Italians in London | Italians in London Luca Molinari
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# 13

Luca Molinari

Photo and concept by © Rob Venom 2022

I was born and raised in Perugia. I have lived, studied and worked there for my whole life, until I felt that it was not my place in the world anymore and I had to leave it to come to London.
I am a Paediatrician. I love music, travelling and discovering new things – so probably you have already figured out why I love London so much: this is the centre of the world!
What do you do in your life in London?
As a Paediatrician, I work for a big and good hospital called Evelina – St Thomas’, and for Dottorelondon, that is the first Italian Clinic in London, a big project that now has more than twenty Italian doctors. Although if being a doctor can be a very demanding job (but I love what I do), I always try to remember that life is not just about work. There is so much to explore and experience in London to be tied up in routines!
So, a part from work, I love going out – especially theatres and cinema, exploring the diversity of food of this city, – keeping fit, meeting friends and going hiking (have you seen how beautiful is the English country?)
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
I left Italy just because London was calling me. As I often say, I didn’t move to another country. I just came back home. I feel so safe in this city like I if I had always lived here.
I guess there are no perfect countries in this world. There are only countries that are closer to the way we are. This was the place where I wanted to be. This is the place where I want to be.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
I don’t have bad experiences about London. Of course I will never forget the feeling as I arrived, full of hopes, but also anxiety and uncertainty (aren’t we all many Paddingtons?).
But day after day, I got to know this city better and better. And if you know the city, you can play following its rules. And if you are a good player, there is no limit at what you can win. So, everything becomes a success: getting a job, meeting new people, finding a house, and becoming part of this society more and more.
I think this city is like a mirror that reflects what you really are. And if you don’t like your reflection, it gives you the way to go into yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, change and become a better person. Or – if it’s not for you – you can just quit and go back to Italy.
I asked you to choose a place in London that you like or you are tied to, what was your choice and why you made it?
I am particularly connected to Dalston – because is a vibrant neighbourhood (where I have lived for 4 years). Walking along the beautiful Regent’s Canal is so relaxing!
But I am a bit different than many Londoners. I realized that most people are quite tribal. They tend to love the area where they live in and confine their life in that area.
I consider London my area: this is because I think most of the city is really beautiful. Yes, there are areas probably less attractive but I enjoy so much the diversity of people, architecture and green areas around the city. So, I am tied to London. The whole London!.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
The only problem I had at the beginning was with language. I knew English before moving here, but working in a busy hospital, where most of the language is medical jargon, was quite challenging. Many times I had to stop my colleagues and asked to repeat what they were saying or ask for explanation. And I never met anybody who did not help me. At the contrary, people seem very happy to help you. With a smile.
What do you think about this project?
It is very important to highlight what the Italian Community is building and doing in London. There are more than half million Italians, and, with my work, I meet many of them day after day. So many different stories, and so many different reasons that brought them here to London.
But all of them are working hard to build their dream and many of them has succeed excellently. And it somehow makes me very proud. Being Italian, being a Londoner.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
I am a doctor so I don’t see myself like somebody who exports Italian culture.
But with the other Italian doctors of Dottorelondon (and others) we are trying to bring our diversity – because we studied in Italy- within the English system called NHS.
I think our contribution is valued and appreciated every day more.