Moving to Italy

Anyone looking for a reason to move to Italy won’t need to look very far! Delicious food, fantastic weather and a wealth of artistic treasures make for a tempting mix. As the birthplace of pizza and pasta, moving to Italy may not be great for the waistline, but it will do wonders for the soul.

With its long and rich history, from ancient Roman ruins to Renaissance masterpieces, there are a multitude of reasons to move to Italy. Italy offers a choice of bustling cosmopolitan city life, ancient hilltop villages and Mediterranean coastal delights. You’ll discover a varied landscape which includes towering Alps, majestic lakes and expanses of vineyards and olive groves.

There’s a reason why Italy is known for ‘La Dolce Vita’. The sweet life includes an emphasis on strong family ties, a sense of community and taking time to enjoy life’s pleasures (like the country’s great wines and coffee).

Finding accommodation

Much of Italy’s accommodation is in apartments, which makes detached housing very difficult to find. Villas or farms may be available out in the countryside, but most of family life within cities takes place in flats.

Prices will vary depending on where you move to. In the capital Rome and popular cities such as Milan and Florence, expect costs to be higher than in places like Perugia and Bologna.

Most standard rental contracts are signed for 12 months or longer and property is easy to find through online searches and real estate agents within Italy.

Education

The school system in Italy is largely public and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16. The standard is generally very high.

There is free access to public schools for foreigners living in the country, even those who are not yet formal residents. Even university is free, although some enrolment taxes may apply after the age of 16.

While English is taught in state schools as a second language, Italian is the main language used. International schools are an option for those wanting to continue with the curriculum of their home country.

Culture

Of the 60 million people living in Italy, the overwhelming majority are Roman Catholic (90%). This is unsurprising when you consider the country is home to the Vatican, the seat of the Catholic church.

Although within major cities and tourist destinations many people do speak some English, Italian is firmly the first language of the country and should be learnt by anyone looking to truly integrate.

Socialising is at the heart of the Italian culture. Dining with friends and family and chatting in piazzas (squares) until late into the night is commonplace.

Good to know

When renting in Italy be aware that unfurnished usually means completely empty and without any appliances or white goods. Expect only a bathroom suite and kitchen sink to be included within unfurnished properties.

The country largely still operates with a siesta time, meaning shops are closed for long periods over lunchtime (often between the hours of 1pm and 3.30pm).

The Mediterranean climate generally means hot and dry summers with cold and wet winters, with snow in the northern regions.

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