Resources for Expats or Immigrants


These posts/links pertain to expats/immigrants living in Italy or Florence. Feel free to send me a message on my “contact me” page.

  • For those looking to volunteer in Florence, Read this article, and The Florentine wrote a great article about different options available in the city.
  • Get to know us COSI batch of bloggers, writing about the same subjects based on our personal experiences.
  • A recent (2014) article on Permesso di soggiono resources via Sarah from blog, The Italy Project. There is even a youtube video offering helping you fill out your permesso kit, winning!
  • Read these articles, all about being an expat – tips and advice for those looking to move their life abroad.
  • 10 mistakes that Expats in Italy make, add your opinion here, I welcome all feedback.
  • Celebrating July 4th  and holidays abroad, or Thanksgiving 
  • Scared of spelling out something in Italian over the phone? Help is here! Try the Italian phonetic alphabet ( Italians use the names of cities to spell out words over the phone, print this out and tape it next to your phone!) seriously.
  • Permesso di Soggiorno in Italy, my experience.
  • After your permesso you may need a blood-transfusion of wine like me. Read this post on how to pick wine at the supermarket (translated from an Italian blog)
  • Did you know it’s quite cheap to get vegetables delivered to your home straight from the source? Check the bottom paragraph of this article that I wrote for the local paper. Connecting with your food has never been so easy…
  • Crave a taste from home? Using Attrakt, I compiled a list of the best (read – credible) sites that deliver International groceries to Italy. Enjoy!
  • How to get a visa in Italy? check this forum posting out.
  • If you are waiting for your permesso to be processed, in Florence you can check the status online here.
  • Hours and info of the help desk for Immigrants in Florence. (very useful)
  • A longer explanation about me and my experience in Florence, Italy.
  • Useful numbers for Florence, Italy (emergency, bus company etc) and here.
  • National train company website Trenitalia in english and the new competition NTV Italo (make sure to check both websites for their deals/offers.
  • Is your package stuck in Italian customs? Call the free number Tel: 800 257 428 – here is the official site.
  • Carte Gio information (discount card for students in Florence), you can pick it up at the Casa della Creativita in Florence.
  • Don’t have a bus ticket? You can now buy your bus ticket on ATAF (local buses in Florence aka not SITA or the big blue buses) by sending an sms to this number 4880105 (write ATAF in the message). You will then receive a confirmation of your ticket which you can then show to any controllo who boards the bus. It will use the credit of your phone to pay for the ticket. I’ve used it several times and it works!
  • If you are looking for a women’s social & networking group in Florence, check out a YAWN (Young Anglo Women’s Network) event. They keep their facebook page updated pretty frequently and hold monthly aperitivo’s and events for their members.
  • Toastmaster’s International has a group here in Florence so improve your communication skills by attending one of their bi-monthly – bilingual meetings.
  • The British Institute of Florence is not only a language, culture & art school. They also host events on-site and even play free movies!
  • If you would like to participate in a charity, try contacting the AILO – American International League of Florence.
  • New moms, make sure and check out Firenzemom4moms network which is a very active & valuable resource for expat moms living in the city who have questions, need support. Great blog – updated frequently.
  • Democrat’s Abroad members – sign up to the Florence branch and don’t forget to apply for your absentee ballot. There is still time.
  • A really fun expat group in Florence is called “A Friend in Florence” and they have a FB page where you can ask members questions, inquire about a book club or meetups.

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20 Responses

  1. Guy here in Texas, moving to Firenze this year! LOVE your website, by far the most helpful updated website about Florence, non- tourist related… Thanks for the hard work, keep it up it’s great!
    Ciao 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, I always appreciate feedback and from a fellow Texan is an honor. Hope you have a smooth transition to Florence!

  2. Love your website! Fun, interesting, informative. I followed the links you provided regarding gaining a visa and residency for folks intending to work, but I didn’t see much related to the retiree hoping to reside in Italy. I have already started the visa process, but was hoping to find information on the residency process. Do you know of any reliable sites I can explore? Thanks.

  3. G–Hoping to move to Florence in March. Suggestions about finding an apt (from here in Colorado) without going through an agency and paying their fees? Or is there a reliable agency for student apts? Thanks. Susan

    1. Hello Susan,
      You can always check online classifieds like that of The Florentine or Firenze kijiji, Firenze Bakeka and filter to ‘privato’ in order to avoid going through an agency. There is also La pulce (online version) that you can look at. Good luck!

