Expat guide to living in Italy



With its exquisite art, culture, fashions and beautiful landscapes, it’s no surprise that Italy is a favourite destination for expatriates to move to.

Italy Venice

Expat Clubs

American International Club of Rome

The club is a home base for foreigners in Rome that mix with local members to share the best of Rome and other cultures from around the world.

Address: c/o Advicorp, via Parigi, 11, 6th floor, 00187 Rome, Italy

Tel: 06 4544 7625

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.aicrome.org

American Womens Association of Rome

This association provides friendship and understanding between Italy and the United States of America.

Address: Hotel Savoy, Via Ludovisi 15, 00187 Rome, Italy

Tel: 06 482 5268

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.awar.org

Benvenuto Club of Milan

The Benvenuto Club of Milan welcomes all women to Milan and helps them settle into their new home. Our common bond is we all speak English and have a desire to learn about our new life in Milan, while making friends along the way.

Tel: 393 429 8460

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.benvenutomilano.net

Benvenuto International Club of Monza

The Benvenuto International Club of Monza welcomes English-speaking women from all over the world and fosters international fellowship through its various activities. Their main aim is to help expats settle into their new home, while making friends along the way.

Address: c/o Sporting Club, Viale Brianza 39, 20052 Monza (MB)

Website: www.benvenutomonza.com

Benvenuto International Club of Varese

Welcome to Benvenuto International Club of Varese – an English speaking, women’s club based in Varese, Italy. They are a non-profit organisation whose goal is to welcome English speaking women from all over the world.

Address: Ville Ponti, Villa Andrea, Piazza Litta 2, 21100 Varese, Italy

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.benvenutovarese.org

Canadian Club of Rome

Find details of upcoming events, such as wine tastings, cooking classes, walking tours and more, as well as reports and photos of past events and postings on their Book Club.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.canadianclubofrome.blogspot.ae

Expat Contact, Milan

A club for young expat professionals and former expatratiates.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.expatcontact.com

International Ladies Group of Padova

The International Ladies Group of Padova welcomes you to Italy. They invite expats to join their social events, enjoy the rich culture of the Veneto region and meet other women. Ladies from many different countries and nationalities are represented and all are welcome.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ladiesgrouppadova.squarespace.com

International Women’s Club of Torino

An English speaking club with members representing over 30 nationalities, that promotes friendship and understanding between its members and the Italian community. Events are organised regularly to provide opportunities for members to meet for social, cultural and sporting purposes and to undertake community service.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.iwct.it

International Schools 

While no Italian state schools operate in English, there are a large number of private International Schools that expats can choose from.

International School of Bologna

The International School of Bologna (ISB) opened in September 2004 to provide an international education for children in Bologna and outlying areas.  It provides a learning environment with a clear mission to meet the needs of the children of internationally minded parents through the medium of the English language.

Curriculum: International

Address: Entrance 1, Via D’Azeglio, 55. Entrance 2, Via Liberta, 2 40123 Bologna, Italy

Tel: +39 051 6449954

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.isbologna.com

International School of Como

The International School of Como (ISC), was founded in 2002 to provide international and local families with a truly international education. At present, ISC has approximately 200 students and caters to children in Early Years, Elementary School and Middle School.

Curriculum: National, UK

Address: via per Cernobbio 19, 22100, Como, Italy

Tel: +39 031 57 6186

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.iscomo.com

International School of Florence

Capturing 60 years of tradition in Florence, the International School of Florence (ISF) is one of the oldest international schools in Europe. ISF is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory day school for students in grades PS-12, with innovative academic programs, the arts, athletics and a community that celebrates the dignity and worth of each individual.

Curriculum: National, IB, US curricula

Address: via del Carota 23/25, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli, Florence, Italy

Tel: +39 055 646 1007

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.isfitaly.org

World International School – Torino

The World International School of Torino is the bond between the experience of Formiga Family and the willingness to develop a global educational project truly innovative. They have a passion for nurturing talent of learners, from 2.5 years of age to 18, who wish to grow-up in an inspiring multicultural environment. 

Address: Corso Gaetano Scirea, Torino, Italy

Tel: +39 348 48 46 000

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.worldinternationalschool.com

American International

The American International School in Genoa was founded in 1966. It is the only academic institution in the region of Liguria which provides complete elementary school and middle school programmes in the English language.

Curriculum: National, IB, US curricula

Address: Via Quarto 13/c, 16148, Genoa, Italy

Tel: +39 010 386 528

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.italy.english-schools.org/genoa-american-international-school.htm

American School

The American School of Milan was established in 1962 as a non-profit independent, college preparatory day-school. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of NAIS.

