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An Expat Talks about Moving to Florence, Italy

Feb 27, 2018

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Florence, Italy

An expat shares tips for moving to Florence. She wishes she hadn't brought so many heavy suitcases, because clothing and shoes are less expensive there. The cost of living in Florence is much higher than her home town.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

When I moved to Florence, I actually brought five suitcases, way too much of everything. It cost me so much more in fees so would recommend two suitcases at the most. My luggage was too heavy so I wish I would have chosen lighter suitcases, less heavy clothes and less shoes. They have better and less expensive shoes as well as clothes.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Join the expat groups online and read or connect with anyone who has lived in the area you choose. I visited Italy two years prior to find the city that suited my needs and personality. You have to narrow down what is important to you, city or country life. Also find a place you can easily catch a train from and has bus service.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

I chose a two bedroom apartment because my 28 year old daughter came with and we wanted our own bedrooms. Plus, we knew we would have relatives and friends come. There was an elevator that maybe half of the apartments have with washer in the unit. Not many houses to rent except maybe in the country.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

I researched a year before moving on the Internet and found apartmentsflorence.com who skyped with me from Florence. Lorenzo the owner described many different options and I felt very comfortable making the decision which apartment to rent before I moved. Took care of the first months rent online, very efficient.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

The euro was high in 2013 when I moved there at 1.47 so my first apartment was 1200 euro a month. I moved closer to the city center by the Ponte Vecchio and I paid 1600 euro which is much higher than Minneapolis. You can stay within 1000 for a two bedroom if you don't mind being out of the center of town or in a lower neighborhood.

On the Italy Expat Forum

Join our Italy Forum and talk with other expats in Italy who can offer you insight and tips about living in Italy. Here are a few of the latest discussions on the Italy Expat Forum:

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Citizenship Translations by Spouse? (9 replies)

I've decided to apply for citizenship while living in Italy. I've been here for almost 5 years and my wife is native Italian. I received the message below when I submitted some documents online. My wife believes she can translate my birth certificate and criminal history docs. I have doubts they will accept her translations. Not because she can't but because we are related. According to the message below, she cannot be listed on the documents. She's not but I feel this might be a grey area. I'm curious if anyone had their spouse translate citizenship documents or has an opinion on the subject. Si prega, prima di presentarsi per la convocazione, di far regolarizzare la traduzione del Certificato di nascita e del Certificato penale statunitensi, facendone asseverare (presso la Cancelleria di qualunque Tribunale o Giudice di Pace o da un Notaio in Italia) la firma di un traduttore (chiunque conosca la lingua del certificato e l?italiano, ma che non sia una persona menzionata nel certificato); in caso contrario, la documentazione non potrà essere accettata.

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Italy expat forum topic
Medicare, Part B (43 replies)

Looking ahead, I'll be 65 next year and will incur a penalty unless I sign on Part B of Medicare. I met with someone at Social Security yesterday, who said the only way I can opt out of Park B and not be penalized is if I am working for an employer who is providing health insurance. (The Nat'l Health System in Italy doesn't qualify, nor does purchasing private insurance.) The penalty is pretty stiff - if out of the country for 1 year, it's a 10% penalty for the rest of my life. If out of the country for 5 years, it's a 50% penalty, and so on. Has anyone found a way around this? I will likely move back to the U.S. at some point in time -my son is here, but could be 1 year, 5 years, 10 years...who knows?

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Italy expat forum topic
Renting in Florence (25 replies)

Hi Everyone, I am going through my bucket list and am going to learn Italian and Paint in Florence for 2 months. I have been to Florence several times as a tourist but I would love some suggestions on renting a studio apartment for 2 months in centre of Florence, I will be attending the Michaelangelo Institute and would love to fine somewhere close by. I am a female 57 years old from Ireland. Any advice or help would be really appreciated. Kind regards, Catherine

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