FMs4Ms Members: My Story
Mary Loscerbo moved to Firenze Italy in 1990 from Canada after receiving a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the U of Toronto, She traveled all this way, because she was granted a scholarship to learn Italian and study with a renowned singing teacher. Living here in Italy for 23 years, she has fallen in love with the Italian lifestyle, climate and food. While pursuing her career of Music, she fell in love with her husband from Basilicata, got married, and soon after she delivered her two wonderful boys.
Looking for a great café? Go to “La Sosta de’ Golosi” in the center which is owned by Mary and her husband. Mary does the accounting for the café and is sometimes needed to help out in the kitchen, but she has pursued her real passion of singing and songwriting. Along with writing her own songs, Mary has recorded commercial jingles, dance recordings, and music for documentaries. Though majoring in classical music at college, she is not limited to this and sings a wide genre from Pop, Jazz, Soul, and Dance. You can see some of her performances at the Goldenview Open Bar on Via de’ Bardi. Summertime she is extremely busy performing with her band for mostly destination weddings, conventions and private functions.
Both the private and public health system here in Italy have been utilized by Mary and she really likes the fact that the public health system is entitled for all residence and citizens of Italy. In comparing Canada’s health system to Italy’s, she expresses that in Italy there is not a ridiculously long wait to see the doctors which you deal with in Canada. She declared that Italy has the best system by usage of the two tier structure. To quote Mary, “If you don’t want to wait, all you have to do is go to a private clinic and pay for it (and the prices are very reasonable) In Canada we don’t even have that option. Either you take out a mortgage to pay for it in the States or you wait and hope to God it doesn’t get any worse.”
Through the process of natural childbirth, Mary delivered both her lovely boys in Firenze at two different public hospitals. Her first child was born in Santa Maria Annunziata (Antella) and her second child at San Giovanni di Dio (Scandicci). She claims both her delivery experiences were fabulous ones. She asserts, “the nurses where very helpful with breastfeeding and wouldn’t let me leave the hospital until I was sure how to breastfeed properly. They showed us how to change diapers and how to bathe our babies. I couldn’t have hoped for better and I had both children in different hospitals.”
When her babies were born, she sustained Maternity Leave from her husband’s café because she was classified as a “dipendente familiare” in her husband’s business. She does not get an actual wage but the business pays for “contributi” that go towards her pension and health system.
Both her children attend the public school here in Firenze. She declares, “I think it is quite good. A lot more advanced than in Canada but way too much homework!”
Driving in Italy:
Mary talked about that the driving exams in Italy as being extremely hard with lots of studying and learning of unexpected facts like the mechanics of the car. Despite the complicated multiple choice test, Mary did complete the exams to get the Italian License to drive. She states, “It is like getting a mini mechanics license! I failed the first written exam. Then I found out at the time that I could do it orally and I passed that. I passed the first time on my actual driver’s exam.”
Driving in Italy was a scary experience for her. The road rules in Canada which she was accustomed too were very different than the rules here in Italy, which created a bit of confusion at times. On top of learning the new rules of the road, she had to study how to drive a manual shift car which was a huge task in itself. The erudition did pay off and she states she is a wicked parallel parker, which is something you really require in the city streets.
Renting or Owning Your House:
No renting for Mary, since she owns her home here in Firenze. In comparison to buying in Canada, her impression is that it is just as complicated. You can find an article Mary has written for FMs4Ms Newsletter a few years ago on buying a home in Italy. Here is the link to her experience: Becoming A Home Owner In Florence
Miss From Your Home Country:
Because of her love for Italy, Mary adapted very easily to life here, but she, of course, still misses her family and friends back in Canada. Some things she wishes Canada had from Italy are the climate, food, lifestyle along with the two tier health system. Like many though, she hates the bureaucracy in Italy and the long complicated requirements you need to do to complete just simple tasks.
The Economic crisis has not really caused any issues for Mary living here. There are no uncertainties because, she always has the opportunity to go back to Canada if need be, ever since both her children attained double citizenship. She says, “I am just grateful that I HAVE that option if things really get rough here. If I go back to Canada I don’t think I’d have problems finding work in my field.”
Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network:
“When my children were young it helped to have the support group. Meeting other anglo speaking people in the same boat as you are. As the group has developed over the years at times I feel that it is more of a place to vent, which can be good to have at times, but I would prefer it to also be a place for women to feel empowered. I would like to see more women supporting women that work here. Networking more not just socially but on a professional level. Moms just don’t live for their kids; they also have their own lives and careers. I’d love to know what other women do. “