For centuries Italy has attracted writers, philosophers, and artists, who came to Italy for its mild climate, but also for inspiration from the great works of art of the past. Lord Byron, Goethe, Mozart, just to name a few, all went to Italy to seek new inspiration in their art and they all returned home enriched, inspired and invigorated. Today Italy, “the land where lemons blossom”, as some poets wrote, continues as a popular expat destination mostly for central and northern Europeans, many of whom have summer homes there. But Italy is also home to a large number of American expats who, attracted by its rich cultural heritage, and a more laid-back lifestyle than in the U.S., have made Italy their home.
But with all its beauty, good food, nice weather, and outgoing people, actually moving to Italy and dealing with all the paper work and slow bureaucracy is a veritable nightmare for many expatriates. Still, those foreigners with patience, a deep wallet for the steep fees, and an unfaltering sense of where they want to live, will find the wait, the expense, and the red tape worth their while: few people who have made Italy their part-time or permanent home have ever left out of disappointment. Still, the current economic conditions together with stricter immigration enforcement are some of the factors that keeps some foreigners away. Sluggish economic growth, severe government budget cuts, and high unemployment have taken away some of the glamour of being an expat in Italy. Unless you have income from somewhere else, your chances as a foreigner of making a decent living from Italian-earned income are currently low. But socio-economic conditions worldwide are in a constant flux, and although the timing for a move to Italy may not be the best right now, things could be very different in the near future.
To encourage our readers to explore the variety of options for living in Italy and to have better access to the information, contacts, advice and tips they need, we have compiled a number of resources in a variety of different categories. In our extensive resource section you will find information about most aspects of life in Italy that are important for expatriates, such as visas and permits, housing, study, travel information, government web portals, expatriate websites and organizations, news and media, recommended reading, and more. We also offer participant reports by those who have managed to live, work, study, volunteer, and travel in Italy in a variety of ways—after all, we believe that living in Italy is often akin to long-term travel and travel is akin to short-term living. In addition, we offer practical resources to help make your venture to Italy a reality.