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How to Live in Italy for 3 Months, 6 Months, or 1 Year

How to Live in Italy for 3 Months

Living in another country is an item on many travelers’ bucket lists, but coordinating and planning can be a daunting process. Read on to learn the requirements for US Citizens planning to move to Italy for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year, and recommendations for choosing a city in Italy based on cost of living and time of year.

US citizens visiting Italy or any other country in the Schengen area do not need a visa as long as you spend 90 days or less (in a 180-day period) in these countries. Once you have spent 90 days in Italy or any other Schengen country, you must wait until your 180-day clock is reset before entering any country in the Schengen area. The easiest way for US citizens to stay in Europe longer than 90 days is by spending time intermittently in non-Schengen countries: currently the UK, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. Your 90 days will not reset, but any days you spend outside the Schengen area will not count toward your 90 days.

If you are a US citizen and your travel arrangements meet the above requirements, then you can live in Italy for 3 months essentially as a “tourist” without a visa. Italy is an appealing destination for travelers wanting to live the good life: writers looking for inspiration in quaint towns, soul-searchers immersing themselves and learning the language, foodies interested in learning culinary arts and cooking, drivers who want to cruise the coasts at their own pace, along with many others who can’t resist living life to the fullest.

How to Live in Italy for 6 Months to 1 Year

Any US citizen interested in living in Italy longer than 3 months will need a long-term visa. The different types of long-term visas (Visa D) travelers most commonly use include: Student visas, Work visas, Self-employed work visas, or Elective Resident visas. The application process for any of the above visas can take between 2-4 weeks and may require an in-person interview at an Italian Consulate in the US.

Student Visa

In order to apply for a Student Visa for Italy, you must first choose and be accepted to an Italian university in a program with at least 20 hours of course work per week.

Work Visa (Subordinate Work)

US Citizens completing the Visa D application must provide the information of the employer in Italy, while the employer files an application on their behalf. Because employers are restricted to a hiring quota set by the Italian government, it can be a little tricky to pursue this route simply to obtain a long-stay visa as a traveler unless you have already secured employment in Italy.

Self-Employed Visa (Autonomous Work)

Entrepreneurs who plan to open businesses, can register their plans with the Italian Chamber of Commerce, and can submit a declaration that they will not be hired by an employer while in Italy, can apply for a Self-employed visa. This type of visa does not cover remote workers or freelancers.

You can click here to see the application form for the above and other types of “Type D” Italian Visas for US Citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than 91 but less than 364 days.

Once you arrive in Italy on a Visa D, you have eight days to register with the local police department to file a “Declaration of stay for foreigners”.

Elective Resident Visa

Another option for individuals who plan to retire in Italy that have self-sustaining incomes, financial assets, and investments can apply for an Elective Residence visa, as long as their lifestyle does not have to be supported by any kind of work and they can provide proof of funds and self-generating income. This particular type of visa may take up to 90 days to process to verify all information provided, but once it is granted the visa holder can live permanently in Italy.

How to choose which city in Italy to live in

The next step once you have decided which visa is the best option for your situation is to choose where in Italy you will live. Luckily for all travelers visiting Italy, most major cities offer quaint, charming villages within a few hours’ drive, making it easy to experience all the best that Italy has to offer whether you stay for a few weeks or up to a year. A large city like Milan will offer a faster-paced metropolitan lifestyle, while in Rome you can access all your modern conveniences while surrounded by ancient history. Cities like Naples, Florence, or Palermo each have an undeniable character and offer experiences like no other country could. The smaller towns and villages like San Gimignano near Florence, Positano near Genoa, or Bellagio just north of Milan, are full of charm and are great choices for travelers hoping to experience a leisurely-paced Italian lifestyle.

How to choose what time of year to spend in Italy

The time of year that you visit will be an important factor to consider when planning your move to Italy. Keep in mind the weather as winters can be cold, with snow falling in some areas as far south as Florence! Depending on your personal preference for crowds, peak season for tourism runs from mid-June through August in many Italian destinations and is a time of year that locals tend to avoid by traveling elsewhere. The seasonal departure of locals however may increase your chances of finding a great deal on a short-term housing situation that you could sublet, depending on your length of stay. April through mid-June and September through October are pleasant, temperate times to stay in Italy, though you may notice in areas that survive on tourism traffic like the Amalfi Coast may be a little too quiet for your liking.

The Cost of Living in Italy compared to the US

According to Expatistan’s cost of living calculator, housing and food in Rome, Milan, or Venice is 38% less than New York City and 27% less than Los Angeles, whereas Florence and Naples are 42% less than New York City and 32% less than Los Angeles. For extended stays, travelers visiting Italy can save on their transportation costs by choosing a short-term lease through the Auto France Open Europe program. With pick-up locations in both Milan and Rome, travelers can explore more areas of Italy en route to or surrounding the location where they choose to live.

With seemingly endless options when planning your perfect stay in Italy for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year, make the easy choice for transportation with Auto France. With 24 hour assistance available 7 days a week, you can enjoy your new Peugeot worry-free while traveling in Italy and beyond. Click here to learn more about our program and start planning your trip to Italy today!


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