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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?

Florence

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
Visa advice (even if it's a long shot) (59 replies)

Ciao a tutti! I'm very happy to have found this forum. Apologies if my questions have been asked before; I've read through lots of posts but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. So here goes: Does anyone have experience living in Italy full-time while working as a freelancer for U.S. companies? My husband and I are both U.S. citizens with no other passports, so we are looking at applying for the independent-worker visa, which I have heard (from reading on here, and elsewhere) is hard to get. We know it's a long shot, but we're determined to try, and we'd appreciate any advice you can give that would give us the best chance of success. Some specifics: 1) We are independent contractors -- sole proprietors doing business (editing and writing) under just our names. Is there any benefit to our incorporating, either together or separately, before we apply for the visa? Would we have more luck as employees of our own company? 2) Have you lost any U.S. clients because of your change to an overseas address? 3) If you maintain a U.S. address, do you have some clients pay you there and others pay you at your Italian address? How does that affect your tax situation? (I know the U.S. and Italy have a tax agreement; given the choice, we think we’d rather pay in Italy so we can have access to healthcare.) 4) Assuming we don't run into issues with our U.S. clients, we have no need to get work from Italian clients, which means we won't be taking work away from qualified Italian citizens. Would the consulate be at all receptive to our making our case that way? After all, we’d be earning money from the U.S. but spending it in Italy...isn’t that a desirable thing from the Italian point of view? 5) Our next trip to Italy is in April, and we’ll be there through part of June. We’re not looking to extend that stay -- we have things to be back in the U.S. for anyway -- but rather to start our expat life in summer 2019. When should we apply for the visa? Is there any benefit to looking for legal help in Italy when we’re there this time? And my last question: What am I forgetting to ask you? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Italy expat forum topic
Is anyone else having trouble posting? (4 replies)

I've been trying to add a message to my thread for days now, but I get an error every time. I've emailed the Webmaster, per the instructions, but still nothing works.

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Italy expat forum topic
Visa Confusion (9 replies)

I am so confused. In order to obtain an Elective Residence Visa my husband and I have to have a permanent residential address in Italy. Does this mean we have to fly to Italy, rent an AirBnB for a month, locate an apartment we would like to live in for a year and then fly back to the U.S., to apply for our ERV with this permanent address? Is there a way around this? How do others achieve long-term visas without all this rig-a-ma-role?

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Comments about this Report

craigandmicki
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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