If you’re traveling to Italy or preparing for a long term move to the country, securing suitable rental accommodation is a critical aspect of settling in. Understanding the intricacies of the Italian rental market will be essential for a smooth relocation process. In this comprehensive article we’ll delve into various facets of renting in Italy, covering everything from rental costs and contract types to legal requirements and conventions, ensuring you’re well-prepared to navigate the rental landscape effectively.

Finding a property to rent
When it comes to finding rental properties in Italy, the best place to look is online. Websites like Idealista.it and Immobiliare.it offer extensive listings spanning diverse property types and locations throughout the country. On these sites, you can find listings by both private owners and real estate agencies. Additionally, social media sites, particularly Facebook groups, could serve as research platforms for rentals, especially in university towns where rental demand is high among students. However, it’s important to exercise caution when engaging with online listings to avoid falling victim to fraud.

Understanding the cost of renting in Italy is paramount for budgeting purposes and ensuring financial feasibility. Rental prices vary significantly depending on factors such as location, property size, amenities, and overall condition. In major cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence, rental rates tend to be higher, ranging from €700 to €1100 for a one-bedroom apartment, while medium-sized cities offer more affordable options, typically falling between €500 and €900. It’s important to conduct thorough research and compare prices across different regions to find a rental property that remains within your limits.

Beyond the base rent, tenants in Italy are responsible for additional expenses, including utilities, condominium fees, and potentially garbage collection fees. Understanding these additional costs and factoring them into your budget is essential for financial planning and avoiding unexpected financial burdens throughout your tenancy.

Types of rental contracts
Rental contracts in Italy offer a range of options to accommodate the diverse needs of tenants and landlords.

The 4+4
The most prevalent type is the “4+4” lease agreement, which provides a stable long-term arrangement for both parties. In this agreement, the initial term spans four years, with the provision for automatic renewal for another four years upon expiration, providing tenants with security and stability in their housing arrangements. This type of lease allows for negotiation of terms and conditions between the landlord and tenant, covering aspects such as rent adjustments and maintenance responsibilities.

The 3+2
The other popular long-term rental contract is the “3+2”. Under this framework, rental prices are subject to regional regulations, with a predetermined price ceiling established based on various criteria. While this may limit the landlord’s flexibility in setting rental rates, tenants benefit from greater assurance of rent affordability and stability over the lease term. The “3+2” format also offers automatic renewal for two years, providing tenants with flexibility in their housing arrangements.

Transitional Rental Contracts
For those seeking shorter-term accommodation solutions, a transitional rental could be an attractive option. Typically spanning from 3 to 18 months, transitional rental agreements are well-suited for expatriates, students, professionals or those on extended holiday stays who require temporary housing arrangements without committing to long-term leases. It’s worth noting that transitional rentals in towns with populations exceeding 10,000 inhabitants are subject to regional regulations and price ceilings, whereas those in smaller towns with populations below 10,000 can be freely negotiated between tenants and landlords.

Short-Term Touristic Rentals
For travelers and those on holiday seeking temporary accommodation in Italy, short-term touristic rentals are often the best choice. These rentals most often cater to individuals planning stays ranging from one to three months. Short-term touristic rentals include those facilitated through platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, or specialized accommodations like agri-tourisms.

Registering the rental contract
Regardless of the type of lease agreement, all rental contracts in Italy must adhere to legal requirements and include essential provisions, such as details of the landlord and tenant, property specifications, rent amount, deposit terms, termination conditions, and property upkeep obligations. Furthermore, rental contracts must be registered with the regional tax revenue agency to be legally valid, ensuring protection for both parties involved. This is true for all contracts except for tourisitic rentals with less than one month of duration.

You can register your tenancy agreement, on the website of the Italian Tax Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate). Almost always, the registration is completed by the landlord or the real estate agent (if applicable). However, tenants have the legal obbligation to be in possession of this document, so be sure to remain on top of the procedure!

In order to stipulate a rental agreement and have it legally registered at the tax agency, it is necessary for both the landlord and tenant to have an Italian Tax Code (codice fiscale). To read more about the codice fiscale and how to obtain one as a foreigner, check out our previous article.

Terminating a rental contract
When considering the two types of long-term rental contracts (4+4 or 3+2), it’s customary for tenants to provide a minimum of 6 months’ notice to terminate the lease. However, this aspect can be subject to negotiation during the lease agreement’s formulation. For instance, at Italian Real Estate Lawyers, we specialize in optimizing contract terms for our clients, potentially securing a reduced notice period of 3 months instead of the standard 6 months, for example.

Effectively navigating Italy’s rental market requires an understanding of the local regulations to ensure a smooth tenancy arrangement. Whether your stay in Italy is brief or long-term, our team of lawyers and experts is dedicated to providing comprehensive assistance throughout the rental process. From initial property research and communication with agencies or private owners to document translation and negotiation of rental agreement terms, we offer tailored solutions to meet your needs. Contact us for further information or to arrange a complimentary consultation call at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com.


The allure of moving to Italy goes beyond the charm of a picturesque location; practical considerations such as accessibility become pivotal. Whether nestled in a vibrant city with efficient public transportation or residing in the tranquil countryside where a car is essential, understanding the process of obtaining an Italian Driver’s License could become a crucial aspect of settling in the country. In this guide, we will delve into the steps involved, offering insights tailored for those who have recently made Italy their permanent home through property purchases.

Requirements after Residency
Living in Italy as a legal resident for a year or more triggers a significant change in the status of your foreign driver’s license. Whether you hail from the United States, Australia, or Canada, your driver’s license will lose its validity. Establishing residency in Italy, either through citizenship or a valid permit, is the pivotal moment when you’ll need to transition to an Italian Driver’s License. This shift is not only a legal requirement but also a practical necessity for navigating the intricate road systems and traffic regulations unique to the country.

For those on short-term stays in Italy, such as visits or holidays, the obligation to obtain an Italian Driver’s License does not apply. Instead, during this temporary period, you can fulfill your driving requirements with either an International Driving Permit or a sworn translation of your home country’s license. These interim solutions are thoughtfully designed to cater to the needs of tourists and short-term residents, ensuring a seamless and legally compliant driving experience without the necessity to navigate the complexities of the complete Italian licensing process.

