Life and Business in Italy
Learn about the Italian economy, job market, and culture. Learn about the Italian work-life balance and how to adjust to the Italian lifestyle.
Hasn’t anyone fantasized about going to Italy at some point? Italy is also well-known for its achievements in arts, music, literature, and architecture, producing many well-known artists, musicians, and intellectuals. Whatever your motivations for migrating to Italy, one thing is sure: wherever you choose to reside in Italy, you will be immersed in a land full of culture, history, and fabulous food.
While moving to Italy can be an exciting experience, it also needs careful planning and awareness of living and working conditions. Continue reading to discover more about living and working in Italy!
Italy is the third-largest economy within the Eurozone and ranks eighth globally, boasting a consistent annual GDP growth of around 3%. The nation’s robust domestic market, fueled by a population surpassing 60 million, presents an array of business prospects. Italy’s economic landscape remains promising, with a GDP per capita exceeding $35,657.50. Notably, Italian households exhibit remarkable net wealth, standing at eight times their disposable income, surpassing that of the United States and Canada.
Cost of Living
Italy is the fourth least expensive country in Western Europe out of seventeen countries. If there’s a family of four, they might need around €3,606 every month. But if it’s just one person, around €1,672 could be enough. Even though people might think living better costs much, Italy shows that’s not always true. According to Expatistan, living in Italy is cheaper than the UK by 24%.
Food and everyday living expenses are generally cheaper than in the United States, and the healthcare system is far less expensive. Museums and low-cost flights around Europe both provide excellent chances for cultural trips and tourism. This benefit makes Italy a great place to have a good retirement or experience a new culture without spending too much. Italy is unique not only for its culture but also for saving money.
According to the World Health Organization, Italy has the world’s second-best healthcare system. It is widely available, easily accessible, and provides patients with both public and private alternatives.
Italy’s healthcare system is famous for its universal coverage, providing healthcare services to all its citizens and legal residents. This system is mainly funded through taxation, making sure quality care reaches everyone regardless of one’s financial status. Italy spends around 8.7% of its GDP on healthcare, which is below the OECD average, yet it achieves remarkable results regarding life expectancy and overall health outcomes.
One notable feature of Italy’s healthcare system is its regionalization, where each of the 20 regions manages its healthcare resources and services. Emilia-Romagna, for example, is known for its efficient healthcare administration, with lower wait times and improved patient satisfaction.
Additionally, Italy’s healthcare system prioritizes preventive care, as it reduces the burden on hospitals and improves general country-wide health. Regular check-ups and vaccinations are free in Italy, promoting early disease detection and prevention.
If you’re not from the European Union, you can find many cheap properties in Italy because their real estate industry is cheaper. This means you can get a better standard of living there since the cost of living is more reasonable.
If you want to buy or fix up a place in Italy, you can borrow up to 60% of the money you need with a mortgage. The good news is that your interest in this money is decreasing in Italy. The average mortgage interest rate went up from 1.4% in December 2021 to 3.6% in January 2023.
As for the tax you have to pay when you make money from selling a property, it’s 26% of all the profit. But you can avoid this altogether if you wait five years before selling and don’t use the property as your main home.
The education system in Italy is well-known for its diversity and historical relevance. The literacy rate in Italy is 99%, one of the highest in the world. It is divided into three levels: elementary, lower secondary, and upper secondary, followed by higher education.
In Italy, public education is free and of high quality. Children begin compulsory primary education at the age of six. Many parents enroll their children in kindergarten while they are younger. Italy has outstanding schools that a lot of people around the world think highly of. Surprisingly, it doesn’t cost much to attend these schools – only about €1,500 yearly.
Italy’s culture is rich and diverse, built on thousands of years of history and customs. Italian culture is well-known for its art, music, food, fashion, and architecture and contributes significantly to world culture. With masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s David, Renaissance art represents one of the most acknowledged examples of Italian culture. Italian food is famous globally, with delicacies such as pasta, pizza, and gelato appreciated by people worldwide.
Italians are known also for their love of opera and classical music, with artists such as Verdi and Puccini making lasting contributions to the world of music. The Italian fashion industry, with prominent companies such as Gucci and Prada, has a global effect on fashion. Historic cities in Italy, such as Rome, Florence, and Venice, are architectural wonders that showcase centuries of creative and architectural triumphs.
Work culture in Italy is defined by a significant emphasis on connections and a healthy balance of business and personal life. Italians stress teamwork and collaboration, and interpersonal relationships are frequently necessary. For example, it’s typical for coworkers to socialize outside of work hours, which fosters a sense of togetherness.
Family time is vital to Italian culture; therefore, employees strive for an ideal work/life balance. Having a social security number and working in Italy gives you access to all benefits, such as subsidized public health care, paid time off, and pensions. If you are self-employed, you might be eligible for only some of these perks.
It’s pretty standard for Italians to take long vacations or time off for their reasons. This means it’s a great idea to relax and savor life’s simple joys, like hanging out with family and friends or enjoying a slow meal.
The average salary in Italy varies according to factors like region, industry, and experience. In Italy, the average gross monthly is 2776.075 USD/Month. This figure, however, varies significantly from region to region. Incomes tend to be higher because of the increased cost of living in big cities such as Milan, Rome, or Turin.
A mid-level manager, for example, can earn roughly €3,500 to €4,500 per month in Milan, the country’s financial Centre. However, the same post in a smaller town may pay significantly less, perhaps around €2,500 to €3,500.
The industry in which you work is also essential. For example, IT and banking professionals often earn more than those in the hotel or retail sectors. Another important component is experience. Your income is likely to increase as you gain more years of experience in your field. Entry-level salaries may range from €1,100 to €2,000 per month and climb with experience.
In Italy, the working hours of commercial and public sector employees range dramatically. The typical working days are from Monday through Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m., with a 1-2-hour lunch break, though this usually is shorter in larger cities.
There isn’t a fixed limit on how many hours you can work per day. However, employees have the right to rest for at least 11 hours in a row within 24 hours. This rule is in place to make sure employees work only a few hours in a single day.
Typically, a regular workweek consists of 40 hours. The maximum allowed workweek is an average of 48 hours over seven days, which includes any additional hours worked. This average is calculated over four months. Special agreements known as Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) can sometimes extend these four months to six or even twelve months. This extension needs to have valid reasons related to technology, organization, or specific objectives. These CBAs often set a shorter standard workweek, like 37 or 39 hours.
Employees receive four weeks of paid vacation, along with 12 public holidays. Labor contracts and agreements between workers and employers have also effectively enhanced these terms. Most of this paid time off is used in August, when the entire country goes to the seaside for the summer holidays.