A Complete Guide On How To Live In Italy. Living in Italy is the dream of many Brazilians. Being a country rich in history and natural beauty, Italy inhabits the imagination of a large number of people who decide to leave Brazil to live abroad. Another factor that attracts many Brazilians to Italy, besides the charm, is the fact that there are in Brazil thousands of descendants of Italians with the right to Italian citizenship.
A Complete Guide On How To Live In Italy.
However, there is a great distance between the dream and reality, and to move to Italy requires much planning, study and preparation, both financial and psychological.
In this article, I will talk about the points that I consider most important for those who are planning to live in Italy. Because, unhappily or fortunately, a country change involves an ocean of bureaucracies and decisions, and you cannot simply pack things up and leave.
Living in Italy in practice: What is needed?
As I said, a change of country involves a lot of planning and study. Moving to Italy means taking bureaucratic issues into account. For those who do not know Italy is one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world. I always point out that the bureaucracy must have been invented in the Roman Empire, so bureaucratic that it is Boot Country.
Do you need a visa to live in Italy?
Yes, you need an entry visa to live in Italy.
Including, one of the first things to arrange to live in Italy, if you are not an Italian or a European citizen, it is an entry visa. To apply for a visa, you should also look for the Italian Consulate that serves the region where you live. In this link you find out which is your consulate.
Types of visas to live in Italy
The main types of visas for Italy are:
- Subordinate Work Visa;
- Autonomous Work Visa;
- University Study Visa;
- Exchange Visa;
- Internship Visa;
- Religious Mission Visa;
- Visa for Health Treatment.
Documents required to live in Italy
To apply for (and obtain) your visa to live in Italy, you must provide documents proving what you are going to do in Italy. Each type of visa requires specific documentation, and on the Visa website in Italy you will find accurate and complete information.
Although each type of visa has specific documentation, you basically need to present:
- Valid passport;
- 3 × 4 recent photo;
- Documents proving the visa application: if it is a work, a valid work contract (among other documents). If you are studying, enrollment at the Italian university, for example;
- Financial proof;
- Proof of suitable lodging.
Residence Permit or Permesso di Soggiono
A visa to live in Italy has the main function of entering the country. To legally live in Italy, you need to apply for a residence permit (Italian: permesso di soggiorno) within 8 days on Italian soil.
To apply for a residence permit just look for an agency of the Italian Post (Italian Post Office) that has a booth called sportello amico and ask for a giallo kit. This kit includes an envelope with the forms and the list of documentation required to apply for a residence permit.
And what happens if you live illegally in Italy?
Those who remain illegal in Italy, that is, exceed 90 days as a tourist and do not have a valid residence permit, are committing a crime. The penalties for this type of crime are deportation to the country of origin (with a cancellation for a time that may vary according to the case) and fines between 5 and 10 thousand euros.
How much does it cost to live in Italy?
Another point that I consider important to talk about, to help those who are planning to live in Italy is about the cost of living.
The cost of living in Italy depends very much on the region or the city chosen. In addition, we must take into account that the lifestyle and habit of consumption of each, influence the final cost.
For a couple with children, the costs are approximately:
- Rent: from 450 € to 1500 €;
- Market: € 400 to € 500;
- Light and Water: € 100 to € 200;
- Gas: € 40 to € 100;
- Cell phone: € 20 to € 30;
- Cable TV: € 20 to € 30.
The above figures are approximate and generic and will vary greatly depending on the city. In Rome and Milan rents are very expensive, while in many cities in the countryside a couple with children and no car lives very well with 1500 € per month.
Which are the best cities to live in Italy?
Here is a topic that, to me, is one of the most difficult. Defining which cities are best for living in a country like Italy is quite tricky because several factors need to be taken into account.
The following ranking, I did based on my impressions on cities and regions. I took into account quality of life, public services and whether or not you have a job.