Regardless of the duration of your stay, it’s advisable to be well-informed before arriving in Italy. Checking the guidelines provided by your country’s embassy in Italy is a prudent step. For instance, the American Embassy offers valuable insights and resources related to transportation and driving on their website.

Foreign License Validity
For those anticipating a move to Italy, it’s crucial to recognize that the country lacks reciprocal agreements regarding driver’s licenses with the United States, Australia, and Canada. Unlike some countries that mutually recognize each other’s licenses, Italy requires residents from these nations to undergo the complete Italian licensing process. This means there’s no shortcut or streamlined procedure for transferring your existing license; you essentially start from scratch, akin to attending “driver’s ed” once again.

The absence of reciprocity emphasizes the importance of familiarizing oneself with the Italian driving regulations, road signs, and local traffic laws. It’s not merely a bureaucratic formality but a genuine commitment to road safety and adherence to the specific nuances of Italian driving culture. So, if you’re settling in Italy for the long haul, embracing the process of obtaining an Italian Driver’s License becomes an important passage, marking your integration into the country’s lifestyle and ensuring a safe and legal driving experience on its roads.

For the complete list of license reciprocity with Italy, please click here.

Written and Road Tests
The journey to acquiring the auto driver’s license, or “Patente B”, enabling you to drive both cars and mopeds up to 125cc, involves a comprehensive process. It includes a written test (“teoria”) and a road test (“pratica”). The written test must be completed in Italian, with French or German as alternative language options. You can choose between enrolling in a local driving school or independently completing the tests at the “Motorizzazione Civile”. Driving schools, in addition to providing instruction, often handle bureaucratic formalities, making the process smoother for newcomers.

Manual vs. Automatic
One aspect to consider during your road test is the choice of vehicle transmission. Interestingly, the road test in Italy offers candidates the flexibility to complete the examination with an automatic car, deviating from the conventional manual transmission. This accommodation is particularly attractive for individuals more accustomed to or comfortable with automatic vehicles. While a significant portion of the local population may favor manual cars, the recognition of automatic transmission during the road test allows for a more adaptable approach to receiving the “patente.”

By opting for the road test with an automatic vehicle, you would specifically be opting for the license classification known as “Codice 78 Patente B.” This designation restricts the license holder to driving only automatic vehicles. While this might seem limiting, it caters to the evolving landscape of automotive technology and the increasing prevalence of automatic transmissions. For those who find manual shifting less familiar or more challenging, this specialized license ensures a tailored driving experience that aligns with personal preferences.

Embarking on the journey to obtain an Italian Driver’s License may seem like a formidable task initially, but the rewards that await are truly worth the effort. As you navigate the process and overcome the challenges, envision the prospect of winding through the picturesque Italian countryside with the top down, basking in the unparalleled beauty that surrounds you. The scenic vistas and cultural treasures that Italy has to offer become more accessible, transforming your experience living in the country.

For those contemplating the journey towards an Italian Driver’s License, our real estate experts are here to assist you. We can connect you with reputable local driving schools, providing guidance and support to ease your path through the licensing process.

Please reach out to us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com! We wish you safe travels on the Italian roads ahead!


Deciding to buy property in Italy is an important decision, whether it’s a new, old, or somewhere-in-between property. Enchanted by surrounding beautiful landscapes and historical buildings, many people overlook a crucial step — a thorough property inspection. In this article, we delve into the importance of conducting a technical survey before finalizing any real estate transaction in Italy.

The Preliminary Contract and a Suspensive Clause
When initiating the property purchase journey in Italy, the first contractual step is the proposta d’acquisto or purchase proposal contract. Italian Real Estate Lawyers (IREL) advocates for the inclusion of a suspensive clause at this stage, making the proposal contingent upon a positive technical inspection conducted by a professional selected by the buyer. This precautionary measure not only safeguards the buyer’s interests but also promotes transparency and a fair transaction process, allowing any potential issues revealed during the technical inspection to be addressed before finalizing the property purchase.

Understanding the Technical Survey
A technical survey involves a thorough examination of a property conducted by a qualified professional, such as an architect, engineer, or surveyor (geometra). This assessment covers both the property’s construction conformity and its maintenance status. It aims to unveil not only potential construction flaws but also issues related to ongoing upkeep, such as the presence of mold, the functionality of utility systems like electricity and gas, or the condition of common areas in condominiums. While discernible flaws may catch the eye during a personal visit or through photos, the importance of a comprehensive inspection cannot be overstated. Local professionals bring a nuanced understanding of unique regional conditions, structural codes, and customs, providing a thorough evaluation that goes beyond surface observations. Opting for a technical survey becomes especially wise for older properties susceptible to age-related defects.

The Risks of Construction Non-compliance
It’s crucial to recognize potential risks associated with neglecting a property’s construction compliance. Construction non-compliance essentially refers to a deviation of the physical state of the home from its official floor plans, which, according to Italian law, must be deposited in two offices – the Tax Revenue Agency’s Real Estate Registry (catasto) and the local municipality offices (ufficio tecnico del comune). Common non-conformities may include additions of spaces like a second bathroom, an added balcony, or a loft space, that were constructed without proper permits and were never included in the floor plans. While some non-conformities can be resolved by approving and depositing new floor plans in the relevant offices, others may require the removal of illegal constructions before the home purchase. A detailed inspection can uncover issues related to cadastral, urbanistic, and building matters that may pose challenges before and after a property transaction.

Legal Aspects and Property Evaluation
In Italy, when a property owner sells their home, they are legally required to declare its conformity, according to urbanistic and cadastral standards, to the buyer. However, often times these declarations turn out not to be true. In fact, the burden of verification typically falls on the buyer in real estate transactions, as notaries and real estate agents are not obligated to directly assess the compliance of a property. Their role is limited to certifying the information provided by the seller, thereby placing the responsibility for accuracy on the declarant. For this reason, opting for a technical survey is highly recommended, as it serves as a vital confirmation tool for the buyer, mitigating the risk of complications stemming from undisclosed issues.

