In this article, we provide you with all the tips and tricks needed to make moving to Italy from UK run smoothly.
If you are moving to Italy from UK, you have so much to look forward to!
This stunning country is blessed with some of the most beautifully scenic locations in Europe.
Italy boasts a truly unique and rich history unlike anywhere else and has a culture that is distinctly it’s own.
So, is moving to Italy from UK easy to do?
The COVID-19 pandemic meant moving anywhere in the world a little trickier in recent years.
However, in the years following, things have settled down considerably and the pandemic feels like a thing of the distant past!
Before you start your move to Italy, you should try to find out as much about the country as possible to be sure your relocation is 100% successful.
This is why White & Company have created a complete guide to moving to Italy from UK.
Weather in Italy
Italy enjoys a varied climate with highs and lows in temperature and rainfall depending on where you are in the country.
Typically, the summers (June to August) are dry and hot with winter (December to February) temperatures being cool and receiving plenty of rain.
If you are searching for a location that offers the mildest conditions, head to the south coast. Here it is most unusual for the weather to dip as far as freezing.
If you tire of all that sunshine, the mountainous regions such as the beautiful Alps is where you will find much colder conditions and plenty of snow, ideal if you love to ski.
However, with the weather behaving weirdly all over the globe, snowfall can be very difficult to predict. Even the Alps have periods where there is no snow at all, July is warm and balmy with not a snowflake in sight.
Sicily and Sardinia are both included in the 20 regions of Italy. These islands also offer some of Italy’s mildest weather locations.
Living in Italy means that weather conditions in most places are conducive to an outdoor lifestyle where you can make the most of walking, cycling, horse riding or just lazing by the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Whilst everyone automatically thinks of France and Spain when it comes to property affordability abroad, Italy can also offer some very reasonably priced real estate.
Unsurprisingly, you will not find it cheap if you head directly to places such as Milan or Florence, or indeed any large town or city.
The cheaper properties sit in rural Italy, in areas such as Umbria and Trapani.
Calabria sits in the far south on the “foot” of Italy and is another reasonably priced location when it comes to cost.
Everything is available, from rustic cottages to modern contemporary apartments overlooking the sea.
It is impossible to offer an average cost of a home as costs vary wildly from location to location.
However, as a very broad guide, you can expect to pay $376,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home.
If you are set on relocating to Italy, you will most certainly find that when it comes to buying your dream home, you don’t need to be a millionaire.
There is a great deal to consider before you take the plunge and commit to a purchase.
Take your time and do your homework.
Relocating permanently to a different country although not to be taken lightly will, with careful planning may well be the best life decision you ever make.
Cost of Living
The cost of living is another of the many variables to consider when you are emigrating.
Can you afford a good standard of living?
Of course, as always, the cost of day-to-day living changes depending on where in Italy you decide to reside.
Italy is no different to any other country.
Living in large towns and in particular cities, where is inevitably going to be more expensive.
What can you expect to pay for grocery necessities, utilities, or a night out in Italy when compared to the UK?
The cost-of-living website Numbeo is a great place to look if you want to get a good idea of what your monthly expenditure might be.
According to their research here are some cost comparisons between Italy and the UK.
- Eating out at a mid-range restaurant for two is 16.9% cheaper in Italy than in England
- Imported beer per bottle 6.5% cheaper in the UK
- A regular cappuccino is 131.8% cheaper in Italy
- Fruit & Vegetables are generally between 9 – 20% cheaper in Italy
- Wine 1.5-litre is 46.2% cheaper in Italy
- Cigarettes are 153.4% cheaper in Italy
Not all basic food items are cheaper: Milk, Eggs, Bread, Cheese, and chicken fillets are all more expensive in Italy in some cases such as 1kg cheese by as much as 88%.
Other Price Comparisons
- Consumer prices are 8.5% lower in Italy than in the UK
- Rental costs are 58.4% cheaper than in the UK
- The rental price pcm for an apartment in or close to an Italian city is 36.9% cheaper than in the UK
- Utilities (Electricity, heating, cooling, water, and refuse removal) are 49% cheaper in Italy
For the most part, you will discover that your monthly outgoings will be quite a bit less than you can expect to be playing at home in England.
The dreaded T-word!
Unfortunately, tax must be paid in Italy too.
In order for permanent residents to perform any type of official process in Italy, such as paying taxes or buying property, it is necessary to have a (codice fiscal), Italy’s equivalent to a tax code.
There are no charges for applying for a code and to get one you need to go to any office of the Italian Agency of Revenue (Agenzia delle Entrate) and request a codice fiscal application form.
Following approval, you will receive the official paperwork bearing your new code.
Permanent residents are subject to tax, including social security, income tax, corporate tax, property taxes, VAT, Capital Gains tax, and inheritance tax.
Social insurance or social contributions (INPS). The amount you must pay varies according to your employer and profession.
