Moving to Italy – Full Relocation Guide for Expats
Are you thinking of relocating to Italy? If so, you should know that stunning scenery, incredible food, and gorgeous weather are just a few of the reasons why Italy is so appealing.
Italy provides practically everything you could ever dream of, including a considerably higher quality of life and breathtaking surroundings for rural getaways, including vineyards, mountains, lakes, beaches, lagoons, and waterfalls.
If you need additional justification to move to Italy, IMovingTo is here to provide detailed guidance.
Quality of Life & Cost of Living in Italy
Believe it or not, it’s simple to live without a car in Italy. Public transportation in this country is affordable and there are inexpensive accommodations offered in all major cities, including Rome.
In Italy, you can have the best espresso, croissants, pasta, cheese, cured meats, olive oil, and wine at very affordable prices. Budget vacations can be taken to the mountains or the sea. Beautiful public art and architecture may be found in any community, no matter how big or small.
Along with these advantages, it should be noted that Italian taxes are highly expensive. As a result, Italy is commonly considered as being among one of the most pricey nations in the EU.
Here are some common products’ average prices for you to consider.
- A basic lunch: 15 Euros
- Three-course dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant: 50 Euros
- Coffee: 1-2 Euros
- Mid-range wine bottle: 5 Euros
- Per kg of apples: 2 Euros
- Per kg of local cheese: 13 euros
Depending on where you reside, the cost of living varies significantly. The cost of living will be higher if you decide to reside in the North, however, considering all the aspects, it is clear that Italy has a quite satisfactory quality of life.
Without the need for visas or permits, citizens of the European Union are able to live, work, and study in Italy and exercise their right to free movement.
There are various visa alternatives available for non-EU citizens to live in Italy. For instance, the Italian Elective Residence Visa is appropriate for retirees and workers who already have a sustainable income and wish to live permanently in Italy without being dependent on employment there.
An investor visa is a type of residency program whose principal goal is to promote substantial economic investments within a country in return for enhancing the investor’s ability to relocate there legally. For non-EU citizens, an investor visa program may also provide a 2-year renewable special resident visa that allows freedom of movement throughout the EU.
Generally, if you are outside of Italian boundaries, you can only apply for a work visa. If you are in Italy on a visitor’s visa, you should leave the country and submit your application at the Italian consulate in your home country. The time limit for submitting your visa application is 3 months before the day you intend to move to Italy. Furthermore, you may be required to make an appointment with your local embassy.
How to Manage Finances in Italy?
In Italy, opening a bank account is simple. Credit banks, cooperative banks, and cooperative credit banks are the 3 types of institutions to choose from. You should personally visit the bank to open an account.
Don’t forget to keep your residency card or employment contract with you, along with your passport and proof of address. Besides, your tax identification number is also required.
Just like in every financial system, in Italy there are a number of accounts available.
- Conto corrente account is used for day-to-day transactions.
- Similar to a condo corrente, a conto corrente cointestato is a joint account you can share with another person.
- A joint savings account is called a conto di risparmio.
- The Conto di Deposito is a savings account with stricter conditions that offers a higher interest rate.
Long-term expats encourage newcomers to obtain a tax identification number as soon as possible. Everything from filing a rental application to obtaining a local phone number should be done as well. Before arriving in Italy, you can apply for this number at an Italian embassy abroad or by going to the Italian Revenue Service there.
Relocating Household Goods & Pets
As long as you import your household goods within 6 months after moving to Italy and registering as a resident, Italian customs will allow you duty-free entry. Many customs documents should be filled out if you are shipping some boxes and carrying a few suitcases. However, if you are an EU citizen, you will not be required to pay any taxes.
If you choose to import a car into Italy, you should be aware that the vehicle would first need to pass inspection and be adjusted to meet European requirements before being registered in Italy.
Italy is the friendliest country in the world to import pets. However, there are a range of requirements that need to be met:
- An authentic veterinary certificate.
- Reliable rabies vaccine. (You should wait 21 days before entering the country if the rabies vaccination was the first one.)
- A tattoo or a microchip that complies with ISO-11784 criteria.
- A pet also needs to be older than 3 months in order to enter Italian territory.
How Does the Italian Healthcare System Work?
Currently, the Italian healthcare system is revolutionizing and has skilled, certified staff. While most medical costs are reimbursed, for a little to no fee, you can rely on public healthcare services to take care of any urgent or minor medical needs.
