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An Expat Talks about Moving to Rome, Italy

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

Rome

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

Wish I had brought:

1. Lots of books. The books in English here are really expensive. Paperbacks at Feltrinelli International range anywhere from 12 euros to 25 euros or more.

2. Typical American sauces, seasonings and mixes like barbecue sauce, taco sauce, cake mix, instant pudding mix, jello mix, etc. These can be found here only at Castroni and are really expensive.

3. Vitamins (bulk kind that can be found at Sam's or Costco) because they are also very expensive here and come in small bottles.

Wish I had left at home:

Most of my clothes. The Italian clothing style is chic and trendy. If you hit the massive biannual sales in February and August, you will be able to pick up some really nice pieces at greatly reduced prices (50-70% off).

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

The experience of living in the Eternal City can't be beat. The food is fantastic. Fresh pasta is divine. However, the Italian way of life is very different than that of the US way of life. At times, you will be frustrated and upset. For example, imagine going to the supermarket for days on end and there is no milk or fresh produce because there is a transportation strike going on. All notions of right and wrong do not exist here especially when driving. Italians will honk at you if you are going too slowly and they want to pass you or if you pause to wait for a pedestrian to cross the street you will be yelled at and honked at for not attempting to swerve around the pedestrian. My advice is to try to always remain calm and practice patience. If life gets too exasperating, go have a cappucino or better yet, get some good pizza and pasta and tackle your problem the next day. Another good tip, learn Italian. Make Italian friends who can help you overcome any difficulties.

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

We live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (140 square meter) apartment with 3 separate balconies. This is typical for the type of housing available in the city. A little further out of the center, you can find "villinos" which are like townhouses or even villas with gardens. Apartments here are either furnished or unfurnished. In an unfurnished apartment, you may even have to provide your own lights, kitchen appliances and counters.

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

My husband and I looked at over 35 apartments before finally finding the "right" one. We used leasing agents. We lived in a corporate apartment for 3 months and walked around/drove around a lot looking at the buildings and neighborhoods. A lot of the apartments we saw were too dark, the spaces were all cut up into smaller areas, weren't big enough, no elevator available (big consideration when you have small children), etc.

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Expats living in Italy interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

Housing costs are much higher here than where we used to live outside of Seattle, WA. We pay 2077 euros a month for our apartment. This is probably a little below average as our apartment is on the 1st floor. The higher you go up in floors, the higher the rent. We only paid $1500 in a mortgage payment when we lived in Washington State.

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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
Applying for Italian Citizenship in USA (33 replies)

Hello everyone. I have several questions so I will mark them starting with #1. I would like to apply for my Italian Citizenship along with my 2 adult children (18&21). My jurisdiction Italian Consulate is Chicago(I do not live in that state). I have sent 65 emails (no response)& called them for over 1 year & they do not answer the phone!! Maybe you can help me. I already have my father's Italian birth certificate from Italy, his marriage certificate and naturalization paper from USA. I have mine, my 2 adult children birth certificate with apostille.I have an appt for November, 2020, we have to fly to Chicago PLUS rent a car & hotel...and I made 1 appointment thinking my whole family will attended to at this appt, then I read in some forums each applicant must make hisher own appt?? If this is true what should I do?? We all need to be processed at the same time.....(That's #1 question) OK here's my other questions and sorry so many questions but I need to get to Italy ASAP as an Italian citizen. #2 -What other formsdocuments, where do I get the formsdocuments that I need and how much is the cost? Do I write a personal check or money order for each of these forms? #3-How long does the whole process take if I apply for my Italian citizenship in USA? #4- Do I need to prove any kind of fundssavings I have in bank or do I need to prove anything else??#5- I am on SSDI so I live on my money from SSDI, so I can not work or working. #6- What am I missing as far as what else I need? Thx in advance everyone...

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Italy expat forum topic
Unmarried couple with child. He qualifies for citizenship. (4 replies)

Hi. I’ve learned a bunch reading your posts (thank you) and I am wondering if you can please answer a couple of questions. My long-time live-in boyfriend of nearly 17 years, the father of our 3-year old daughter--my husband for intents and purposes, but not by law, qualifies for Italian citizenship. We just realized this last week. His grandmother was from Naples, married his American military grandfather, moved to the U.S., had a green card, never became naturalized, and had a daughter, his mom, who was born after 1948. His mom didn’t renounce her citizenship. Some research made this news less exciting as we realized he’d have to deal with the SF consulate, and that would probably take a very very long. We were already looking into moving to Europe (we checked out Portugal in November, and were aiming for long term residency there via d7 visa) when I stumbled upon this information, and it seems like a much better option for him and our daughter to have citizenship and have the ability to move around the EU. So we’d like to go to Italy to do the paperwork there because it would be faster, and also, because we were already wanting to go somewhere for an adventure. But how would that work out for me? Would I be subjected to regular Schengen visa time limits and not granted a permesso di soggiorno because we’re not married? Or would I be able to be able to get a permesso di soggiorno along with my partner and our daughter? We’re not married because not married, but we could be married. We just never did that because I felt funny about the dress and wedding and fuss and all, and we were always working and moved quite a few times, and then a bunch of years passed. But so, we could get married if I can’t stay with them. Does anyone know the answer to this? And then, if the answer is that I’d have to deal with regular Schengen visa time limits, and then we decide to get married so that I can get a permesso di soggiorno also, would it matter to get married in the U.S. before we left or in Italy like a month or two into our time there? Thank you for your help.

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Italy expat forum topic
Do I have everything I need? (3 replies)

Good afternoon. I will be requesting dual citizenship(Italian Citizenship) in Italy. I was wondering if you kind people can help me out and if I have everything I need. I have 3 daughters 18, 22, 29 yrs old. I have my mothers birth certificate, marriage certificate, USA naturlization certificate. I have myself and my daughter's USA birth certificates with the Apostille and translated into Italian. I have my divorce decree translated in Italian. So I go to the Questura where I will be living in Italy and will they give me all the forms we need to fill out for Italian citizenship or does the post office give me the forms? What forms do we need and how much are they$$? After filling out the forms for each family member what type of payment do they take?(cash, money order?) Then after filling out the forms we just pop back in the Questura and tellthem we want Italian Citizenship (Dual)? How many days will we have to find us a place to live? When we get to Italy we must go to Questura and tell them we need to stay more than 3 months and why, correct? Is this when they issue the Permesso di soggiorno? Finally, how long will it take for us to become Italian Citizens? *I hope I have not missed any steps here if so please help me out and what the correct steps are. Grazie!

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