5 Things No One Tells You About Moving to Italy

Of all the places you can move to for your job, Italy is one of the best. The people are friendly, the weather is great, the sights and sounds are abundant and the food is fantastic! However the delicious pizza and rich pasta alone won’t convince you to make a home out of Europe’s boot and you need to cover your bases before making the choice to settle down in  Italy. Amongst the multitudes of cultural and atmospheric differences, here are our top 5 things to help with your migration:

1. Italy’s public transportation follows its own rules

Italian is conveniently sprinkled with several forms of public transportation that make residences, tourists, and long-term travellers’ stays more enjoyable, yet there are certain points of protocol to be aware of. First, if you are taking a train with no assigned seating, you will need to validate your ticket before boarding –or else suffer a fine! In addition, should you decide to try your hand at driving on Italy’s streets you will notice zona traffic limitato signs: these mean that these lanes are off limits to non-permitted drivers so do not cross over.


Photo by Karl Andrich

2. Import your household goods within 6 months

It’s hard to leave your precious goods behind so why not bring them along? You should import them within your first six months in order not to incur import duties. You can also bring your beloved pets (if you have valid Veterinary certificates) and your car if you’ve had it for less than one year.

3. Pickpocketing is common in the large cities

This isn’t an Italian problem as much it is a tourist destination problem.  Where there are a lot of tourists there are often a lot of people looking to exploit them and so pickpockets abound. They may be in the form of beggars, or un-assuming teenagers. Every foreigner is a target so hold your belongings close. This doesn’t mean that you should be paranoid of everyone who comes close, just don’t advertise your valuables or leave them lying around in public.


Photo by Yolanda

4. Italians love football

The more accurate term might be they are mad about football. Football is like a deity in Italy, so if you have any disagreements or dislikes about the sport, keep it to yourself. Amongst friends feel free to express your love for Chelsea or Manchester United, but do not insult any of the local teams….ever.

5. Housing is expensive

Finding a good place to stay in the major cities – Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice – will cost you a pretty penny or two. If you are new to Italy you would probably want to live near the city centre where you are more likely to find other expats. Studio apartments go for upwards of 800 Euros around in these areas.


Photo by Christine Zinino

A major part of helping with your move to Italy is cracking down on your Italian. Learn more and learn it quicker with Language Trainers’ tailor-made Italian courses. Want to see how good your Italian already is? Check out the free online Italian language test, and presto! you’ll be on your way to making the big move overseas. One key to getting a good/better deal is to speak fluent Italian, as this will help you develop a bond with your landlord. This needs to be one of your priorities before you move there. For information on Italian language courses in your area do contact us, or take our Italian language level test to assess how good you already are.