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Known for its famous pizzas, pasta, cheese and ancient history, there is no surprise that Italy attracts  hundreds of thousands expats every year, who move to Italy either permanently or for a short term. Although not always many expats move to Italy with the aim to live their la dolce vita (the sweet life). Thanks to its remarkable history, namely Renaissance and the Roman period, Italy has had a vast influence on European culture, art and politics.

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 Moving to Italy

Every year almost 40 million people visit Italy which is the fourth most visited country in the world. Learning about the culture in the new country you relocate to is an essential part of every international removal. Italy has an amazing cuisine, a rich culture as well as beautiful countryside.  Knowing as much as possible, if not possible at least having some background information about Italy will certainly help expats to have topics to talk about with their new Italian neighbours. They will appreciate your interest in their culture and history as Italians are a very proud nation.

Internationals moving to Italy will in no time experience the passion of Italians for la dolce vita. The lifestyle locals and newcomers can fully enjoy  is filled with world- famous food, wine, ancient buildings with breath-taking architecture as well as shopping streets with designer stores that contain pieces of art of important designers from all over the world.

Standards of living in Italy are none expats could complain about, bearing in mind that Italy has the world’s seventh largest economy. Moreover, Italy is one the of the founders of the EU and member of the world’s most powerful nations (Group of Eight – G8).

Italian males usually do not leave their home even if they are in their 30s, have a job and earn enough money. According to statistics approximately 40% of Italians prefer to live at home with their parents. Their caring Italian mother ensures her sons feels as he is God’s gift to the womenfolk. After all no one would want to give up a life that offers financial security and luxury for an uncertain future with a woman who might expect you to do things you have never done before.

Italians are very proud of their culture and history. Their strong Roman Catholic roots are still recognisable in everyday life. Family plays a crucial role in the Italian society and family-owned business are very common in the country. Although, there are other forms of business ownership, there is still a strict system of hierarchy, where age and seniority are highly valued. Bureaucratic procedures related to paper work are still undertaken in a very slow and often frustrating for expats way. If you learn some basic Italian it will certainly go a long way.

Italians put major emphasis on appearance. There is no surprise that many Italians are occupying the fashion industry. If you are moving to Italy, you may want to keep in mind that first impressions play a crucial role on how you will be regarded in your environment. Whether Italians go to the supermarket around the corner, to a restaurant or attend fashion shows, they know how to look and act to impress. They emphasise la bella figura and believe that the way a person is dressed and acts is an indication of his cultural background and social status.

Both private and public health care systems in Italy are regulated by the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). Although the medical equipment of public healthcare institutions is not the newest, the standard of the hospitals is good. Standards of private medical institutions, however, are comparable to the ones in other European countries. Foreigners relocating to Italy have the chance to choose between these options. Italian doctors are usually well-educated and train, and many of them learn English. Both locals and foreigners are entitled to receive free health care under SNN. The only restriction for foreign citizens is that they have to be employed and pay national insurance in Italy. Overall, standards of living in  Italy could be moderate and high depending on the lifestyle choices and the financial stability of expats. Shipping container to Italy with part of all your belongings could help to significantly reduce your costs of living at the vert beginning of your removal. International moving companies could inform you about the shipment details and different price options.

Accommodation in Italy

House prices in Italy are comparable with Sweden and Austria and definitely a lot cheaper than in the UK. Speaking of accommodation types in the country, expats moving to Italy could be surprised to find out that the housing options available are varying.

Internationals moving to Italy usually tend to rent properties rather than buying. While renting property offers more flexibility, it is also a more convenient since it gives you the possibility to get used to the neighbourhood and allows you more time to evaluate the housing alternatives.

Italian laws regarding buying property from foreigners living in the country are also a bit complicated. Therefore, allowing yourself more time and obtaining the services of Italian lawyers might prove to be advantageous. According Italian regulations expats are not allowed to buy property in Italy unless  expats’ home country allows Italian citizens to buy property in these countries as well. The list of the countries is published on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Those who are interested in receiving more information regarding the procedures are advised to check the website before their international removal to Italy.

If you are moving to Italy and willing  to settle in a detached house you may encounter certain difficulties to find this specific type of accommodation. Italy is seen as the country of apartment blocks. Whether locals or foreigners, most of the people in Italy live in apartments in apartment buildings. Detached homes are usually reserved for farms and villas. Generally this type of accommodation is also hundreds of years old with extremely high price tags.

The typical Italian apartments are three or four floors high because of governmental restrictions on the height of properties, and they usually have two bedrooms and one bathroom. Depending on the preferences one has, both furnished and unfurnished alternatives are available. The good thing about renting property in Italy is that anything broken or non-functioning can be fixed or replaced on the expenses of the landlord. Tenants, on the other hand are required to pay utility bills themselves since they are not included in the rent. Upon signing a lease agreement, landlords usually ask for three months’ rent to be paid in advance.

Internationals moving to Italy who want to buy their own property are recommended to hire a real estate attorney who will protect their interests. It will also enable a hassle free process. Once you find  property that meets your criteria, you are advised to reserve it until the negotiations are taking place. To ensure that, you will be required to you pay 1% of the purchase price to the owner of the property. It is an accepted practice on the real estate market in Italy. A drawback is, however,  that it is only binding for the buyer. The seller may consider other offers even if the reservation payment is made. If there is a deal between the seller and the buyer, it is the seller’s responsibility to prepare the preliminary contract (compromesso) with all relevant clauses included. The buyer is usually required to pay 10% to 20% deposit upon signing the contract. The whole procedure takes six to eight weeks under normal circumstances.

Shipping Furniture / Container to Italy

The process of shipping furniture  to and from Italy is usually considered to be very easy. Especially, if you find international removal companies that could provide you with quotes for your shipment as well as a detailed information for your move. International movers would usually offer services  from packing to helping you with documentation you need depending on the country where you plan on shipping container overseas. Expats moving to Italy might want to keep in mind that they will need to have certain documents ready such as a copy of their passport, a residence visa, a work permit, a residency certificate and a permit to stay, a fiscal number, an inventory in Italian  and a consular declaration. Do make sure to contact the authorities who are handling moving procedures to ensure you have the appropriate documentation ready. International removal companies will also help you a lot for each part of the removal process. It is important to select a few international moving companies and compare prices and services.

Those who want to cut costs and avoid unpleasant surprises when shipping container overseas or abroad are recommended to make a comparison between the services international removal companies provide them with.  This is an effective way to find professional and reliable international movers.

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