Expats moving to Rome are likely to become entranced by the imagery of the living, breathing ancient city. Magnificent ruins and foundations built on the rich fabled history that was once the centre of the world are immediately invigorating. Expats would be hard-pressed not to allow themselves to fall for regal Rome and its noble roots.
However, many find that the initial love affair that accompanies arrival is short-lived. Rome has a reputation for being an amazing city to visit and an incredibly difficult city to live in.
At first, the elegance of the architecture and food in Rome is unbelievably accessible. Yet, as expats begin to settle down, they may lose themselves in the logistics of organising their lives and often find that Italy’s capital and largest city is layered and enigmatic.
If expats have not arranged a work permit and a job before landing, they will find themselves in the middle of a challenging job-seeking environment. What's more, expats without a solid knowledge of Italian will not qualify for most positions and will be competing with a close-knit community for limited job opportunities.
The city’s bureaucracy is notorious for being impossible to navigate, complicated and unapproachable. This can make seemingly simple tasks like finding accommodation, registering children for schools and obtaining identity documents exceptionally frustrating.
Furthermore, despite Rome’s role as the seat of the all-powerful Roman Empire, many basic operations are racked with inefficiency while its appeal as a year-round tourist destination has inflated the cost of living.
That said, expats that have moved to Rome and never left will insist that the worries of day-to-day life can easily be washed away in the magic of the metropolis. With excellent public healthcare, a fantastic food and wine culture, and the residents’ appreciation for art and beauty make for endless opportunities to see and do. This is coupled with the fact that getting around the metropolis is easy as the public transport is both comprehensive and affordable.
In light of both the pros and cons of relocating to the Italian capital, expats who allow themselves to remain in awe of the age-old city and surroundings will continue to enjoy their life in Rome.
►When relocating, expats should weigh up the pros and cons of moving to Rome
"I think to really penetrate the layers of the Italian society you really have to go the extra mile in understanding their culture and speaking their language". Read more about Ernesto's experience of living in Rome.
"I would recommend making friends with locals as well as expats – having a few locals as your devoted friends may well prove to be the key to overcoming obstacles when you have to address frustrating bureaucratic matters". Read our interview with Camilla for more.
Are you an expat living in Rome?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Rome. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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