Moving to Italy: Your Ultimate Relocation Checklist (2022)

Federica

Updated on Aug 05 • 8 minute read

Dreaming of moving to Italy? We get that. After all, the Italian culture, low cost of living, incredible cities, delicious food, and fun-loving people are some of the many reasons people move to Italy from abroad.

But packing up and moving to a foreign country takes a lot of planning. Forget one thing, and it can lead to you missing out on important paperwork, making costly mistakes, and being stressed. To guide you through the entire process, we’ve made this helpful relocation checklist.

Here’s what you should know before moving to Italy:

  1. Learn the basics about Italy
  2. Check if moving to Italy suits your needs
  3. Pick a city to live in
  4. Prepare a budget to see if you can live in Italy
  5. Find out the requirements for getting a visa
  6. Get your documents in order (and apply for the visa)
  7. Search for your new home in Italy
  8. Wrap up your life abroad and go to Italy
  9. Collect your residence permit or certificate
  10. Register your address at the local municipality
  11. Get your Italian tax number
  12. Apply for health insurance
  13. Open a Spanish bank account
  14. Get a local SIM card

1. Learn the basics about Italy

Italy’s culture is unique and it would do you good to have some understanding of the people and their way of life. Not only will you understand people better but also avoid any culture shocks.

Culture

There’re so many cultural specificities in Italy that you may not be aware of. For example, Are people always late? Is Italy’s bureaucracy really as bad as the stereotypes? Some things might even surprise you, such as, when grocery shopping, you’ve to wear plastic gloves to pick up fresh produce as Italians are particular about hygiene. To know more about such cultural specifics, read up on Italy’s culture and traditions.

Language

Whether speaking Italain is your dream or not, learning the language can certainly be helpful. For instance, knowing that station names in Italy are in Italian is going to be helpful when you make a daytrip with the train. Similarly, a lot of the bureaucratic procedures take place in Italian, think filling forms or calling an automated phone line. So learn the basics before you move and your future self will thank you!

Weather

Italy is generally known for its mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild, rainy winters. But depending on which part of the country you’ll move to, you need to pack differently. For instance, you can expect sub zero temperatures and snow in the North but mild winters in the South.

2. Check if moving to Italy suits your needs

Moving abroad is a big decision, so it only makes sense to know whether the country you’re moving to has everything you need. Whether you’re moving to study, join a family member, work, or retire, get an overview of all documents and upcoming deadlines.

3. Pick a city to live in

Picking which Italian city you want to live in is both exciting and stressful. There’re lots of factors to consider, such as the city’s cost of living, work opportunities, number of internationals, culture, weather, LGBTQ friendliness, etc. Each city is unique and it’s worth spending some time getting this right.

Some of the best expat cities in Italy include:

  • Milan
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Turin

4. Prepare a budget to see if you can live in Italy

Unfortunately, moving abroad isn’t cheap! Considering the cost of living in Italy, make sure you’ve more than the minimum amount so you can account for unforeseen circumstances. This is especially important for visa holders as you’ll need to show you’ve enough financial resources to live in Italy.

Also, check out the average salaries for your (future) industry in Italy if you’re going to work. This should help you negotiate for a good salary that is in line with the cost of living and your lifestyle.

5. Find out the requirements for getting a visa

If you're moving to Italy from another EU/EEA country, you won’t need a visa or residence permit.

But if you want to move to Italy from the USA, from the UK to Italy, or from any other part of the world, you'll need a visa and residence permit.

Make sure you apply for the right visa, depending on your intention of stay:

6. Get your documents in order (and apply for the visa)

Before you head to the consulate/embassy to apply for your Italian visa, make sure your passport is valid for more than 3 months and that at least 3 pages are empty.

Translate and legalise all important documents, if needed, such as your birth certificate or marriage certificate as you’ll likely need them. Do this at least 3 months before your planned departure as these processes can take weeks or months.

7. Search for your new home in Italy

If you already have a university, internship, or job placement in Italy, you probably know which city you want to move to. Or you’re still researching which city is better for expats in Italy.

Either way, its important to know the rent prices in the city and its neighbourhoods. Not only because this can impact which city you move to but also because housing is in high demand throughout Italy, especially in more prominent cities such as Rome, Milan, Florence and Turin.

We highly recommend learning more about the neighbourhoods, the public transport connections, and the average monthly rent in Italian cities for different types of housing:

CityRoom rentStudio RentApartment rent
Milan€621€1,150€1,833
Rome€506€760€1,800
Florence€500€845€1,400
Turin€450€550€815

When you’re ready to book, take a note of whether your rental agreement includes utilities or not as this can add additional monthly costs.

