- Visitor info
- Working and living
- Did you know
Italy is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges.
The main international airports in Italy are in Rome and Milan. There are many smaller airports which also take international flights such as Pisa, Venice, Bologna, Naples, Sardinia and Sicily. You will find flights from pretty much anywhere in the world.
Trains from Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Slovenia are available.
Most international buses will head to Milan, Florence, Rome or Venice.
Brindisi in southern Italy is connected with Greece and the Islands, Albania and Turkey. There are also ferries from Barcelona and Tunisia to Palermo, Salerno and Livorno.
Italy has a fairly low crime rate. You will have to be vigilant for crimes such as property theft. Pick pocketing can be a problem on trains and in city centres where there are crowds. Distraction is a common technique. Leave your valuables in your hotel safe. Don’t leave valuables in your car on show.
The same rules apply here regarding your drinks. Don’t accept drinks off strangers and keep a close on your drink to avoid spiking.
Use only licensed taxis with signs on the roof.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid here for citizens of E.U. member states. This will cover you in the case of an emergency but remember that you should still have health insurance as the EHIC will not cover everything.
The emergency number is 112.
Although there are many youth hostels in Italy, few are members of the HI. This means that rates vary considerably and same hostels can be quite expensive. There are many campsites but they can be relatively expensive as well as hard to reach.
Italian cafes and bars have hefty seating charges, so you'd be better off eating at the bar.
Nightlife can be limited as most Italians would rather go to a restaurant for the evening; however, there are vibrant clubs to be found.
Peak season in Italy is from June to September, as well as the holidays at Christmas and Easter.
Traltorie - simple establishments
Ristoranti - more expensive
Osterie - trendy and expensive
Alimentarie - sandwiches
Rosticerrie - takeaways
Tavole calde - self service
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
If you are a citizen of an EU member state you can work and live in Italy with no restrictions. You will also be treated equally in respect of working conditions, social entitlements and tax requirements. This also applies to countries in the EEA (European Economic Area) which is the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Residents of Switzerland also enjoy the same rights. You will need a tax file number just like Italian citizens. If staying longer than three months you will have to register with the local Anagrafe (registry) office.
If you are from outside the EU you will need a work permit, which can take time so do this long before you come to Italy. No matter what job you are doing your employer will have to get this for you, as well as pay pension and health insurance contributions for you. It can be quite difficult for someone outside the EU to get work in Italy, especially since the recession. Italy’s economy is in trouble and unemployment is high. Unless you are working in a high skilled field such as engineering it can be hard to find permanent work. Some of the easier jobs to acquire outside the high skilled fields would be teaching English (TEFL) and au pair work.
All non-EU nationals must apply for a residence permit within 8 days of their arrival. This can be done at most post offices. You must have a job lined up to get accepted. These can be renewed yearly. After 5 years you will automatically become a permanent resident.
Non EU residents from countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don’t need a visa if they are only visiting up to a maximum of 90 days for tourist reasons. Any longer than three months will require a non-tourist visa which must be applied for in your own country.
Click here for more information on visas.
Outside the tourist spots, Italy is a very affordable country to live in. Wages can be low and the hours long. You really should learn the language if you are going to live and work in Italy. The cost of living in southern Italy is much lower than in the north, but public services are not as good.
Italy has the most volcanoes in Europe including Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius.
Eyeglasses and the typewriter were Italian inventions.
Parmesan cheese was invented in Parma in Italy.
Espressos and ice cream cone were invented in Italy.
Gucci, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli are all Italian fashion designers.
Italian is what is known as a Romance language and is closely related to Spanish, French and Portugese.
Some of the police in Lazio drive Lamborghinis.