Italy enjoys the Mediterranean climate of Southern Europe. It is a highly developed country and a founding member of the European Union. The capital is Rome, the currency is the Euro and the official language is Italian.

Many visitors pour into Italy each year to enjoy its ancient history, architecture, artworks, beaches, sunny climate and excellent food. Many people are also considering moving permanently to Italy for the same benefits. Retirees from northern Europe have few problems in making a permanent move, and migrant workers from the eastern European Union are drawn to Italy for jobs. Paperwork is required for all immigrants, even EU members, and a visit to your country’s Italian Consulate website will give full information on immigration. Foreign immigrants make up 5.8% of the country, and in some northern cities account for more than 10% of the population. More than a million Romanians, plus Albanians, Moroccans and eastern Europeans have all relocated to Italy mainly in search of work. Tourism is a major part of the economy and provides many low-paid or seasonal jobs. To get a work visa, if you are not an EU citizen, you need to get a job offer and the company will have to provide many documents to help you get a visa. Retirees only need proof of a place to stay, proof of income, medical insurance and a police document showing you have no criminal history.

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Italy is the 6th largest exporter of manufactured goods, but most raw materials are imported first so its economic performance is not as sound as it should be. Labour unions, expensive pension schemes and high taxes have restricted its competitiveness. Most jobs are created by small and medium-sized companies and require high-tech skills. Many cars are built in Italy along with petro-chemicals, electricity, home appliances, aerospace, firearms, fashion and food being the main exports.

Italian cuisine is worshipped around the world.  Pastas, pizzas and tomato sauces are typical of the Italian recipes. Italian cheese, wine and cured meats are considered some of the best. Espresso coffee is an important part of the Italian culture.

Real estate is available from around €200,000 for a 3-bedroom house with sea views in Castiglione and runs to several million euros for desirable properties in Milan and Florence. Renting may be a cheaper option, at least initially.

There are many ex-Pat books and clubs who are an invaluable source of information. Learn as much as you can about the language, healthcare, shopping, lifestyle and banking as it will stand you in good stead for your move to Italy.