Moving to Italy?

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Moving to Italy

When you dream about your imminent move to Italy, the first things that come to mind may be great weather, excellent wine, and delicious cuisine. The InterNations guide provides you with all the essential info about moving to Italy, such as visas and popular expat destinations.
Italy's historical and architectural heritage delights both tourists and expats.

At a Glance:

  • Italians are proud of their language, and will appreciate you making the effort to speak Italian, rather than expecting English to be spoken everywhere.
  • Italy has a particularly diverse climate, from Alpine mountains in the north to Mediterranean islands in the south.
  • Nationals of non-EU countries will need to apply for a long-stay Schengen visa if they are looking to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days.
  • Italy has plenty to choose from when it comes to picking an expat destination, with each town and city having its own culture, history, and industry, making each place unique.


If you have always wanted to live la dolce vita, it’s time you packed your bags and started planning your relocation to Italy. The boot-shaped country is full of spirited people, sun, good wine, and, of course, great food! But this is not all a move to Italy has to offer.

With approximately 60.6 million inhabitants, Italy is Europe’s fifth most populous country. Historically, it has been a consistently popular destination for migrants and expats alike. With culture-rich cities, 7,600 km of beautiful coastline, lakes, mountains and islands, Italy’s various regions each have their own individual qualities. The south, including the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, is particularly popular with the older generation, who look to spend their retirement years in the sun. Meanwhile, Italy’s largest cities and centers of business, Rome and Milan, are popular with expats looking to boost their careers.

Rich History and Linguistic Variety

A nation with a particularly rich cultural heritage, Italy’s story dates all the way back to the Roman Empire, and its countless monuments, museums, churches, and galleries attract both tourists and expats to all corners of the country.

If you are considering a move to Italy, remember that Italian is the nation’s official language. In general, Italians are very proud of their language, and they will be much more welcoming if you at least try and speak their language rather than assuming they will speak English with you. If the Italian language is not yet your strong point, then there is always the option of moving to the northern regions of Trento or Valle d’Aosta, where German, French, and small amounts of Slovenian are spoken as minority languages. However, similarly to much of Europe, English is more widely spoken in the large cities of Rome and Milan, and is also very often the language business is conducted in.

Italian National Pride

Before moving to Italy and making it your new home, you should be aware that Italians are very proud of their country, customs, and food. Therefore, if you plan to move to Italy, avoid criticizing any of these aspects of life in this Mediterranean country, at least in the beginning.

This is not to say that moving to Italy should be reconsidered. Quite the opposite — some foreign residents are so happy there they may never return to their country of origin.

Enjoy the Diverse Climate

Due to its location, Italy’s climate is diverse, with the northern Alpine region experiencing vastly different temperatures to the southern Italian island of Sicily, for example. Contrary to popular belief, Italy is not always hot and sunny.

In the north, the Alps — Italy’s longest mountain range — has a mid-European climate, with milder summers and cold winters, during which snow can be expected. The climate in the region surrounding the Po river, which flows eastwards across northern Italy, is generally characterized by hot and humid summers, and cold, wet winters. The central and southern regions, as well as the Italian islands, have a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 


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