Rather than thinking of a technical survey as an unnecessary cost, it’s essential to recognize its importance, especially when dealing with older properties. Skipping a survey might leave buyers unaware of potential issues, from maintenance aspects of the home to construction non-conformities, bringing about unexpected expenses and hassles. Getting a detailed technical survey isn’t just about peace of mind – it’s a smart move to uncover any hidden problems, making sure your property purchase is well-informed and secure.

For assistance with your property transaction in Italy, and for help getting in touch with local technicians and surveyors, please reach out to us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com!


Whether you’ve personally invested in property in Italy and are contemplating its fate upon your passing, or if you find yourself connected to a property your relatives owned in Italy and share an interest in understanding Italian inheritance laws, this article aims to shed light on the intricacies of these laws. We will explore the implications for foreign property owners and provide guidance on the steps to take should you find yourself inheriting Italian property.

What happens to the property of a deceased person?
In Italy, the destiny of a deceased person’s property is shaped by two key avenues: legal inheritance or testamentary provisions. Legal inheritance, governed by Italian succession laws, guarantees that property is distributed in determined fractions to the living family members. This is legally mandated according to the degree of kinship and the number of heirs.

On the other hand, when writing a will, individuals have the freedom to decide what happens to their property. However, it’s essential to note that in Italy a will cannot exclude the minimum share of inheritance (“quota legittima”) due to legitimate heirs by law. For instance, if there is a spouse and a single child, one-third of the inheritance goes to the wife, one-third to the child, and the remaining third is part of the available share (“quota disponibile”) that the testator can allocate to any chosen beneficiary. Even without a spouse and with a single child, half of the inheritance belongs to the child, and the rest falls under the available share. Despite this testamentary freedom, the “quota di legittima” serves as a protective measure, ensuring a delicate balance between autonomy and the preservation of family rights.

International Property Succession
How do Italian inheritance laws affect a foreigner who owns property in Italy? Unlike some countries where the property inheritance laws may defer to the citizenship of the deceased owner, Italy adopts an approach that subjects all property inheritances within its borders to the provisions of Italian law. This means that regardless of the individual’s nationality, the rules and regulations established by the Italian legal system will govern the transfer of property ownership and assets.

What to do after inheriting the property
If you instead inherit an Italian property, or discover that a property in Italy was left to members of your family, you will want to first inform yourself of inheritance taxes (below), the condition of the property, and any debts associated with it.

After reviewing the associated costs, if you choose to accept or claim the property, it is essential to register it in your name through a statement of succession (“dichiarazione di successione”) within 12 months of the original owner’s death. In the event that you inherit a home and decide to claim it after this timeframe has elapsed, you will incur fees established by the Italian Tax Revenue Agency (“Agenzia delle Entrate”). Subsequently, in both scenarios, you are required to submit this document, along with the ones listed below, to the Tax Revenue Agency:

– Original death certificate of the deceased

– “Certificato di famiglia” for both the deceased and all of the heirs

– Documents relating to the home: Visura Catastale, Deed to home

– A certified copy of the will if it is present

– Your own Italian Tax Code (“Codice Fiscale”)

Italian real estate lawyers can help you in this process, from the collection of the documents to determining exactly what the inheritance quotes would be on a family property. This entire process would be followed alongside an Italian Public Notary, the only Italian official recognized to work with inheritances in Italy.

Inheritance taxes
In the realm of inheriting property in Italy, one must also navigate the intricacies of associated taxes. These taxes are calculated based on the cadastral value, known as “valore catastale,” of the property in question. The inheritance tax, or “Imposta di successione,” is a crucial consideration in this process.

For properties inherited by a spouse, children, parents, or grandchildren, the inheritance tax stands at 4% of the inheritance value, but only for the portion exceeding 1,000,000 euros. In the case of inheritance by siblings, the tax rate increases to 6%, applied solely to the inheritance value surpassing 100,000 euros. Meanwhile, for other relatives up to the 4th degree, the inheritance tax amounts to 6% of the inheritance value. Properties inherited by individuals without the aforementioned familial ties incur a higher rate, set at 8% of the inheritance.

Additionally, the succession process entails the payment of transcription and cadastral taxes. The transcription tax (“imposta ipotecaria”) is due for transcription formalities at the offices of the Revenue Agency, calculated at 2% of the value of property shares (based on cadastral value). Simultaneously, the cadastral tax is levied at 1% of the value of property shares (calculated according to the cadastral value). It is worth noting that there are also taxes associated with the property once you acquire it, which we have already written about in previous articles here and here.

If you want to sell the property
Perhaps instead you would like to accept an inherited property to then sell it. In this case, there are a number of other steps you must take in order to effectively place it on the market.

You will first need a real estate agent or surveyor (“geometra”) to determine the value. If you do not reside in Italy, there are also a number of documents you will need to provide, such as a copy of your passport, and certified translations of anything not issued in Italian. Another crucial step is to acquire an Energy Performance certificate from an architect or energy engineer. This will need to be provided for the final closing.

It would also be useful to involve a lawyer in the process, which is where Italian Real Estate Lawyers can help. We have written on this process and are well-equipped to assist to ensure a safe and smooth process. We can also act as power of attorney if you cannot physically be present in Italy.

Inheriting a property in Italy comes with many fine details you must be aware of. Whether you are inheriting a property in Italy, or have recently purchased a home and are curious how it will one day be regulated, there are a number of factors to consider. At Italian Real Estate Lawyers, we’re here to assist with every step of the process. You can contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com.

If you’re interested in purchasing property in Italy, it’s important to understand all the steps of the process. Once you have selected your dream home, two crucial documents come into play to finalize the deal. The first is known as the preliminary agreement, while the second is the final deed of sale, which officially transfers ownership. We have previously discussed both the preliminary agreement and the final deed of sale in more depth in past articles. The purpose of this article is to briefly define what the preliminary and deed are, and how to properly register or transcribe them.