Curriculum: National, IB, US curricula

Address: 20090 Noverasco di Opera, Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 02 530 0001

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.asmilan.org

International School

Founded in 1958, International School of Milan has developed an international curriculum based on the British school system and is now working towards implementation of PYP and MYP.

Curriculum: National, IB, UK curricula

Address: Division of ISE, Via Caccialepori 22, 20148, Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 02 487 08076

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ism-ac.it

Sir James Henderson British School

The Sir James Henderson British School was founded in 1969 to serve the needs of the British and International communities of Milan, all of those, in fact, who require an English-medium education.

Curriculum: UK

Address: Via Pisano Dossi 16, 20134 Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 02 264 13332 / 13313

Website: www.sjhschool.com

St. Louis School

St. Louis School of Milan is a private, international school, catering for children from ages two to 14 offering a curriculum based on the English National Curriculum.

Curriculum: UK

Address: Via Caviglia 1, 20139 Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 02 553 31235

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.stlouisschool.it

International School Modena

The International School of Modena began as a Swedish school for the families of Tetra Pak. Now owned by International Schools of Europe, IS Modena has established itself as a truly international school offering the International Baccalaureate Organisations Primary Years Programme and the Middle Years Programme to students from seventeen countries around the world.

Curriculum: UK

Address: Piazza Montessori, 1/A, 41051 Montale (MO), Italy

Tel: +39 0536 832904

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ismmodena.org

Bilingual School

The bilingual curriculum follows the guidelines given by both the Italian and UK Ministries of Education and the school's programmes of study are taught through the medium of both English and Italian, by adopting a child-centred approach aiming to achieve academic excellence and bilingual proficiency.

Curriculum: UK

Address: Via Confalonieri 18, Monza, 20052 Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 039 231 2282

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.playenglish.it

International School, Naples

The International School of Naples was founded to offer English language education to the children of the international community in the Naples area. The school is owned by the parents of the children enrolled, who constitute a non-profit Association, which tri-annually elects a five-member Board of Trustees. ISN is a Regular member of the European Council of International Schools and is authorized as a private school by the Italian Ministry of Education.

Curriculum: US

Address: Building A, HQ AFSOUTH Post, Viale della Liberazione 1, 80125 Bagnoli, Naples

Tel: +39 081 721 2037

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.intschoolnaples.it

Montessori School

The Anglo- Italian International School Montessori Division is an English speaking school for children 2½ years old through Middle School, with an advanced class up to 10th grade. Serving NATO community since 1958, the school was the first international school in Naples and has developed as an educationa1 service of intercultural cooperation and spirit, in a beautiful and safe environment. The school overlooks the Bay of Naples, Nisida and the isle of Capri. 

Curriculum: US

Address: Viale Della, Liberazione Comando NATO, Bagnoli, 80124 Naples, Italy

Tel: +39 081 721 2266

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.aischoolnaples.com

English International

The English International School of Padua was founded in 1987, in response to demands from the growing international community in Padova. One of its main objectives is to foster open-minded attitudes which will enable children to operate successfully within such an international community.

Curriculum: UK

Address: Via Forcellini 168, 35100, Padova, Italy

Tel: +39 049 802 2503

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.eisp01.com

The New School Rome

The New School was founded in 1972 by a group of parents and teachers who wanted to create a school where academic excellence would be combined with attention to the individual and the development of personal and social responsibility.

Curriculum: English National

Address: Via della Camilluccia, 669, 00135 Rome

Tel: +39 06 329 4269

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.newschoolrome.com

St. Georges British International School

“From the foundation of the school in 1958 we have had a clear vision of what we hope to achieve for our students. We want our Georgians to reach the highest academic standards through being analytical, critical and compassionate thinkers so they can access the world’s best universities. We want them to be able to relate their classroom experience to the world outside so they become informed, active participants in local and world affairs.“ – Martyn Hales, Principal

Curriculum: British

Address: Via Cassia – La Storta, 00123 Rome

Tel: +39 06 3086001

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.stgeorge.school.it

St. Francis International School

The School aims to provide a sound education in respect of the values of tolerance, solidarity, trust, and integrity, in a safe and positive environment.

Curriculum: American

Address: Via delle Benedettine, 50/b, 00135 Rome

Tel: +39 06 355 11023

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.stfrancis-school.it

Ambrit Rome International School

Ambrit Rome provides an international education for students from diverse cultural backgrounds. The school's programmes of study and activities foster the cognitive, aesthetic, physical, social and emotional growth of the whole child, helping each child to reach his or her greatest potential in a stimulating and caring environment. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of identity, self-esteem and independence.

