Living and Working in Italy

Italian Republic, born in 1946, has been part of the European Union (EU) since 1957, when it was defined as the European Economic Community. Italy is therefore one of the 6 founding countries of the EU (currently made up of 27 countries), along with France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Italy is a parliamentary republic. The President of the Republic is elected by the Parliament in joint session and remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected, while the Parliament has a term of 5 years.

The laws that regulate the Italian political system are contained in the fundamental law of the Republic, the Constitution. The Italian political system is organized according to the principle of the separation of powers.
Legislative power - the power to make laws, which are then promulgated by the President of the Republic - belongs to Parliament. The Parliament is divided into two chambers: the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies.
The Constitutional Court has the task of verifying that laws are not taken against the Constitution. The President of the Republic elects one third of the judges who preside over it. Another third is elected by Parliament and the remaining third by the Magistrature.
Executive power - the power to direct the bodies of the Public Administration (PA), applying the laws - belongs to the Government. The Government is made up of three bodies: the President of the Council of Ministers, the Council of Ministers, and the Ministers with and without portfolios. Ministers with portfolios are those at the head of a dicastery, or rather of an apparatus of the PA competent for a specific sector.
The judicial power - the power to guarantee the correct conduct of civil, criminal and administrative disputes and therefore to judge and possibly punish those who do not respect the law - belongs to the Magistrature. The Magistrature constitutes an autonomous and independent order with respect to the parties. The Superior Council of the Magistrature (CSM) governs the JMagistrature and therefore the latter is not under the control of the Minister of Justice.

Useful links
Portal of the law:

Constitutional Court:

Italian Government:

Ministry of Justice:

Italian Parliament:

Italy is one of the main agricultural players in the EU, being the biggest European producer of rice, fruits, vegetables and wine. The agricultural sector represents 2% of Italian GDP and is heavily reliant on the import of raw materials utilised in agricultural production due to the country’s limited natural resources. The primary sector employs 4% of the workforce (World Bank, latest data available), and is comprised of around 1.3 million farms. The country has 12.8 million ha of agricultural land and its main crops include cereals (particularly wheat), corn, barley, rice and oats. Italy is also the first world producer of wine and the first producer of tobacco in Europe.

Italy is a primary industrial country, with the secondary sector accounting for 21.6% of GDP and employing 26% of the active population (World Bank, latest data available). Much of the Italian industry is comprised of small and medium-sized family businesses, with the majority of Italian industrial companies having less than 50 employees. Italy is the largest global exporter of luxury goods (clothing, cars, etc.). Other major Italian industries include precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemical products, pharmaceuticals, electrical items, fashion and clothing. The country has suffered from deindustrialisation (especially during the global financial crisis), but it remains Europe's second-largest manufacturing power and the seventh-largest worldwide.

The service sector constitutes two-thirds of Italian GDP (66.7%) and employs 70% of the country’s workforce. Tourism - one of the fastest growing and most profitable industries in Italy - comprises the largest part of the service sector (Italy is the fifth most visited country internationally and the third most visited in Europe): according to the national statistical agency ISTAT, tourism and its related activities generate 6% of the economy’s added value. Nevertheless, the sector was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a 40% contraction in tourism revenues (Bank of Italy). Business-related services also play an important role in the country’s economy. It is estimated that more than half of Italy’s 5 million companies are active in the tertiary sector.

In Italy the cost of living differs from city to city and also from the region, in the South the cost of living is significantly lower.
The cost of food shopping in Italy is 2.1% higher than the European average and has a profound impact on income, absorbing more than a sixth of the family's income.

Primary expenses (food, bills, taxes, etc.) in fact account for over 70% of family income, 10% more than the European Union average of 60%. The difference lies in the lower disposable income, which for Italian families is 25% lower than the European average. Expenses for public transport are the lowest in the EU, but the cost of the car (MVL, road tax, fuel) is 42% higher than the European average. In fact, spending on car fuel alone is 8.9% higher.

Rental accommodation is mostly privately owned. Rental and sales prices vary by region, city and area. For the rental of a house, the contract must be drawn up between the owner and tenant, in writing. The rental contract must indicate the duration, the monthly rent, the obligation to give notice in the event of termination of the contract, the obligations relating to the costs of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the house. It must be signed by the tenant and owner and registered by the owner of the house at the Registry Office at the Revenue Agency, within 20 days of signing the contract. The registration tax is equal to 2% per annum of the rent. Registration must be renewed every year.
Generally, a security deposit is required, in favour of the owner, equal to two or three months, which is returned at the end of the contract. If the contract is not registered, it will not be possible to obtain the concessions and tax deductions provided for by law, both for the owner and for the tenant.

