Useful Information

Useful Information


Italy is divided into regions and each region is subdivided into provinces and then into Comunes. The comune town hosts the Comune offices and administer the surrounding area. The Comune provides many of the day to day civil functions, registry of births, marriages and deaths, collects local taxes and issues planning permissions. If you decide to make Italy your permanent home you should register as a resident at the anagrafe office of your local Comune.

Please click - National Agency for the Promotion of Italy for a host of information on living and working in Italy

Medical treatment 

All persons have a right to emergency medical care in Italy.

EU Citizens

EU citizens benefit from reciprocal health agreements – if you are an EU citizen it is recommended that you bring your European Health Insurance Card with you to prove entitlement to free health care or your travel insurance.

Retired people within EU countries should bring Form E121. If you take regular medication in your home country, find out its generic name from your doctor (not its brand name) to avoid confusion.

If you are in possession of a residence permit, you can register with your local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale or ASL) to obtain your national health number. You can then register with a doctor ('medico della mutua').

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If you require a doctor you can visit a local ‘ambulatorio’ of which there is one in most large villages and towns. When you visit your doctor's surgery (ambulatorio), be prepared to wait, as there are no appointments - the system is first come, first served.. Take your prescription ('ricetta') to a pharmacy ('farmacia') to be dispensed. Italian pharmacies are small and family-run, with the sign of a green cross outside.

All hospitals are sign posted with the international sign of a white ‘H’ on a blue background or a red cross for emergency centres. Hospitals are listed in the yellow pages under Ospedali. Most hospitals also have an emergency room.

National Health System / Servizio Sanitario Nazionale
Only those resident in Italy may join the national health system and receive a tessera sanitaria.

For emergencies dial 118

Travelling in Italy

You can reach almost any destination in Italy by train, bus or ferry and services are efficient and cost effective. If you are wanting to travel longer distances there are many domestic flights available.

If you are visiting for a longer period of time, hiring a car will give you flexibility to explore.

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Travelling by Taxi

When travelling by Taxi, ask for a quote for long distance destinations. If you are travelling by train most train stations have a taxi service.

Travelling by Train

Trains in Italy are extremely efficient and value for money with good links. For longer distances between major cities there are high speed trains called ‘Le Frecce’ with online booking. The website is divided between ‘Tutti I Treni’ in grey and ‘Le Frecce’ in red. You can purchase an e-ticket for Le Frecce.  

For all other trains a paper ticket can be purchased at the station but make sure to stamp it in one of the yellow machines along the platforms before boarding the trains.

Travelling by Bus

There are good links between rural villages.

Travelling by Car

Car breakdown - Motorways have SOS columns every 1 km and send immediate breakdown services;  alternatively a breakdown service can be contacted by dialling 116 active on all roads throughout Italy.

Petrol stations are normally open during shop hours. Out of hours most petrol stations have a self-service facility that will accept cash (notes only) or major credit cards.

If permanently resident in Italy you are able to purchase a care and register it with the local authorities.

Driving license

Driving licenses issued abroad are valid in Italy only by visitors who have reached the minimum age required for holders of Italian licenses for the same category of vehicle even if they are qualified to drive at a lower age in their country of residence.

A foreign driving license does not entitle the holder to drive a motor vehicle in Italy until the age of 18 yrs old.

Important documents

If you become resident in Italy you must also register your vehicle with the PRA authorities.  

It is law in Italy to always carry a valid photo ID on you at all times.  If driving you must also carry the following documents:

Full valid driving license
Proof of insurance (third party or above)
Proof of car registration 

Visitors driving in Italy are required by law to carry the following item:

  • Reflective jackets (must be warn if involved in a breakdown or an accident or alongside a road where stopping or parking is prohibited)
  • Warning triangle (compulsory in every vehicle with 4 wheels or more)
  • Headlamp beam deflectors for left hand drive cars

Motorcyclists: It is compulsory for riders and passengers of mopeds and motorcycles to wear a crash helmet.

It is prohibited to carry a child under 4 years old on a moped or a motorcycle. It is possible to carry a passenger on a moped on condition that the rider/driver is an adult (18 and over) and that the registration certificate states that the moped is designed to carry a passenger.

Money matters

ATM machines will give you local currency but usually have a Euro 250 limit per day.

Credit Cards / Debit Cards / ATMs

Most establishments accept major credit cards whose logos are posted in their front windows. You should check with your credit card company to see if they charge you an international transaction fee or foreign transaction fee. 

ATMS / Bancomat

ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in Italy are known as Bancomat, and can be found outside most banks. The machine operates just as ATMs do anywhere else; at the beginning of the transaction, it prompts the user for the preferred language. 

Exchange rates are usually comparable with normal bank rates.

Banks are usually open from 08:30 to 13:30 and 14:30 to 15:30 Monday to Friday

Italian Tax System

Please use the link below to download a comprehensive guide in pdf on the Italian Tax System.

Approximate Annual Running Costs of a Property in Italy

Council Tax and Rubbish Collection together for an average three bedroom property are between 600-1000 euro.

Water is around 200 euro or 700 euro if there is a swimming pool.

Electricity is around 1000 euro.

Gas is around 350 euro.

The above costs are based on the property being used for the summer season only.  The heating costs will increase if the property is used in the winter.

We can also put you in touch with people who offer cleaning and laundry services as well as pool maintenance.