What is a Preliminary Agreement?
The “contratto preliminare di vendita,” or preliminary agreement, is a pivotal element in the Italian real estate market. This private agreement outlines essential details of the property sale, including the full price and the specific terms and clauses governing the deal. It serves as a legally binding private contract between the prospective buyer, known as the “promissario acquirente,” and the seller, known as the “promittente venditore.” Both parties commit to finalizing the sale at a later date, contingent upon certain conditions being met.

The preliminary agreement carries genuine and binding effects, obligating the parties to move forward with the eventual sale. This stage can also include clauses related to property inspections, further ensuring the safety and satisfaction of the buyer.

However, the preliminary agreement does not transfer ownership of the property; instead, it secures the commitment to sign the final contract. Following the preliminary agreement, the buyer typically provides a deposit, often around 10% of the purchase price, although there is no rule defining minimum and maximum deposit amounts, as a sign of their commitment.

Does the Preliminary Agreement Get Registered or Transcribed?
Once both parties have signed the preliminary agreement, it holds legal significance and is fully binding. However, there is an administrative requirement to register the preliminary agreement with the Italian Revenue Agency (“Agenzia delle Entrate”). Registering the preliminary makes it known to the Revenue Agency that two people have made a preliminary agreement, allowing further tracing of the contract and keeping it in line with the fiscal norms.

While the preliminary agreement retains its legal validity even without registration, it remains subject to fiscal obligations. The associated registration costs comprise a fixed registration tax of €200 and a stamp duty of €16 for every four pages of the document. If the parties agree to payments such as a deposit, a proportional registration tax may also be applicable, usually at a rate of 0.50% of the deposit amount, or 3% if it is an advance payment.

The preliminary agreement can furthermore be transcribed into the public notarial registry through the intervention of a public notary. While transcription of the preliminary agreement is not mandatory, it offers significant benefits, ensuring the agreement’s priority over subsequent transactions involving the property. However, the effects of transcription cease if the final contract is not transcribed within one year from the agreed-upon date or within three years from the transcription itself.

It’s important to understand the distinction when deciding to register or transcribe the preliminary agreement. In the unfortunate scenario of a dishonest seller, if you have a preliminary agreement that has only been registered, you can only seek compensation, without challenging the deed of sale they have signed with someone else. On the other hand, if you have a transcribed preliminary agreement and the seller, before finalizing the deal with you, sells the property to another party, you have the legal means to challenge the deed of sale and potentially acquire the property.

Registering and Transcribing the Final Deed
The ultimate step in the Italian property buying journey is the signing and transcribing of the final deed of sale, known as the “rogito notarile.” This document officially transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer and is a mandatory requirement, prepared by a public notary.

The final deed of sale is always registered and transcribed, leaving no room for exceptions. Registration is done through the Italian Revenue Agency, while transcription involves public notarial records. Expect to incur notarial fees, which typically consist of a registration tax, amounting to 2% of the cadastral value (for primary residences) or 9% (for secondary residences), as well as fixed cadastral and mortgage taxes, usually around €50.

By law, the final deed must be signed by both the buyer and the seller. In cases where one party cannot be physically present, they can delegate power of attorney to a trusted representative, with the presence of a legal interpreter if language barriers exist.

This article has sought to define and differentiate the preliminary contract and final deed of sale as well as emphasize the importance of registering or transcribing them. Buying a home can be overwhelming, especially if done in a foreign country. That’s why we’re here to help. Contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com, and we’d be happy to assist!

In Italy there are many cost-effective alternatives to the standard real estate process. Two particularly popular options are the 1 euro that gained prominence in Italy a few years ago, and the more familiar model of auctions. What exactly do these two alternatives entail and which one suits your needs best? In this article, we break down each option, outlining their advantages and disadvantages.

1 euro homes
We’ve previously provided extensive coverage of the 1 euro home phenomenon, available in our articles here and here. To summarize, these properties generally have a price tag of just 1 euro—or bidding will begin at 1 euro—although certain conditions, such as property renovation and other obligations, apply. The clearest advantage of this arrangement is the incredibly low cost of the properties. Additionally, most of these properties are located in rural areas with small villages, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a quieter life away from the chaos of the cities.

For example, at the time of this article (2023), the Sicilian town of Pettineo has an initiative to sell 1 euro homes for the purpose of getting people to invest in property there. Obligations include preparing and presenting a renovation plan within 3 months of signing the contract, to finish the renovations within 3 years, and to come up with a surety policy.

Despite the attractive low cost, there are quite a few stipulations to consider when confronting the purchase of a 1 euro home, as seen in the above example. Often, the renovation needs to be completed within a set timeframe, and the project must be approved before you can purchase the property. Along with the fees for renovation, there are notary fees, costs to set up utilities, registration costs, and even an insurance payment to the municipality, which can range from €1,000 and €5,000. You might also be required to visit the property in person before the purchase and establish residency there. Some properties may also have restrictions on resale. Finally, each town can impose its own unique requirements. For example, the initiative in Presicce, Puglia, limited applications to European citizens. For these reasons, 1 euro homes are generally best suited for those who already live in Italy or plan to. If you are not prepared for the extensive renovation work or are unwilling to comply with municipality guidelines, purchasing a property at auction might be a more suitable option.

Homes at Auction
Another appealing and cost-effective option for purchasing a house in Italy is to go through an auction. Like 1 euro homes, judicial auctions provide a more affordable scheme to go through the home-buying process. The Italian courts conduct an examination of the property and then determine a base price. There is also a minimum price (generally 25% below the base), at which interested buyers can begin bidding. Bidding will occur at a tribunal before a judge, and about 10 days before the determined bidding date, all interested parties will pay a deposit by cashier’s cheque. Generally, the deposit put in at auction is 10% of the minimum price. At the auction, the person who offers the highest amount is considered the successful bidder. Those who weren’t successful receive their deposits back on the same day. He or she then has a time period (usually around 120 days after the auction) to pay the full balance minus the deposit. If this balance is not paid on time, the property will return to auction, and the successful bidder will lose the deposit. This does not mean you can’t use a mortgage for a home bought at auction, but if the loan does not cover the full price, you will still need to cover the remainder. Once this balance is paid, the judge will officially transfer ownership of the property.

