Living in Italy

The beautiful architecture and culture is just a minute feature that persuade thousands to live in Italy. Italians are famous for their close family relationships and fine cuisine which are important features in their culture. The development of the country is similar to the UK but what makes it more attractive is the lower house prices. As a result expats living in Italy experience a very high quality of life. Life here is relaxing and enjoyable and the vivacious nature of the Italian people means that it is always interesting. Many popular locations that people migrate to are the major cities such as Rome and Milan. Many westerners choose to retire to the rural areas where they can live out their years in the relaxed and beautiful Italian countryside.

Living in Italy

Culture in Italy

The main cultural difference Italy has to the UK is the language, 93% speak Italian as their native language. The arrangement of businesses is different in Italy, there is less of a hierarchical structure. This is because many of the firms are controlled by families, making features such as meetings a lot less formal. It also means having the right connections is essential to being successful in business.

The majority of Italy is Mediterranean type climates which has hot summers and cool rainy winters. The north of the country has slightly different climates; it tends to be a lot cooler and heavy snowfall in higher mountain areas such as the Alps.

Similarly to the UK Italians generally have three main meals a day. Their lunch differs to ours in the sense there are more courses, in the North lunch is usually eaten between 12-30 and 14-00 in comparison to 13-30 and 14-30. Dinner is eaten a lot later at 20-00 to 22-00, meals in general are a lot larger portions than in the UK.

Houses in Italy

Italy’s famous for its historic architecture from cathedrals constructed in 1063 to the famous Colosseum.  Around half of all properties in Italy are flats. This is due to the large volume of housing required in and around Italy’s major cities. They are on average around 5 to 7 floors with small balconies for each apartment. In suburban less busier cites, terrace housing is common and they are usually constructed from concrete.

Housing prices is dependant on the location, prices are a lot steeper in larger cities such as Milan compared to smaller suburban villages. The average person in Italy lives with their parents until the age of 30, therefore most adults own their own houses after moving out. Apartment rental prices are in general cheaper then an average place in the UK, on average 62.33% less. Buying an apartment is around 93% more expensive in the UK which is a massive difference. Many rentals are unfurnished which has a slightly different meaning to what we are used to. Unfurnished is the bare minimum and sometimes doesn’t even include a toilet.

Living in Italy

Cost of living in Italy

Primary products such as utilities are on average a similar price in comparison to the UK. Most variables are more expensive in the UK; however groceries are substantially more expensive in Italy. In the UK we are lucky that many products are subsidised making purchasing a lot cheaper. On average the cost of groceries are around 20% higher. In terms of luxury products, clothing is around 20% cheaper in Italy. Although many features are cheaper in Italy there is a lower average wage of approximately 36%.

Consideration when living in Italy

Italy’s unemployment rate is higher than the average European Union rate at 12%. It is important to consider factors like this if you are looking to work in Italy. Health care is a feature that is not as good as it is in the UK, for starters it is not free therefore essential to take out health care insurance. Over the counter medicines can be up to three times the price so stock up if you’re considering to move to Italy

You will soon get used to the cultural differences when migrating to Italy especially if you learn the language. The friendly people and beautiful climate and architecture make it an ideal location to move to. Are you considering moving to Italy? Read our page moving to Italy for further information.