The Ultimate Family Guide: Moving to Italy

Why move to Italy?


The attraction of Italy can be summed up in just three words: la dolce vita. The Italian phrase literally translates as ‘the sweet life’. Aside from being the title of the oscar-winning 1960 film about a gossip journalist seeking love and happiness in Rome, la dolce vita is a way of living life full of indulgence, pleasure and the finer things in life. The phrase tastes of Italian food – the world’s most popular cuisine. The phrase lives among ancient monuments and the world’s finest works of art – Italy is home to most UNESCO World Heritage locations in the world. Italian brands are also at the cutting edge of untouchable style, sparking aspirations of la dolce vita in cultures across the world: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. But la dolce vita could not be about pleasure and indulgence if it wasn’t also about good health and wellbeing – the WHO has rated the Italian healthcare system as the 2nd-best in the world. As if that all wasn’t enough already, the Italian government has also made a series of tax incentives to attract high-net worth individuals, while rural towns will pay young nomads to move in, set up a business and have a baby. Some towns will even sell you a house for just €1.


Where do expats live in Italy?


Tourism is a massive draw in Italy that contributes to over 60% of the nation’s income. Tourists flock to Venice in the northeast, as well as the Tuscan capital of Florence in the centre of the country where the Renaissance age was born. The Roman ruins of Rome a little further south in the region of Lazio also attracts a large part of Italy’s over 50 million annual visitors. But expats moving to Italy for a year or even permanently do not strictly follow the tourist trail. Italy’s financial, sartorial and manufacturing capital of Milan in the north consistently attracts the biggest numbers of expats and immigrants. The Italian region of Lazio in the central western part of the iconic ‘boot’ is the second-most popular place for expats as its home to Rome, which also attracts many foreign skilled workers or researchers. Away from these regions, however, the real expat homelands come to the front. Tuscany has long been famous for attracting British expats, so much so the region of Chianti popular with Sting and former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been dubbed ‘Chiantishire’. Expat populations can also be found in northern Emilia-Romagna, central Umbria and southern regions of Puglia, Campania and Sicily.


Moving to Italy: The Ultimate Family Guide & Checklist


Do you crave a taste of la dolce vita? Are you looking retire with a stunning views, in an old Italian farmhouse, sipping fine Italian wine? Are you a nomad moving to Italy for a year, or moving to Italy with your young family to give your kids an unforgettable childhood? In this MumAbroad Ultimate Family Guide we’ll cover 9 hurdles when moving to Italy, so you make the best decision for you and your loved ones. For a rapid overview, view the Moving to Italy checklist at the end:


Relocation services in Italy
Visas and residence permits
Opening a bank account
Finding a house in Italy
Healthcare in Italy
Cost of living in Italy
Driving in Italy
Italian school system
Moving to Italy with a dog or cat
Italian language and culture
Moving to Italy – CHECKLIST