Advantages of purchasing properties through auctions include avoiding the need to pay for third parties such as realtors or notaries. The entire process is also conducted through the court system, ensuring maximum transparency. Along with this, all transcriptions and registrations are typically cancelled.

As mentioned earlier, for 1 euro homes, it’s usually necessary to be in Italy, but auctions offer more flexibility. With IREL’s services, for instance, we can act as power of attorney to represent you throughout the entire process, even if you’re not physically present.

It’s important to note that properties bought at auction must be paid off within a certain time frame, or there can be a risk of losing the home. Something else important to be aware of is that properties at auction are often in the midst of a legal process involving debts and potential structural issues due to foreclosure. Therefore, it is advisable to have an attorney who is well versed in Italian real estate, particularly for purchasing properties at auction.

While 1 euro schemes and homes at auction are great options for affordable properties, this does not mean you can’t find cheap homes on the regular market. House prices depend greatly on the region, and even the individual province, you’re looking at. For instance, as of 2022 Calabria was ranked the region with the cheapest homes to buy. The average price here is 852 euros/m2, followed closely by the regions of Molise and Sicily as next cheapest. If you look carefully, you can find properties in the 10k to 60k range in nearly every region, though, some perhaps needing renovation, others not.

Cost comparison
We have examined the general process of how 1 euro homes and auctions work, how they help you save money in your home-buying venture, and some important things to be aware of. But what is the cost comparison? Which is the cheaper option? There is no simple answer to this, given the variables outlined above. The most important first step is to determine whether you can be in Italy or not for the process, if you’d prefer to live in the country or city, and how much renovation work you’re comfortable investing in.

For 1 euro homes, plan to spend at least €30,000, considering the renovation work, security deposit, and other additional fees.

Similarly, buying a house at auction can save you significant money, even as much as 60% of the market value.

There are many advantages to purchasing a 1 euro home or a home at auction in Italy. Both involve significant savings but, as mentioned, there are also many conditions and requirements to be aware of. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which method best fits your budget and what you’re comfortable with. We’re also here to assist and would be happy to help! Feel free to contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com.

If you’re thinking of moving to Italy, you might not know where to begin in the process. How can one legally live there? Where is the best place to live? In this article, we outline the most important things to know when it comes to relocating to the Bel Paese.

  1. Initial research

When embarking on the journey of relocating to Italy, it’s crucial to begin by defining your objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to establishing a new life in this beautiful European country. Your objectives should encompass both career aspirations (such as employment or education), your preferred place of residence, and ensuring alignment with your financial resources.

Italy has numerous enchanting destinations to offer, from the hills of Tuscany to the mountainous areas in regions such as Trentino-Alto Adige, to the bustle of cities like Milan and Rome. While Florence and Rome are captivating places, it’s essential to consider that property prices in these cities can be quite steep due to their immense tourist appeal. For this reason, it is worth exploring less touristic cities, such as Turin, or even Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

However, don’t discount rural locations either. Italy offers numerous picturesque countryside vistas beyond the well-known Tuscany, which remains one of the country’s most expensive property markets, commanding an average of €2,344 per square meter, according to the 2022 Idealista Price Index. The southern regions, including Basilicata and Puglia, boast some of the most beautiful landscapes Italy has to offer. Additionally, a region like Emilia-Romagna offers the best of both worlds, with charming villages and enchanting countryside. Rest assured, wherever you choose, you will find plenty of good food and welcoming communities.

After deciding where to live based on your work, studies, budget, and/or personal preferences, it’s time to search for a dream apartment or home. To safeguard against potential scams, consider enlisting the services of a trusted company to help in your search, such as Italian Real Estate Lawyers. We are dedicated to helping you find the best accommodation that aligns with your goals and lifestyle in Italy. Our support encompasses every step of the process, commencing with the initial property search, conducting property due diligence, drafting offers, and guiding you through the intricacies of the final deed of sale. We specialize in assisting clients making overseas purchases—an invaluable resource when physical presence is not feasible.

Another crucial aspect to address from the start is your budget. Will you be working in or retiring to Italy, and what does your income situation look like? A clear understanding of your financial means, both in terms of your current resources and your anticipated income in Italy, along with the overall cost of living in your desired region, will greatly facilitate your planning process. Generally, the cost of living in Italy is considerably lower than the U.S., around 30%-40%. This is heavily dependent on where you choose to live, your income, and your lifestyle. Italian salaries are also generally lower than those in the U.S., although this can fluctuate significantly based on your industry and the specific region in Italy where you are employed.

  1. The legalities

The next question to consider is how you can legally move to Italy. Luckily, there are a number of visa options available for non-EU citizens. If you are an EU citizen, you won’t need a visa. Additionally, certain individuals might even qualify for Italian citizenship by descent, allowing them to complete their application while in Italy. For all planning to relocate, it’s important to understand any work-related stipulations associated with your visa category. For example, those on a student visa are limited to 20 hours per week, while those on an elective residence visa are prohibited from employment and must rely solely on passive income sources.

For non-EU citizens, there are many visa options, depending on your goals. These include:

  • Study visa
  • Work visa
  • Family reunification visa
  • Self-employment visa
  • Elective residence visa
  • Investor visa
  • Research visa

Be sure to look on your local consulate’s website for the particular requirements for the visa you intend to apply for. It’s advisable to schedule an appointment with your consulate well in advance, as they may experience significant backlog periods. Additionally, ensure that your passport contains a minimum of three blank pages and is not in need of renewal. Gather all your required documents, and if necessary, have them professionally translated. It’s recommended to commence the preparation of these essential materials at least three months before your intended application date.

Residence permit (permesso di soggiorno)
Regardless of the type of visa you obtain, you will need to apply for your residence permit, or permesso di soggiorno, within eight days of arrival in Italy.


The permesso di soggiorno application is referred to as a “kit” and can be found at most Italian Post Offices. Typically, you will need to include much of the same documentation as originally required for your visa application, so make sure to have both the originals and photocopies with you.

