Citizens from European Union countries will find few problems in buying property and starting a new life in Italy, and for nationals from
further afield the bureaucratic hurdles needn't be too much of a barrier.
This doesn't mean, though, that you're exempt from the thorough paperwork so beloved of European public officials. Foreigners
frequently have an idea that anything goes in Italy and that rules are there to be ignored - in the Marche, at least, this attitude all too often ends in disaster.
Citizens of EU countries and many other nationals can stay in Italy for up to three months with just a valid passport. Check with your travel
agent at home to see what rules apply to your home country.
If, however, you want to live in Italy for a longer period you will at very least need to register with the Ufficio Anagrafe of your local comune.
European Union citizens need no longer apply for a carta di soggiorno, and after five years residence can obtain a soggiorno permanente giving them virtually total parity with Italian citizens.
Non-EU nationals will need a permesso di soggiorno, or permit to stay, from the Questura, or main police station, in the nearest provincial
capital and will also have to answer questions such as means of living, whether you own property, etc, and have no automatic right to stay. For the latest detailed information contact the Italian
Consulate in your home country before leaving.
You will also almost certainly need to take up residency in the Comune, or town, where you decide to live, particularly if you have any
plans to work here. Again for EU citizens this is straight-forward and virtually automatic. For many things, such as opening a bank account, a residency certificate, or certificato di residenza,
is often required.
The last of the trinity of essential documents to get is your codice fiscale, the Italian equivalent of a "national insurance" number
combined with a tax code. This is one of the easiest documents to obtain, and is available from tax offices in the provincial capitals in a matter of minutes.
A final tip - during your first few months carry some recent passport photos in your wallet as you never know when they may be required.