Moving to Italy to enjoy the sunny Mediterranean lifestyle is a common dream. Italy is famous for its food, weather, and scenery, all of which attracts foreigners to live and work in the country permanently.
Choosing which location to move to is an important choice to make when relocating to Italy. The country boasts mountains, coastlines, forests and rolling countryside, so there is something for everyone. It is important to assess the location in terms of cost and job opportunities as well however; Northern Italy offers greater employment as it is a more developed region with a strong infrastructure, and a number of foreign expats, many of whom speak English. Southern Italy has much more open countryside as well as warmer weather and beautiful beaches. The type of housing also differs greatly with Italian regions; for example, small apartments in bustling Milan and traditional sprawling farmhouses in Campania.
The process of buying property in Italy is very structured, although it also arguably old fashioned and lengthy. Learning all the quirks and regulations before embarking on the process is well advised as it speed up the timescale and cost less money in the long run. Security for buyers and sellers of Italian property are in place in Italian legislation, but fluency in the language and legal knowledge will ensure you overcome any difficulties without a problem.
Research into the costs involved in property buying will allow to you budget accurately and set a price that will get you everything you need as well as being a good investment. There will be taxes and legal fees, transaction costs, and on-going expenses such as the mortgage and utility bills. Euro mortgages may be something to look into when investing in a property. Looking around a number of different properties in different locations will give you the best idea of what you want, as well as pricing and local regulations. Italian estate agents may be useful if you have difficulties with speaking Italian, as it will create a good relationship with the seller. Be sure to provide a specific brief if going through an estate agent as this will minimise their time and your expense.
Buying a car may be another aspect to be sorted out when moving to Italy. This will allow you the independence of driving around the country, especially beneficial if you buy a property in the countryside. There are legal regulations in Italy that allow EU residents to buy a car in the country, as long as they can prove their tie to the country. However, this is not widely recognised and so proof of residency may be required when buying a car. Documentation required when buying a car includes EU residents’ proof of residency, and a Permesso di Soggiorno for non-EU citizens, an Italian ID, your codice fiscal, and evidence of your insurance.
When you and the seller have agreed on a sale, you need to go to the ‘Agenzia di Pratiche Automobilistiche’ office to complete the ownership transfer – ‘Passaggio di Proprietà’. This must be done within 60 days of the sale. If you buy the car from a dealership all of this will be done on your behalf. Buying a second hand car involves a different set of procedures and required documents. It is important to change the ownership of the car officially. Costs for registering this car as your own are calculated by the ‘Auotomobile Club D’Italia’ (ACI) and can vary greatly, depending on the type and size of the car.
Having a car and a house in Italy will help you with employment in the country. It is essential to ensure you have the correct work permit, if required, when working in Italy. EU residents do not need a work permit but are required to obtain a codice fiscal or tax number as Italian residents are. Non-EU residents are legally required to hold a permesso di lavoro when working it Italy.
Employers must make the application for non-EU residents to work for them in Italy. This is a requirements of immigration law and is applicable to every type of job, no matter how small the position. Once employed, your employer is responsible for making pension and health-insurance payment on your behalf.
Looking for jobs when you are not an Italian native may be difficult, and fluency in Italian is again very useful. The best places to look for job adverts are in the local papers. This will show jobs local to you that will be easy to get to without huge travel time and expense. Working out what you want to do and what you are qualified to do is important before making applications. Jobs in bars and hostels are fairly easily secured for a short term fix, and volunteering may be useful. Your job options may be limited by where you live, whether you have a car and can commute, what your nationality is, which languages you can speak, and how long you are staying in Italy for.
The best places for employment are in the big cities but there is a general source of jobs all over the country. English speaking foreigners recently moved to Italy can readily find work as English teachers. A work permit will be the minimum requirement for working as an English teacher in a language school, and some of the more prestigious schools may require a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate to prove your qualification. Some useful places to visit when looking for work in Italy are Recruitaly which is aimed at graduates, and British Institutes which offers English teaching jobs.
The working hours in Italy differ certainly to those in the UK, and to other countries worldwide. Banks are open between 8.30am and 1.30pm, and then 3.30pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and are closed at the weekend – although major cities may keep exchange offices open. Post offices are open between 8.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, although be aware that local branches will not be open on weekends. On the last business day of every month, all post offices close at 4.30pm.
Pharmacies are open between 9am and 12.30pm, and then 3.30pm to 7.30pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday until noon. Some pharmacies may be open on additional days such as Sundays and bank holidays for emergencies. Retail shops have similar opening hours to pharmacies, 9am to 12.30pm and then 3.30pm to 7.30pm, Monday to Saturday. Each shop then shuts for half a day, either on a Saturday afternoon, a Monday, and a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. This excludes major shops and department stores in cities, and supermarkets which are open 10am to 7.30pm Monday to Saturday.
Bars and clubs that run into the night usually close at either 1 or 2am. Cafes and bars open during the day and less at night are open between 8am and 8pm. The opening hours depend on whether they are family run and where they are located. Restaurants are open between 12pm and 3pm, and 7.30pm to 11pm or 12am. The kitchen hours will differ and restaurants will close early at least one day a week.