To buy a house, it is possible to obtain a mortgage loan repayable in 15 or 20 years, by contacting banks or credit institutions, for a total of up to 75% of the total purchase price. It is necessary to consult a notary to verify the conditions of sale and enter into the purchase contract. Most of the properties for rent or for sale can be found by advertisements on specialized sites, real estate agencies and private individuals.

Here are some examples of residential rental costs (monthly rates excluding maintenance):
In Milan, you can spend more than 1,000 euros a month for a studio flat, over 600 euros for a single room and 1,300 euros for a two-room apartment.
In Rome, on the other hand, the cost of a studio apartment is around 900 euros per month, that of a single room around 580 euros and a two-room apartment reaches almost 1,300 euros.
In South of Italy, the rent is even lower, around 500 euros per month for a two-bedroom apartment.

Italy has its own National Health Service (SSN) to which all inhabitants are entitled and which is mostly free for the user. The system is a combination of mostly public funding, with public and private benefits. The sources of funding for the NHS are divided into approximately equal parts between compulsory contributions paid on the basis of gross salary, and general tax revenue. It is the central government that decides the total allocation for the NHS and how to divide the figure among the 20 Italian regions.
The government establishes the minimum level of guaranteed benefits throughout the country, and specifies the conditions under which patients can turn to the private sector and still get the NHS to pay the doctor's fee. The service is financed by a national health fund whose size is set annually by the government.


Over 80% of the beds belong to the public sector, and less than 20% are located in private institutions, often run by religious. The Health Reform requires public hospitals to be owned by local health authorities who can still contract out services to the private sector. Consequently, the majority of private clinics entertain annual agreements with local health authorities and receive as reimbursement a daily quota established at national level. In many areas (especially in the South), the only form of assistance available is private assistance.

Basic Medicine

Organized on a territorial basis in Local Health Units (USL, now ASL) which are in turn divided into districts. There are limits on the number of GPs who can open a clinic and work in a certain area. Group clinics are still very rare in Italy.
Patients register with a general practitioner or pediatrician, who in turn can be an employee of a USL or be an autonomous outpatient doctor, affiliated with the USL. Usually it is the general practitioner who prescribes the specialist visits.
The availability of health services varies greatly from region to region. Moreover, the regions have very different demographic and economic characteristics. They directly affect how health services are provided locally. The USLs are considered the fulcrum of health care activities, but in fact they are subject to the directives of the regions that issue specific and rigorous regional plans.

The Health Card is the personal document that is issued to all Italian citizens entitled to the services provided by the National Health Service (SSN). It is free, is normally valid for 6 years or equal to the duration of the residence permit and, upon expiry of the TS, is sent by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to all citizens assisted by the National Health Service.

Italy is famous all over the world for the unique beauty of its natural, historical and artistic heritage, to the extent that it is known as ‘il bel paese’ (the beautiful country). Its magnificent heritage cities such as Venice, Ravenna, Ferrara, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples, Palermo, etc. still bear indelible witness to the country’s history, culture and ancient art.

Italy offers a variety of ways to spend your free time: hobbies, sports, attending concerts and plays, traditional festivals or sporting events; visiting heritage cities and towns, streets and squares, churches, palaces, archaeological sites, museums; indulging in shopping, relaxing with friends in a bar sipping a cappuccino or a glass of fine wine, or exploring the great diversity of food culture (the most popular restaurants in the cities famous for their cuisine, but also the many more modest restaurants located in the most atmospheric corners of the historic centres or along any street in Italy).

Italians are an open, expansive and sunny people. They love to relax, celebrate holidays and anniversaries in the company of both their family and friends and acquaintances. And the celebrations often take place at the table, at home or in the restaurant, enjoying the traditions of Italian cuisine and enjoying a good wine.

Italians also like to chat. Conversation is almost a form of art. It is enough to stop on the street or near a café in some famous square to observe groups of people engaged in animated conversations on the most varied topics, from family to work, politics, food and drink, fashion, travel, sports (in particular the football), music, shows, and .... various gossip.
Both in the large metropolitan cities and in the provincial towns and in the holiday villages, the square represents the central meeting place of Italian social and cultural life. It doesn't matter how big it is; in the square you will always meet people sitting or strolling while discussing and conversing. The squares are also the main places where festivals, meetings, celebrations and political events take place.

