Expats moving to Rome are likely to become entranced by the imagery of the living, breathing ancient city. Magnificent ruins and foundations built on the rich, fabled history that was once the centre of the world are immediately invigorating. They would be hard-pressed not to allow themselves to fall for regal Rome and its noble roots. The city’s vibrant streets, lined with centuries-old architecture, offer a daily journey through time, while the modern pulse of Rome provides an exciting and dynamic lifestyle.
The city is renowned for its rich culinary traditions, world-class art and vibrant social life. Expats find themselves immersed in a culture that celebrates history, art, and la dolce vita – the sweet life. The opportunity to live amidst such cultural wealth and historical significance is a unique experience that continues to attract a diverse international community.
Living in Rome as an expat
If expats have not arranged a work permit and a job before landing, they may find Rome something of a challenging job-seeking environment. What’s more, expats without solid knowledge of Italian will not qualify for most positions and will be competing with a small contingent for limited job opportunities.
The city’s bureaucracy is notorious for being difficult to navigate, complicated and unapproachable. This can make seemingly simple tasks such as finding accommodation, registering children for schools and obtaining identity documents exceptionally frustrating. Many basic operations are racked with inefficiency, while Rome's appeal as a year-round tourist destination makes it quite expensive.
That said, expats who have moved to Rome and never left will insist that the worries of day-to-day life can easily be washed away in the magic of the metropolis. With excellent public healthcare, a fantastic food and wine culture, and the residents’ appreciation for art and beauty, there are endless opportunities for things to see and do. This is coupled with the fact that getting around the metropolis is easy, as public transport is both comprehensive and affordable.
Cost of living in Rome
Rome’s incredible popularity as a tourist destination inflates the cost of living, and expats will likely come to be as frustrated with the endless stream of tourists as locals are. With that all said, it is much less expensive than many of Europe’s other capital cities, such as Paris or London, and expats moving to Rome will encounter a generally stable economy. This means prices tend not to fluctuate dramatically from one year to the next.
Expat families and children
A wonderful city to raise a family, Rome has plenty to keep the kids occupied. An abundance of interesting museums, most of which are free for kids, as well as parks, theme parks, hiking trails and more, are sure to keep expat families busy in their spare time.
There is a fair share of schools in Rome to choose from, including international schools, but like anywhere else in the world, these vary in quality, price and curriculum. We recommend parents consider these factors carefully as they start researching.
Climate in Rome
Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. January is the coldest month in Rome, and July and August are the warmest. The weather in Rome during summer can be uncomfortably hot, with temperatures often exceeding 95°F (35°C), while winter is mild, with the average temperature in December hovering around 55°F (13°C).
In light of the pros and cons of relocating to the Italian capital, Rome is best suited to expats who love an adventure and who can keep marvelling at the wonder of the age-old city and its surroundings. An enchanting city, Rome entices many expats to stay longer than intended.
What should you do to really get settled in Rome?
"I think to really penetrate the layers of the Italian society you really have to go the extra mile in understanding their culture and speaking their language". Read more about Ernesto's experience of living in Rome.
"I would recommend making friends with locals as well as expats – having a few locals as your devoted friends may well prove to be the key to overcoming obstacles when you have to address frustrating bureaucratic matters". Read our interview with Camilla for more.
►When relocating, expats should weigh up the pros and cons of moving to Rome
Are you an expat living in Rome?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Rome. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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