Frequently Asked Questions about Italy

Expats considering a move to Italy will naturally have many concerns about life in this culturally rich country.

From safety concerns to the weather, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Italy.

What is the incidence of crime in Italy?

Thanks to mafia-themed masterpieces like The Godfather, there is a misconception that Italy has a high crime rate, but most crime in Italy is confined to bag-snatching and pickpocketing. Although organised crime in Italy is a reality, it's unlikely to affect day-to-day life in any way.

What is the population mix of Italy?

Ethnic Italians constitute 95 percent of the population, and the largest ethnic minority is Romanian. Over the past few years, statistics have shown increasing waves of immigration from the EU countries of Eastern Europe and illegal immigrants from southeastern Europe and North Africa. The population density of Italy ranks among the highest in Europe. This means that Italian culture influences many aspects of life and expats may experience elements of culture shock in Italy.

How is the economy of Italy performing?

Italy’s economic growth in the past 15 years has been one of the slowest in the European Union. However, despite slow growth, the economy itself is one of the largest in the world. Italy is a member of the G8 group of industrialised nations and the economy is reliant on importing raw materials for industry. Still, expats can find opportunities for work in tourism, finance, media and communication and teaching English as a foreign language, amongst other areas of work.

What type of government does Italy have?

Italy is a parliamentary democracy with a history of coalition governments. 

What is the climate like?

Italy’s climate varies from one region to another, with Mediterranean conditions experienced on the coast and continental weather and temperatures in the interior. Higher elevated areas close to the Alps and Apennines encounter particularly frigid conditions. Rainfall occurs mainly during the autumn and winter seasons, with the wettest parts in the north of the country. Temperatures tend to fluctuate year-round between 11°C and 30°C (51°F to 86°F). The hottest month is July and the coldest is January, when the average daily minimum and maximum can range from 4°C to 6°C (39°F to 42°F).

How can I buy a car in Italy?

Though public transport in Italy is extensive, it has its faults. So, often, expats choose to buy a car. Anyone can buy a car in Italy, as long as they have a residence permit. Then they must find the car they want, be it new or second hand. Once they have decided, they must go to the ACI Public Registry Office to register the transaction and put the car in their name. Car insurance is a must, so factor this in when thinking about costs. It's also important to think about the feasibility of owning a car, especially in big cities like Rome.

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