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Moving to Italy

Pauline Kenny

Information for people moving to Italy for a few months, a few years, or forever (long term rentals or buying a house). How to search for a rental or a property to purchase.

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Before you start looking at real estate or long term rentals, use these resources to find out about living in Italy.

Ex-pats in Italy: www.expatsinitaly.com
Cristina, an American living in Italy, runs this website with lots of great information and a message board. You can find information and ask your questions there.

The Informer: www.informer.it
The online guide with information about moving to and living in Italy. Excellent information for ex-pats living in Italy. Paid subscription.

English Yellow Pages: www.intoitaly.it
For English-speakers visiting, living in, doing business with or simply wishing to click Into Italy.

Transitions Abroad: www.transitionsabroad.com
A useful magazine and website with information for Americans wanting to work in overseas. Also information about travel and living overseas. Buy it at your magazine stand or go to their web site.

The American Online: www.theamericanmag.com
Online and print magazine for expats in Italy and Europe.

SlowTravel - Living Slow in Italy
Valerie Schneider writes articles for Slow Travel about her and her husband Bryan moving from Corrales NM to live in Italy for a year.

Books: Living and Working in Italy

Live & Work in Italy, 4th edition, Victoria Pybus and Gordon Neale, Vacation Work Publications, 2005

Chapters on buying a home, retiring to Italy, working, starting a business, from a British perspective, but with relevant information for North Americans too.

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Living, Studying, and Working in Italy: Everything you need to know to Live La Dolce Vita, Monica Larner and Travis Neighbor Ward, Owl Books, 2nd edition, 2003

Details on working or going to school in Italy. A short chapter on buying or renting a home.

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Living in Italy: How to feel at home, make friends and enjoy everyday life: a brief introduction to the culture for visitors, students and business travelers, Alvino E. Fantini, Pro Lingua Associates, Revised edition, 2002

Small book about the way of doing things in Italy. This wins the award for the longest title of the smallest book.

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A Journey of One's Own, 3rd Edition: Uncommon Advice for the Independent Woman Traveler, Thalia Zepatos, Eighth Mountain Press, 3rd edition, 2003

Colleen from CA: This book answers a lot of questions about moving to Italy. While ostensibly written for the single female traveler, she deals with the topics of getting your mail handled, paying bills, health (and insurance), safety and other concerns of those on a trip of extended duration. It was very helpful to me when I first started traveling solo. Zepatos also has some good ideas about planning a trip with someone else - tells you to sit down at a planning session to talk about each person's budget, expectations, travel style, etc.  It's a very well thought out book.

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Books: Buying Property in Italy

Buying a House in Italy, 2nd, Gordon Neale, Vacation Work Publications, 2.00 edition, 2005

Edited by Victoria Pybus, author of "Live & Work in Italy".

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Buying a Property: Italy, Monica Larner and John Howell, Cadogan, 1st edition, 2002

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Buying a Home in Italy: A Survival Handbook, David Hampshire, Survival Books, 3rd edition, 2003

All about buying a home in Italy.

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Long Term Rentals

A long term rental is any rental over three months. You can expect the price for a long term rental to be much cheaper than the weekly rate for a vacation rental - less than half what would be charged for one month of weekly rentals. I have a friend who rented an apartment in Florence (in 2002) for $1,000/month (furnished). I have heard of apartments in the countryside for about $700/month (2bed/1bath furnished). Outside of the cities or Tuscany and central Umbria, you can probably even do better.

Many long term rentals in Italy are furnished. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting. I have heard of some rentals where the tenant owns the kitchen equipment and takes that with them.

I have heard that Italians prefer to rent to non-Italians, because there are strict laws in Italy that protect renters. It is harder to evict an Italian renter, even if they don't pay the rent. So a non-Italian is easier for them to deal with.

There are several ways to go about finding a long term rental.

  • Some vacation rental agencies offer long term rentals. Look through the agency lists for the areas you are interested in.
  • Some agencies offer discounted rates on longer rentals off season - November to March. Contact a few agencies and ask them about this. Also contact places rented by the owner.
  • Real estate agents handle long term rentals. See below.

  • Contact the local tourist office (APT - Azienda Provinciale di Turismo) for rental listings. See our list of regional tourist offices.

  • Try doing a home exchange. There are many web sites set up for this. I have heard that Italians have so many people who would trade with them, that they can be very picky and they usually want places in New York City or California.
  • Look on local ex-pat community web sites for house sit or long term rental listings. For example, The Grapevine www.netemedia.net/grapevine/ is a local web site for northern Umbria. Wanted in Rome, www.wantedinrome.com, is an online paper in English about Rome which has classifieds for apartment rentals.

If you are selecting a rental that you will be in for six months to a year, it might be better to just do a trip to Italy with a vacation rental booked for a week or two and find your long term rental in person. This works best if going off season.

Buying a House

Everyone on the message board agrees that the best thing to do is pick the area where you want to find a house, go there and find a local agent.

The following are links to a few real estate agencies in Italy. Real estate agencies can sometimes help with long term rentals. To find real estate agencies, google the term in Italian - immobiliare.

www.casa.it: large real estate agency for Italy

www.tecnocasa.com: large real estate agency - site in Italian

www.rustici.com: Rustici

Other Resources

www.richw.org/dualcit/: Dual Citizenship FAQ

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