Expat in Italy shares two ‘setbacks’ newcomers face when settling down in the hotspot - 'made us feel very unsafe'

florence stock image and saar headshot

Italian bureaucracy can be challenging for expats

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 03/06/2024

- 11:43

Updated: 04/06/2024

- 11:01

Navigating the bureaucracy in Italy can be a challenge for newcomers, an expat has warned

Italy is a dream destination for retirees hoping to slow down, but even the most seasoned travellers know that idyllic countries have their downsides.

Many turn to the country for its top healthcare system, which boasts extremely efficient hospitals and access to medical care.

However, the Italian bureaucracy has been described as slow and frustrating - particularly for newcomers who know little about the local system.

An expat named Saar said this was one of the most challenging aspects of her move as she settled into her new life in Florence.

Rome Colosseum

Italy boasts efficient healthcare


“I’m in love with the quality of life here and I have met such good friends,” the content creator declared.

“We had heard that Italy had amazing healthcare and doctors and while that may still be true, the bureaucratic nightmares just to get the simplest things done has been a nightmare, to say the least."

Relocation experts at InerNations confirm that bureaucratic challenges can lead to dissatisfying working conditions that make life difficult for expats.

Navigating the complex processes of obtaining visas, and permits, and dealing with local authorities is both time-consuming and frustrating, the experts claim.

“From getting a simple appointment with a general practitioner or the protocols of getting the health insurance in place, or the experience at the hospital here, everything has been extremely complicated," said Saar.

Navigating these complex processes is certainly easier for those who know the local language, but it's not a given for proficient Italian speakers either, according to Saar.

“Even though we speak Italian and we were so well prepared and we have friends here in Florence, it was so hard to figure it out," she said.

“While moving to Italy might be a great adventure, it also requires a lot of patience and bureaucratic issues to solve.

“It made us feel very unsafe and has added so much stress to our life."

"Even if you are a European citizen or you want to do a shorter project, you will have to go through the bureaucratic procedures.

Many expats who brave the move to Italy have a positive experience, however, as the country has many unique perks to offer newcomers.


Sicily Italy

Italy is an attractive country for expats


A social media user, Dramatically Expatic, whittled down her top picks for the best Italian regions to move to in 2024.

According to the Italian news outlet, El Sole 24 Ore, Udine was named the best place to move to.

“If you’re not an Italian junkie like myself you may not be very familiar with this place, because it is severely underrated by tourists,” explained the YouTuber.

Located in the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the city is deemed the best place for anyone who can’t decide whether to live by the ocean or mountains.

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