Curriculum: British, American and Italian

Address:Via Filippo Tajani 50, 00149 Rome, Italy

Tel: +39 06 559 5305

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ambrit-rome.com

American Overseas School

The American Overseas School of Rome is a pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 (ages 3-19) institute of learning fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. AOSR is the first international school to be awarded MSA's prestigious International Credential.

Curriculum: American

Address: Via Cassia 811, 00189 Rome

Tel: +39 06 0633 4391

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.aosr.org

International School

The International School of Trieste was founded in 1964 and is authorized by the Italian Government. It was organized primarily to accommodate the children of the scientists from the nearby International Centre for Theoretical Physics and is aided by the US State Department and Italian Provincial Government.

Curriculum: US

Address: Via Conconello 16, Opicina, 34016 Trieste, Italy

Tel: +39 040 211452

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.geocities.com/istrieste

Aleardo Aleardi International School

Founded in 1947, the Aleardo Aleardi School is a privately owned school, authorized by the Italian government, catering for children from 3-19 years.

Curriculum: International

Address: Via Segantini 20, 37138 Verona, Italy

Tel: +39 04557 8200

Local News in English

The Local: Italy’s News in English


ANSA English


Italia Mia


The American


The Florentine


The Italian Insider: Italy’s first English language daily newspaper


Life in Italy


Country Information 

Full name: Italian Republic

Location: Southern Europe

Population: cc. 61 million

Capital city: Rome

Other important cities: Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo

Currency: 1 Euro € = 100 cents

Language(s): Italian

Religion(s): Christianity

Calling code: +39

Internet TLD: .it

Electricity: 220V 50Hz

Emergency Numbers: Ambulance, 112. Police, 113. Fire brigade, 115.

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe. The country is the fourth largest European economy and for long enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe. Italian territory also includes the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa, in addition to many other smaller islands. The sovereign states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy.

Italy’s capital and largest city, Rome, has for centuries been the leading political and religious centre of Western civilisation, serving as the capital of both the Roman Empire and Christianity.

In terms of art and culture, take the works of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio, the operas of Verdi and Puccini, the cinema of Federico Fellini, add the architecture of Venice, Florence and Rome and you have just a fraction of Italy’s treasures from over the centuries.

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Italy is a popular destination for emigration. There are over cc. 5 million official foreign nationals residing in Italy. Depending on your citizenship, the stability of that country and the duration and reasons for your stay, you may need to obtain a visa before coming to Italy.

There are three types of visas for Italy, pursuant to the Visa Code of the Schengen Agreement (1995):
  1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV), valid for all the Contracting Parties’ territories
  2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV), these are only valid for the Schengen State whose representative issued the visa without any possibility of access to or transit through the territory of any other Schengen States.
  3. Long sojourn or ‘National’ Visas (NV), are only valid for visits that are longer than 90 days, with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose diplomatic mission issued the visa.

Visa applications must be submitted in writing, giving all the details required on the special visa application form which must be signed by the applicant, and accompanied by one passport-size photograph. Applications must also include:

  • A valid travel document
  • The purpose of the visit
  • Means of transport and return
  • Means of support during travel and sojourn
  • Accommodation arrangements


Once the visa application is accepted on the basis of the documentation produced by the applicant and the results of the interview, which is normally conducted directly and personally, the diplomatic mission carries out the statutory preliminary security checks. This involves line accessing the SIS (Schengen Information System) through the "world visa network", to consult the list of aliens to be refused admission into Italy.


Italy covers a surface area of over 300,000 square kilometres and offers some of the most culturally rich cities in the world. So, if you haven’t been sent on a company transfer to a specific place, it may be a bit difficult to decide where exactly you should begin your new life in Italy.

Some large cities where many expats feel at home are Rome – the capital of Italy with over 2.7 million inhabitants, Milan – recognised as the fashion and design capital of the world, and Florence – the capital city of the famous region of Tuscany.

Italy is made up of houses that vary in style; they are just as eclectic as the country’s culture. Given its geographical position in Europe, Italy has been influenced by both European and North African architectural styles, and vary depending on where the accommodation was built.

Villas: Made for a country home, or a retreat from life in the city. Villas were traditionally built for the wealthy and members of the upper class. Contemporary villas, however, no longer adhere to this rule. Generally, the property surrounding the villa usually has a garden and grass.

Chalet: A popular type of house in Italy’s mountainous regions. These houses are made of wood with exposed beams on the outside, and the houses are surrounded by artistically designed rails. Chalets are built to weather the cold and trap heat. And while typically used for winter snow vacations, chalets are also used for urban getaways and residential homes.

Two popular styles of architecture that are also popular across the country are Tuscan and Mediterranean.

