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Expat Advice: Working in Florence, Italy

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

Florence

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Tourism, tourism, tourism.

Florence is based on the tourist. At the beginning of the summer months tourism was down and I was in danger of losing my job. My boss had to cut back on my hours for a month because of the lack of tourists.

Career opportunities for outsiders would most likely be in the hotel industry. Working for one of the major hotels in the US first then trying to get transfered overseas is the best way to work the legal way.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

I am a salesperson at the local outdoor market. It's not the most glamorous but it is paying the rent. I got my job through my roomate who works there as well.

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.

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I don't have a work permit. I wish I did but it's nearly impossible for someone who is not hired by a foreign company or is not a student to attain a work permit.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

I enrolled in a month long Italian class that helped quite a bit. For me, the best way to learn the language has been to live day to day here. Just going to the market or seeing a movie is the best way to learn how the locals speak.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

If you can, get hired by an Italian company or find any other way to attain a work permit before getting here because it will make your life 100% easier.

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
Transferwise (23 replies)

I, after a wonderful time in Brittany, will be returning to Italy in late summer. This time to Chianti. Part of returning is the required bank business. I had an Italian account when I was in Sicily. Which I closed and replaced with a French account. Now I need to go back to an Italian account? There must be and is a better way. I looked at a few internet banks, including N26. What kept me from going with them is the simple matter of their not allowing direct deposits from the USA. It turns out that Transferwise is now licensed in most US states, I think 48 of them, which means they will setup a direct deposit system. Additionally using them, when they hold your money as a bank, makes the process of transferring money from your account to somebody else's in Europe simple, fast and cheap. I just paid a rent deposit to my future landlord in 24 hours and at a minimal cost and at a better exchange rate. I have not yet setup direct deposit, keeping my Schwab account. What I had to do is transfer money to Transferwise using my debit card. That took less than a minute. I bring all this up because I think it simplifies finances as an expat. All the services needed, iban number, routing number, currency exchange, debit card is all available in one place and usable anywhere in Europe, in the states and many other countries. And they speak English and answer the phone when you call. It's a breath of fresh air compared to dealing with the Italian banks.

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Italy expat forum topic
Beware UniCredit Banca (12 replies)

Until recently if I used a UniCredit ATM with my US based ATM/Debit card, I was assessed a surcharge — maybe €2. These surcharges are still relatively rare here in Italy. I don’t ordinarily use this ATM but I was a block away trying to complete a transaction and unexpectedly needed €200. For convenience sake I was ready to pay the surcharge. However, no surcharge was disclosed. Instead I was notified of “today’s exchange rate”. I never saw this before and was initially confused. Eager to get back to my pending commercial transaction, I accepted the disclosure only to realize that UniCredit exchanged my €200 to USD at a markup of 3%. That €200 withdrawal cost me €6 — much more than a surcharge of €2. I wasn’t given an option to decline their money conversion trick. It was take it of leave it. So, let’s hope this isn’t a trend — identifying people using foreign cards upon whom to foist very unfavorable exchange rates at ATMs that ordinarily offer good rates of exchange. My US bank reverses ATM surcharges, but this wasn’t a surcharge. The transaction was delivered to my US bank in USD after UniCredit pocketed €6. It wasn’t much to pay for the learning experience, but I will be vigilant going forward. An aside: EBay plays the same game. Opt out of these money conversions. Let your ATM or credit card issuer convert the currency to dollars. It is nearly always the best consumer rate available to consumers.

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Italy expat forum topic
Looking for a commercialista (34 replies)

Buon giorno a tutti! I will be retiring in Italy in 2022. I am trying to organize my US retirement accounts now, but need advice from a commercialista as to which vehicle has greater or lesser impact from Italian taxes. This forum has such great advice and it’s been tremendously helpful, but I would like to have someone I can talk to one on one. Could someone recommend a commercialista in Florence or Arezzo? I hope to get there on vacation in October. Thank you in advance!

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Comments about this Report

bpinmn
Mar 23, 2011 19:26

Thanks! Great advice

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