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An Expat Talks about Moving to Florence, Italy

Feb 27, 2018


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:

Italy expat forum topic
Spouse Visa (1 reply)

Hello, My wife and I are both US citizens. My company is planning to send my wife and me to Italy for a couple of years, and will be sponsoring my work visa, and I assume her family visa (is this correct?). Will my wife be able to work if she does not have a company sponsoring her visa? Ideally, we'd like for her to be able to do a bit of remote work for her current (small) US employer. Is there anyway that we could make this work, or is she stuck not being able to have a job in Italy? Thank you!

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Italy expat forum topic
Expat Fatigue (36 replies)

Expat Fatigue Since people look onto this forum for guidance to how to make the move to Italy, perhaps this forum should also discuss the problem of Expat Fatigue. NeoExpats are full of hope, wonder, anxiety, sense of adventure, willingness to new experiences and tastes and meeting new people. When you first make your move everything is new. Everything is a challenge to be solved. The amazing restaurants with wonderfully fresh fish and vegetables, the incredible variety of local and regional wines, the exotic scenery and the wonderfully mild weather vindicates that difficult decision that you had to make to make the move. There are problems. There are always problems but they are quaint and humorous. Waiting online at the post offices while the customer at the only open window discusses her life with the teller who does not appear to have any urgency. Having to wait hours with immigrants to see government officials so you can get the documents you need only to find out that the officials had to go to another city to process the latest boat load of immigrants, is also quaint. After all what else do you have to do with your time?………………… Overtime things and attitudes change. The new and exotic becomes the old and mundane. All those restaurants now appear to have the same few dishes with only aesthetic differences but basically its all the same food. That huge variety of local and regional wines do not include the great wines of the world, just the same local stuff all the time. If you want a California Chardonnay or a Rhone Cote Rotie, you’re out of luck. Those quaint driving habits of the locals become reason for road rage on your part when you finally recognize that its actually incompetence behind the wheel. And then you really get angry when you consider that for you to get a license you have to go to driving school knowing that you already drive better than most of the people on the roads. That includes the police……………….. It’s not so much home sickness. Two weeks in the States proves to me that its not the USA that I miss. It’s the reason I became an expat in the first place. Its the New, the exotic, the change, the new experiences. Those things are easily found and more easily lost. Its important to consider this when making your plans. Are you leaving your old home because you’re tired of the same old, same old? Well then you are likely to find it again wherever you go. For me the solution is to keep moving. Give each place a few years and then seek some other place. Its not a longterm solution because eventually I will be too old to keep doing that but for now that is the plan. I understood this from the beginning and that is why we have not purchased a home. We rent so that we can easily un-rent and move on. Thats my solution but it may not be yours. However I just wanted to let the NeoExpats know about this. Looking forward to others points of view.

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Italy expat forum topic
Trade War (10 replies)

Quick message. The looming international trade war is likely to weaken the dollar against the Euro. This will have a serious impact on our (expats) spending. Sorry.

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Comments about this Report

Apr 19, 2018 08:51

Fun reading about a person's experience moving to Florence specifically and Italy generally. Moving to Portugal, we had the same questions, confusion, lessons to learn. Feels so good when the lessons lessen!

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