What to know before your move from UK to Italy

7 Things to know and do before moving to Italy from the UK

If you are looking for adventure, Italy is the perfect place to move from the UK because it is located in the heart of Europe, making it simple to travel to other European nations for a weekend vacation or a longer trip with your family and friends.

Moving to Italy from the UK can be an exciting adventure, but it also requires careful planning and preparation. To help you decide if Italy is the best place for you, MovingWaldo listed the 7 things to do and know when moving to Italy from the UK.

Important things to know before moving from the UK to Italy

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1. First steps before moving to Italy

Visa requirements

If you wish to move to Italy from the UK permanently, you must apply for a long-stay visa or a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). Within eight days of arriving in Italy, after obtaining a long-stay visa, you must apply for a residency permit. You can use this to stay in Italy for a maximum of five years before applying for a renewal. 

It’s important to keep in mind that applying for a visa and a resident permit may be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s advised to get started long before your intended move to Italy. For more information about moving to Italy from the UK, you should speak with the Italian embassy or consulate in the UK.

Dual Citizenship in Italy

When applying for Italian dual citizenship from the UK, you have three options. These three methods include applying by descent (if you have an ancestor born in Italy), marriage (if you are married to an Italian citizen), or naturalization (by staying in Italy for a specified amount of time). You may check with the country’s consulate or embassy in the UK for information on dual nationality rules and regulations.

Student Visa

If you are a UK citizen and wish to study in Italy for more than 90 days, you must apply for a student visa (Type D visa) at your home country’s Italian embassy or consulate. To submit your visa application, you must make an appointment with the Italian embassy or consulate in the United Kingdom. Attend your appointment at the Italian embassy or consulate and submit your visa application with the necessary documentation.

The withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’

UK residents and their family members who have a valid residence permit in Italy before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, were given the “carta di soggiorno” as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. According to the rules of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, their ability to continue living and working in Italy is confirmed by the carta di soggiorno. 

The carta di soggiorno plays an important role for British nationals living in Italy since it serves as identification and allows them to continue utilizing the country’s job opportunities, medical care, and other services.

Can I still move to Italy from the UK after Brexit?

After Brexit, British citizens can still move to Italy, however the procedure has changed since the transition period ended on December 31, 2020. A long-stay visa or a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) that permits a person to stay in Italy for more than 90 days must be applied for by UK nationals who are interested in moving there. 

UK citizens who were legally residing in Italy before the transition period ended on December 31, 2020, may be eligible to apply for the Withdrawal Agreement “carta di soggiorno,” which confirms their right to continue living and working in Italy under the terms of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The visa application procedure for UK residents who were not lawfully residing in Italy prior to the expiration of the transition period may be more challenging, depending on criteria such as the purpose of the stay, the length of the stay, and the individual’s personal circumstances.

How long does it take to get an Italian residence permit?

After the date of your application, it should take you 4–6 weeks to receive your Italian residency permit. A permanent residency permit may take up to three months to get.

Finding a job 

Italy offers a laid-back lifestyle and year-round good weather. While it may not be renowned for abundant job opportunities like the UK, there are still diverse employment options available. Although salaries might be slightly lower, the cost of living is more affordable, ensuring a comfortable life. 

In-demand jobs for UK expats in Italy encompass roles such as business consultants, doctors, engineers, English teachers, and programmers.

Getting there 

  • Plane – Many airlines operate direct flights from the United Kingdom to Italy. British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet, and Alitalia are among the most popular airlines. The flight time from the United Kingdom to Italy varies depending on the location, however it is usually between 2-3 hours.
  • TrainEurostar provides direct travel options from London to Paris, where you may connect to a train to Italy.
  • Bus – A few bus companies provide services between the United Kingdom and Italy. Eurolines is one of the most popular companies, and bus travel may be rather long, lasting between 24 and 30 hours depending on the route.

Not up to doing the move yourself? Hire an experienced removal company to do it for you.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Italy from the UK can be both exciting and challenging. Being aware of these things beforehand will better prepare you for your new life:

  • Learn the language. While less than half of the Italian population speaks English, there are no legal requirements for needing to speak Italian when moving to Italy. However, speaking Italian when moving to Italy is very useful as it will help you engage more with the locals and feel more at home.
  • Prepare for the right currency. Italy uses the Euro as its currency, with notes in denominations of €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10, and €5, along with coins in €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, and 1c. You can obtain Euros from ATMs, but it’s advisable to carry cash as not all places in Italy accept cards. The Lira ceased to be a legal currency more than 10 years ago, with Italian banks discontinuing its acceptance in 2011.

2. Upon your arrival in Italy

Must dos right upon your arrival

  1. Apply for residency permit immediately upon arrival in Italy. The process involves two steps: the post office and the questure. Complete the required forms in the application kit and obtain a receipt, which acts as a temporary permit until your questure appointment, typically 1-2 months later. Do not sign or seal the envelope. If all is in order, you’ll receive an appointment at the local police headquarters for the second stage of your residency application. Keep the receipt as proof of the ongoing process.
  2. Register your address in Italy when you move. Visit the Anagrafe of your current municipality within 20 days of relocating. This process applies to all Italians changing their municipality of residence.
  3. Get your Italian Tax Number. The Codice Fiscale, or Italian Tax Number, is a unique identifying code provided by the Italian tax authorities to all persons who live or work in Italy. It is a very important document that acts as a form of identification in Italy for tax and administrative purposes. To receive a Codice Fiscale, you must apply to the Italian tax authorities and submit proof such as your passport or other forms of identification.

