Here follows some information about Italy and about practical formalities required when settling down in a new country such as applying for tax code, opening a bank account, etc.
Italy is covered by the Central European Time Zone (CET), 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1). Summer Time (ora legale) starts at the end of March until end of October.
Italy’s currency is Euro. It is possible to change money in banks or Exchange offices.
For any kind of emergency dial 112, the European emergency phone number.
Electricity comes out of the wall socket at 220 volts alternating at a 50 cycles per second, conforming the European standard as well as plugs and sockets. In some cases, you may need an adaptor for Italian plugs Type L.
Telephone, mobile, internet and WiFi
In Italy there are several telephone and internet providers. The International country code is ++39.
Land line and WiFi connection is widely available everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, bars usually offer free wi-fi. Many Italian cities and towns provide public free wi-fi hotspots (a registration might be asked).
In general Italians go on holiday during August when most of shops, restaurants, etc. are closed down, especially in big cities. Other busy holiday periods are Christmas time and Easter time. In Italy there are national public holidays as well as local Patron Saint’s day (Santo Patrono) which differs from city to city.
- January, 1St New Year’s Eve (Capodanno)
- January, 6th Epiphany (Epifania)
- Easter (Pasqua), it takes place every year on Sundays on different dates between March/April
- Easter Monday, the day after Easter (Lunedì dell'Angelo)
- April, 25th Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione)
- May, 1st Labour Day (Festa dei lavoratori)
- June, 2nd Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica)
- August, 15th Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Ferragosto)
- November, 1st All Saints’ Day (Ognissanti)
- December 8th, Immaculate Conception (Immacolata Concezione)
- 25 December Christmas (Natale)
- 26 December Saint Stephen Day (Santo Stefano)
Codice fiscale is an individual tax identification code required in Italy for all sort of procedures e.g. opening a bank account, applying for the national health service, renting a flat etc.
It is free of charge and it is issued immediately by the Italian Inland Revenue (Agenzia delle Entrate). It is issued only once and it never expires.
Check with your hosting organization if you need to apply for tax identification number.
See also the Taxation/salaries section.
Registering your residence in Italy is asked when staying more than 90 days.
It is also required for:
- registering with the National Health system (SSN) on a voluntary basis
- claiming for family benefits
- enrolling children at school
- exchanging driving license
- when applying for the EU long-term residence permit (for Non EU citizen only).
Where to go: at the registry office (Ufficio Anagrafe) in the city hall where you live.
Eu/EEA citizens may choose to temporarily register their residence for 12 months only.
This kind of registration (residenza temporanea) might be renewed provided that the conditions are still met.
To open a bank account (conto corrente) you need to show you passport or a valid ID; Italian Tax Identification Number (Codice Fiscale); proof of a legal address in Italy (i.e. utility bills); an Italian mobile phone number; residence certificate (or valid permit of stay) and proof of employment in Italy (PhD fellowship, work contract or payslip).
It is possible to open bank accounts for resident and non- resident. Those for non-resident cost more in terms of fees. Conditions vary depending on the bank. Ask always about the possible options and verify the terms.
ATMs (bancomat) and Credit cards
ATMs are located everywhere. Usually no fees are charged when you withdraw cash from your own bank's ATM as well as when paying in shops within the country.
ATM payments are widely accepted. Credit cards in small shops, bar or restaurant might not be accepted.
Different driving conditions apply to Eu and Non Eu driving licence holders.
Eu driving licence
Driving is allowed as long as the licence remains valid. One month before the expiry date it is mandatory to exchange it (riconoscimento) with an Italian one. Exchange is compulsory within three years since the residency has been moved to Italy.
Non Eu driving licence
Driving is allowed with a valid Non Eu licence ONLY IF the licence is:
-accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP), issued by the foreign country that released the driving licence
- accompanied by a certified translation
If you move your residence to Italy, you have 1 year time to exchange it (conversione) provided that it is still valid AND there is a mutual recognition agreement between Italy and the country that had issued the driving licence.
Otherwise you need to get an Italian driving licence. Theory and practical tests are required. Tests are in Italian only.
For more information please ask the nearest EURAXESS Centre.
Patronati and CAF are authorised agencies that offer professional support on immigration procedures, social benefits and fiscal assistance on taxes, etc.
Patronato services can be free of charges (residence permit first issue/renewal, family reunion application) or can envisage the payment of a small fee (unemployment benefit, pension, etc.).
CAFs provide assistance envisages by payment which differ according to the service. It is recommended to verify the payment condition directly with the officers before getting the service.
For more information please ask you hosting organization or the nearest EURAXESS centre.