Author Topic: anyone successfully moved to Italy?  (Read 2742 times)

steviesterno

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« on: March 20, 2018, 05:13:19 AM »
I know this might be a long shot but not sure where to look. I am either permanently burned out by living in a metropolis suburb or having a midlife crisis (I hope not, I'm 34) and I'm seriously considering a move to Italy. Wife and I have each spent some time there, but only on vacation, and not recently. We have a 2 year old and I know that kind of crazy move would be easier while he's young, rather than school age. We have family in PA and live in Texas, so it's already a flight to see anybody. Italy is about the only foreign country we would consider.

I have been a professor, I'm a licensed chiropractor, and I'm currently a college administrator. Wife is a service coordinator for a major insurance company. neither of us have the option of working remotely with current positions, so if this was to at all pan out we'd need to find work. We don't speak italian but would be happy to learn.

Is it best to have an american job and then just live over there? or is there a way to get a job or whatever while we're there? I hear you need stuff lined up and some money or they won't let you in.

I kept thinking about how nice it would be to retire and then move over there, hang out at the cafes, drink too much wine and eat delicious food all the time. then we talked about it and thought "why the hell wait till we're old?"

just looking for thoughts, ideas, or resources to check out.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4743
  • Location: Avalon
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 05:40:36 AM »
Batsignal to @Malaysia41 @Hula Hoop

I'm sure there are other forum members who are or have been living in Italy.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:12:45 AM by former player »

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3391
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 08:34:46 AM »
I dont understand how you think you will get a job. Can you elaborate on your thoughts in thAt regard? Generally speaking, all developed countries have rigorous entry requirements intended to keep the jobs going to citizens of that country.

I have to say that this thread seems very, umm, pie in the sky. “Italy is about the only foreign country we would consider.” That is just—wow.

Wouldnt it be nice to move to
Italy and go to cafes daily? Well, sure. Is there anyone who WOULDNT like that?

« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 08:38:54 AM by iris lily »

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3314
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 11:36:45 AM »
Batsignal to @Malaysia41 @Hula Hoop

I'm sure there are other forum members who are or have been living in Italy.

/cracks knuckles/ where to start?

If you want to find jobs here, my understanding is you'd need to make a special case to the Italian Embassy.  Usually they grant visas for students, political asylum seekers, catholic nuns, catholic priests, relatives of Italian citizens, people getting married to Italian citizens, or workers where a company is sponsoring you and making a decent case for why you need to be here.  Otherwise, you need to prove financial independence to get a residenza elettiva visa (elective residence). And judging by our experience, the bureacrats are not accustomed to people with residenza elettiva visas. When we applied, the guideline was that you needed 31,000€ income per adult. There was no wealth requirement - only income. If you are able to work in Italy at a job based in the US, I would think you can use the income from that job for a residenza elettiva. It's probably doable.

Residenza E. visa requires that we not work in Italy.  I believe there are some waivers for small-time gigs like teaching yoga or spin classes where you make just a few thousand a year. But for me, non interessante.  If you were from another EU country, I believe getting a job would be much easier. But if you are American, I don't think you're going to get much help, or sympathy or consideration from the state.

So if you were able to get a residenza elettiva visa, and then get your permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) and then get your carta rezidenza (residence card), (and become a tax resident), at that point I believe you could enroll your kid in Italian public school for free. Schools here are pretty good. The medical system is good too - we pay about 4,000€ per year for full health coverage for our family of three.

Taxes are stiff. It's a progressive schedule that rises way faster than in the US. I just filed US taxes today. We owed $219 taking standard deductions. The trick is using schedule E for deducting expenses related to our CA house.  $219!!!!. The US tax structure is SWEET for living off of capital and as a non-resident. On the other hand, I expect our Italian tax bill will be somewhere between 6,000€ and 10,000€. OMG it better not be more. (well, 6,000minus219  to 10,000minus 219 - we've got a tax treaty with Italy - like it matters when US taxes are $219).

Quote
I kept thinking about how nice it would be to retire and then move over there, hang out at the cafes, drink too much wine and eat delicious food all the time. then we talked about it and thought "why the hell wait till we're old?"

