Italy is without a doubt one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is a destination for those once-in-a-lifetime vacations that people dream about and save for. Sure, there are other gorgeous places in the world, but there are few countries that boast the amount of attractions that Italy does—and such a variety to boot. Indeed, Italy is one of those countries that has something for everyone, from beaches to mountains, big cities to small towns, art to fashion, history to great food…you get the picture. Of course, there are also those hard to describe aspects that make people fall in love with Italy. The lifestyle and a type of passion that makes someone feel alive. Sounds irresistible, right? Well, think about how wonderful it would be not just to visit but to actually retire in Italy.
Retiring to Italy could be a genial move, especially if you’re already familiar with the area and if you have friends or family to help you get acquainted with the country and culture. Many Americans are choosing to live out their twilight years in gorgeous Italy, many in the Tuscany and Umbria area. And while George Clooney is constantly making the front pages with his glorious Lake Como estate, many other expats prefer a simpler, rural type of life when settling in Italy. Indeed moving to an Italian city usually only appeals to those looking for work, not those who have retired.
If you’re interested to move to Italy there are many agencies that can facilitate the acquisition of property. The Italian and American consulates can also advise on the proper legal procedures to obtain visas and long term permits. Such official procedures might not always be fast, but usually they shouldn't be too complicated. While many Western countries often seem much the same its always important to remember it is a foreign nation and some laws and rules may be different from what you’re used to.
If you have enough cash, it is advisable to open an account in Italy and keep some money there, so as to avoid any long-term surprises with the Euro/dollar exchange. You should also look into getting a local credit card, which will also dispense with the problem of international fees. Another important thing to consider is whether your health insurance will cover you in Italy or if you’re eligible for Italy’s public health system.
If you become a permanent resident of Italy you must obtain a local drivers license, although for the time being you can use an international one, but not a foreign issued driver license as only the standard international license will work.
While retiring to Italy seems like a dream come true to many it is a big decision so we’d advise thinking through all the pros and cons before making the leap. One last thing you will want to consider is the language. While many Italians do speak English you’ll want a good grasp of the language if you do plan to move in order to feel independent and comfortable.