Driving License

Driving in this beautiful country is on the right hand side, with oncoming traffic on the left. Sure, driving in Italy can be a white-knuckle experience. And Italian drivers are especially fast, aggressive and skilful. It’s not uncommon to see cars tailgating at fast speeds, and it is wishful thinking to want people to slow down for your or let you down. Much of the driving etiquette is dictated by unwritten rules. But once you leave the bustling cities, there are plentiful long roads with country views.

Many holders of a standard driving licence issued by a country outside the European Union or European Economic Area may drive in Italy using their foreign driving licence for up to one year after obtaining residency. However, a foreign driving licence does not entitle the holder to drive a motor vehicle in Italy until the age of 18 years old.

If the licence does not conform to international conventions of if wish to drive private or commercial vehicles you need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

For expats who wish to drive in Italy after their first year of residency, they must gain an Italian licence, whether by exchange or by completing the required theoretical and practical tests before the end of the first year.

Remember: after the Italian licence is exchanged, the original licence will no longer be valid anywhere.

To convert a foreign licence the holder should go to the nearest Provincial Office of Motor Vehicles and provide the following:
  • Application form obtained at the Office of Motor Vehicles
  • The licence and at least one clear photocopy of front and back
  • Official translation of the licence
  • Valid ID and at least one photocopy of the front and back
  • Residence permit and at least two photocopies of the front and back
  • Two recent passport photographs, signed on the reverse
  • Medical certificate, with photographs, issued within the previous six months certifying that the driver is physically and mentally fit
  • Receipt of payment of the fee


Healthcare in Italy is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public-private system.

The public part is the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN); this Italian National Health Service is organised under the Ministry of Health and is administered on a regional basis. In order to use public health services, you have to register with the SSN, which is implemented in the local health authority closest to your placed of residence or abode. Once it is acknowledged, a list of available GPs and paediatricians is provided to you, and an SSN card is issued.

But remember – as an expat, you have to show your stay permit and taxpayer’s code when applying for your SSN card. Your SSN card expires when your stay permit does. On the card, indicated is your identification number, your name and the name of your GP. Also, if you are awaiting your first stay permit to be issued, you are entitled to be registered with the SSN based on the documents certifying your visa application.

Although private healthcare in Italy is free, most expats may still opt to utilise private healthcare. Private healthcare in Italy is championed by doctors that are well trained, and there are a number of impressive specialist facilities in the large urban cities. Private procedures vary in cost, and the Ministry of Health sets a minimum charge for all operations in this sector. For this reason, going private can be costly and health insurance is a must. Private healthcare allows expats to avoid the queues, too, and any complications that arise in the public system.

Insurance Companies

·         MSH International, on behalf of ASFE: www.asfe-expat.com

·         Clements Worldwide: www.clements.com

·         Insurance Italy.com: www.insuranceitaly.com


Italian hospitals may be either public or private. Hospital admissions occur on written medical prescription from the GP. In case of a health emergency, the doctor of the first aid station may order hospitalisation. Hospital admission expenses are on charge of the SSN.


Ospedale Sandro Pertini

Rome | www.aslromab.it | 06 414 31

Rome American Hospital

Rome | www.hcitalia.it/romeamericanhospital | 06 225 51

Ospedale San Raffaele

Milan | www.hsr.it | 02 2643 1

Ospedale San Carlo Borromeo

Milan | www.sancarlo.mi.it | 02 4022 1

Ospedale San Giovanni E Paolo

Venice | www.ulss12.ve.it/sediOspedaliere.aspx?idP=4 | 04 1529 4111

Ospedale Burlo Garofolo

Trieste | www.burlo.trieste.it | 04 0378 5111

Hospital Saint Maria Nuova

Firenze | www.asf.toscana.it | 055 69381

Ospedale Monaldi

Napoli | www.ospedalideicolli.it | 081 706 1111



Dr. Stephen Kerr

Piazza Mercato Nuovo 1, 50123 Florence

Tel: 055 288 055

Dr. Sergio Magalini


Via Terme Deciane 2, 00153 Rome

Tel: 06 574 3666

Thimothy Glover


Via Parenzo 2, 00198 Rome

Tel: 06 841 2533

Dr. Guido Coen


Salvator Mundi International Hospital, Viale Mura Gianicolensi 67, 00152 Rome

Tel: 06 588 961

Dr. Tobias Wallbrecher

General Practice

Via Domenico Silveri 30, 00165 Rome

Tel: 06 638 0569

Anita Jacoel


c/o Capitanio Clinic, Via Mercalli 28, Milan

Tel: 02 5838 9111

Sabine Pabisch


c/o Centro Medico Visconti di Modrone; Via Visconti di Modrone 7, Milan

Tel: 02 783 241

Davide Bracaloni


Via Solferino 22, Milan

Tel: 347 892 2551