You just described my past weekend!  Went out with friends, hung at the local cafe, moved on to another cafe, drank too much wine, but didn't eat much - ironically this girl moves to freaking Italy and then goes totes vegan and only a few cafes here 'get' what vegan means - Ziga cafe and La Lanterna to be specific - but I digress. 

I wrote a whole thing about how people are the similar everywhere.  But well, it felt very cliche. Any other questions about Italy?

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Italy
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 11:54:37 AM »
Like Malaysia said - you'd need to get some kind of residency visa in order to live here.  Just like if an Italian (or Mexican or Chinese person etc.) wanted to go and live in the US.  As you probably know there is no freedom of movement across borders to work - otherwise there would not be a problem with illegal immigrants.

Malaysia recommends the elective residency visa which is designed for retired people.  I know people who got that visa and from what I understand your income must come from non-work sources - so rental income, investment income or a pension.  You cannot work either in the US or Italy on an ER visa from what I understand.  The ER visa would be your best option if you are FIREd, meet the income requirement and don't need to work for money.

Apart from that - do you or your wife have European relatives?  For example, a friend of mine is half French, half American.  She was able to get French citizenship and since France and Italy are both EU countries was able to move here and work here.  Because of free movement across borders within the EU, citizens of other EU countries can move to Italy with no visa requirements.

Other option would be to marry a citizen of a European country like I did and get a work visa that way.

I've also heard of people being sponsored for work visas.  For example, if you work for the UN or in agricultural development you could get a job at the FAO in Rome.  Or, for example, GE has a big operation near Florence and I think they sometimes send non-Europeans there on work visas.  Obviously, you'd need a very specialized skill set.  Otherwise, they'd hire a European citizen for the job.

As Malaysia pointed out, even if you were able to finagle a way to live here you'd be subject to Italian taxes which are crazy high even for low incomes.  Is that something you're willing to deal with?

I don't really understand why you want to move to Italy specifically.  You do realize that living here and coming here on vacation are exremely different things?  Italy has an extremely high unemployment rate, particularly youth unemployment.  Salaries are very low and life here in a real struggle a lot of the time.  What kinds of things attract you to Italy specifically?  It aint all sitting in piazzas sipping wine and stuffing yourself with pasta, you know. Most Italians work very long hours for low salaries.  My kids go to Italian public school and many kids end up eating dinner at 9 or 10 pm because a lot of the parents don't get home from work until 8.30 or 9 or so. 

« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:05:28 PM by Hula Hoop »

steviesterno

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 12:08:13 PM »
I dont understand how you think you will get a job. Can you elaborate on your thoughts in thAt regard? Generally speaking, all developed countries have rigorous entry requirements intended to keep the jobs going to citizens of that country.

I have to say that this thread seems very, umm, pie in the sky. “Italy is about the only foreign country we would consider.” That is just—wow.

Wouldnt it be nice to move to
Italy and go to cafes daily? Well, sure. Is there anyone who WOULDNT like that?

Well, I figured with my direct italian heritage and some family as former citizenship, it would be a good place to start. I like the place and I'm not a freeloader. I have skills that are often needed in other countries, such as medical training and time in academia. Those kinds of jobs often exist internationally, and certainly more so than Head Pizza Hut Chef or whatever. I'm not especially interested in moving to Asia, anywhere south of the equator, australia, or anywhere colder than NYC. so Italy would work for me.

steviesterno

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 12:15:19 PM »


Apart from that - do you or your wife have European relatives?  For example, a friend of mine is half French, half American.  She was able to get French citizenship and since France and Italy are both EU countries was able to move here and work here.  Because of free movement across borders within the EU, citizens of other EU countries can move to Italy with no visa requirements.I do. My mom can get partial irish citizenship and my dad I think can go italian. I would have to push them to see.

Other option would be to marry a citizen of a European country like I did and get a work visa that way. pretty sure my wife is not on board with that.

I've also heard of people being sponsored for work visas.  For example, if you work for the UN or in agricultural development you could get a job at the FAO in Rome.  Or, for example, GE has a big operation near Florence and I think they sometimes send non-Europeans there on work visas.  Obviously, you'd need a very specialized skill set.  Otherwise, they'd hire a European citizen for the job.  I have some particular skills, but not currently sure if there is need for them in Italy. so I'll look into it on my end.