To choose which city you live in Italy, you should search well and define what you want. If you like large centers, Milan and Rome are perfect. For those who prefer an average city (by Brazilian standards), Brescia is perfect. In short, each city has its pros and cons and this choice is very personal.
How is living in Italy in the opinion of a Brazilian?
For me, the choice to live in Italy was quite natural. I come from an Italian family (my husband too) and when the opportunity arose to move to Italy, we came on time. I really like the Italian people and we were very welcomed in the country. Our greatest initial difficulty was the language, but over time (and study) this difficulty has dissipated.
It is very satisfying to live in a country like Italy
Italy is a very safe country and the provision of public services is more than satisfactory. For us, Brazilians so lacking in a state that fulfills their functions, it is extremely satisfying to live in a country where there is quality public safety, health and public education.
Living in Italy as a retiree is it worth it?
Many people, after retirement in Brazil, decide to live in another country. And many think of choosing Italy to enjoy the dolce far niente of retirement. Unlike in Portugal (where retirees can live there legally) and in other countries, Italy does not have a specific visa for retired non-EU citizens who wish to live in the country.
Italy is a country with a high cost of living, but it has public safety and quality health. And this can be an interesting factor for those who are retired and have Italian citizenship (or from another European Union country).
Is there a job in Italy?
Italy is still in crisis, and job vacancies are not plentiful. The country has a high unemployment rate among newly graduated young people, which leads them to try to live in the richest neighboring countries (mainly Germany and England).
The labor market is gradually improving
Although still suffering the effects of the crisis of 2008, the Italian economy has returned to warm up and the labor market is improving gradually. But of course there are job vacancies, especially for well-qualified professionals and the field of Information Technology (IT).
And for Brazilians, do you have a job in Italy?
It is almost impossible to answer this question with absolute certainty. For well-qualified professionals or areas where there is a lack of professionals, there are certainly jobs, even for Brazilians.
The ideal is to leave Brazil with a promise of employment, not least because things happen in Italy in a slower time than in Brazil, and a selection process for a job may take more than 3 months.
What professional areas are missing in Italy?
As in every country, Italy also has some missing professional areas, which are:
Studying in Italy
Italy has a very high quality education, even when it comes to public education, so it may be your desire to study in Italy, whether to continue your studies, to do a post, or just to do an exchange to learn Italian.
So, the first step is to find the school you plan to study. In the case of an Italian university, being aware of the deadlines and required documentation is very important. There is a detail, which usually goes unnoticed by the Brazilians, which is whether they need to be tested for admission or not at Italian universities.
If the institution you are looking to study is a “program number” you need to make a kind of entrance exam to be accepted, if it is “non a program number” it is not necessary.
Requirements for studying in Italy
There are several questions you need to pay attention to in Italy, and I have compiled a list of things you will (probably) have to do:
- Perform a kind of vestibular;
- Check Italian level;
- Validate diploma in Italy;
- Apply directly to the consulate
- Proof of registration of the institution where you will study;
- Collect vouchers to enter Italy (means of subsistence, insurance, valid passport, etc);
Some institutions ask for certificates that prove their proficiency in the language, so stay tuned. After obtaining all the documents and validating them, the consulate itself will make your application by contacting the university directly. The time to know if the application was accepted or is not up to 3 months.
After the ” accepted ” begins the marathon to present means of subsistence, health insurance, proof of where you are staying, airfare and etc. After all this you will receive a visa in your passport valid for a few months and when you arrive in Italy you will have to apply, together with the proof of registration of the institution where you will study, the residence visa that will be valid for 1 year.
Do I need to speak Italian to live in Italy?
Although I cannot be sure if there are jobs for Brazilians in Italy, one thing I assure you: you must speak Italian to live in Italy. If I can give you some valuable advice, learn Italian before moving to Italy.
Italians usually do not speak English well and, when they speak, prefer to converse in Italian. So to get a job in Italy, unless you are a well-qualified IT professional and other rare exceptions, it is imperative to speak Italian.
