Moving to Italy?

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Popular Expat Destinations in Italy

When you dream about your imminent move to Italy, the first things that come to mind may be great weather, excellent wine, and delicious cuisine. The InterNations guide provides you with all the essential info about moving to Italy, such as visas and popular expat destinations.
Like Rome or Milan, beautiful Tuscany attracts many expats moving to Italy.

Where to Go

Italy covers a surface area of over 300,000 square kilometers and offers some of the most culturally rich cities in the world. So, if you haven’t been sent on a company transfer to a specific place, it may be a bit difficult to decide where exactly you want to begin your new life in Italy. Some large cities where many expats choose to relocate to are Rome, Milan, and Florence.


Rome (Roma) is the capital of Italy and is home to over 2.9 million inhabitants, approximately 10% of whom are non-Italians. As the capital, Rome hosts all principle institutions of the country — it is the center of all political, economic, and diplomatic headquarters. It also offers a number of tourist sites, including the Vatican City and the Colosseum. The city welcomes approximately 10 million visitors annually, and numbers are even higher during a “Holy Year”, when millions of Christians make the pilgrimage to the Vatican.

The economy of Rome is largely dominated by the service sector, particularly those services linked to tourism. High-tech companies, research, and construction also contribute to Rome’s affluence, making it the second wealthiest city in Italy after Milan.


Milan (Milano), recognized as one of the world’s fashion, architecture and design capitals, is located in the northern region of Lombardy. Its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of up to 3.2 million, making it the largest city in Italy.

Milan has many architectural highlights, including its gothic cathedral. The city is also a renowned center of performing arts, particularly opera, with the world-famous La Scala opera house located there. In addition, Milan is one of the world’s leading financial centers. For much of the 20th and 21st centuries, the city has been a major manufacturer of textiles and garments, automobiles, chemicals, industrial tools, and heavy machinery. However, the significance of traditional industries has been decreasing in favor of the service sector. Despite Italy’s flagging economy, the Milanese still enjoy a fairly high quality of life.

Other Expat Destinations

Florence (Firenze) is the capital city of the famous region of Tuscany, the region where many of the best Italian wines come from. Florence is not as big a city as Milan or Rome, with only about 400,000 inhabitants. However, it houses some of the greatest art collections in the world and is a favored tourist destination, welcoming millions of tourists every year.

There are thousands of other well-known destinations that expats choose when moving to Italy, such as Genoa (Genova), Naples (Napoli), Turin (Torino), Venice (Venezia), and Palermo, to name merely a few.

Your permanent residence in Italy, as in every country, will depend on your reason for moving, the type of job you are seeking or have been assigned, and your personal taste. You could, for example, even choose to live in Italy’s smallest town of Morterone in the region of Lecco, which is currently home to 37 inhabitants!


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 


Brandon Le Clerk

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"At my first InterNations Rome Get-Together I met more expats then expected. InterNations made is so easy to settle in."

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