  4. You are a lifesaver!! Thanks SO much. ps I really enjoyed your latest Locals I Love. What a wise woman!

  5. Ciao Georgette! I recently stumbled across your highly informative and inspiring blog/website while researching tips on living in Firenze. In June of this past year I spent a wondrous month traveling all over Italy, and fell in love with the country. So much so, I’m back for the next 3 months. I then return to Chicago (my once home where most of my family is) for the December holidays. I then return to Italy again in Jan of 2015, for another 3 months. I am presently in southern Italy, close to Matera, but am returning to Florence next week. I, too, am a tech geek, so-to-speak. I am a freelance graphic designer and aspiring photographer. I am currently working on the creation of website landing pages for Macy’s, the department store in the States. Being a freelance designer allows me travel like this. All I need is wifi, my phone, computer and camera and I’m all set. I’m writing here to ask your advice on where to stay when I arrive in Firenze next week. I have been using airbnb and for the most part that has worked out well. However, I am looking for a place to stay that is relatively close to a supermarket and cafes to get food and wine (of course). Being a solo woman traveler it’s hard to shop at the market for just one person, so I often eat out. I will continue to look for places in the next couple of days, but if you know of a certain area of the city that is convenient and safe for a single woman, I would appreciate and advice you may have. It would also be nice to meet you. I love your style of writing and your overall positive, funny and adventurous spirit. If you want to learn more about me, I am on facebook and have a website. Although my website hasn’t been updated since I went freelance, almost 2 years ago. I am here in Italy attempting to re-do my whole website to incorporate my travel and photography adventures, but keeping up my graphic design business and just getting along in Italy sucks up a lot of my time, so my personal creative endeavors often go to the back burner. I hope to hear from you and want to thank you again for creating this fantastic blog. I started to follow you on facebook, too. Thanks for sharing!!!! Warmly, Aimee

  6. Hi, I just came across your webpage. I am curious if you have any information for me on what I need or should do before I relocate? I admit I am a bit nervous but motivated to move abroad. I am in the process of enrolling in a program to become a teacher teaching English as foreign language. I appreciate your taking time out to reply. Any helpful tips are more than welcomed.

  7. Ciao G–Have an apt in Oltrarno starting in March. Any suggestions for good dentist, doc and hospital? grazie. susan

  8. Hi Georgette, need your help here! I read your post “What not to expect when moving to Italy” and feel exactly the same in the Visa section! I just moved to Firenze with my husband and now processing my visa for long stay. Now I am trying to get the “Italian fiscal code card”, but I am not sure where to go for this! Would you give me some information about visa processing here in Florence? I need to get this code for my visa, and then residency. without it everything seems blocked. 🙁

    Please help!!! Thanks a lot!

    Much love

    1. Hello Sasha, I know the feeling but basically what you need is called the ‘codice fiscale’ which you need to get from the agenzia della entrata. R5G (FIRENZE 1)
      CAP: 50100
      Telefono: 055/505141
      Fax: 055/50514365
      E-mail: [email protected]

      R5H (Firenze 2)
      CAP: 50129
      Telefono: 055/505141
      Fax: 055/50514608
      E-mail: [email protected]

      1. Grazie!!! Will go there next Monday. Do you remember any special document they need for this code application? They told us only passport is enough, but I kinda lose trust on them. Every time they say “nothing needed”, and when we are there, they start to ask million douments… :S

        Many thanks again! Xoxo

  9. Hi Georgette

    I’ve been in Milan for 4 years now, and was wondering about how do you start a private business in terms of red tape. If I want to give private english lessons, how do I deal with the income and payment of taxes etc.

  10. I am an Indian Origin,would like to come to Italy for visit,but would like to stay for a couple of years,and for survival would wish to work in a Hotel so it will be easy for me to food accommodation,Or if you can guide me in any other field where i could get food and stay for free of cost.I am 49 years old Married,Working in retail chain.This is my ambition to stay apart from my mother country with the people with different culture,And I could find Italy is the peaceful country .Please do suggest me for taking my further steps.

  11. Hi Georgette,

    I’m looking to live in Florence for a month in September this year! I’m a 23 year old Australian, however I have a Polish Passport aswell, so no issue with visas. I’m looking for online agencies or employment portals so that I can work short term while I am there? I have marketing and promotional background, office experience, cafe work etc so pretty diverse! Any advice as to where to look for work so I can lock it in before I get there?



  12. Hello Georgette! I always read your blog and check your instastories! I was wondering if you’d happen to know if buying birth control requires a prescription in Italy! I’m on a hurry finding out this information but most of the webpages seem outdated. I hope someone here has some kind of information about the topic. I’d help me a lot to know.

    1. Ciao Esther, yes it does actually. I’ve seen pharmacies in Italy be a bit more stringent lately but in any case it is a good idea to get a routine checkup and talk about options here before just asking at a pharmacy. If you need any tips or recommendations for someone in Florence, just let me know.

  13. Georgette, I really appreciate what you’ve done with your blog. It has been helpful in a variety of ways. Thanks so much.

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