The submission of these documents varies depending on your specific type of residence permit, which is linked to your visa, and your location within Italy. In most instances, you will submit the application kit along with your documents at the local Post Office (where you obtained the application kit). They will then provide you with an appointment at the Questura (Police Office for Immigration) for a later date, which may be several months away, a common occurrence. It’s important to note that you should only provide copies of your documents to the Poste, not the originals. At the Questura appointment, you should bring your original documents and copies. A good rule of thumb is to bring more documents than you think you need, as the requirements can change depending on your specific visa type and the location of your application.

For EU citizens planning to stay in Italy for longer than three months, it’s also necessary to declare residency at the local police station.

  1. Things you need in Italy

There are a number of practical items that will be essential for day-to-day life in Italy, and some of these may be required for your upcoming Questura appointment. Therefore, it’s advisable to obtain these items as soon as possible upon your arrival.

Tax code (codice fiscale)
Another important thing to get is your tax code, or codice fiscale. Unlike the American equivalent, the Social Security Number, the codice fiscale is widely used for various purposes in Italy, including work and housing contracts, opening a bank account, and even obtaining an Italian phone number.

Obtaining the codice fiscale is relatively straightforward. Visit the local Tax Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) with your passport, proof of address, visa, and permesso di soggiorno. Keep in mind that they may request additional documentation, so it’s a good idea to check their specific requirements online before your visit.

Health insurance
One valuable benefit you should make use of is Italy’s national healthcare system. You can enroll in it at the local regional Health Department (Azienda Sanitaria Locale, o ASL). To complete the registration, you will need to provide your passport, permesso di soggiorno, tax code, and pay a small fee.  It’s important to note that you must also be a registered resident in Italy, and you might be asked to provide a copy of your residential declaration from the Anagrafe (records) office of the town where you reside.

If you are an EU citizen and have health insurance in your home country, you will be covered in Italy.

Italian SIM
It is also recommended that you get an Italian SIM card. There are numerous phone companies to choose from, and monthly prices typically offer generous data allowances at affordable rates (for example, €14 for 70 GB/month). This will facilitate your communication needs during your stay.

Italian bank account
Something you might also want to consider is opening an Italian bank account. The necessity for this will depend on your employment situation and the source of your income. For instance, if you’re a student, it might not be a mandatory step. The specific documents required for opening a bank account can vary based on several factors, including whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen, your status as a registered resident of Italy, and other individual circumstances.

Driving license
Obtaining a Driver’s License is optional and is most likely not necessary if you’re planning to live in a city. If you are an EU citizen and have a driving license from an EU country, it is valid in Italy. If you are outside the EU, it depends. There are some cases in which you can exchange your license for an Italian one. In other cases, including for Americans, you can drive on a touristic International Permit (that accompanies your valid driving license) for one year. After that time, you must apply for an Italian driving license, which includes passing a comprehensive theory exam in Italian as well as a driving test. Keep in mind too that in Italy, as in the rest of Europe, manual cars are most common, but automatic transmission vehicles can be found.

  1. Embrace Italian culture

A final wise word of advice is to embrace the culture — Open yourself up to new experiences, exploration, and meeting new people. Stay flexible and be receptive to all the opportunities that come your way.

Learn Italian
Regardless of whether you’re a student or require Italian for your work or studies, investing time in learning the language is crucial. It not only simplifies day-to-day tasks and bureaucratic procedures but also enhances your ability to integrate into the culture and connect with others. Seek out language schools in your vicinity to explore your options.

Build a Support System
When embarking on a significant move to a foreign country, it’s essential to think about your support system. This can encompass individuals you’re relocating with, co-workers or fellow students, contacts already in Italy, or perhaps religious or volunteer groups you intend to join. Moving to a new place can be challenging, and having a network of people you can rely on can make the transition smoother.

In conclusion
This article has sought to break down a general list of things to keep in mind if you’re planning to move to Italy. If you’re interested in purchasing property in this beautiful country, we are happy to assist you! Feel free to contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com.


If you have purchased your dream home in Italy you may find yourself uncertain about the post-sales responsibilities that follow the successful transaction. Managing essential utilities, comprehending local tax obligations, and handling administrative tasks can appear daunting, especially for non-Italian speakers. Fortunately, there are practical solutions available to simplify this process and ensure a seamless transition into your new Italian abode. Let’s explore the most crucial post-sale responsibilities, including setting up utilities and paying taxes, as well as the services offered by Italian Real Estate Lawyers to ease these processes.

Setting Up Utilities

Once you have signed the final deed of purchase and have become the owner of your new property, one of your initial tasks is usually to set up utilities for electricity, heating and water or to transfer the accounts into your name. The process of transferring utilities to your name is made easier when it is possible to gather previous utility bills from the former property owners. Liaising with various service providers for electricity, water, and heating can be complex. In fact, it is important to note that each utility company may have distinct procedures and requirements. Additionally, you may wish to explore options such as renewable energy sources or energy-efficient upgrades for your property. However, navigating these choices, especially in remote locations, can be challenging. In these cases, the expertise of professionals like Italian Real Estate Lawyers can come in hand.

Understanding the Required Taxes

Property ownership in Italy carries two annual tax obligations: IMU (Imposta Municipale Unica) and TARI (Tassa sui Rifiuti). These taxes are determined by the specific municipality in which your property is located. IMU is a municipal tax calculated based on your property’s characteristics and the municipality’s criteria. Importantly, IMU is applicable only to non-primary residences. If you have purchased a home in Italy and plan to reside there permanently, IMU will not be levied. However, if your property serves as a vacation home, you will be liable for IMU. On the other hand, TARI is a waste collection tax that varies depending on the town, city, or village of your residence, taking into account the number of occupants in your property. Generally, more residents lead to higher waste collection taxes.

 IREL’s Various Available Packages

Recognizing the potential challenges that can arise following a property purchase, Italian Real Estate Lawyers offers a range of comprehensive packages designed to assist property buyers in a seamless transition. These packages are competitively priced and can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. All our post-sales services are managed meticulously by a team of highly qualified professionals, ensuring the efficient handling of customer requests and documentation while maintaining a professional and straightforward approach.

