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An Expat Talks about Moving to Bergamo, Italy

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

Bergamo

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

Things to bring:

1. Cling Wrap - the kind here is very thin and incredibly hard to tear. I always end up with half the roll bunched up in a mess.

2. Packaged mixes such as muffin mix, Bisquick, packaged seasonings - while on the rise, prepared food mixes aren't as popular in Italy.

3. Good, sturdy ice cube trays. Italians don't use ice in regular drinks, and don't seem to make blender drinks. So the quality of the ice cube trays here is bad. Hard to use and very small.

Things I could have left behind:

1. Large Pyrex dishes. The ovens here are smaller and the larger Pyrex will not fit in the oven.

2. Large cat litter box. We have two cats. Everything here is smaller and you won't be able to find the large litter box bags.

3. Large Tupperwares. Fridges are smaller and you shop more and store leftovers less. I only use my small plasticware to store.

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

This city of Bergamo is divided into two parts, the upper city and lower city. The upper city is literally on a hill and is the more exclusive part of town. It's the "in" place right now. But it comes with drawbacks - can be loud at night because of all the bars and restaurants, while there are plenty of parks up here there are no yards, and hard to find parking spaces. I would first decide what type of housing situation you want (house with yard or city living) and then hire a good realtor. You have all types of housing from apartments to houses with yards and gardens. Our expat friends live in a variety of housing situations so there is no one way to do it here.

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

We live in a one bedroom apartment 90 sqm. While the layout for the apartment is typical the location is not. We intentionally chose to live in a more touristy, city-type area because of the nearness of restaurants, bars, shops, museums, etc.

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

We used a realtor selected by the company. After looking at around 50 apartments (one deal fell through and we had to start all over again) we were lucky enough to find an apartment in the exclusive old city. We were very fortunate.

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. Get a Quote

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?

Our housing costs are higher here only because of the higher rate of electricity. Electricity is very expensive here. I don't know the average rate of housing here.

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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:

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Applying for Italian Citizenship in USA (16 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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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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Dual Citizen & Residency or Not (19 replies)

I've been reading through old posts here and on the Americans Living in Italy FB group, trying to find out some information for when we have more time to spend at our holiday home. I apologize for the long question, but better to have it in one place and there is a wealth of experience with this group! We won't retire from teaching for about 7 years, but will have a home there now and hopefully dual citizenship by the time we retire. My sincere thanks for any clarification anyone can share about my questions!!! 1. DH is working on JS. Once acknowledged, I can begin the JM application. If we are both dual citizens, are we required to notify the comune of our presence if we are just staying in our own home for an extended vacation LESS than 183 days? The only thing I've read that would make registering as a resident important is for the purchase of a car. I'm not worried about the medical benefit right now. 2. As we would be registered in AIRE, we don't want to have to register as a resident at the comune, then unregister when we head back to the US if we are staying less than 183 days per year. I don't think it makes sense to go back and forth like with residency. It sounds like registering with the comune cancels your AIRE registration, and we would have to reregister again with AIRE upon our return to the US. 3. I have read that as citizens we can register our home as a primary home in Italy though AIRE, which would reduce our IMU. Anyone have experience with this? Can this be done if only one homeowner has citizenship, or do we need to wait until the JM process is complete (which I know can take up to 4 years)? 4. If we decided to stay longer, and haven't registered, how does the Italian government know of our presence if we aren't residents? We are NOT planning to cheat the system, but how would they track us? It seems from what I've read that whether or not we are registered residents, the 183 day rule would apply. 5. I know that if DH is not a registered resident, I would not be allowed to stay longer than 90 days until the JM process is complete and I have an Italian passport, correct? 6. If we decided to declare residency and stay longer than 183 days, we are subject to income tax on our teacher pensions as citizens of Italy, (but as foreign residents that particular pension is not taxable), our withdrawals from our 403b accounts, and a tax foreign bank accounts. I think we would need to ay a wealth tax on our home in California, but I'm unclear if there is a difference on this wealth tax if we are foreign residents or citizen residents. What is the tax rate for foreign held real estate? Are the property taxes paid on our home in California deductible from the wealth tax we would pay in Italy? We might sell, but the wealth tax on the value our home near San Francisco could be affect our decision to keep our home or not.

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