Usually, the employer must contribute between 28% and 30% of gross wages and the employee 10% of his wage.
There is also VAT in Italy. This amounts to 22% which is applied to most goods and services.
There are some exceptions from pharmaceuticals, hotels, restaurant passenger transport, event tickets and books. The value-added tax rate for these goods is somewhere around 4%.
This is only a basic explanation of what you can expect to pay tax for in Italy. For a more in-depth explanation of Italy’s tax laws visit here.
If you are moving to Italy from UK, you will most likely need a job.
Searching for a job in Italy is certainly not the easiest of tasks however it is not impossible either.
In fact, the country has announced that it is to raise the number of work permits issued to foreign unskilled workers and startup visa applicants from third countries significantly.
Aside from a work permit (nulla osta), all foreign workers must obtain a work visa (visto) and residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).
In demand right now are candidates with skills and experience within the following areas:
- Road haulage
- Hotels and tourism
Being able to speak Italian will definitely improve your chances of gaining employment in the country.
If you have highly valued skills and a good knowledge of Italian and English, you probably won’t have any issues finding a job in Italy.
Both provide excellent employment opportunities and will make your job hunt far easier!
Driving in Italy
Many of Italy’s towns and villages are rather remote, so you may need to drive to access shops and to explore the beauty of its countryside.
Driving in Italy is quite an interesting experience. Drivers can be aggressive and what we would perceive as dangerous manoeuvres are everyday occurrences there.
The general advice is to beware and don’t take things too personally!
As a permanent resident, you need to convert your UK licence to an Italian one.
If you moved to Italy after 1 January 2021, you can continue to use your valid UK licence for 12 months from the date you became resident.
When the time comes, the process for obtaining an Italian driver’s licence is as follows:
- Pass a theory test (multiple choice, in Italian)
- Obtain a learner’s permit (foglio rosa)
- Practice driving
- Pass a practical driving test (road test with instructor and examiner)
For more information on how to apply, click here.
As with any foreign destination, it is imperative you familiarise yourself with everything well before you arrive in Italy.
The AA has some very practical advice on all things related to driving in Italy.
Insurance, speed limits, fines, rules and regulations are all covered, providing you with all the knowledge you need to enable you to drive safely whilst abiding by the law.
For those who don’t need to work, learning the language is not quite so urgent, but still, it will help if you start lessons as soon as you can.
If you are moving to Italy with the plan of starting your own business such as a B&B, being able to communicate will be key to your success.
Plenty of Italians speak some English but if you are living in a rural area you will struggle to find anyone who speaks it.
This makes even the simplest tasks difficult.
Understandably, a large proportion of Italians feel very strongly that if you are living and earning in their country you can at least learn the language.
A phrase book will be a help to start with, but the best way to tackle learning is head-on and enrol with an online language course.
Once you arrive you can attend a local school, college or even the town hall where very often, you can be taught Italian free of charge.
Picking up the language is a bit of a sink-or-swim situation. Being amid Italians who speak little English forces you to make the effort.
The process of applying for a long-term visa is relatively easy.
Like all countries, you need to be sure you have followed the procedures correctly by applying for the right visa for your situation.
Are you a:
- Non-EU Citizen
- Coming to Italy to find a job
- A student coming to study
- Have relatives in the Italy
- Self-employed (ie a qualified professional)
- A retiree
- Arriving for a working holiday
Each situation requires a different type of visa.
Whichever type of visa you need, you should apply for it at the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country before you leave.
If you’re planning to move to Italy for work from outside Europe, you’ll need to consider whether you qualify for a work permit under Italy’s ‘decreto flussi’, or foreign workers quota.
The number of quotas issued changes from year to year. Getting a work permit may be simplified if the kind of work you do is in demand.
To find out what kind of employees and skills Italy is looking for right now, visit the IAM website for further information.
Be patient as the whole process can take a while – it’s best to ask your embassy for an idea of the required timeframe and then start as early as you can.
And remember that your visa isn’t the only permission you’ll need if you want to live in Italy.
Long-term visas (Type D’ or ‘D-Visa’) covering a stay which is longer than 90 days, allow you to enter the country only.
Within 8 days of arriving in Italy, you must obtain an Italian residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) in order to be allowed to stay legally for longer.
The UK Government website also provides some very helpful information about the Italian visa application process.
Transporting Your Belongings
Not least, after all the other considerations have been addressed and you are finally ready to leave Blighty, you need to arrange for transport of your personal effects from England to Italy.
For those moving home on a permanent basis, it makes sense to take all your belongings with you. Buying everything new when you get there will be very expensive.
You want to know that your worldly goods are going to be treated with care and respect. Using a reputable international removal company will ensure that you get the best possible service.
There are hundreds to of removal firms vying for your business but not all are equal.
At White & Company, we pride ourselves on the standard of our service, our reputation relies on it.
