Dreaming of Italy? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of it.

Dreaming of walking through tiny, bustling streets of a beautiful Italian city? Sipping a caffè stood at a bar, watching the locals going about their daily business? Going to the local Panificio to buy warm focaccia with the sweetest cherry tomatoes on top. Travelling to Italy is really a dream, and gives you a fantasy of this idyllic lifestyle. However, the differences between holidaying somewhere and living there can be astronomical. This is something I am becoming increasingly aware of as I go through this process of moving to Italy.

Italy was never a dream of mine. In fact, it never even entered the equation. I had never wanted to go to Italy, not even to Rome. I was somewhat naively thrown into this country when I met Alberto. However, my first visit to Bari changed this. Walking down the narrow little streets of the old town, gazing at the magnificent ceiling in the Basilica di San Nicola, visiting Castello Svevo, eating focaccia, the closeness of families in Puglia, the warmness of its people, my first true Italian pizza. All of these things enthralled me. I completely fell in love. So when we decided the only option was for me to move to Italy, it was not such a hard decision for me to make.

So how do I do it?

How do I move to Italy? What is the process? How do I become a resident? How do I find a job? How do I open a bank account, get a mobile phone, pay my bills? How do I do my shopping when I can’t even speak the language? These are all questions that have plagued me since I made that decision. And these are all things I have researched over and over.

I am still not entirely sure on the answer to all of these questions but the most important thing seems to be getting the permesso di soggiorno and codice fiscale. As well as registering for the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale.

First off the Permesso di soggiorno or permit to stay. This is basically your registration card that says your allowed to stay in the country. This is applied for at the local post office and requires a number of steps.

First you get your packet and you fill in the forms. You need to get a Marca da Bollo, which you can get from a local Tabaccheria. You bring the packet, the Marca da Bollo and your passport to the post office and pay the required fees. €40 – 100 for the packet, €16 for the Marca da Bollo, €30 for the Assicurata Postale and €30.46 for printing the Permesso di soggiorno. This gets sent off to the local Questura and you get given a receipt for the Assicurata as well as a receipt for the bolletino, and an appointment at the local Questura. You must keep these receipts as the Questura will ask for them both during your appointment (as well as 2 passport sized photos), and they are also proof of your immigration registration, so you need to travel with these at all time until you get your card. After your appointment, your card will be sent to the local commissariato di polizia and you will be given a time for when you can pick this up. This whole process can take up to 6 months.

The codice fiscale is a lot more simple to get. It basically is your tax code. Italians are assigned these at birth. You need this for a number of services including a bank account. You can apply for it before hand at your Italian consulate or at any Agenzia delle entrate in Italy. This is free.

Healthcare. This is provided by the SNN. If you have a visa to live in Italy then a requirement of that is health insurance. If you are from the EU you can access the SNN using your EHIC card. Once you have your Permesso di soggiorno you can join the healthcare system. There is a cost to this I believe. I do not really know too much about this yet.

As for bank accounts, mobile phones etc. I am still researching this. But will likely do a blog post about these, and as well as finding property to rent in future posts.

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