DO

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes as you tend to walk around the city to see  properties.
  • Get your Italian tax number “Codice Fiscale” or ask us at Milligan agency to get you one. You will need this for all financial transactions.
  • Once you have your tax number , you can open an Italian bank account, you will need to do this in person.
  • If you’re  intending to drive, you should obtain an international driving license before you leave for Italy. Once you become resident in Italy, you must have an Italian driver’s license.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time to see properties and organize making an offer on the property you like. The Italian buying process is much slower than in the US and other countries. Two weeks are about the minimum time needed.

Don’t

  • Don’t buy or rent a car unless you live on the outskirts of town. Florence traffic can be chaotic, parking impossible and expensive, in general, public transport is good. You will be able to walk or ride a bike to most places in Florence.
  • Don’t bring bulky electrical appliances. Most Italian houses have 3 kw/h power supplies, you can buy any appliances you may need here in Italy. For any appliances you insist on bringing, make sure you bring international power adapters for the plug sockets. Cameras, cell phones and portable computers have internal adapters and should be fine.
  • Don’t expect to replicate the house you have at home, you are interested in buying property in Italy because you like the Italian Lifestyle, right??

Credit Cards

Major credit cards are widely accepted in Italy. You can easily identify which credit cards are accepted in each establishment by looking at the logos in the shop windows. You can draw cash on credit cards from ATM machines, most will give a selection of languages at the start of the transaction. You should be aware that you are likely to receive a fee of between 2.0% and 4.0% when making cash advances on a credit card.
You can use your ATM card from your bank in your home country on most ATM machines. Remember to activate the card for use in Italy with your bank in your home country prior to leaving. Please note most cards have a credit limit of 200 to 300 euros per transaction and/ or per day. You should check with your bank prior to leaving for Italy what your daily, weekly and monthly withdrawal limits are.

Cell Phones

Cell phones can be bought once you are here. If you have a cell phone already, you may simply want to buy a new sim card  with an Italian phone company.  It might be a good idea to get a dual sim card cell  phone so you can use both an Italian card and one from home on the same phone.
Many people use  pre-paid international phone cards for their overseas calls.

You can chose between rechargeable sim cards or 2 -3 year contracts that are billed directly to your credit card. For temporary visitors we suggest the rechargeable  sim card solution. You can decide every time you recharge it how much credit you wish to recharge it with. Prepaid cards can be purchased at tobacconists, phone stores, bars and any other places where you can see signs advertising Ricaricard..
Another means to phone home is Skype, Viber or Whatsapp., all of these can be used on your original sim card from home.

Internet

Internet is a difficult issue in Italy. In many large cities the phone lines are overloaded causing slow connections and many connections are still running on regular telephone lines. Optic fiber exists but is frequently only to the cabin and not all the way to your home. This means the last part of your phone connection is running on a copper wire rather than Fiber… even if they call it fiber. Land  lines all have minimum 2 year contracts and take  1+ months to install.
Most rental apartments are already equipped with internet. If you are buying a property that has internet you may be able to transfer the contract into your name.

Garbage disposal

If you are planning on  buying a property  you will need to apply to be put on the garbage tax list. To do this (once you have moved in) you will need to visit the tassa rifiuti urbani (tax on urban waste) office and inform them that you need to register. When you go, you will need to know the exact size of your apartment and of any other space that is included in your  property, a floor plan might be helpful. Garbage tax is calculated on the size of the dwelling, not on the number of occupants. In Florence garbage is collected in large bins on street corners above or underground,  recycling is  required by law and most cities  provide separate garbage collectors for paper, for glass and plastic and for organic waste  and for mixed garbage.

Holidays in Italy

Date English Name Italian Name
1st January New Years Day Capodanno
6th January Epiphany Epifania
Changes every year Easter Sunday Pasqua
Monday after Easter Sunday Easter Monday Lunedi Dell’ Angelo
25th April Anniversary of Liberation Festa della Liberazione
1st May Labour Day Festa dei Lavoratori
2nd June Republic Day Festa della Repubblica
15 August Ferragosto Ferragosto
1st November All Saints Ognissanti or Tutti I santi
8th December Immacolate Conception Immacolata Concezione
25th December Christmas Day Natale
26th December St Stephens Day Santo Stefano

Language

If you’re simply coming to Italy for a vacation then a good phrasebook will serve you well for most situations. However, if your plan is to stay longer then acquiring language skills should be a major part of your preparation. Luckily, there are a number of language schools in all the major cities. Internet is a great place to start as all major schools will have a website. Watching American re-runs on TV in Italian is another good  didactic tool.

Visa’s

Citizens of the U.S, Canada and some other Non EU countries  entering Italy  for reasons of tourism, study or business do not need a visa for visits of the a duration inferior to 90 days. For longer stays  there are several types of visas you can apply to for Italy: the most common ones are for business, family reunion, independent work, religious reasons, study, tourism and transit.