International & Domestic Moving, Moving to Australia

Moving to Italy

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Ready to move?

We here at Restore Harrow Green understand that moving abroad can be as daunting as it is exciting and our aim is to help you move into your new life with none of the stress and only the excitement to look forward to.  

We realise that choosing the right relocation partner is important to you, because you expect the best possible service when entrusting us with your personal effects, which is what we strive to deliver. From the very first moment you contact us, your needs are our utmost concern.

Italy is a popular destinations for British expats, for its wealth of history, gastronomical delights and sunny climate; moving there will make you the envy of your friends so let us help you make the transition as easy as possible.

Will you be working?

While the UK is still part of the European Union you have the right to move, live and work in Italy indefinitely but you will need to make yourself known to your local municipality and register as a new resident within the first three months of your arrival. You will need proof of employment or income records for yourself and your family to reassure the state that you are financially independent and not likely to be a burden on the community. 

Before you start working you may need to apply for a British and/or an Italian criminal records certificate (issued by the Italian Law Court) as a formality. Also, when you’re looking for a job make sure to ask for a contract and have your solicitor read it. It is easy to get carried away in the warmth and trust that comes with a verbal agreement but you want to protect yourself against misunderstanding and exploitation. 

In terms of tax, luckily, the UK has a double-taxation agreement with Italy which will protect you from paying tax in both countries so make sure to notify HMRC of your move to Italy and seek legal advice regarding paying tax in Italy as the system can be complicated. Be sure to keep updated with events in the likelihood of an EU departure as your status might change. 
“When in Rome-” has become an adage for a reason, and should apply to the fact that this is a country with a complicated bureaucratic system. Take a lead from the locals and make sure to employ a lawyer and an accountant, if you’re going to be working, who will help you navigate life’s legal hurdles especially if you’ve yet to learn the language.

In terms of banking you should choose a bank that is conveniently located but also make sure it offers facilities you might already take for granted at home such as internet banking which is not the standard everywhere. Keep in mind that the bigger banks can mainly be found in larger cities with fewer branches beyond that. General banking opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 1.30pm though some might offer afternoon and Saturday operating times as well. 

To open a bank account in Italy you’ll need your passport, proof of address and a tax code, (codice fiscal) which you can get from the tax authorities. You can apply for a codice fiscal from the Italian consulate before you move so you’ll be ready when you get there. Alternatively you can visit your local Agenzia delle Entrate and apply for one there. Just take along your passport. 

Quality of life:

Depending on how much you’ll be earning, it’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of living can be high in big cities with rent taking up a high percentage of your income. You might want to consider sharing or living away from the town centre if money is going to be tight for you. If you decide to live in the countryside your costs will be lower but your work opportunities will not be as plentiful unless you can work remotely. If that’s the route you take look into reliable internet providers as connection might also be poor in rural areas. 

Don’t be afraid to integrate 

Part of integration should be making Italian friends who will be able to share tips and tricks about dealing with the system or advise on things you might not expect. Despite their practical uses, making local friends will enrich your life immeasurably as Italians are warm and welcoming so start by getting to know your colleagues and neighbours by inviting them round for a coffee or dinner. 

Learn the language

This is a piece of advice we give in most relocation posts because it will infinitely improve your quality of life. You might be able to manage with a low level of Italian in larger, metropolitan areas but the farther you stray the more you’ll recognise the need for a better grasp of the language. Luckily when you’re a part of the community you can manage this in a few months. 


As with all countries of the European Union if you are in possession of an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you can access state-provided healthcare. The Italian Healthcare system (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale- SSN) provides mostly free or low-cost care which includes visits to your doctor, lab work, and medications but each region offers different provisions so it is advisable to also apply for private health insurance once you’ve become settled. Private medical facilities for example do not accept EHIC so make sure to research the system in your local area to decide what is more suitable for your needs.
If healthcare is going to play a big part in your decision to move it’s worth noting that in some smaller towns the only medical recourse is the SSN as private doctors tend to set up practice in bigger and more populous cities where the likelihood of people having medical insurance is higher. However, the standard of healthcare in Italy is high so that might be enough for you.

Things worth noting:

  • The pace of life in Italy is slower so most places will be closed for lunch so don’t expect to pop out for a quick errand unless you know they’ll be open such as a big supermarket. 
  • Train tickets need to be validated before boarding. This might seem silly and impractical but make sure to validate them on the machines on the wall before getting on the train. Forgetting could result in a fine, so always remember “buy-validate-board!”
  • Greet your friends with a kiss on the cheek as is the custom in most areas but do keep in mind that this is not universal, applies differently to men and women depending on the area and should not be done as part of a formal relationship i.e. a boss or colleague. If in doubt observe the locals and you should be fine. 
  • Food reigns supreme in Italy and meal times are leisurely. Like many Mediterranean countries dinner time is later here and most restaurants won’t serve before 7pm unless it's a tourist area. Italians often eat three-course meals starting with pasta as a “primo piatto,” followed by a meat course and dessert. Also, don’t be surprised if you don’t get parmesan with your Spaghetti alle vongole, as cheese is never served with seafood. As for coffee, milk is only added to breakfast coffee (latte, cappuccino, macchiato) and most locals will avoid them after 10 am. 
  • Liking football will help you integrate faster. Italians are passionate about their local teams and nothing gets you more into the spirit of your community than going to a game. Be warned, drinking does not go hand in hand with the beautiful game as it does in the UK.

We’re here to help:

For a quote, we offer the option of visiting your home for a face to face meeting, or if you wish, you can arrange a video survey at a time that suits you, in order to receive your cost estimate.

Once you’ve selected us, you’ll be assigned with your dedicated move manager who will discuss your options and together you can build a customised plan to best suit your relocation needs. This will include insurance requirements, storage needs as well as anything else you might require. 
As the move approaches, your move manager will go through every detail of the job with you, from packing advice, delivery estimates and customs regulations that you will need to take into consideration. They will guide and support you every step of the way.  
On the day of your move we will arrive at your property where we will export wrap and pack your effects, load them into your selected size of container before transferring them to the port where they will be kept until the scheduled transportation date.  

When transporting your items by sea we use secure steel containers which come in two universal sizes of 20ft or 40ft, however, you have the option of choosing your preferred method from the following, depending on your budget:

•   Full container load - uses the whole of a container and gives you the security that your items have been packed and sealed within the UK.
•    Loose groupage - allocates you a space within a container which is shared with other Harrow Green customers moving to the same location. All your items are individually catalogued and labelled for tracking at any point during the move. This is a cost effective shipping solution for small to medium sized requirements. 
•     Cased groupage - your items are placed within a timber case which is then shipped with other grouped consignments. This is another cost effective option with an added layer of security.
•    Consolidated airfreight - the equivalent of part load consignments, this is ideal for smaller shipments, and provides a cost effective solution. This method is preferred when you don’t have a lot of belongings to transport or are taking your most essential effects to your new home. This method can accommodate up to 500 lbs worth of items and has a quicker transit time.

How long will it all take and what do I need to do?

The average time for your consignment to arrive in France will range from 3-5 weeks depending on the method you choose.

Items moving from one European county to another have few customs restrictions but if in doubt this FIDI guide as well as the Customs website can help. Once your items arrive our local agent will help you navigate Customs clearance and our network of trusted and vetted French partners will help you complete your relocation by delivering and unpacking your effects on your agreed date. Your move manager will be able to advise you and answer all your questions. 

If you require assistance finding a new home, school or other issues relating to your move, we can help make your transition even easier with our Destination or Relocation management services.