Italy Country Profile

For more details visit Italy Passport Ranking
  • Passport Grade
  • Passport Ranking
  • Passport Score
  • Visa-free Countries
  • Visa-required Countries
  • Access to the World's GDP
  • Access to the World's Surface Area
  • Access to the World's Population
  • Access to the Unesco Sites
Citizenship and Naturalization
Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
  • Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
    No provisions
Naturalization - Standard Conditions
  • Minimum residency period
    10 years
  • Physical presence requirement
    At least 6 months a year
  • Language test
    Yes, Italian
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
  • Can minor children naturalize?
  • Can naturalized parents pass citizenship to a child born abroad?
  • Can you lose naturalization due to prolonged absence/ naturalization elsewhere?
Naturalization - Your Spouse is a Citizen
  • Living IN the country: Residency/marriage requirement
    2 years / 2 years
    Must be both married and reside in the country for 2 years. The term is reduced by half in case of a common child.
  • Living ABROAD: Marriage requirement
    3 years
    Must be married for 3 years if residing abroad. The term is reduced by half in case of a common child.
  • Language test
    Yes, Italian
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
Naturalization - Other Beneficial Provisions
  • Your child is a citizen
    1 year/1.5 years
    In case of marriage with a common child, mandatory residency period is halfed. If living in Italy - 1 year; outside of Italy - 1.5 years.
  • Citizens of specific countries
    4 years
    4 years for citizens of all EU countries.
"–": The provision has not been analysed.
Visas and Residencies
Visas and Residencies
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Taxation Type
A tax resident of a country with a RESIDENCE-BASED tax system pays taxes on their WORLDWIDE income. However, if you lose tax residency status there (e.g., by moving out), the country will generally stop taxing you.

Several incentives are available for new residents. Employed and self-employed can claim a 70% to 90% tax reduction on their Italian income depnding on the region of residence. Retirees can claim a flat 7% tax rate on their non-Italian income. And hign net-worth individual can use a €100,000-a-year tax payment that takes care of taxation of their non-Italian income of any size.
Italy is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), allowing its citizens to live and work in any other EEA country, plus Switzerland. (The EEA consists of 27 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.)
Sovereign Research's Take on Italy
We rather like Italy.

We like it so much, in fact, that we used to spend every summer at a villa in the Italian countryside right after we’d concluded our annual Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp in Lithuania. (Unfortunately, both the camp and our villa summit have been suspended since Covid.) 

Italy is a marvelous place to spend time. It is home to some of the world’s favorite cuisine, and its wine is amazing. And Italians, in general, are very warm people who know how to enjoy their lives. 

Italy also ranks incredibly high culturally. 

The country’s high fashion houses, architecture, Renaissance-era masterpieces, the Roman Empire’s legacy and the Vatican attract millions of tourists every year. Just watching people gather in any given town square is a cultural experience. And with the growing popularity of cooking classes and wine tours, agrotourism has become quite a big deal in Italy. 

To summarize all of the above: It’s hard not to love Italy.

Plus, Italy can be a great destination for your Plan B. 

For starters, it's home to one of the world’s best Citizenship by Ancestry programs. Several of our subscribers, including our founder, Simon Black, became Italian citizens through this program.

But if you have no Italian roots,  don’t fret. You can also obtain Italian residency through the (lesser-known) Italian Golden Visa program, or viat the country’s residency program for financially self-sufficient people.

Economically speaking, however, the place is a complete disaster.

The local banking system is on its last leg, so you may want to skip banking there if you can avoid it. 

The government is in debt up to its eyeballs. Italy is in urgent need of financial reforms, but no one in the government seems to have the coglioni to agree on and pass them.

Doing business in Italy requires incredible patience, will and flexibility. Although we do know two Americans who run a successful cooking school there, we’d say that they are an exception, though.

By some measurements, Italy has lost an entire quarter of its industrial capacity over the years since the crisis of 2008/2009. This is a disaster for an industrial country.

The bottomline? 

If you have Italian ancestors, by all means take advantage of the very favorable Citizenship By Ancestry rules in Italy. Or if you’re not a member of the “Lucky Bloodline Club”, but want to retire there or work remotely, then you can apply for other types of visas that will allow you to do just that.

That said, we certainly do not recommend banking or doing business in the country.
Sovereign Research's Rolodex
Service Providers available in Italy
  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
  • Real Estate (agents, lawyers)
  • Citizenship by Ancestry
Obtain access to our Rolodex by signing up for Sovereign Confidential Join Sovereign Confidential Today

Sovereign Global Explorer

Benefiting from over a decade of our team’s boots-on-the-ground experience, Global Explorer is where your international journey begins.
Italy Overview
  • Region
  • Capital City
  • Largest City
  • Currency
  • Languages
  • Population
    58.9 million (25th)
  • Life Expectancy
    82.6 years (22nd)
  • GDP (Nominal)
    $2 trillion (10th)
  • GDP/Capita
    $33,931 (37th)
Useful Data
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Cost of Living
    Moderate (4/7)
  • Climate
    Comfortable (2/5)
  • Safety
    Very Safe (2/7)
  • Pollution
    Average (3/5)
  • English Proficiency
    Moderate (3/5)

Sovereign Global Explorer

Benefiting from over a decade of our team’s boots-on-the-ground experience, Global Explorer is where your international journey begins.
Italy inside Sovereign Research resources

Articles featuring Italy

Italy Golden Visa Changes 2023
Second Residency

A look at Italy’s tax incentive for employed and self-employed people 2023

Southern Europe is home to great weather, a relaxed lifestyle, as well as a number of excellent tax incentives that should be on your radar in 2023. Today, we look at Italy’s tax incentives for employed and self-employed individuals… Why a move to Europe might make a lot of tax sense in 2023… Exceptionally high […]

Italy Golden Visa Changes 2023
Second Residency

Italy's Golden Visa: A closer look at the new and improved program

Looking at EU Golden Visas, but not keen on investing in real estate? Thanks to recent advantageous program changes, the Italian Golden Visa now offers a highly compelling alternative to RE based programs elsewhere on the continent. Let’s get into the details below… Italy: The Golden Visa country you’ve never heard of. Italy is one […]

Banking system

Italy’s newest bank bailout cost as much as its annual defense budget

Two more Italian banks failed over the weekend– Banco Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca. (In other news, the sky is blue.) The Italian Prime Minister himself stated that depositors’ funds were at risk, so the government stepped in with a bailout and guarantee package that could cost taxpayers as much as 17 billion euros. […]

Trends & News

Italy proves that banks are not the risk-free fantasy we’re told to believe

In the late 1400s, the city-states of Italy were among most dominant powers in the world. Most of the city-states had abandoned the feudal system that persisted across Europe. So Italy was one of the only places on the continent where anyone, including foreigners, could work hard, take risks, and become wealthy. People could start […]

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