Basic: Our basic package focuses on utilities. When it comes to utilities (electricity, gas, and water), our team proactively engages with suppliers, streamlining the entire process and ensuring a smooth transition, including the “voltura” (change of contract holder) or supply activation. We will assist you in identifying the most suitable options for your home and efficiently establish the necessary accounts with the relevant service providers.

Advanced: Our advanced package extends its coverage to utilities and property taxes. Specifically, IMU and TARI taxes are expertly managed on behalf of the client, starting from the day of the property deed and continuing until the end of the respective tax year. IMU taxes are calculated based on the property’s purchase date, and our team ensures clients are well-informed about applicable deadlines and payment methods.

All-Inclusive: For the most comprehensive solution, we recommend our all-inclusive package. In addition to utilities and tax assistance, this package offers a wide array of services designed to facilitate a seamless transition into your new Italian home. Choose from three of the solutions offered, ranging from assisting you in obtaining a home insurance policy to guiding you through the process of opening a non-resident Italian bank account. Our comprehensive offering ensures that every aspect of your property management is meticulously handled, whether you have plans for home improvements, renovations, or you’re bringing pets from abroad, our team is ready to assist. Moreover, this package can be individually tailored to your unique requirements, providing you with a single point of contact for all your property-related needs. While the actual costs of services provided by professionals or companies will be your responsibility, the peace of mind and convenience our all-inclusive package affords make it the ultimate choice for a worry-free property ownership experience in Italy.

With the dedicated support of our professionals at Italian Real Estate Lawyers, you can fully immerse yourself in enjoying your new property while leaving administrative hassles behind. Your dream of owning a piece of Italy can now become a reality without the typical headaches associated with new home ownership tasks. Allow us to guide you through the post-sale process, ensuring a swift settlement so you can fully embrace the dolce vita lifestyle you envisioned.

For questions about post sale responsibilities or to reach out to us for our services, please contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com

Exploring the world of property acquisition in a foreign country involves navigating legal intricacies and logistical challenges. Italy, renowned for its picturesque landscapes and cultural treasures, represents an attractive destination for property investments. In the interest of streamlining the property acquisition process, especially for those unable to be physically present in Italy, the power of attorney (POA), or “procura” in Italian, emerges as a solution. A power of attorney enables an individual to designate another person, usually a trusted legal representative or family member, to act on their behalf in legal affairs. This article delves into the concept of power of attorney and its acquisition process, offering tailored insights for potential property buyers.

Understanding the power of attorney (POA)

A power of attorney is a legal mechanism that authorizes an individual (the “principal”) to delegate decision-making authority to another person (the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”). The agent, acting within the terms stipulated in the POA document, represents the principal’s interests. In the context of property acquisition in Italy, a power of attorney emerges as a strategic tool, allowing buyers to overcome geographical or linguistic constraints and engage in real estate transactions. In this way, the POA saves buyers time, financial resources, and the complexities of international travel. The appointed attorney-in-fact can execute essential decisions swiftly, including negotiating terms, completing transactions, and signing contracts, such as the final deed of sale. The ability to have an individual available for quick actions contributes to timely property acquisition without unnecessary delays.

Moreover, even those who have the opportunity to visit Italy on a regular basis find significant advantages in utilizing a power of attorney. This is especially true for individuals who do not speak Italian, particularly in situations that require their signature in the presence of an Italian notary public (notaio), such as property sales contracts. Italian law requires the translation of documents into the language of the non-Italian party, along with the involvement of a notarial interpreter during proceedings. This often leads to extended timelines and increased expenses. On the contrary, choosing to utilize a power of attorney, in conjunction with the expertise of a bilingual real estate lawyer, expedites the property acquisition process while enhancing cost-effectiveness.

At Italian Real Estate Lawyers, our expertise resides in Italian property law. We have extensive experience in drafting power of attorney documents tailored to our clients’ distinct needs. Our practice prioritizes the use of a bilingual POA, drafted both in English and Italian. This duality not only facilitates its comprehension for both the Italian notary and foreign authorities but also eliminates the need for separate and often costly translation procedures.

Drafting and legalizing the POA

It’s important to note that one must abide by Italian legal requirements when drafting a power of attorney. Ensuring the document’s adherence to local laws and regulations is vital to validate the property transaction and protect the interests of both parties involved. Furthermore, the versatility of a POA allows the principal to customize the powers granted to the agent. While the agent takes on the role of the principal’s representative, the scope of authority can be meticulously tailored, ensuring that their interests are duly represented. The document also stipulates details such as the duration of the POA’s validity.

Following the initial draft, the document is presented to a selected notary in Italy for examination and eventual endorsement, guaranteeing that the document aligns with the notarial interpretations. In Italian legal proceedings, the notary plays an indispensable role, particularly in property transactions. Their contributions encompass confirming the transaction’s legitimacy, verifying parties’ identities, and supervising the formalization of legal documents, including a power of attorney. Following the Italian notary’s endorsement of the drafted POA, the approved document is presented to the client for approval. The client then proceeds to notarize the POA within their home country, thereby affirming their identity and explicit consent.

The final step entails subjecting the POA to a process of legalization, usually executed through securing an apostille. This internationally recognized certificate validates the document’s authenticity, particularly for cross-border use. The apostille verifies both the document’s origin and the credibility of the issuing authority. After receiving the original POA with the apostille certification via postal mail in Italy, the document is valid for official use in Italy. The entire process can take from 2 to 6 weeks.


The power of attorney is a useful tool for international buyers navigating the Italian real estate market. This article has sought to explain the role of the power of attorney in property acquisition as well as give insight on its acquirement process. Beyond the realm of real estate, a power of attorney can be used in a variety of scenarios, ranging from mediation, legal disputes, banking, inheritance, and property management.

If you seek further information on the power of attorney for your property purchase, and on how the process of obtaining a POA might vary based on your country of origin, please feel free to contact us via email at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com.


