Italy is a top destination for those looking to make a move abroad, and with good reason; whether you’re in search of nightlife, culture, or natural beauty, Italy offers all that and more; à la Under The Tuscan Sun, when people visit Italy, they inevitably find a good number of enchanting reasons to move there. Enthralled by the natural beauty and abundance of art and history, travelers are often hooked by the time they say Ciao to this captivating country.

Moving to Italy

When it becomes more than just an idealistic pull, and you’ve decided to take the plunge and move to Italy, there will be a number of things you ought to prepare for, before you pack up your belongings and apply for that Visa.

Red Tape

Americans seeking to move to Italy to live, study, or work, are most likely to apply for one of three types of visas: residency, student, or work. Different paperwork is required for each, and things tend to change periodically, so check with your local consulate or the Italian Embassy’s website on the latest requirements before you make an appointment. All visas will require a passport valid for at least three months past your application date.

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Italy requires fingerprints for all non-European citizens who plan to stay for any length of time beyond the 90 days allowed for tourism or business related travel. U.S. and Canadian citizens don’t need a visa to enter Italy for up to 90 days, but for anything beyond that (without applying for permanent residency) you’ll need a Schengen.

Expatriates who are retired and can prove they have a resource of income, from a pension plan or social security, can apply for an elective residency visa, as can those who can afford to live in Italy without earning an income.

A family visa is applicable when the entire family is moving to Italy; in addition to the regular documentation needed for residential visas (of any kind) you’ll need proof of familial relations.

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Cost of Living

It is true: Italy is expensive. Italy is also not the easiest place to earn a living, as the unemployment rate is extremely high, hovering around 12.7% as of February 2015, which means, of course, that the economy isn’t great either.

It is important to consider your financial situation carefully before making a decision to move to this beautiful country. Culture, romance and lovely weather you’ll find in abundance; opportunities to build a career or make money – not so much.

The one caveat to this less-than-stellar news is that healthcare in Italy is cheap and excellent. Healthcare is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public and private system. As of 2000, Italian healthcare was considered, by World Health Organization’s ranking, the second best in the world, after France.

If, however, you are financially set, have transferred to Italy for your job, or perhaps earn your living by working globally online, you’ll be fine, even on a limited budget, if you implement a few money saving tips into your lifestyle:

  • Choose a residence outside of the city; there are a number of lovely Italian countryside villages to choose from and you’ll find that housing is considerably less expensive there.
  • Instead of having dinner out, have lunch instead. Italian restaurants often have lunch specials and a charming meal in an outdoor piazza can be a wonderful experience.
  • Electricity, water and Internet can be pricey so turn the lights out, enjoy winter fires in the grate, read a book instead of Facebooking, and turn the faucet off while brushing.
  • Unlike in North America, where it seems there is a sale on every corner and on every weekend, Italian stores typically have sales twice a year, right after Christmas and in July. Take advantage and shop for shoes, clothes and household goods during sale time.
  • Look for great deals on train travel between the larger cities in Italy; often people live outside the city and take the train in for shopping, dining, work or study; Trenitalia and NTV both offer some great deals now and then, and you’ll find the website information is in English too.

Making the move

Italian customs allows for household belongings to be imported duty free, so long as they arrive and are declared within 6 months of your entrance, and you have already registered as a resident. In addition to that, legal residents may also import a vehicle without paying duty, provided you have owned the vehicle for at least one year. Your shipping agent can streamline customs-free importation of your household goods.

moving to rome, italy

Bringing your fury, four-legged family members

Animals from the USA and Canada may come into Italy with the following documentation and conditions:

  •  A valid veterinary certificate
  • Valid rabies vaccines
  • An ISO-11784 standard tattoo or a microchip

Keep in mind that if you plan to travel with your pet throughout Europe, you’ll need to get an EU Pet Passport from a local Italian vet. To learn more about bringing Fido or Fifi to Italy, visit the United States Department of Agriculture website.


Under The Tuscan Sun may be just a movie, but life under the Italian sun can be yours under the right circumstances and with the right amount of planning. After all, life is too short not to live the “dolce vita” under any part of the sun you wish.