Healthcare

The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), Italy’s national healthcare system, offers complete medical treatment to all citizens and authorized foreign immigrants. One of the greatest in all of Europe, the Italian healthcare system is widely recognized. The majority of medical services are inexpensive or free, while some may need to be paid out of pocket.

Setting up your cell phone 

To choose an Italian cell phone provider, compare prices and packages. You may need an Italian ID or residency permit to sign a contract. Options include Wind Tre, Iliad, PosteMobile, Vodafone Italy, and Telecom Italia Mobile. When moving from the UK, check for roaming fees with your operator or consider getting an Italian SIM card using your passport as ID.

Getting a driver’s license 

If you already have a valid driver’s license from the United Kingdom or another EU nation, you may be able to exchange it for an Italian license without taking a practical driving test, however, you still have to pass the theoretical test and receive a medical certificate. 

However, if you are moving to Italy from the UK and plan to apply for a driver’s license for the first time, you will also need to obtain a residency permit, get a medical certificate, pass a theoretical exam, and enroll in practical driving lessons at an authorized driving school in Italy. It is recommended that you seek advice from a licensed driving school or the Italian Ministry of Transport for more information.

Setting up a bank account 

If you move to Italy from the UK, it is not mandatory to open an Italian bank account. However, it may be more convenient and cost-effective to do so, as many services and transactions in Italy are conducted through the local banking system. UniCredit, Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and FinecoBank are among the Italian banks that provide English services to British nationals living in Italy.

3. Best places to live in Italy

Best places to live in Italy

Italy is home to numerous stunning and distinctive cities and villages, each with its own charm and perfectly made for you to settle. Your personal preferences, way of life, and financial situation will all influence where you should live in Italy. 

  1. Rome is self-explanatory, offering a high standard of living and numerous foreign schools.
  2. Milan, the financial and fashion hub of Italy, draws business and creative professionals with its fast-paced lifestyle and vibrant nightlife.
  3. Umbria, lesser-known but cost-effective, offers an authentic rural Italian experience for those seeking peace and simplicity.

Setting up home services 

When relocating from the UK to Italy, one of the essential tasks is to establish utility accounts promptly.

  • For electricity, Italy’s major provider is Enel, with A2A, Acea, Edison, and Iren also offering services.
  • Water supply varies by region and municipality, leading to different suppliers depending on your location, such as Acea, A2A, Iren, and Hera Comm.
  • Gas is commonly used for cooking and heating in Italy, and you can choose from Enel Energia, Hera Comm, A2A, and Edison as primary gas providers.

Should you rent or buy?

If you intend to move to Italy from the UK, you have the option to either purchase or rent a property. It is important to carefully read any terms and agreements before making any deposits. If you’re ready to start looking for a home, visit these websites:

  • immobiliare.it
  • idealista.it
  • casa.it
  • thribee.com
  • altroaffitto.it

4. Cost of living in Italy

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

€513.82

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list (€43.93 multiplied by 4)

€175.72

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

€196.10

Internet with 60 Mbps

€27.71

Transit pass

€35.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

€67.32

Gym membership 

€47.05

Total

€1,062.72

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

What to expect from your new life in Italy

  • It is extremely important to have some understanding of Italian because it is the country’s official language and to learn a few basic words and phrases to get by.

  • The Mediterranean climate of Italy provides mild winters and hot summers. Be prepared for extreme temperatures in the summer, especially in the country’s southern parts.

  • This may be a welcome change for someone moving to Italy from the UK because people in Italy are calm and have time to enjoy leisure time and take breaks throughout the day, compared to the fast-paced culture of the UK.

5. The weather in Italy

Despite being small, Scottish weather is unexpected compared to the UK. 

  • Spring – during the months of March, April, and May, average maximum temperatures will vary from 7°C (45°F) to 13°C (55°F). 
  • Summer – the hottest months of Italy are typically June, July, and August, with average maximum temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F). 
  • Autumn – from September through November, temperatures in Italy are expected to range from roughly 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F). 
  • Winter – the coldest months in Italy are typically December, January, and February, with average maximum temperatures hovering around 5°C (41°F).

6. What to do as a local in Italy

  • Italians love outdoor activities, so you can see them taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, cycling, or swimming.
  • Italians are known as food lovers; during their free time, they visit their local cuisine and discover hidden gems, such as family-run trattorias or street food stalls.
  • Italy is known for its bustling open-air markets, where you can find fresh produce, clothing, crafts, and other goods. You can see locals sitting in the market with their families during their free time.

7. Fun facts about Italy

  • There are ancient public drinking fountains scattered everywhere that locals still use. 
  • Rome has more than 900 churches. 
  • Europe’s oldest university, University of Bologna, is located in Italy. 

Conclusion

Moving to Italy from the UK can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be prepared for some cultural adjustments. You may enjoy your time in this beautiful country to the fullest if you have an open mind and are prepared to try new things. After reading MovingWaldo’s guide to moving to Italy from the UK, we hope you will have a better idea of what to expect and be in a better position to make your decision.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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