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Healthcare and Leisure in Italy

Looking to settle in the sun, enjoy a slower pace of life and mingle with the friendly locals? A move to Italy means you will likely experience the so-called dolce vita. Our InterNations guide has just the information you need on housing, healthcare, and education in Italy.
From the Alps to Sicily's beaches, there are great opportunities for leisure all across Italy.

Worry-Free Living: Healthcare and Insurance

Italy has a very well-established public healthcare system, with public spending accounting for almost 7% of the GDP. It covers the treatment and prevention of illnesses and diseases, therapy and rehab measures, psychiatric care, and health and safety at the workplace.

The SSN, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, is Italy’s public health service, which provides guaranteed coverage for all citizens. The regions are managed locally by the ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale) . A list of all ASL addresses can be found via the Ministry of Health website.

If you are an employee in Italy, your employer is obliged to pay for your healthcare insurance. You must visit your local health authority and then register with a doctor in order to receive your health insurance card (tessera sanitaria). If you are working in Italy and have brought your family with you, they are also entitled to public healthcare once you have been officially registered.

Medical Care and Private Insurance

Medical care in Italy is modern, and doctors take pride in their job. Nonetheless, some expats prefer to get a private health insurance policy for themselves and their families, as treatment may be faster than through the regular state health service. The quality of the treatment does not differ, but the waiting periods in hospitals or for an appointment do, since the state system is sometimes overburdened. Moreover, foreign-language doctors who cater specifically to the expat community mostly have private clinics.

The largest private health insurance provider in Italy, formerly state-owned, is Assistalia, which also covers pension plans and car insurance. There are also several foreign health insurance companies with agencies in Italy. They provide special health coverage for expatriates, including options for international health insurance and repatriation.

There are no dangerous contagious diseases or particular health risks within Italy, so there are no specific vaccinations required before moving there. Just get the full array of normal booster shots, and maybe additional immunizations for hepatitis A/B. As always, when moving with children, contact the school district for any necessary immunizations your child may be required to have to attend school.

Have the Time of Your Life!

An important detail to keep in mind when choosing a new place to live is the types of leisure activities a country has to offer and whether these fit your expectations and suit your lifestyle. Italy is known for its fast cars, expensive fashion, fine wines, and diverse landscapes. But what does it really have to offer to its inhabitants?

Stemming from Ancient Roman times, there are many thermal baths and spas spread across Italy, which provide a variety of health benefits. Italy also has a lot of athletic options for the more active expat, such as swimming, playing golf, skiing, fishing, horseback riding, and sailing.

Cycling has also become a popular national pastime in recent years, and Italy offers many different terrains for doing so, from flat valleys, over gentle hills, to steep inclines. If you decide on one of Italy’s beautiful cities to be your new home, you will be able to visit some of Italy’s many museums, which offer a number of fascinating exhibitions and collections by renowned artists.

The Official Tourism Website for Italy, although designed more specifically for tourists rather than expats, gives a great overview of Italy's various regions. This will also be helpful when planning trips to other parts of Italy once you have settled in.


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