The transport network in Italy includes: 156 ports, a railway network of 24,299 km, a road network (state, regional, provincial, municipal roads) of 837,493 km, state roads (the state network has about 20,000 km of roads identified with the abbreviation SS.), a motorway network of 6,757 km and 98 airports.

In Italy, the railway network is well developed and, for some years now, has made it possible to make routes between the main centres at high speed, thanks to the Frecce system of Trenitalia and the private operator Italo. There are also companies that, working in collaboration with Trenitalia, deal with transport at local level: this is the case of Trenord, a group that manages the Lombard railways, and of the Apulian Ferrovie del Gargano.
It is possible to reach practically all municipalities, down to the smallest ones, thanks to the widespread network of regional and interregional trains. The train is also ideal for a last minute trip to the beautiful country. Tickets for trains must be purchased before departure, in stations or on the internet, and stamped before boarding, under penalty of a fine. Carnet and season tickets are available in case of frequent trips within a short period of time.

In Italy there is also a vast network of private bus transport that covers the whole country with long-haul routes that are travelled both day and night. Traveling by bus is generally cheaper than the train to move between large cities, especially if you travel at night.
Each city and town in the peninsula also has a local bus service, equipped with a capillary network to reach all points of interest: we point out in particular the lines of the Milanese Transport Company (Atm) of Milan and the Autoferrotranviario Transport Agency of the Municipality (Atac) from Rome.

There are currently 7 Italian cities with a metropolitan circuit. The Milan metro is the largest on the peninsula: the network, with a total length of over 110 km, is divided into four lines and is still expanding.
The Rome underground consists of three lines for a total length of 60 km and leads from the outskirts of the capital to the main places of historical and artistic interest.
The Naples metro is the oldest in Italy: the first section was inaugurated even in 1925. Today it consists of two lines interconnected with other transport systems, including the funicular to reach uptown and other rail services. In addition to these cities, you can travel by subway to Brescia, Turin, Genoa and Catania.

Those looking for work in Italy have more possibilities:
- you can contact the Public Employment Service; for this you must have the SPID digital identity and declare your willingness to use the public services available, by registering on the portal of the ANPAL (National Agency for Active Work Policies) and choosing the CPI (Center for Employment (CPI) closest to the own domicile;
- use private employment agencies;
- look for work on the internet.

When looking for a job on your own, the best way is to establish direct contact with companies by sending your CV via the company website. This is true both for those who want to find work without experience and for those who would like to change employment. In fact, when looking for staff, medium and large companies first of all consult their databases where the curricula of those who have applied online are collected. Generally, the CVs sent by potential candidates are kept by the companies and periodically consulted by human resources managers, who select the most suitable profiles for active job offers both in Italy and abroad.
The sources of information are numerous, for example Yellow Pages, the CCIA, Kompass, private employment agencies (Radnstadt, Adecco, etc.), the social pages of the companies themselves. Specific magazines, newspapers or newsletters are also sources for consulting job advertisements.

The service of the European EURES network is available at all CPI, which offers information on job vacancies in the European Economic Area, guidance and advice on living and working conditions in various European countries, including Italy.
In Italy, all citizens of the European Union can undertake a work activity, autonomous or subordinate, without needing to obtain a work authorization, with the exclusion only of the activities still reserved for Italian citizens, enjoying the principle of equal treatment compared to Italian citizens.

Useful links:

The application can be directed to a specific job offer, or spontaneous, that is, addressed to companies potentially interested in your profile.
To apply by responding to a job offer, you must carefully read and follow the application procedures that are generally indicated in the text of the offer or the advertisement itself. Generally, it is always necessary to prepare an updated Curriculum Vitae according to the position for which you are applying, accompanied by an accompanying and / or motivational letter, which must be sent by email.

In the case of spontaneous applications, companies often indicate on their websites - in the "Work with us" section, how to send the application online. However, in some local situations, a good system may be to go to the company personally and leave your CV to the human resources or personnel manager.
It is important that you personalize your application in the cover letter or letter of motivation, underlining your strengths and objectives, and explaining the reasons why you believe you are the ideal candidates.

Generally, the CV is requested in European format, therefore it is advisable to visit the Europass website and, by registering, fill in the European Europass form, which can be downloaded in various formats and updated when necessary. It is important that the CVs to be presented to companies also contain the authorization to process personal data pursuant to Legislative Decree 196/2003. Unless expressly requested, it is not necessary to attach any photo, document, copy or original of titles, references or other.
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