you may find that some information is less applicable to your situation.

Apartments & Cars

CIMBA provides furnished apartments to our faculty; units are either one or two bedrooms with, in most cases, one bath. Apartments in Italy are quite different than those in the U.S. They are typically smaller and have fewer appliances and amenities. There will not likely be an oven or microwave in the kitchen, but rather a small toaster oven for baking. You will have a washing machine, but not a dryer as those are not common in Italy. Faculty will be supplied with bedding and towels. Most buildings are not equipped with air conditioning; faculty can open windows and use fans to circulate air. Internet is not accessible in the apartments, but faculty will have access to campus Wi-Fi 24-7 and may have the option of purchasing an internet key. Special requests with housing will be addressed when possible. Additionally, you will have access to the fitness facilities on campus including a pool (swim cap required), weights, and cardiovascular machines as well as the sports fields and courts.

CIMBA will provide faculty members with a stipend to cover the cost of a rental car during your time in Italy. We recommend using budget rental companies like Europcar and Hertz. You will need your international driver’s license to drive in Italy; these cost about $20 at your local AAA office. The car will help you get to campus and explore nearby towns. Due to expensive gas prices and a great public transportation system, these cars typically are not used for long distance travel. The Italian train system and the discount airlines are often better choices for travel outside the local region.

Families & Children

At CIMBA, we know that living in Italy will not only be a fantastic experience for you, but spouses and children will also have the opportunity to explore and learn! CIMBA is a family-oriented program; we encourage you to bring your family to Italy with you. Please let us know if you would like to speak with prior CIMBA professors who have travelled with their family.

Schooling: There are several options for educating your school-aged children. Children have attended nearby English International School, joined local Italian elementary schools, utilized distance education, and have been homeschooled during their time in Italy. Because options vary and the details associated with schooling are very detailed, you are encouraged to contact Chris Knudsen for information specific to your family’s situation.

Educational opportunities: If anyone in your family is interested in learning Italian, there are many bilingual instructors in the area that CIMBA can direct you to. Also, CIMBA offers a beginning Italian language and grammar course which covers the basics of the language as well as survival phrases for everyday life. With an advance request, faculty, spouses, and older children are welcome to participate in this opportunity.

Child necessities: Italian laws on car seats for children are very similar to those in the U.S. If you do not wish to bring yours along, car seats can be purchased from about 80-150€ at a nearby store. (Most airlines do not consider car seats luggage; it will be a free checked item and will not count against your total luggage count. Check with your individual airline for specific details.) Strollers can be found for approximately 70€ and are lightweight and good for travelling. If your child is small enough for a crib, we recommend that you bring a Pack ‘n Play for his/her bed, but we can also find those for sale for 100€ if you would prefer. In terms of formula, food, and other baby products (diapers, shampoo, lotions etc.) you will be able to find some of the American brands that you are used to such as Pampers, Huggies, Enfamil, Johnson & Johnson etc. Several members of the CIMBA staff in Italy have young children and can also help direct you to Italian brands that can be used.

Social activities: There are countless activities available for children in the area. Apart from spending time on the sports fields with the other CIMBA children, family members are welcome to use the on-campus resources such as books, computers, indoor athletic facilities, the pool, and the dining hall. Provided there is space available, they are also welcome to participate in the field trips to nearby towns and other cultural activities like pizza or pasta making.

You can bring a DVD player and movies as well as books. CIMBA has a library of books and DVD’s that can be borrowed (most of which will be in English), and you can also use the local library. Because the selection of movies and books in English from the local library will be limited, you may want to bring some from home.

Lastly, there are Italian sports clubs open to children of all ages that allow your kids to interact with Italian children. There is soccer, swimming, dance, volleyball, etc., and our staff in Italy can work to make arrangements with you upon arrival.


The Veneto region has four moderate seasons. The weather is comparable to milder regions of the Midwest, without the harsh winters. Below is a guide for the weather during each season. Keep in mind, these are averages and you should be prepared for temperature variance. We recommend using a weather app or website in the weeks before you depart to monitor temperatures in Paderno del Grappa and other travel destinations while abroad. 

Fall: Temperatures during this time are mild with variable amounts of rain. You should prepare yourself for temperatures ranging from highs around 75°F to lows around 35°F. Snow is rare in Paderno del Grappa; however, you should research other travel destinations as temperatures will vary.

Winter: Temperatures have highs around 50°F to lows around 30°F. Snow is less common, but possible in Paderno del Grappa, however you should research cities you may travel to, as temperatures will vary.

Spring: Temperatures during this time begin cooler and gradually get warmer. Again, you are more likely to experience overcast days and rain in Paderno del Grappa than snow. Be prepared for temperatures around 40°F when you arrive in Italy, which will warm to averages around 65°F when you depart. Southern regions of Italy can be quite warm during these months, and Northern Europe can experience heavy snow, so plan accordingly during your travel breaks.

Summer: Temperatures in Northern Italy range from 60°F to 85°F during this time and are known to get cool in the evenings. Summer in Italy can be very hot and humid, so keep this in mind if you plan on traveling after the program. Also, please note that air conditioning is not as readily available in Europe as in the United States. You will want layers to adjust to temperatures.

Additional Activities

While at CIMBA, you will have incredible opportunities to explore Italian culture and the Veneto region and to get to know your students outside the classroom. While oriented towards undergraduate students, The CIMBA Experience section of the website provides a lot of detail about what activities are available in the area. Professors typically participate in many of the same activities as students do. In addition, CIMBA faculty will have the opportunity to be involved in career workshops for students and to host “Evenings with a Professor” which involve, participating in fun activities like pizza making or bowling, getting to know students on a personal level. Check out this map which pinpoints the locations of various local resources.