For centuries, Italy has attracted writers, philosophers, and artists who came to Italy for its mild climate and inspiration from the great works of art of the past. To name a few, Lord Byron, Goethe, and Mozart went to Italy to seek new inspiration in their art and returned home enriched, inspired, and invigorated. Today Italy, “the land where lemons blossom,” as some poets wrote, continues as a popular expat destination mainly for central and northern Europeans, many of whom have summer homes there. But Italy is also home to many American expats who, attracted by its rich cultural heritage and a more laid-back lifestyle than the U.S., have made Italy their home.
But with all its beauty, good food, nice weather, and outgoing people, moving to Italy and dealing with all the paperwork 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 keep some foreigners away. Sluggish economic growth, severe government budget cuts, and high unemployment have taken away some 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 constant flux, and although the timing for a move to Italy may not be the best right now, things could be very different soon.
We have compiled many resources in various categories 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. 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 stories by those who have managed to live, work, study, volunteer, and travel in Italy in various ways. For example, 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.