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”
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.