With inflation in the UK having now risen 5.2% compared to just one year ago, that’s just one more reason to think about expatriating and going in search of a new and better life abroad! According to the BBC’s research, up to 26,000 Britons below retirement age have chosen Italy as their full time new home, and up to 33,000 retirees from the UK have relocated to Italy.
With an excellent climate, stunning natural scenery, fabulous cuisine, fascinating history and culture and some of the most friendly, passionate and welcoming people in the world, it’s easy to see why Italy is such an incredible draw. And whilst relocating to live in Italy can be a hearty challenge, the rewards you’ll immediately realise will make the move a very positive one for the vast majority of people who will quickly appreciate the benefits of an improved lifestyle.
In this article we’ll look at preparing to move to Italy, we’ll cover everything from a six-month count down to removal day to planning ahead, learning the language and coping with the climate.
For our friends and family, the news that we’re thinking of emigrating can be shocking and distressing – after all, the first thought likely to come to people’s minds is that they are losing you forever to the other side of the world! It’s a totally natural reaction but one that can be managed and dealt with very swiftly when it comes to you moving to Italy. Point out that Italy is cheaply, easily and quickly accessible from the UK! You can fly, drive, take the train or even a boat to Italy – well, you can take a boat at least part of the way! And once you’re dead set on the part of Italy that you’re relocating to, why not draw up a little factsheet for your loved ones detailing the ways to get back and forth between your new home and the UK. There’s nothing better for you and for your friends and family than knowing that you can all be together easily and within a matter of hours if you fly to and from the right airport.
Having handled that emotional hurdle and ensured everyone’s ruffled feathers are smoothed, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get planning your relocation.
Here’s a timeline guide to the six months leading up to your move…
In the UK, 6 months before you move you need to either get your house on the market with an estate agent or have a letting agent assess the property for rental. In Italy you need to actively look for a rental property. If you do take the bold move to buy a property in Italy before you move to live in the country, you may already have your property transaction completed. If you have pets that you’re planning to take with you, speak to your vet now about rabies vaccinations and any other action you need to take such as getting your pet microchipped.
3 months before you go you need to start getting properly organised in the UK in terms of planning what you’re going to do in Italy for work, what personal belongings you’re going to ship, sell or give away. You also need to start learning Italian if you haven’t already, and also learning all there is to know about the region of Italy you’re moving too. Get your codice fiscale in Italy, open a bank account and start looking at schools for the kids. You also need to make sure yours and your family’s passports are valid and find out about any work permits or visas that you will need to live and work in Italy. Your requirement to have such documentation will depend on your nationality, contact the Italian embassy in the UK to find out more.
With just a couple of months to go you need to get removal quotes, speak to your vet about any outstanding issues relating to the relocation of your pet, make your final travel arrangements and start informing local utility companies, HMRC, your children’s schools etc., of your intention to move. Then with just 1 month to go it’s action stations – send out change of address cards to all friends and acquaintances, make up a detailed inventory of what you’re taking with you, and begin packing less frequently used items. In terms of your new home in Italy, make sure all is present and correct with regard to your rental contract, make sure utilities and services will be connected, enrol your child in school and if needs be, make sure you have hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation sorted for the period in between moving out of your house in the UK and into your property in Italy.
When you’re just a week or a few days away from your move try and remain calm! Your emotions will have you lurching from extremes of excitement and anticipation to complete stress and panic! Don’t worry, this is normal and all part of the journey towards ultimately living in Italy! Keep your excitement as controlled as you can, forget stressing and go with the flow, keep important documentation to hand and in one place at all times!!!!! I.e., know where your passports, keys, tickets, contracts, maps and useful contact numbers are and make sure your spouse and family know too. Give copies of important documents to a trusted family member to keep safe as well…and then just let it happen!
In terms of preparing a move to Italy if you’re still in the thinking stages, here’s a list of the top 10 things you need to go over: –
1) How will you earn an income?
2) Can you cope with the extremes of the climate where in the summer you can go for months without seeing rain and living in temperatures regularly in the high 30s, and in the winter you can be cut off by the snow?
3) When you’re looking for a property in Italy you need to think about keeping it cool and heating it…a small practical issue many people overlook and then regret for an awfully long time!
4) The best way to learn Italian is to live in Italy – so if you’re struggling, don’t panic!
5) Actively investigate the affordability of health insurance – you will be glad you have it!
6) Not all schools are of the same standard and regionally they differ greatly. In the North the educational facilities are generally considered to be better. You might need to bear this in mind.
7) Renting before buying is sensible!
8) Think about money matters very carefully. Factor in everything from your tax liability to the insurances you need in Italy, think about the fact that you may not earn as much in Italy but be spending out a lot to get established, if you’re on a pension, how far will this stretch and will a move really make you better off in the long run?
9) If you do decide to take the plunge and move to live in Italy, the sooner you start carefully planning your relocation the better.
10) There is nothing wrong with being a list writer! In fact, those who take the time to write out a detailed schedule and practically plan all aspects of their move are far more likely to survive the relocation relatively unscathed!