Furthermore, in Italy, the healthcare system covers prescriptions, diagnostic testing, and medical examinations like mammograms and pap exams. Italians have a life expectancy of 82 years, which is above average and mainly a result of this excellent healthcare system.
In order to undertake all registration processes to access the public healthcare system, you need to register with local health agencies. Moreover, in addition to public insurance, it is popular for citizens to purchase private health insurance as well.
These generally serve as alternatives to public services, which can have long queues and delayed diagnosis times. However, depending on the extent of your coverage, private health insurance in Italy might cost between 1,000 and 3,000 EUR each year.
Where to Live in Italy
If you’re still in doubt and haven’t decided which city in Italy suits your preferences perfectly, here is a list of cities you may find interesting.
The canals in Venice are the most distinctive way for many people to discover this magnificent city. Whenever you travel by gondola or wander farther into the city’s churches, piazzas, and palaces, you can also get a closer look at the remarkable uniqueness of Venetian architecture.
Generally, mist hangs over the city in the winter, and the absence of tourist crowds can make this a much more personalized experience. This fairytale city never fails to thrill and delight.
Rome may be the most fascinating city in Europe to live in, with more than 2,500 years of fascinating history. The capital city is a historians’ paradise because it is home to numerous ancient cathedrals, museums, and archaeological sites. This city’s historical aspects coexist with a contemporary vibe as well as vibrant art and culture.
Florence is home to many of the most well-known Italian authors and artists. There is so much to see and admire about the city, from the beautiful sights of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo to the art museums and winding cobblestone roads.
Numerous masterpieces of Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Caravaggio can be found in Florence. It is one of the world’s most historically significant and artistically rich cities.
Public Transport in Italy
Italy has a well-developed public transportation system, including trains, buses, and ferry services. While it is easy to travel between regions by train, Italy’s cities can best be navigated by bus.
Instead of single-use tickets, long-term transit passes are frequently used in public transportation and you usually pay less if your pass has a longer duration. The longer the pass is valid.
A monthly bus pass, for instance, costs 52 euros, while an annual pass costs 455 euros. Although the annual pass costs more upfront, it actually saves you three months’ worth of payments.
How to Join Expat Communities in Italy
In Italy, you will probably be recognized as a foreigner as Italian communities are fairly close, especially in smaller towns. Therefore, it might be challenging to make friends in Italy with both natives and other expats. It all simply comes down to how you go about your regular activities and make an attempt to socialize.
However, there are a few points of advice to consider before deciding to join other communities. While it is simple to join Facebook communities for expats and follow their websites, you can also try to initiate a simple chat with locals in bars and cafés.
Italians are highly welcoming, as was previously noted, so, you will undoubtedly find friends if you only gather the confidence to strike up some conversations. An increased number of English speakers and larger expat communities can be found in big cities in Italy, which will facilitate your transfer and speed up the process of socializing.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Italy
Variety of landscapes
Italy has a variety of fascinating, diverse landscapes that add to the charm of living there, including mountains, lakes, old and new cities, and the sea. Even the weather is wonderfully arranged here. You can ski in the Alps and swim in the Mediterranean.
Moreover, one of the greatest aspects of living in Italy is the availability of easy travel to great locations. You could be in Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, or France within a few hours of driving. Not to mention that finding inexpensive flights around Europe is simple.
The history of Italy, which is represented by both legendary ruins and odd castles you have probably never heard of, enhances the beauty of the country’s environment. Seeing a castle or other historic architecture wherever you go is stunning.
Italy’s rich historical legacy continuously encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone and expand your view of the world and the ways in which you may contribute to change.
In Italy, women feel safe walking alone, kids are frequently seen playing in the towns, and there is an overall sense of safety. Pickpocketing is one of the more frequent safety worries in big cities, so always keep your possessions in front of you and important stuff out of sight. However, it is generally very safe to live in Italy.
Major cities have a higher concentration of English speakers. Nevertheless, Italian is the primary language in rural areas. Therefore, daily communication with locals or even understanding the meaning is a complex issue for non-Italian speakers. Luckily, learning Italian isn’t that tough because a lot of English words have Latin roots.
Touristically busy cities
Larger Italian cities are popular tourist destinations and can become highly crowded during the summer. An issue with general pollution and poor street maintenance may even arise. Rural areas and smaller towns, however, usually don’t experience these complications in the same way.
If the considerably higher quality of life and breathtaking surroundings, including vineyards, mountains, lakes, and beaches, are quite attractive aspects to take into consideration while deciding to relocate to a new country, it appears that Italy is a great option for you.