The A-Z of Relocating to Italy

Damien O'Farrell
5 min readMar 7, 2022


If you have always dreamed of living in Italy, or if indeed you are moving here as part of an intracompany transfer, in order to make your relocation go as smoothly as possible, there are certain things that you should be aware of before making the move. Below, you will find a list of the eight most important aspects of relocating to Italy.

1. Compliance: As an EU citizen, if you are planning on living in Italy long-term, you must register as an Italian resident with the Town Hall within ninety days of arriving. If you do not have an S1 or an E106 from your home country, you will need to show proof of private medical insurance that will cover you in Italy. In addition to this, you will need to show your work contract or the means with which you support yourself, your rental contract, the Italian Tax Code, your original passport, and, where necessary, certified and legalized copies of the marriage and birth certificates of any minors. It is always a good idea to check with the Town Hall in advance, in case they need any other documents. Non-EU citizens wishing to live in Italy full time will require the relevant visa, which could be issued for work as an employee, self-employed professional, retiree, investor, or owner of a startup. It is highly advisable not to move to Italy as a non-EU citizen until you have procured the necessary visa.

2. Property: It is always best to work with a reputable realtor when both renting and purchasing a property in Italy. They will be able to help you navigate the sometimes-complex waters of Italian bureaucracy, which is essential if you have just relocated. For example, people coming from other markets are often surprised to learn that the landlord, apart from major leakages, is not responsible for much more in the property. For this reason, it is very important that a thorough check in be done when you move into a property and when you move out, to safeguard as much as possible the return of your rental deposit.

3. Housing Budgets: I have read several housing reports where it says one can rent a 1-bedroom apartment in a major city in Italy for €600! What the report often fails to point out is that this apartment is usually in a part of town that most expats would not consider, as it is often downtrodden and unsafe. The real budget should be somewhere between €900 and up, if we are talking about a first-tier city. The great thing about working with a local realtor is that, in an instant, they can give you the real picture of what budget is appropriate at that given moment.

4. Utility Setup: Setting up utilities in Italy, especially without the language, can be very challenging, to say the least. When expatriates try to go it alone, they very often end up signing up for services they never requested and end up having great difficulties trying to cancel such services. Very often, the garbage tax, which is very important in Italy, either gets set up incorrectly or not at all, which can lead later on to trying to sort this out becoming very labor- and time-intensive.

5. Language: In an ideal situation, taking a course of at least sixty hours of Italian before you move to Italy would be extremely useful. This is particularly helpful if you don’t speak Italian at all or if you don’t speak a language from the same family of languages. Not being able to ask for what you want in a bar gets frustrating really fast and can cause you to feel that maybe you made a mistake in relocating to Italy. There is a basic reason why we learn languages, and that is to communicate! When the basic need to communicate and be understood is taken away, isolation and disappointment can quickly set in. If you can take even just one level of Italian before you move, that would be very beneficial and will help you assimilate much faster.

6. Special Needs: It is vital before relocating to Italy that you get information about anyone in your family that requires special services, such as elderly parents, children who are mentally or physically challenged, companion animals, or family members with other special needs. For your relocation to Italy to go as smoothly as possible, you need to make sure that such cases can be dealt with properly in the area of Italy where you intend to reside.

7. Work Opportunities: If you want to work as an actor, you don’t move to Nebraska; you move to New York or Los Angeles to increase your chances of finding work. Italy, unlike other European countries, does not offer a dynamic job market, and salaries are very low in comparison to some of its European neighbors. That said, Italy offers a lot of opportunities for people who are willing to start their own businesses, especially in the service and IT sectors.

8. Cost of Living: If you move to a major market in Italy like Milan or Rome, please note that the cheapest one-bedroom apartment that you will find will be approximately €900 per month, utilities will be extra, and you will probably also have a monthly condominium fee on top as well. Public transport, although limited, is very cheap, and eating out, if you choose wisely, can still be affordable.

Grab your copy of my eBook ’10 Must-Knows For Moving To Italy’ today and open the doors to a new chapter of your life in the heart of this captivating country. To get your copy, please follow this link for the PDF version or this link for the Kindle version.

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Damien O'Farrell

Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in providing high-touch immigration, destination, & coaching services in Italy.