For anyone considering moving to Italy, NY International Shipping is a great resource as well as a great overseas moving company. With over a decade of experience we understand the process of moving to Italy inside and out and can bring this knowledge to the table to assist you. Continue reading for tips on accurately comparing overseas moving companies, knowing what to look for in an exceptional international relocation company and what to expect when moving to Italy. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact NY International Shipping.

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What to Expect when Moving to Italy

Italy, a land of excellent foods and romance, has much to offer anyone who moves there. If you’re moving to Italy, you’re probably already aware that Rome is its capital. Rome, like much of Italy, has a wealth of well-preserved historical buildings, cathedrals,
churches, museums and restaurants. These wonderful sites bring tourists from near and far, boosting Italy’s tourist industry. In addition to having some of the best food and most beautiful cathedrals, Italy is also home to Milan, one of the capitals of the fashion industry. Fashion can be seen everywhere in metropolitan areas of Italy, dotting the streets with upscale boutiques that can put almost any other city to shame. Fashion shows are obviously common place in areas such as Milan, too. The primary religion in Italy is Catholicism, which is unsurprising considering the fact that the Vatican is located in Italy. You may be surprised to find that the population in Italy is only around 60 million, alluding to the fact that some areas of Italy are not densely populated at all.

Before moving to Italy you may want to consider learning Italian as it is the primary language spoken in Italy and learning it will allow you to acclimate to the culture better and get around faster. It’s certainly helpful when ordering as well! Contact the Italian Consulate in your area to learn about the different types of visas available in Italy, the requirements and the time frame. You should look into this well in advance before moving to Italy as the process can take time. Also, you may want to inquire as to what you need to do in order to transport your pet into Italy when moving to Italy. Many countries require certain documentation, health criteria and a quarantine period. Italy is a beautiful country with much to offer, and anyone moving to Itlay will have much to enjoy.

Finding the Right Overseas Moving Company

As you compare different overseas moving companies it’s important to know what to look for and how to accurately compare them. Begin by comparing their rates. In order to accurately compare one company with another, make sure you are comparing the same services from one to the next. NY International Shipping suggests trying the apples-to-apples comparison method. You can do this by getting quotes from all prospective moving companies based on shipping the exact same volume using the same shipping services from and to the same destinations. Once you have these, you will easily be able to see the differences in rates.

However, overseas moving rates are not the only thing to consider when moving to Italy. You want to make sure you are getting the best services from a trustworthy company as well. Ask for referrals from each company you are considering. A company that delivers excellent overseas moving services should be able to supply shining referrals from past customers. NY International Shipping also suggests visiting the physical offices of each company that still looks appealing after reading their referrals and comparing their rates. Seeing how the company functions in person will be much more telling than simply talking to them on the phone. Remember, never trust an overseas moving company that does not have a brick and mortar office! Try checking third-party websites to see if you can find any customer reviews on the overseas moving companies’ services. Consumer reviews on third-party sites will rate companies based on their past experiences, giving you a great idea of how each company really treats their clients. You should also check to see if each company is affiliated with any notable organizations. Companies that are invested in staying up on the industry they’re in usually remained plugged in by involving themselves with related organizations. Some of the organizations NY International Shipping is involved in are:

Employee Relocation Council/Worldwide ERC®
Foreign Commerce Club of New York
IAM (International Association of Movers)
NY/NJ Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association Inc.
YP 25 (Young International Movers)

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At the end of the day, you need to find an overseas moving company like NY International Shipping that has the “total package”—competitive rates, specialized overseas moving services (such as door-to-door, custom crates, oversized shipments, etc.), excellent customer service, vast industry experience and knowledge and a strong network of international agents to assist in moving clients from and to any location. As a family-owned company that truly specializes in moving overseas, NY International Shipping is more than equipped to help you while moving to Italy. Contact NY International Shipping at 888.869.4685 or through our online contact form to discuss our available international relocation services or to schedule moving to Italy.


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Written by Einat Mazafi
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.