The company’s foundation, its offices and professionals

Italian Real Estate Lawyers (IREL) was founded shortly after its sister company Italian Citizenship Assistance (ICA). As a matter of fact, many clients who obtained dual citizenship often expressed the desire to truly enjoy the possibility they had to stay in Italy without time constraints by purchasing a property in the country. Over the years IREL has helped many foreign citizens (regardless of whether they held an Italian residency visa) to overcome the challenges they faced when purchasing a property, ranging from unresponsive real estate agents to legal concerns stemming from unfamiliarity with the market’s intricacies.

ICA co-founder, Fabrizio Permunian, drawing on extensive experience in real estate spanning decades, realized that these impediments could be surmounted with the right guidance. Driven by the aim of providing optimal assistance, he embarked on aiding trusted clients in acquiring their dream homes. This involved having conversations with real estate agencies, negotiating prices, and offering advice on prudent purchases. A pivotal realization was that the entire process could be seamlessly managed from a distance. Typically, property viewings and notarial transactions were coordinated around the client’s commitments based on travel schedules, resulting in delays. By incorporating video tours and executing contracts via Power of Attorney, these hindrances were effectively mitigated. Fabrizio’s inaugural transaction on behalf of a foreign client enabled her to secure her dream property in Monteverde, Rome.

From these initial experiences, a quick survey among IREL’s clients revealed that most were interested in the opportunity to buy a property in Italy with comprehensive legal safeguarding, unwavering communication, remote support, and translation services. This revelation led to the birth of Italian Real Estate Lawyers, helmed by its CEO and founder, Fabrizio Permunian.

In a short time, the demand for IREL’s services surged, prompting the team’s expansion. Linda Balboni joined as Fabrizio’s indispensable right-hand, leveraging her prior real estate consultancy experience. The Italian Real Estate Lawyers team has since evolved into a versatile and adaptable unit, boasting a robust network of trusted notaries, surveyors and agencies. The firm stands as a prominent entity aiding U.S. and other foreign citizens in acquiring Italian properties. Operating from its headquarters in Rovigo, Italy, the team orchestrates deals spanning the entire Italian territory.

The team

IREL takes pride in its team’s diverse skill sets and specialized expertise. While a comprehensive understanding of the Italian real estate domain unites the members, their individual proficiencies synergize to offer optimal client support. Comprising attorney Marco Permunian, associate attorneys, real estate consultants, translators, and legal assistants, IREL’s team boasts linguistic fluency in both English and Italian. Many members have spent time abroad during their educational pursuits or previous employments, equipping them with multilingual capabilities.

Despite being based in Rovigo, Italy, where they work under the supervision and guidance of Marco and Fabrizio Permunian, one of IREL’s strength lies in their ability to operate throughout the entire Italian territory. Thanks to their experience in the field and to the large number of previous purchases that they have been able to complete, they rely on a strong network of trusted professionals, allowing them to expedite the fulfillment of client needs.

A-Z assistance

Prospective buyers can seek assistance irrespective of their current purchase stage. Whether they are at the property identification phase or have just tendered an offer on their dream home, IREL’s adept team evaluates their scenario, assigning the client to the most suitable case worker. The evaluation commences with an exploratory discussion led by the intake team, elucidating the client’s current circumstances and aspirations for the property investment. Typically conducted via email by Linda Balboni, IREL’s client-relations manager, this phase concludes within a few days. If further discussion is warranted, clients can opt for a Zoom or phone consultation with one of the team’s specialists.

Once a strategy is developed and the client decides to proceed with IREL’s services, the assigned case specialist will officially begin the collaboration with them. Although the services can vary depending on the client’s needs, IREL’s most popular package offers A-Z, all-around assistance: if the property has not been identified yet, a real estate search will be made (at no additional cost) in order to identify a few suitable options. Then, if the client is available to visit the properties in person, a viewing itinerary is organized and all the relevant information is translated into English. Being a law firm, as opposed to a real estate agency, gives IREL and their clients a significant advantage during this stage: as their compensation does not derive from a commission fee based on the property’s price (contrarily to real estate agents), they are able to organize tours with unlimited agents and schedule viewings for any property on the market.

Nevertheless, the bulk of the company’s work takes place once a suitable property is identified and a formal offer must be written: in fact, the formal offer states the terms of the transaction and can be modified to protect both the seller and the buyer. To best safeguard the buyer’s interests, IREL always carefully reviews and modifies, where necessary, the formal offer in order to insert all the clauses necessary for their protection: for instance, should a surveyor identify a structural defect in the house, the buyer will be entitled to getting the deposit back.

IREL walks the client through property research and identification, through to a formal offer, all the way up to the drafting and signing of the final deed of sale. In all phases, any contracts are made available in English translations, and if the client is unavailable to sign in person for the final deed, the POA is drafted. IREL works side by side with the client from beginning inquiries until they have the keys to their dream home in hand.

Property tours

For clients deeply involved in property research, IREL offers a VIP Property tour package. Collaboratively, a selection of 10-15 properties is chosen in the preferred area for personal visits. This immersive venture enables firsthand exploration and evaluation of each property, accompanied by local excursions, meals, and an exclusive Real Estate Info Session led by experts. A day of immersive learning at their new office, situated in a 16th-century Veneto villa outside Verona, awaits. Lead attorney Marco Permunian imparts personalized guidance, covering every facet of the purchase process, real estate dynamics, mortgages, visas, and even Italian citizenship. This exclusive one-on-one session guarantees exhaustive clarification of all inquiries.

Post-sale services

The support offered by Italian Real Estate Lawyers extends beyond the culmination of a property purchase. Acquiring a home does not automatically render it ready-to-move-in, so to eliminate obstacles, IREL’s post-sale offerings ensure purchased properties are fully prepared. They assist in utilities setup, bank account establishment, and locating local cleaning services, among other tasks. Additionally, IREL addresses post-sale relocations, particularly for clients transitioning to full-time residency in Italy, including those shipping furniture, vehicles, and pets. The dedicated post-sale team gathers relocation service estimates and coordinates the shipment process.

If you are thinking of purchasing your dream house in Italy and you would like further information, do not hesitate to contact info@italianrealestatelawyers.com for a free consultation!

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