Sound Advice on Moving to Italy


To anyone who’s visited Italy, it’s probably not surprising that so many people fall in love with the culture and the country and want to move there. But picking up and moving to Italy can be a complicated proposition, especially since Italy became part of the European Union. That’s why it’s so fantastic that, in this era of a global community in the form of the internet, those of us who are interested in making the move have the insights and wisdom right at our fingertips of the people who’ve already done it.

Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy (who lives in Milan) is an excellent resource for all kinds of information, from food to travel, and she’s collected some of her best advice in a post here for people interested in moving to Italy. While Sara herself really didn’t do any pre-planning for her move, she doesn’t recommend following her example, especially when the internet has made it so easy to gather the necessary information. The different sections she’s broken down her advice into are on the following topics:

  • How can I move to Italy?
  • Where should I live in Italy?
  • How do I find a job in Italy?
  • How do I learn/improve my Italian?
  • When should I move to Italy?

Each topic is covered thoughtfully, both with Sara’s own experiences and with resources she’s come across or found useful. There are a bunch of things to do wrapped up in her advice, but the points I found most interesting were at the end – a few “don’t” messages:

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  • Don’t try to organize the perfect situation.
  • Don’t gather every bit of information about living in Italy before your move.
  • Don’t try to learn all you can about Italy before moving.

For someone who’s a hyper-planner (yours truly), those all seem counter-intuitive. But after reading Sara’s entire article, I’m convinced she’s right. Part of the allure of expatriating to a foreign culture is the excitement of exploring, of finding things out for yourself and writing your own story – not just following the dictates of others who’ve gone before you. So while those three messages of “don’t” will possibly make a move to Italy (or any foreign country, for that matter) more challenging at times, they will probably make the overall experience richer in the end.

Finally, Sara’s parting message resonates for some of the same reasons – “In the end, what do you really have to lose? It’s so much harder for us to leave something that is known for the unknown – but the best part about it is, if you don’t like where you are, you can always go back.”

Photo by: _flucio6