It's never too late to move to Italy

Italy has always been proclaimed as the ideal place to live “la bella vita”, the good life in Italian. There are many undeniable and established facts that prove that the quality of life

Italy has always been proclaimed as the ideal place to live “la bella vita”, the good life in Italian. There are many undeniable and established facts that prove that the quality of life in this Mediterranean country can be the reason to evaluate Italy as your next home. For example, Italian produce is considered one of the very finest in the world, mainly because of the many regulations, certifications, and quality labels that are required by the law. Food, weather, and its culture and history don’t even need a presentation. Are we missing something? Oh yes, the people, the art, the good quality of transport, and a very good healthcare system.

Are you interested in living in Italy as an expat? Do you need to know how to get a mortgage from an Italian bank to buy your house there? Do you need an up-to-date consultancy regarding where to move? Obviously, it depends a lot on the city you decide to go to. Italy is a small country in terms of extent, but not when it comes to diversification. Every year Il Sole 24 ore, the most influential newspaper in the fields of economics, finance, and politics, collects and compares exhaustive data to make a list of the best provinces in Italy based on life quality. And in the 2022 edition, three of the cities we are going to talk about in this article made it to the top ten: Bologna being number one, Florence getting to number three, and Milan positioned in the eighth position.

Why do people move to Italy?

This answer was partially answered above, but the change of air that moving to Italy involves is still to be considered. Ending up in a major city doesn’t imply living in a big and chaotic metropolis. Let’s take again Bologna and Florence again, the first one has approximately 390.500 citizens, while the latter has 367.800. As you can see we are not talking about big numbers, they are still prominent centers in the country. Milan, on the other hand, is a big city, closer in concept to other European cities, with 1.352.454 residents.

In any case, the cities always come with a good transport system and are walkable. These are pros to keep in mind for a foreigner who moves there and doesn’t have a car.

Cost of living in Italy

The cost of life in Italy varies a lot from North to South. Typically, living in the North of the country is more expensive, and the southern you go, the lower the cost of living. Of course, the difference also depends on whether you live in a big or small city.

For a single person, the cost of living in Italy goes from 1200 to 1700 euros, considering all types of expenses, including leisure activities.

Cost of living in Italy vs Us

The cost of living in Italy is exponentially lower compared to the USA, with a 46% difference. Of course, what is fundamental to consider is the discrepancy in the average salaries.

In Italy, the average monthly net salary is 1550 euros, while in the USA it is 4100 dollars. As for the cost of living, salaries also change based on the region and the city.

The average cost of living in Milan Italy

Milan is one of the most expensive cities in the country, where the highest costs are rent and groceries. A single person just to survive and cover the basic expenses needs 1300 euros, so usually, it’s a hassle living in the city if you make less than 1700 euros.

Cost of living Milan vs London

The cost of living in Milan compared to London is slightly lower. Basic spending in London requires at least 1500 pounds if you share an apartment and give up extra activities and additional expenses.

Cost of living in Florence, Italy

Florence is less expensive than Milan, but still on the higher hand when it comes to the National average. If you want to rent your own apartment, rather than sharing one, the average cost is 1300-1600 euros.

What is the cost of living in Rome, Italy

The cost of living in Rome is lower compared to Milan, in fact, one can live comfortably with a 1500 euro salary. The capital is very big, so the cost depends on the area or neighborhood you live in.

Cost of living Rome vs London

Taking into account the numbers we have already mentioned for Rome and Milan we can say that the Italian capital is cheaper compared to the English one. You can live in both with a 1500 euros or pounds wage, but what changes are the comforts you can afford in Rome, compared to the one you have to give up in London.

Cost of living Bologna

Bologna other than being the top city for life quality is also way more affordable than the one mentioned before. A single person can easily live with a range that goes from 800 euros to 1000. Of course, it varies based on neighborhood and lifestyle.

Cost of living in Turin

Our final example is Turin, where one can comfortably live with 1000-1200 euros per month. The rents are affordable since the city is not as touristy as Florence and Rome. This is one of the best cities in terms of costs for the standard of living.

How to move to Italy? Documents you need.

