Moving to Italy

Trust the experts for your Italian relocation

Moving to Italy is an exciting step, whether it’s to start a new career or for a change in lifestyle. With the promise of fine food, weather, wine and opportunities, it’s clear what the attraction is for British expatriates.

Italy lies right at the beautiful heart of the Med, with miles of beaches along its striking coastline and rocky mountains further inland. While it’s not too far from the UK, relatively speaking, it can feel like a whole new world.

Any large-scale relocation comes with practicalities to consider, particularly shipping your household items long distance. That’s where we come in. Our expertise and experience can help you with the decision making, logistics and transportation of your goods and personal effects, taking one burden off your shoulders.

We’ve helped thousands of individuals and families make international moves, so why not get in touch with us today to see how we can help you?


If you’ve never moved internationally before, it can be overwhelming. And even if you are quite used to relocating, you are probably aware that no two moves are ever the same. Last-minute problems can crop up, delays happen and the paperwork can increase. As an international removals company, with decades of experience in the industry, we’ve seen it all. Which means that we can anticipate any potential problems before they happen and solve any issues that come up along the way.

We have regular shipments heading to Italy and can arrange for your household goods to be transported within your requirements and budget. We aim to make the process as simple and stress-free for you as possible, giving you one less thing to worry about when it comes to your big move.

The first step is filling in our enquiry form or giving us a call – the details are on this page. We will send one of our friendly relocation surveyors to your home to talk through what you need to move and assess your belongings. From here, we can give you a no-obligation quote based on your personal requirements. If you opt to take on our services, we can assign the correct resources to your shipment and you will work with one of our Move Coordinators, who will lead you through the entire process in line with your personal Move Plan.

Request a quote or call us on +44 (0) 20 8963 4000

General advice

Moving to Italy certainly has its perks: pleasant weather, exceptional food and fine wines. It offers a high standard of living across the country, as well as excellent business opportunities. It’s no wonder that more British professionals and retirees are opting to live in the glamourous surroundings of Milan or Rome, or even the glorious sunshine islands of Sardinia or Sicily.


Italy is a diverse country with a strong sense of national pride and local cultures. To help you plan for your relocation, we are building an informative hub, packed with articles on moving to Italy from the UK. You’ll find an overview of some of the key areas you need to know, but take some time to explore the rest of our website too.


Regional Information

The European country of Italy is right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea and is a desirable location for affluent British expatriates. The country offers something to suit every preference, from the mountainous and rural northern Alpine regions, to the sunshine cities of the Italian Peninsula to the south. Italy also includes the two Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia, which are popular with wealthy retirees.

The climate is equally diverse. Inland, particularly in the north and central regions, expect humid continental or subtropical conditions. In the south and on the coast, you will experience the typical Mediterranean climate of warm summers and mild winters.

The country is populous – the fourth most-populated country in the EU. British professionals are more usually drawn to the cities of Rome and Milan, where there are plentiful career opportunities for the right candidates. The population of these cities are culturally varied, with many migrants and expats opting to relocate to Italy. For retirees, the coastal region of Tuscany is a popular choice, as are the islands, perfect for those wishing to live out their days in the sun.

Italian Lifestyle

The Italian lifestyle is similar to other neighbouring Mediterranean countries, such as France and Spain. The pace of life, even in the busy cities, is more laid back than it is in London. While there is a strong business ethic among workers, there is an equal emphasis put on leisure time.

Food is the cornerstone of community and family life. There are plentiful markets to stock up on fresh food, and making time to prepare food at home is part of daily life. Social events tend to revolve around eating meals too, as do business lunches and networking.


For foodies, there is no better place to reside. While the cuisine is diverse and variable from region to region, the ethos remains the same – simple, fresh ingredients cooked to perfection. It is the quality of the produce and not highly technical cooking methods that are the stars of the show here.

Other than food, there is also a strong sense of history in Italy. There are more than 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites, more than any other country in the world. The country is also home to some of the greatest artists throughout history. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, for example, is a must-visit to explore the history of Renaissance art in its birthplace.

Real Estate

For the most part, British expatriates rent rather than buy in Italy. Mainly this is for practical reasons, because of a short-term contract or to trial the lifestyle. But there is also a competitive and limited real estate market. Properties that do come up for sale are very in demand, however there are some excellent opportunities for those with the patience to wait for them to come along.