To prevent falling for scammers, you should search for accommodation on a safe platform like HousingAnywhere. You can rent your new place from abroad, with protection of your rental payments until after you move in!

8. Wrap up your life abroad and go to Italy

Before you fly, drive, or take a train to Italy, make sure you finalise everything at home. This includes:

  • Terminating your rental contract or subletting your apartment or room if you plan on coming back after living in Italy.
  • Canceling your water, gas, electricity, and internet contracts and choosing utility providers in Italy if that’s not included in your rent.
  • Canceling memberships, such as your gym membership or phone plans. Most times, you’ll get a discount for early termination when you’re moving abroad.
  • De-register from the city you’re living in and inform the tax authorities (if applicable).
  • Make back-up copies of all your important documents before flying to Italy.

9. Collect your residence permit or certificate

If you’re a EU/EEA citizen, you’ll need to declare your intention to stay in Italy for more than 3 months at the local police station. An official will visit your home to confirm your residence, after which you can collect your residence certificate from the local registry office.

Non EU citizens need to collect their Italian residence permit within 8 days of their arrival. You first need to go to the local Questura (police station) and then the post office to complete additional paperwork.

10. Register your address at the local municipality

If you plan to stay for more than 3 months in Italy, you’ll need to register your residence and apply for a permit with the office of Anagrafe in your municipality. This will also be needed for a variety of necessities, such as getting a bank account in Italy.

To register at the Anagrafe, the following documents are required:

  • A completed application form
  • Proof that you have obtained housing (e.g a rental contract)
  • Passport or ID card and residence permit
  • Valid health insurance
  • 4 passport-sized photographs
  • Proof that you can sustain yourself financially during your time in Italy

11. Get your Italian tax number

If you’re planning to work and need to pay taxes on income or assets, make sure you’ve all the document prepared for getting your Italain tax number — Codice Fiscale. It’s similar to a social security number and is important for various reasons such as signing your employment agreement, opening a bank account, signing up for utilities, buy a property, etc.

You can apply for a Codice Fiscale after you’ve registered your address at the local Anagrafe or municipality. Visit the tax office in your municipality with your passport and fill out the tax number form. You will receive the number on the spot and an official card will be mailed to you.

12. Apply for health insurance

Most EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can relax here; you’ll be covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays.

If you’re non-European and are planning to stay in Italy for a long period of time, for example, to work or join a family member, you need to take part in the Italian public health insurance system. Additionally, private healthcare is available, but at a premium.

If you’re an international student, you need to be covered by an international health insurance policy with full coverage in Italy.

Some countries also have prior agreements with Italy’s health organisation, such as Argentina and Australia. In this case, your country's health insurance also covers you in Italy.

All foreign nationals should pay a visit to the nearest local health authority, the Aziende Sanitaria Locale (ASL), and register with a doctor.

13. Open a Spanish bank account

Having a local Italian bank account is handy for reasons such as easily paying your rent and utility bills, splitting costs with friends, not paying for each withdrawal, etc.

Since opening an Italian bank account can take time, make sure to check with your bank at home if you can withdraw money abroad and if your card will work in Italy. It’s recommended to bring spare cash in case of emergencies.

14. Get a local SIM card

If you’re coming from an EU country, your internet will work in Italy. But calls or messages may or may not be included, depending on your plan. Things look different when you’re coming from the USA or other non-EU countries. Your best option is to get a local SIM card in Italy with a monthly plan to save costs.

Optional relocation checklist items

15. Exchange your driver’s licence

Expats from certain countries, such as Turkey or Argentina, can exchange their driver’s licence for an Italian one. But if your country doesn’t have an agreement with Italy regarding driver’s licences, you’ll need to redo your driving theory and practical exam in Italy.

Europeans don’t need to exchange their licence; it’s recommended if you plan to stay in Italy for years or need to renew/replace your existing licence from another EU country.

16. Prepare for your pet’s relocation

Moving with your pet to Italy? There’re certain rules to follow regarding vaccinations and whether your pet is allowed to enter in Italy or not. Know the rules well ahead of time so you don’t end up stressing last minute.

So now that you have read through all the helpful tips of this relocation checklist, you can start planning your move to Italy. Whether you move to a bustling metropolis, a quieter city along a sparkling waterway, or a town with views of the Dolomites, you’re sure to gain a suitcase full of memories and experiences that you will remember for a lifetime.

Benvenuto in Italia!

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