Before seeing the list of all the required paperwork, we need to stress the importance of the fiscal code. The Italian fiscal code is needed for many procedures in the country, and if you anticipate staying in Italy for a long period of time, keep in mind that it becomes compulsory after 3 months.

So if you already plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days you’ll have to get one.

Now, we can distinguish two different kinds of foreign citizens and, therefore, what paperwork they are required to present to apply for the fiscal code:

  • EU citizens: all nationals coming from a country part of the European Union only need, along with the application, a valid ID card.
  • Non-EU citizens: all nationals coming from a country outside of the European Union need, along with the application: a valid passport with a visa (if required), or any other document accepted by the Italian authorities, a certificate of identity issued by the Italian diplomatic or consular authorities of the Country of nationality (with photo), a valid residence permit, an ID card issued by the municipality of residence in Italy.

What do you need to travel or move to Italy?

Here are the primary regulations and requirements to enter and stay in Italy. Please consider that you can apply in advance for a Fiscal Code.


A valid passport is required to enter Italy if you are from a country outside of the European Union. For citizens from a State member of the EU, a national ID will be sufficient.


Citizens coming from EU state members, countries within the EEA (European Economic Area), Switzerland, San Marino, and the Holy See don’t need a tourist visa to enter Italy. All other nationalities need to apply for a tourist visa, which can last for no more than 90 days. A foreigner cannot work with a tourist visa. If you intend to stay in Italy for more than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit.

Residence Permit

Non-EU citizens must obtain a residence permit to stay in Italy for more than 90 days. First off, to apply for a residence permit you need an entry visa, a legitimate entrance, and present the application for the residence permit within 8 business days of your arrival.

Getting a residence permit has a cost, that depends on the duration of your stay and includes the print of the smart card:

  • 70,46 euros (1-year duration)
  • 80,46 euros (2-year duration)
  • 130,46 euros (long duration and company’s managers)

You’ll also be required to provide a 16 euro tax stamp, a valid passport, 4 photos, the document attesting to your current residence, and if you already have it, the fiscal

code. If not, you’ll have to apply for the Italian fiscal code too.

You’ll be able to pay the dues at the Italian Post Office and buy the tax stamp at the tobacconist.

Work Permit

If you plan to work in Italy, you must obtain a work permit from the Italian government. This permit can be issued only with the work contract and lasts 1 year for fixed-term contracts and two for open-ended contracts. As for any other residence permit, you’ll need to present and sign the paperwork within 8 days of your arrival. Later, you’ll have to apply for the Italian fiscal code too. If you are self-employed, there are further requirements to comply with. You can consult

the official website of the Ministry of Work and Social Policies.

Health Insurance

Whether or not you need to get healthcare insurance when entering Italy depends on your nationality and the duration of your stay:




Less than 90 days

In this case, you are automatically covered by the public National Healthcare System.

In this case, the National Healthcare System covers all urgent and not postponable emergencies, having to pay the regional fees. Still, you can choose to stipulate private insurance before your arrival.

More than 90 days

Both Eu and Non-EU citizens will have to apply for the Italian fiscal code

In this case, you’ll have to register at the National Sanitary Service, otherwise, you’ll have to stipulate private insurance. In any case, emergencies that cannot be postponed are always covered. Registration is to be made at the Local Health Authority, called Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL).

In this case, you have the right and duty to register and benefit from the National Healthcare System if you are regularly working and residing in Italy. Registration is to be made at the Local Health Authority, called Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL).

Proof of Funds

When a non-EU citizen enters the Schengen area, like Italy too, they have to prove to have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. The financial means can be documented with cash, bank guarantee, insurance policy, credit instruments, prepaid services titles, or acts showing the disponibility of sources of income in Italy. How much money is required depends on the type of visa and on the duration of the stay. You’ll also have to exhibit that you have the financial means to go back to your home country, also through the return ticket.

Proof of Accommodation

Other than proving you can support yourself financially, you’ll also have to show proof of adequate accommodation on the national territory. This doesn’t apply to the tourist visa, but it does to family reunification, accompanying family members, stay contract for subordinate work, residence permit, and family unit.

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