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Moving to Italy
A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Italy
If moving to Italy is part of your plans, our comprehensive guide gives you all the steps to move to Italy, from getting a visa, to registering for healthcare, paying takes, getting a bank account, finding schools, and more. Find out if you meet the requirements for moving to Italy—be warned these are quite different for EU citizens and non-EU citizens in most aspects.
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If you are looking for a hands-on guide on how to move to Italy, you are in the right place. We show you how hard or easy it is to move to Italy on all aspects that concern your relocation, from housing to healthcare, education, banks and taxes, and more. Overall, if you are willing to handle slow bureaucracies and complicated processes of registrations and applications, you will find the Italian way of living worth it. That is if you like the country’s relaxed and outgoing nature, as these are by far the major benefits of moving to Italy.
Each section of this guide covers all things to know when moving to Italy, and what you will need to move there—patience comes first, especially if you are used to methodic and timely processes for public services. However, if the Italian tranquility and work-life balance appeal to you, you will find Italy to be the perfect destination.
This section covers all you need to know about the process of moving to Italy. When it comes to moving your goods with you, you should be well-covered in terms of options. Depending on where you are moving from, you can have your belongings shipped by road, air, or sea. The option you go for depends only on how fast you would like your items to arrive and your budget. However, if you can have them shipped by road, this is likely going to be your best option, as it is relatively affordable and fast.
This relocation guide covers all the customs allowances and forbidden or restricted items, which you should keep in mind before you start packing for the land of the Romans.
On the other hand, if you need storage once you are there, you may run into some trouble. Options for storage in Italy are scarcer than in most European countries, but you will still find options throughout the country. If you want to book online or know the prices in advance, it might be better to search in Italian.
As for required vaccinations to move to Italy, you should have nothing to worry about if you have all your routine vaccines up to date—these are the ones you should have gotten as a child in most countries.
If your four-legged friend is coming with you, you should get acquainted with the requirements for moving to Italy with pets. As long as your pet has the necessary vaccination, pet passport, and microchip, you should have no trouble crossing Italian borders with your furry one.
Once you know what to bring and what to leave behind, it’s time for packing.
To know how to get an Italian visa and work permit, you will want to do some reading ahead of time. That is because Italy has a quota on how many foreigners can work in the country, and this will depend on the kind of work you are looking to do. This is, of course, if you are a non-EU national. Citizens of the European Union can enjoy the rights to free movement and live, work, and study in Italy without the need for visas and permits.
We cover visa application processes for each of the most popular visas, along with their requirements, so you are all set to apply at the Italian embassy.
You shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of the visa, as most are only 116 EUR (127 USD) for most of them. To this, you must add the resident permit fees, which can go up to 200 EUR (220 USD).Read Guide
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Finding accommodation in Italy shouldn’t be too hard—that said, you will have better luck finding housing in Italy quicker in the countryside than in bigger cities, where demand for housing is much higher.
In this section, you can get to know all types of houses you can find in Italy, from the common city apartment to the more typical casale or villa.
We give you all the information on how to rent a house or apartment in Italy, and the average rent—800 EUR (880 USD) a month—although this number can be as high as 1,500 EUR (1,650 USD) a month in some of the most expensive cities. We help you set up your utilities in Italy by guiding you through the process, documents, and requirements.
If, on the other hand, you want to know how to buy a house in Italy as a foreigner, you should know the first thing is to look for a lawyer or a real estate agent. This avoids confusion regarding taxes, leases, or any possible hiccup that could be associated with your future property. Average house prices in Italy are somewhere between 1,800 and 1,900 EUR (1,980 and 2,090 USD) per square meter.Read Guide
Make sure to check out our healthcare section to learn everything you need about the healthcare system and health insurance in Italy.
The Italian healthcare system is advanced, with trained, qualified professionals. You can rely on their public healthcare services to cover any serious or minor medical needs, for little to no cost.
However, it is not uncommon for residents to take out private health insurance in Italy. These are mostly supplemental to public services, which can come with inconvenient waiting times and slow diagnostics. However, private health insurance in Italy does not come cheap and may cost you between 1,000 and 3,000 EUR (1,100 and 3,300 USD) annually, depending on the extension of your cover.
You can also find practical information on how to find a doctor. Public doctors are listed with your local health agencies, the ASL, which is also where you will be carrying out all the procedures to register with the public healthcare system.
If you plan on giving birth in Italy in public hospitals, you should be prepared. The state covers all costs associated with medical procedures and care. However, you should know that some mothers’ experiences in public hospitals are not very encouraging, with many parents alerting to the fact that you will have to bring to the hospital everything you might need—this includes basic necessities such as towels, toiletries, diapers, and so on.Read Guide
Opening a bank account in Italy is not too complicated—if you are in Italian territory, that is. Opening bank accounts from oversees is not common practice. Even on Italian ground, you may find that options for expats are not as extensive as for nationals, especially in smaller cities.
We give you a list of some of the best banks in Italy, whether that is banks with no fees, with online banking, or nonresident bank accounts in Italy for those who wish to make transfers between different countries and currencies.
Find out how the tax system works, and how much the tax is in Italy for your specific income or business. We show you how you can register with the local tax office with all the required documents, whether you are an employee, self-employed, or starting a business in the country.Read Guide
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The education system is a mix of public and private institutions. Public schools have an excellent reputation and you wouldn’t need to rely on private schools if you are worried about providing high-quality education for your children.
Some of the best schools are both public and international schools. There are many options for international schools in Italy for expat families. Whether you wish for your child to have an entire international curriculum, or for them to integrate the public education system later on, international schools in Italy cater to all those needs.
If we are talking about higher education, public universities are definitely the way to go. Many of these institutions are ranked as some of the best in Europe and the world.Read Guide
Finding work in Italy is most likely a priority—this is especially true if you are a non-EU citizen, as you will need a job before applying for a visa. This guide shows you how to get a job in Italy. If you speak Italian, you have a significant leg up on the competition. If not, speaking English is also a good asset, as many Italians can fall short when it comes to speaking the language.
Self-employment should be on your plans only if you are resilient. You will find many warnings on how bothersome it can be to be self-employed or set up a business in Italy, as you will need to handle all sorts of public registrations and processes on your own, which are not easy to navigate.
The average salary in Italy will largely depend on your position and even region. In general, you should strive for no less than 1,800 EUR (1,980 USD), but in bigger cities, you should aim for 2,000 EUR (2,200 USD) if you wish to live comfortably. Working and paying contributions will give you all the rights to social security in Italy, although these may differ if you take up self-employment in the country.
As for the country’s business culture, this is generally accommodating to foreigners, but speaking Italian may be key for a long-term stay. You will find fierce competition in fast-paced cities like Milan or Rome. If you live the Italian way, you are sure to enjoy a comfortable work-life balance anywhere in the country if you want to.Read Guide
The cost of living in Italy can’t be easily pinpointed. Considering the differences between the north and the south of the country, and even between cities, you should look at living expenses in Italy on a case-by-case basis.
Overall, it is not expensive to live in Italy. Prices for groceries are affordable, and housing in the country is among the cheapest in Europe. You should expect rent, health insurance, and private education to make up the most significant part of your spending. However, the last two are optional, as you can enjoy both free healthcare and education as a resident.
If you plan on driving in Italy, you should be able to use your EU driving license for as long as the license itself is valid. As a citizen of a foreign country, you will need to exchange it for an Italian driver’s license, and we show you exactly how to do so. If you don’t plan on driving and opt for public transportation instead, you should expect very affordable tickets and monthly passes for both buses and trains.Read Guide