Having been trading for over 150 years, we are one of the most experienced movers in the business.
The cost of your move will depend on the volume of effects you are taking with you.
A surveyor will need to visit you or conduct an online survey to calculate the exact volume. A quotation will follow shortly after.
When the time comes, the removal team will arrive at your property and pack, wrap, and prepare your belongings for travel by road or sometimes by sea, to your chosen destination.
Upon arrival in Italy, they will offload all items into the appropriate rooms as directed, saving you the burden of any heavy lifting and stress.
Each country has its own official customs rules and regulations, and Italy is no exception.
It is important to note that to avoid any duties and taxes when your household goods are imported into Italy, you must have owned and used them for at least 6 months.
Any new items, such as white goods are liable for duties and taxes.
There are some strictly prohibited items you should be aware of such as narcotics, explosives and alcohol etc., which you absolutely cannot send.
Plus, there will be export documentation presented to customs for import clearance of your consignment, most of which your removal company will deal with on your behalf.
Make sure you read Italy’s customs requirements thoroughly to avoid any nasty surprises.
Healthcare in Italy
Life expectancy is high in Italy, and healthcare provision is of an exceptional standard.
You can rely on their public healthcare services to cover any serious or minor medical needs, for little to no cost and is run as a mixed Public and Private system.
Payments vary depending on the treatment and are considered reasonable with part or all payments made by the state.
Still, many Italians opt for private health insurance.
Like the UK, “going private” offers a number of benefits. Private medical services are rarely overcrowded and usually provide a more comfortable experience and better customer care. But it is not cheap and will be dependent on the level of cover.
For public healthcare, the Italian National Healthcare Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) is the Public, tax-funded medical aid, organized and regulated by the Ministry of Health and administered through regional authorities.
For permanent residents to access the Italian National Healthcare Service, you must hold a valid Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card).
For a fuller understanding of the system and what you will (or not) be entitled to visit the Government’s website.
Education and Studying
When you move to Italy with children, you are going to want to make sure that they continue to receive a good standard of education.
In general, there are two options for your children when moving to Italy.
Firstly, there are public schools.
Those moving to Italy with younger children may find these schools are a good choice.
It is a fact that children below the ages of 4 or 5 are like little sponges.
They easily adapt to the school environment within an Italian-speaking school very quickly.
However, for older children, it is advisable to choose an international school where they can continue their studies similar to home.
Private international schools offer a great place for children to learn a new language whilst still feeling comfortable with students who may speak their native language as well.
Banking in Italy
Having access to an Italian bank account upon your arrival is essential it can be done from the UK.
You will most likely, be required to visit your local branch to prove your identity before using the account.
By opening an account before you move, you will be able to avoid the high exchange rates that you would be paying otherwise.
Both Unicredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo are good choices if you are ready to set up a local account.
When moving to Italy from UK, or any other country with a different currency, making sure you get the best exchange rate is pivotal to starting your new life on the right foot.
You may have sold your UK home to raise the funds to purchase an Italian property. In this case, moving your money when the exchange rate is favourable could save you a significant sum.
It can be hard to know if you’re getting a good deal on the exchange rate for your transfer because rates change all the time.
Speak to a reputable money transfer company, they can recommend you when it is the right time to move your money.
There are limits as to how much money you and transfer which currently stands at Euro 1.2 million.
Plus, you will be charged a fee for transferring. This will depend on the amount.
The Times has a very interesting article with plenty of guidance for those considering transferring large sums of money abroad.
Bringing Pets to Italy
Those moving to Italy with a dog, or a cat will have to meet the following criteria.
Your furry friend must have a pet passport before you are able to move them to Italy.
It is also essential that you make sure your pet is microchipped before moving to Italy.
Make sure they have all their required vaccinations.
This includes vaccinations that help to prevent rabies, they will not be allowed to travel without these.
You should also ensure that your pet has all its up-to-date health certificates before moving to Italy.
By following these guidelines you should be able to bring your beloved pet with you when moving to Italy.
Are You Ready to Get Moving to Italy from UK?
Moving abroad will bring about all sorts of emotions from euphoria to apprehension and everything in between, it is only natural when you step into the unknown.
That’s why White & Company are here to help make your move to Italy as smooth and as stress-free as possible.
While we can’t help you with all your emotions, we can assure you that when it comes to your personal effects, it will be one less thing to worry about.
Our experience is second to none. As members of BAR, FIDI and OMNI, White & Company have been relocating people to destinations worldwide for 145 years.
Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile and bulky furniture ready for export
To find out more about how we could get your dream move underway, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.
Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or chat with our Bot and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.
Max is a seasoned writer and blogger in the real estate and home moving sectors, as well as a knowledgeable source of information for expatriates living and working abroad. His detailed insights have helped thousands of people move and live abroad with greater simplicity and ease.