5 Reasons to consider moving to Italy
BY Allessandro Belluzzo
22nd Nov 2023 Travel
3 min read
Many people love holidays in Italy, with its amazing culture, history and weather, so here are some financial and family reasons to consider moving to and relocating in Italy
Italy is home to just over 5 million foreign citizens, according to its 2022 permanent population census figures. Those foreign citizens include 28,355 from the UK, drawn to Italy for its culture, climate, cuisine, lifestyle, employment opportunities and more. Alessandro Belluzzo, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK, reveals what Britons can gain when they depart the UK in search of La Dolce Vita…
People visit Italy from around the world. In 2022, United Nations World Tourism Barometer figures show that Italy received 49.8 million international tourist arrivals, making it the fifth most visited country on the planet. Italy’s unique mix of ancient architecture, incredible music and art, superb gastronomy and a landscape that ranges from beautiful mountains to golden sandy beaches all inspire people to visit, as do its diverse, bustling cities. Many visitors fall in love with the country when they visit, and some end up relocating here for good.
1. Financial incentives
Moving to Italy isn’t just about settling somewhere sunny you can enjoy gourmet pizza. There can be a compelling financial case for relocating here. Italy offers a fixed €100,000 substitute tax per year for high-net-worth individuals on income generated abroad. There’s also a 90% income tax exemption for workers relocating to southern regions and a 70% exemption for workers in other regions. This makes a strong financial case for coming to Italy to work.
"A 70-90% tax exemption for relocating makes a strong financial case for coming to Italy to work"
Many Britons who relocate to Italy head for the north of the country, according to a 2021 British Embassy survey. Employment opportunities are a key driver of this. According to the survey, a fifth of Britons living in Italy have settled in Lombardy, with almost as many in Lazio. Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna also have sizable communities of British settlers, while smaller groups of British expats can also be found in Abruzzo, Umbria, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily.
2. A long and healthy retirement
Retirees are also welcomed with open arms, with those who move to the south of Italy benefitting from a flat-rate 7% tax on their pension incomes from abroad. Italy has much to appeal to older residents.
Indeed, the traditional diet and way of life in Sardinia led to a cluster of villages on the island being identified as the world’s first “blue zone” back in 2004, due to the residents there enjoying exceptional longevity. Overall, Italy has the sixth highest life expectancy in the world, at 84.20 years. In the UK, which ranks 30th globally, life expectancy is 82.31 years.
3. Family values
A key part of the appeal of the Italian lifestyle is the quality of life here and the way that family and friends are valued. It’s a lovely environment for everyone from families with young children to centenarians.
"It’s a lovely living environment for everyone from families with young children to centenarians"
Entrepreneurs and dynamic individuals looking go build their careers can also find plenty of opportunities, along with a healthy work/life balance. Italy provides a self-employment visa option for non-EU nationals, plus a range of long-stay visas for those not intending to work while living there, encouraging a broad spectrum of individuals to move here.
4. Employment opportunities
Italy has not been without its issues in employment terms over the past decade or so. The country’s unemployment rate surged after the global financial crisis, peaking at 12.7% in 2014. However, since then it has been falling steadily, dropping to 8.2% in 2022.
Monthly figures for 2023 show that it has dropped further still, falling to 7.4% in June. The increased employment opportunities mean that many digital nomads have headed to Italy, experiencing life in its vibrant cities from bases in their many co-working spaces.
5. A lower cost of living
While costs in the more touristy parts of some cities can be high, on average the cost of living in Italy is lower than it is in the UK. Numbeo’s data shows that life in Italy is, on average, 4.2% cheaper than it is in the UK. Rent, in particular, is cheaper, with Italians paying an average of 37% less than renters in the UK.
"Rent is cheaper, with Italians paying an average of 37% less than renters in the UK"
For Britons keen to know more, the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK is running a free-to-attend Moving to Italy Show in London this November. Taking place in the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London on November 28 2023, the Moving to Italy Show will provide expert information and insights into life in Italy for anyone considering making the move. Seminars, panel discussions and networking will provide opportunities for delegates to access details on property, finances, employment, lifestyle, schooling, the legal aspects of living in Italy and much more. Tickets are free but must be booked online in advance of the event.
Banner credit: The beautiful Lake Como in Italy. Credit: Slimmars
To keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Loading up next...