As Malaysia pointed out, even if you were able to finagle a way to live here you'd be subject to Italian taxes which are crazy high even for low incomes.  Is that something you're willing to deal with? I did not know that. I knew they were high, but not astronomical like you're mentioning.

I don't really understand why you want to move to Italy specifically.  You do realize that living here and coming here on vacation are exremely different things?  Italy has an extremely high unemployment rate, particularly youth unemployment.  Salaries are very low and life here in a real struggle a lot of the time.  What kinds of things attract you to Italy specifically?  It aint all sitting in piazzas sipping wine and stuffing yourself with pasta, you know. Most Italians work very long hours for low salaries.  My kids go to Italian public school and many kids end up eating dinner at 9 or 10 pm because a lot of the parents don't get home from work until 8.30 or 9 or so.
I'm attracted to italy because of my heritage, family history, and the history of the area. I like the idea of living in Europe but giving up a cushy American way of life has to be worth it. my house is appreciating like crazy, I make decent money without working too hard, etc. I'd like to live simply, smaller, and more relaxed. I hate it here in the DFW suburbs. sucks. too loud, hot with no water, etc.  Sure I could live for like $300 a month if I moved to Cambodia or something, but I need the whole family to be on board for a move. they are with Italy. I didn't enjoy England, I don't want to learn French, the western parts of europe still seem unstable and sketchy, and I would like to be near art and culture centers.

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3314
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 12:33:28 PM »
I know a few Brazilians who have dual citizenship because their parents moved to Brazil from Italy. If you can get a path to citizenship based on being related to citizens here, that may be your best bet.

Now I'm wondering about our income from the US.  I have a book coming out that's US based. I'll just assume it's fine. Royalties aren't ordinary income.  I mean - if the authorities want to kick us out I guess we'll leave.

Another thing to consider is that Italians - at least in the north - they are a little closed off. The majority of my friends are transplants - either they moved here from southern Italy, from Paris, the UK or Brazil. But I'm developing friendships with Italians too. It just takes longer.

Jaayse

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Somewhere on the Ocean
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 12:56:14 PM »
I live in Italy, but I am here as a member of the military.  There are a few US military bases here that you could possibly get civilian jobs at.  They usually post on USA Jobs and are 3 years with an option up to 5.  If one spouse got a job, the other one could attempt to get one a little easier, there are a lot of couples that work at my command.  It does take almost 6 months after you go through the hiring process to get over here, but there are all kinds of jobs including teaching at the DoDEA schools.  That would give you the ability to move here without the Italian taxes and would solve the whole not knowing Italian issue.

I agree with others, there are not a lot of job opportunities in Italy itself.  The food here is great, but unless you live farther North, it is hard to find any good variety of food.  I live towards the South and any time I travel I eat anything but Italian.  Thankfully I can cook pretty well, but there are some things I just miss, like Chinese food.

Italians in the South can be a bit closed off too, they just don't normally move far from home so they aren't always open to new people.  Once you are friends though, you are like family.

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Italy
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 02:01:47 PM »
Same here with the missing non-Italian food thing.  Luckily, we're pretty good cooks and have discovered some great "ethnic" grocery stores - Chinese, Bangladeshi and Romanian.  The ingredients we can get there usually allows us to make the non-Italian foods we miss.

Anyway it sounds like you may have a chance of getting either Irish or Italian citizenship (although I'm kind of puzzled by you saying that your mother could get "partial Irish citizenship" - what is that?)  So you should go for it as that's probably the best way to get here.  And you'd better start working on your Italian as you're going to need it.

mjdh1957

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Waterford, Ireland
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 04:03:00 PM »
To become an Irish citizen you yourself must have at least one grandparent born on the island of Ireland. With grandparent(s) you have to go through something called Foreign Birth Registration, a process that costs money.

It's outlined here https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/

I've no idea what 'partial Irish citizenship' might be.

I've lived in Italy for short periods as I was self-employed and liked the idea of working with a view of the Mediterranean but as an EU citizen and only there for short periods I had no contact with the Italian bureaucracy which has a poor reputation.

And definitely learn Italian. I did and found it was absolutely necessary in any interaction beyond people in the tourism industry.

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
  • Location: Texas
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 10:37:38 AM »
Perhaps you could go back to teaching, at an American college that has their own study center program?  Texas A&M owns a study center in Castiglione Fiorentino, an hour south of Firenze (Florence).  They share it with a few other universities.  Each semester a few professors go to teach classes - one brought wife and two kids under age 6, one brought his teenage daughter, and the oldest professor just brought his wife. 

