Living in Italy | Maximize Your Opportunities in 2024

Living in Italy, beyond the iconic images of archaeological wonders, churches, and monuments, lie intangible marvels awaiting discovery: a vibrant musical heritage, culinary culture, camaraderie, and a delightful climate. Yet, our aim isn’t to offer a mere tourist snapshot but to elucidate why choosing Italy for study holds immense value. Consider the rich legacy of scientific luminaries like Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, and Enrico Fermi. Embarking on a study journey here unveils a treasure trove of opportunities.

Whether your passion lies in art, sciences, engineering, or design, living in Italy provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the birthplace of artistic geniuses like Michelangelo and Raphael or delve into the intricate realms of science and technology. From designing dream cars to unraveling the depths of history and literature, Italy offers a kaleidoscope of learning experiences. Delve deeper into the musical legacies of Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini.

These are but a glimpse of why living in Italy is an unparalleled experience. Beyond academia, embrace the warmth of Italian hospitality, the vibrant pulse of university towns, and the sheer joy of forging lifelong bonds with fellow students. Let your journey in Italy not only broaden your mind but also enrich your soul as you immerse yourself in the language, culture, and spirit of this captivating land. 

To commence your reverie, we earnestly advocate a visit to the portal: Italy Open to Wonder.

living in Italy | Healthcare Provisions in Italy

living in Italy

Living in Italy grants everyone the right to healthcare. The public healthcare apparatus, dubbed the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), operates through decentralized entities known as Local Health Units (Aziende Unità Sanitarie Locali or AUSL).

Understanding how the Italian healthcare system operates is crucial to accessing necessary care. Your entitlement to healthcare services depends on the documentation you possess: if you are a foreigner without documents, you are entitled to receive only emergency and continuous care. 

However, if you have a residence permit or have applied for one, you are entitled to all services provided by the National Healthcare System. Key services accessible through the SSN include primary care physicians/pediatricians, medical guards, emergency rooms/hospitals, and the emergency number 118. 

living in Italy | General Practitioner

Living in Italy grants access to this service free of charge, with primary care physicians obligated to provide their services without discrimination. Prior enrollment in the National Healthcare System (SSN) is required to avail oneself of these services, requiring the presentation of the following documents:

  • Passport;
  • Residency permit;
  • Health insurance card.

European Union Citizenship Students

For those living in Italy with a TEAM card, the European Health Insurance Card from their EU country of origin, all necessary medical treatments are accessible. Treatment can be obtained directly from a doctor or accredited health facility by presenting the TEAM card. With this card, you can visit a general practitioner or family doctor of your choice from the list provided by the Local Health Units (AUSL). However, “planned care abroad” such as non-urgent dental or thermal treatments, is not covered by the TEAM card.

If you possess a Right Certificate (e.g, E106, E109, etc.), you must submit it to the Sportello Unico of the Local Health Unit (CUP) to determine eligibility for enrollment in the National Health Service (SSN). Once deemed eligible, you will have access to complete healthcare services under the same conditions as Italian citizens. Access to healthcare services may vary depending on the type of certificate you possess.

In other cases, if you do not have a TEAM card or Right Certificate, you must obtain valid private health insurance in Italy or enroll in the Italian National Health Service (SSN), if applicable. With private health insurance, you can visit any primary care physician, and for specialist visits, you can choose directly, possibly with guidance from the primary care physician. 

living in Italy | Private health insurance policies

If you’re living in Italy, keep in mind that certain insurance policies might not cover enrollment in the SSN or provide a designated primary care physician. They typically require you to pay expenses upfront and seek reimbursement later. Before purchasing a policy, carefully review the reimbursement procedures and limits. Health expenses can be substantial, especially for hospitalization, so it’s wise to confirm with your insurance provider in advance. 

For students, inquire at the Sportello Unico of the Local Health Unit (CUP) about SSN enrollment eligibility. To voluntarily enroll as a student, you must be an Italian resident and pay an annual lump sum of €149.77. Enrollment is valid for the calendar year.

If you’re employed or self-employed in Italy and pay taxes, you’re entitled to mandatory and free enrollment in the National Health Service. Contact the Sportello Unico of the Local Health Unit (CUP) for enrollment details.

After living in Italy for at least five years, you can request a “Permanent Stay Certificate” from your municipality, allowing indefinite enrollment in the SSN with the choice of a primary care physician. Consult the Sportello Unico of the Local Health Unit (CUP) for enrollment assistance. 

Non-European Union Citizenship Students

For those living in Italy, non-EU students are required to either enroll in the Italian National Health Service (SSN) or possess valid health insurance. Health coverage for sickness, accidents, and maternity is necessary to obtain a residence permit.

The study residence permit is valid for a maximum of one year, with its duration potentially affected by factors such as health coverage. The permit will not exceed the validity of your health insurance or SSN enrollment.

