How to Move to Italy

Updated 22 May 2021

The most common reaction I get when I tell people that I am moving to Italy is: “I wish I could do that!”

Let me make something very clear: you can.

I did not wake up one morning and simply book a flight to Italy. In fact, I didn’t buy my incredibly expensive, non-refundable, one-way ticket to Rome until about 20 minutes ago.*  No, this move has been a long time coming.

If you are considering moving to Italy, here is a practical guide from a self-admitted novice (seeing as I have yet to actually move to Italy myself):
1. Verify that you are unable to happily consider any life choice that involves anything other than moving to Italy.
2. Be willing to fill out whatever form it requires and do whatever it takes to experience la dolce vita for yourself.

That’s is techinically.

Yes, yes. Believe me, I know how important jobs, lives, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters, brothers, children and best friends are.  I really do. I know what it is like to feel that your life is already set, that you are already totally committed to the path you have embarked upon.

But that’s not really true, is it?

You can quit your job. You will find another one. You can change your life and make a new one in a new country.  If it is meant to be, you can convince your current love to join you on this adventure.  They will.  Or if it’s not meant to be, you can find a new love. You will.  You can ask your brothers and sisters and best friends to visit you. Hello! It’s Italy. They definitely will. You can sell your car and your house. Or you can ask your awesome friends and family to keep an eye on all those cars and houses for you while you are away.  And you know what they are going to say when you ask them for this favor?

They will say: “Of course!  I only wish that I could move to Italy / fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-brave-thing-you-are-trying-to-do!”

You will just smile and be kind enough to remind them that they can.

For the past few days, I have been waking up with the same quote running through my head:
“She decided to start living the life she’d imagined”
-Kobi Yamada

If you keep waking up wondering how to move to Italy, or how to start your own company, or how to be a rock star, how to turn your passion into your career, or how to meet your soul mate, then what are you waiting for?  Start planning- there might be some paperwork involved.

It will be worth it.

Here is the story of how I moved to Rome.

Essentially, if you have an EU passport, you can move to Italy and then request residency.

If you don’t have EU citizenship, you need a visa. There are several different kinds and you have to see which, if any, you qualify for. Once you arrive in Italy, you then need a permesso di soggiorno

Always check with the consulate before buying a one-way ticket to Italy. Make sure they don’t require proof of round trip travel in order to issue a visa. Remember the drama with how to get a dichiarazione di valore? ALWAYS TRIPLE CHECK AND MAKE COPIES.  It won’t ever be simple, but nothing worth living for really is. 

9 thoughts on “How to Move to Italy

  1. neekoh says:

    Paper work, eh? *Refers to previous post* Yup, got that in order. Let the adventures begin! But not without a proper going-away, even if that means me driving down to you or taking you to the airport or… anything, really.
    Damn, this blog is making me miss you already. Stoppit!

  2. Beaulotus says:

    It’s nice being young and adventurous again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I left to do my Masters in Paris when I was almost 23 and that now seems like a long time ago.

    In those days we didn’t have much internet forget blogs, wish I could chronicle my life then like you could now…

    Enjoy your time in Rome!

    I’ve been places since Paris and will embark on new adventures in another continent come January!

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Michele! That is definitely possible. You just need to have a record of certain vaccinations. Unfortunately, I don’t have more information myself, but several other people have written about it. Here is info from the US government:

      If you are moving from another EU country, you need a pet passport.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Emma says:

    Hey! So this blog is so funny because I am about to do this exact thing in december/january. Do you have any advice?! Thanks!!

    • Natalie says:

      Be ready and be flexible! You will love it, but there will be days that are hard when I all you want is the comfort of home. So long as you invest in Italy, you will see the rewards come back. Have a lot of fun and practice your Italian! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lynda Tyler says:

    Great motivation article! you are so right that if someone wants sth he will find a way eventually. I am planning to move to Italy next year. It will be big moving. I have husband and 2 daughters ๐Ÿ™‚ Greetings!

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