If you’re thinking of relocating to warmer climes, you could do worse than setting your sight on Italy. Whether you’re retiring to a home in the sun, or are relocating with work, moving to Italy means there’s lots of planning to do. Removals to Italy are usually straightforward when planned carefully. Leaving your native country and moving somewhere new can seem quite daunting but when you break everything down, it’s not quite as difficult as it may first appear. This page will walk you through all the essential elements of moving to Italy.

Moving to Italy: About Italy

With its distinctive boot shape, Italy is one of the most recognisable countries within southern Europe. With land borders to the north, it is surrounded on all other sides by the coastline, offering lots of diverse scenery. In the south of the country, the landscape is more mountainous with a warmer climate, while the north of Italy is much flatter and colder too. Italy has strong links with art and culture with individuals such as Michelangelo. Leonardo Da Vinci and Botticelli just a few of the famous figures from the past. The country has 49 UNESCO sites, the most of any nation in the world. A strong indication of the beauty that Italy has to offer if ever there was one. Many expats choose to live in the north of Italy as it is generally more progressive but the warm and welcoming nature of Italians will make visitors feel at home wherever they choose to live.

Moving to Italy: Language

The national language in Italy is Italian, with around 93% of the population speaking the native tongue. However, the various regions throughout Italy have different dialects so the language may not sound the way you might expect! For this reason, it can be useful to learn some basics before you arrive but wait until you are in the area to develop your language skills further. It will enable you to take lessons locally and learn the regional Italian which will be the most useful. If you aren’t working, you may be able to get by without speaking Italian, especially if you are living in a big city or tourist area. In more rural or urban areas outside the tourist hotspots, you may feel more isolated if you can’t speak Italian.

Moving to Italy: Healthcare

Italy is one of the healthiest places to live. Not only is the diet extremely good for you; the standards of healthcare are exceptionally high. The World Health Organisation ranks the Italian healthcare system the second best in the world. The structure of the system in Italy is a mixture of public and private care. All Italians and EU citizens receive either free or low-cost cover from the state. Non-EU nationals need to hold full residency status to benefit from the same access.

The National Health Service in Italy is the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). It is funded by contributions via tax and topped up with government funds. The level of contributions is set relatively high compared to other nations, almost 10%, and it’s not possible to opt out. There can be a disparity in the quality of care provided, with the north generally providing the better options. However, even in the south, the standards are still very high and certainly more than acceptable for any new residents arriving from elsewhere. It is possible to top up your cover with private healthcare, but you will not be exempted from paying your contributions, even if you have your cover.

Moving to Italy: Transport

Italy is a beautiful country with many sights worth seeing outside the boundaries of cities. You can use public transport; However, driving a car provides much more freedom and easier access to remote locations. However, driving on Italian roads is a bit of an experience, and it may take a little while to become accustomed to the frenetic pace. Lane-hopping and tailgating are standard practices, and you’ll need to stay alert to spot everything that’s going on around you! This driving style is far more prevalent in the south than the north. If you prefer to stay away from the steering wheel, you’ll have the choice of buses or trains. Buses run all over the country and include both local and long-distance routes. It is easier to purchase your tickets in advance.

In Sicily and some of the more mountainous regions of Italy, buses are the only option for public transport. Other than remote regions, train coverage across Italy is decent, with regular and high-speed trains available. Tickets are single rather than return fares. Price is a direct function to the distance you will travel. Slower trains can be vastly cheaper, a helpful option if cost rather than time is your priority.

Moving to Italy: Visa Requirements

As part of the EU, it is simple to move to Italy if you are from a fellow EU country. You do not need a visa, just the usual entry documentation such as a passport, and this will allow you to live and work in the country. Italy has waiver agreements in place for a few other countries including the US and Canada; These benefit from the same arrangements as EU nationals. Any EU citizen wanting to remain in Italy for longer than three months must register their presence by obtaining a “Certificato di Residenza”. Non-EU nationals must apply for Permission to Stay (“Permesso di Soggiorno”), but this is a much more protracted process and can take up to five months to complete. An EU citizen can request Permanent residency after living in Italy for four years; A non-EU national will need to wait ten years.

Moving to Italy: Removals to Italy

As part of mainland Europe, Italy is far easier to reach than some other destinations. European moving companies will have covered the routes to all the cities many times before. As such, a reputable international moving company will make planning your move much more comfortable as you’ll have access to excellent advice.

Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to help you with the full list of restrictions that apply to removals to Italy and also provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.