I adore Italy and return as often as I can to visit, but it is definitely not somewhere I'd like to live permanently.

Or, if you could get a job in a university study abroad office and finagle your way into spending significant time with the students overseas, you could try out the lifestyle in those countries and see if you really like it.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
  • Location: Florida
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2018, 10:09:12 AM »
Well, Texas A&M sounds intriguing and may mesh with your academic skills plus give you the opportunity to test the waters for three or five years while acquiring Italian language skills and working out the details for a permanent residency and job permits etc.
The option of working as a civilian for the military might be a great option as well, as long as you fully understand that you need to use that time to learn Italian and pave your way toward permanent residency with dual citizenship etc.

Your wife also may potentially have an opportunity in the insurance field, depending on her level of expertise and how close you are to a big city or in which city, if at all, you decide to live. Internationally mobile jobs tend to concentrate in only a few cities in Europe, incl. Italy.
Find out which global insurance companies with a US based home office actually have offices near the area you are considering.
When I moved to Germany my US employer had a European headquarters in Frankfurt - but would not pay for my move or hire me from the US. I had to call the local office and apply - best job I ever had. My work experience in the US was a huge plus and the glowing review didn't hurt either.

In any professional capacity, your fluency in Italian will be crucial with very few exceptions.
I know a couple of ladies who ended up moving to Italy and loved it - one was a Polish citizen and started out as a waitress:) in a tourist town in Italy and worked her way up to hotel manager.
The other, an American, met an Italian student in the US, they both moved to Switzerland so he could finish his studies and now they are living in Rome, he is a medical doctor. His parents were not thrilled to find out he was not marrying a nice Italian girl, but they since accepted her into the bosom of la familia:)

It will take some time and relentless effort at first, to set everything in motion to arrive at a financially viable solution, but many people do it every day. I've always thought that it is so much harder to move when you are older, I'd only consider retiring to a country if I spoke the language well enough and already had some established connections to help me if I ran into problems.


lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9949
  • Location: Seattle
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2018, 09:19:01 PM »
Perhaps you could go back to teaching, at an American college that has their own study center program?  Texas A&M owns a study center in Castiglione Fiorentino, an hour south of Firenze (Florence).  They share it with a few other universities.  Each semester a few professors go to teach classes - one brought wife and two kids under age 6, one brought his teenage daughter, and the oldest professor just brought his wife. 

I adore Italy and return as often as I can to visit, but it is definitely not somewhere I'd like to live permanently.

Or, if you could get a job in a university study abroad office and finagle your way into spending significant time with the students overseas, you could try out the lifestyle in those countries and see if you really like it.

I'm guessing the Italy program is probably extremely competitive, but you could also consider applying for a Fulbright grant, and then use your semester or year there to network and see if you could get another job.

If they have teaching grants, those are often a bit less competitive than the research grants (at least that was the case in China when I worked on the program, but I think it might be similar in many other countries since the teaching grants usually have a broader focus and you have to teach, not just do your own research).

letsdoit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 410
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 01:06:51 PM »
I would do it for a bit and see what it was like.
I would think you'd have to stay for a while to fit in. 
I would not , personally, try to work there. so what would keep me busy/sane ?

BuildingFrugalHabits

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
  • Location: Great Plains
  • Living the dream
Re: anyone successfully moved to Italy?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 08:40:31 AM »
We've considered an international move as well and I've sort of come to the conclusion that there's two options: moving relocating somewhere and getting a professional job, or retiring somewhere and planning to live off savings.  At least in my specialized engineering field, Italy definitely falls into the latter category.  The US or Canada are the best places for engineering but countries like Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and possibly France are doable for finding work with lower salaries.  Italy, Portugal, Costa Rica, Equador etc. fall into the retirement category. 

Italy is an amazing place, rich with history, culture and blessed with natural beauty and for us living there at least temporarily is a bucket list item.  I think we will try it out for a while and possibly get citizenship.  The tax situation still scares me the most but if we can offset higher taxes by living in a lower cost area, it may balance out.  I wouldn't be interested in Milan, Rome or other large city although there are probably more expats living in these places.