The weather in Italy
As you know, Italy is an extensive peninsula in the southern part of Europe and has a very variable climate depending on the region. The climate in Italy ranges from the warm and Mediterranean in the south to the cold and temperate northern climate.
Summer in Italy
Italian summer is marked by long, hot days. The heat is intense and the average temperature surpasses 36 degrees during the summer months.
It is the most anticipated time of year for the Italians, mainly because of the summer holidays that occur in August (Ferragosto). The Italian summer is lively, colorful and intense.
Autumn in Italy
Autumn in Italy starts on September 21 and is the season of returning to school and work after the August holidays. The days are getting shorter and colder, just waiting for winter to come.
The leaves of the trees yellow and begin to fall, leaving cities colored in shades ranging from orange to brown. Temperatures are mild until October, and in November the cold usually comes. And with it, usually, comes the rain.
Winter in Italy
The Italian winter is marked by cold and short days, with dusk around 17 hours. In the north of the country the cold is quite intense and the Italians usually go to the mountains to ski on weekends and holidays.
In the central and southern regions, the cold tends to be milder, with temperature averages between 10 and 15 degrees. However, depending on the cold front, snow is present throughout the country, as is happening now (February 2018).
Spring in Italy
The Italian spring, for me, is the most beautiful of the seasons. It is a sunny and full of life season. The plants come back to sprout and little by little the cities become more florid and green.
The days go on stretching and temperatures start to rise. People keep their coats and scarves in their closets and go back to living outdoors.
How is health in Italy?
I think one of the things that worries us most is this health issue. In Brazil, due to the precarious access to the health system, we are forced to pay high values in health plans.
In Italy, the health system, unlike what happens in Brazil, is not completely free despite being public. It is not free, but the amounts charged are extremely affordable and do not even closely resemble the values practiced by health plans in Brazil.
Italian public hospitals are excellent and are often even better than private hospitals in Brazil.
If you are interested in learning more about health in Italy, check out what we have written about it.
The public health system in Italy is widely used
The vast majority of people use the public health system in Italy. When enrolling as a resident in a certain health, you must also enroll in the health care system and choose a basic doctor.
This doctor will be your first contact whenever you need to go to the doctor and consultations with him are free. It is the primary doctor who checks the complexity of the case and will refer you to a specialist or ask for more complex tests.
Cost of consultations and examinations
Consultations with experts and exams are not free, but as I have already said the figures are very affordable. The amount paid for the consultations or exams is called a sanitary ticket and they vary according to the region of Italy.
The elderly, the poor and children up to the age of 6 are exempt from paying the sanitary ticket.
Do you have a health plan in Italy?
Yes, there are health plans in Italy, but they are not as popular as in Brazil. Typically, these health insurance plans are private health insurance, which cover health care costs and are most commonly used by tourists or foreigners who do not have Italian citizenship or residence permit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of living in Italy
Like everything in this life, living in Italy has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages, in my view, are:
- Effective public safety;
- Quality public education;
- Quality and affordable public health;
- Excellent level of quality of life.
On the other hand, I see as disadvantages:
- Give up an already stabilized life to start over in a country with a different language and culture;
- High cost of living;
- Living away from friends and family;
- Learn to deal with the bureaucracies of Italian life.
And the balance? Is it worth living in Italy?
For me, it is very worth living in Italy. Of course this topic is extremely personal, and there are cases of people who live in Italy and love and others who have repented of change.
My main goal with the move to Italy was achieved, which was to live in a safe place with quality of life. If you want to get rich or have a millionaire job, Italy is certainly not the best place. Now, if your goal in living in Italy is to have a better quality of life, then it is very worthwhile.
Final Tips for Moving to Italy
The biggest tip I can give to anyone who wants to move to Italy is, first of all, enroll in an Italian course if you do not know the language. Also, make a real planning, with dates and costs. It takes very good financial planning, so you do not run the risk of going wrong.