After submitting the residence permit application, visit the Sportello Unico (CUP) promptly to activate health coverage and select a primary care physician. Remember to bring your passport, official Italian tax code, payment receipt of €149.77, postal receipt of the residence permit application (or the permit itself if already obtained), university enrollment certificate (or Declaration of Arrival for exchange students), and the voluntary enrollment form for non-EU citizens at the Unique Sportelli (CUP).

living in Italy | Transportation in Italy

Living in Italy, you’ll encounter various modes of transportation in cities:


Living in Italy, you’ll find the bus to be a convenient mode of public transportation. Each bus operates on a set route, clearly marked with a designated number. You can easily identify the bus number on the vehicle or by visiting the bus service website. Along the route, you’ll encounter multiple bus stops, each displaying schedules for passenger convenience. Tickets are essential for bus travel and can be obtained from tobacco shops, bus stations, or through SMS. Remember to validate your ticket upon boarding.


Coaches, or pullman buses, facilitate long-distance travel between cities. Tickets can be acquired from tobacco shops or bus stations, and validation is required upon boarding.


Trams offer swift transport, operating on tracks and dedicated lanes. Tram stops are easily identifiable, and tickets can be purchased at vending machines or tobacco shops.


Major Italian cities like Rome, Milan, Turin, and Naples boast subway systems for underground travel. Tickets are available at stations or via mobile payment options.


Italy features regional, interregional, and high-speed trains for medium- to long-distance travel. Tickets can be purchased online, at station counters, or through vending machines.


Taxis provide flexible transport options, with fares depending on distance. They’re available at key locations, such as train stations and hotels or can be summoned via phone.


Transport subscriptions offer cost-effective options, allowing unlimited travel for fixed periods. These can be purchased at station counters or online.

Shared Mobility:

Shared mobility services are gaining popularity, encompassing cars, scooters, bicycles, and electric scooters. Users can access these services for efficient and eco-friendly travel, sharing vehicles and journeys.

living in Italy | Emergency Contacts in Italy

Living in Italy, if you encounter difficulty during your stay, dial 112, a free number connecting you with the most suitable authority or service for your problem. 

For more specific needs, alternative numbers are also available for assistance.

  • State Police: 113 (accidents, thefts, etc.);
  • Fire Service: 115 (fire outbreaks, weather-related emergencies);
  • Emergency Medical Service: 118 (medical emergencies, pertinent to mountain or cave rescue);
  • Roadside Assistance: Available round the clock, contact Automobile Club d’Italia, representing and safeguarding Italian drivers’ interests;
  • Anti-violence Helpline for Women: 1522;
  • Forest Rangers: 1515;
  • Travel Information: 1518;
  • Maritime Search and Rescue: 1530.

These provisions aim to ensure comprehensive healthcare coverage and facilitate seamless transportation experiences for residents and visitors alike.

suggested read: Prepare for Admission

Final words

In conclusion, living in Italy presents a mosaic of cultural, educational, healthcare, and transportation wonders. From its rich artistic legacy to its well-structured healthcare and transportation systems, Italy shines as a symbol of diversity and promise. Whether pursuing academic pursuits, seeking medical assistance, or exploring its dynamic urban centers, Italy welcomes all with a promise of endless fascination and exploration. Embrace the enchantment of Italy, where history merges seamlessly with the contemporary, unveiling a myriad of timeless delights at every turn.


If I am living in Italy, How do I access healthcare services as a foreigner?

For undocumented individuals, access is limited to emergency and urgent care. Possession of a residency permit or application thereof grants access to comprehensive healthcare services under the National Healthcare System.

Can EU students utilize their health insurance while living in Italy?

Yes, EU students with a TEAM card can access necessary medical treatments in Italy. However, certain non-urgent treatments may not be covered.

What if I am living in Italy and don’t have a TEAM card or a Right Certificate?

Without a TEAM card or equivalent entitlement certificate, obtaining private health insurance or enrolling in the Italian National Health Service (SSN) may be necessary for accessing healthcare services.

How do I enroll in the Italian National Health Service (SSN) as a student?

Students can enroll voluntarily in the SSN by being a resident of Italy and paying an annual lump sum contribution. Enrollment is valid for the calendar year.

What transportation options are available in Italy?

Italy boasts a diverse array of transportation options, including buses, trams, subways, trains, taxis, and shared mobility services like car-sharing and bike-sharing.

Are there subscription options for frequent travelers who are living in Italy? 

Yes, various subscription options are available for frequent public transport users, offering cost-effective solutions for unlimited travel over fixed durations.

How do I contact emergency services while living in Italy?

In case of emergencies, dial the unified emergency number 112 for immediate assistance. Additionally, specialized services like the police, fire department, medical emergency services, and roadside assistance have dedicated hotline numbers for specific needs.

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