There are no specific restrictions on expatriates buying property and the process is fairly straightforward. Your chosen estate agent and notary manage the specifics and legalities of the sale. Most purchased properties are in the more rural areas – large farmhouses and villas, which are often in need of large-scale renovation but offer a lot of land and space. Another popular option are townhouses and villas in the pretty coastal village.

For expatriates living in the city, however, it is far more common to reside in one of the many luxury apartment blocks. Most standard rental contracts are signed for a year, but there are other types of rental contract that secure much longer tenancies.


There is an excellent public healthcare system across most of Italy, though the standard can vary from region to region. The majority of expatriates relocating for work purposes will purchase health insurance to access the outstanding private facilities available.

The national health service is called the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), but it is managed within each province, which is why there can be regional variations. In general, the standard is better in the major cities in the north and central areas. SSN is available to expatriates with resident status, which gives access to free or low-cost treatment.

However, private healthcare is more consistent in its high standards and has lower waiting times. Many Italian nationals opt to use private facilities where they can, such is the excellent reputation.

Otherwise, healthcare services are just like any other Western country. There are readily available pharmacies and emergency services are reached by calling 118. It does help to have some basic Italian skills in these situations, but in the main cities, it’s not usual difficult to find English-speaking medics.

Money and Utilities

The taxation system in Italy is not dissimilar to the UK. Italy has a double taxation agreement with the UK, which gives tax credit against taxes paid abroad on income sources worldwide. Otherwise, expatriates with tax resident status must pay personal tax on their Italian and foreign-sourced income. For employees, tax is taken at source by your employer on a progressive rate scale from 23% to 43% (as of 2017 for 2018 returns).

For those with additional income or are self-employed, an annual tax return needs to be filed online by October each year. Payments are then due by the end of the following June. There are also regional and municipal taxes to pay, which vary from place to place but fall within a range set out in national law.

In terms of the cost of living, Italy is a little more expensive across the board for consumer goods and entertainment. However, utilities and rental prices are a bit lower, so there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference when moving from London to an Italian city with all things considered.

How long should you allow for shipping to Italy?

Please get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about the transit times for Italy. Shipping varies depending on how much you need to move, where in the country you are relocating to and how you opt to transport your good. However, you arrive in the country, you should allow 5-7 days to clear customs.

What can you take?

It’s relatively straightforward to ship your belongings to Italy. Get in touch with Cadogan Tate today to find out the best way to pack and transport your goods before your relocation.

Most of your normal household items can be shipped with little trouble, but you do need to ensure that all your paperwork is in order to avoid being hit with fees and fines. This is why using a qualified international moving service can save you money and hassle, as they are qualified and experienced in knowing what customs require to clear your goods. Italian customs procedures can be inconsistent and it’s not unusual for last-minute changes or administrative tasks to be thrown up.

You should be able to clear one shipment of household effects through customs with no duty payable, though high-value or brand-new items may attract a levy. As long as you have a detailed inventory of all the items in your shipment and the relevant paperwork, you shouldn’t need to be physically present for your customs clearance.

Prohibited items are mostly common sense, such as firearms, weaponry, animal skin, large quantities of alcohol and foodstuffs. Do check with your Move Coordinator to ensure that none of your items will cause problems.

Taking a car or motor vehicle

You can ship your car to Italy with you if you wish. You can ship one car free of customs duty, as long as you have a certificate of origin and proof that you have owned the car for at least a year. If you import a car duty-free, you can’t sell it for a year. You will need to submit original documentation to clear your car. Newer cars and those with larger engines are more likely to attract duty, so it’s worth weighing up whether it’s better to ship or buy new.

Moving to Italy with pets

You can take common household pets with you to Italy: dogs, cats and ferrets. They are subject to the usual regulations and will need to have the correct certifications, vaccinations and a microchip. They will need an EU pet passport.


Italy Regional Information

Italy is a varied and diverse country, with a lot to offer the British expatriate, whatever your reason for moving. Whether you’re heading to the mountainous north, the urban centre or the stunning coastline, relocating to Italy is an adventure waiting to happen.

We have developed articles on key topics, as well as guides to the main regions and cities in Italy to help you prepare for your move. We offer regular transportation to Italy and have built up a detailed knowledge of the country so we can support you through every step.

Enquire now or call us on +44 (0) 20 8963 4000

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