Various different routes are available for finding a job in Italy: you can apply to the public employment service, use private employment agencies or set yourself up as a freelance and look for work on the internet. If you opt for the public service, you must set up an SPID (digital identity) and declare your willingness to use the public services available (guidance, active job search, specialist guidance and job placement for categories of workers with disabilities) by registering on the portal https://www.anpal.gov.it/ and choosing the Employment Centre closest to your home. The ANPAL portal also publishes job offers covering the whole of Italy, as well as news and information about the world of work and careers. In order to apply for jobs, you need to upload your CV.
The EURES service in operation at each employment centre (CPI) provides information on vacancies in the European Economic Area and guidance and advice on living and working conditions in different European countries.
If you want to look for a job by yourself, the best way is to establish direct contact with companies by sending your CV via the company website. This applies to people who want to find their first job and to people who want to change jobs. When looking for staff, medium-sized and large companies first consult their own databases containing the CVs of candidates who have applied online. Companies keep CVs sent in by potential candidates and human resources managers regularly consult them to select the profiles best suited to active job offers both in Italy and abroad.
Various tools are available to help you search for companies to which unsolicited applications can be sent, such as Pagine Gialle, Guida Monaci, Kompass, Chambers of Commerce websites as well as social media, primarily LinkedIn.
Specific newsletters and magazines and numerous newspapers (daily, weekly) are also potential sources of ideas and job adverts, both at regional and national level.
For those who are still abroad or are in Italy for the first time looking for a job, the services offered by the EURES network are often your first port of call for a better understanding of active job seeking arrangements in Italy.
All European Union citizens can get a job, whether self-employed or employed, without needing to obtain a work permit, with the sole exception of activities which are still reserved for Italian citizens, enjoying the principle of equal treatment with Italian nationals.
You can apply for a particular vacancy or send in a speculative application to businesses that might be interested in your profile.
In the former case, the application procedure is usually described in the text of the job advert, while for speculative applications, company websites usually have a ‘work for us’ section with instructions on how to send in an application online. Generally speaking, you should always have an updated CV tailored to the position for which you are applying, along with a cover letter / letter setting out your reasons for applying that should be sent via email or fax.
Your letter should personalise your application and describe your best points, objectives, and the reasons why you feel you are the best candidate for the job.
You can find countless websites dedicated to drawing up a CV on the internet, but if you wish to benefit from additional services, including updating your data or accessing a job vacancy database, you can visit the Europass website. After registering, fill in the European Europass template, which can be downloaded in various formats and updated when needed. CVs submitted to companies must contain an authorisation to process your personal data pursuant to Legislative Decree No 196/2003. Unless specifically requested, you do not need to include a photo, nor any evidence of qualifications or references and so on (originals or copies).
Presso i Centri per l’Impiego sono disponibili servizi di consulenza alla redazione del Curriculum vitae e della lettera di presentazione. Sul portale www.anpal.gov.it è possibile consultare una sezione dedicata che offre consigli, suggerimenti ed esempi pratici per una candidatura efficace.
For some local businesses, it may be a good idea to visit the company in person and leave your CV with the human resources or personnel manager.
Definition and eligibility
In Italy several definitions and typologies of traineeships are provided by law. While ‘curricular traineeships’ are part of formal education and training curricula, non-curricular traineeships are active policy measures aimed at enabling individuals to gain practical work experience in order to build their professional skills, improve their employability and enrich their curriculum. In addition, special categories of traineeship are established under national law to access specific professions.
Trainees do not sign an employment contract and cannot be considered to be employees.
In addition to curricular traineeships, whose activation and rules are the responsibility of education and training institutions, non-curricular traineeships fall under the competence of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces. The national guidelines, adopted in May 2017 under a state–region agreement, lay down common principles, adopted and implemented at regional level, and provide for three main traineeship categories:
- guidance and traineeships for new holders of a qualification/certificate/title, within 12 months of obtaining their qualification; maximum duration: 6 months
- Traineeships for integration or reintegration into the labour market, targeted at the unemployed (including those on mobility lists or accessing common social safety nets) and inactive people; maximum duration: 12 months
- Guidance/training, integration/reintegration traineeships for specific target groups (disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities or asylum seekers); maximum duration: 12 to 24 months
Traineeships in Italy involve at least three actors: the said national guidelines define which (public or private) entities can act as 1) ‘traineeship promoters’: employment services, universities, schools, training agencies and centres accredited by the regions, job-matching agencies, placement and guidance services); 2) the entities acting as ‘host organisations’: public or private bodies meeting legal requirements; 3) the trainee.
The traineeship is activated through a ‘cooperation agreement’ between the promoter and the host organisation.
Trainees must be insured against accidents at the workplace.
The activation of a non-curricular traineeship is tracked electronically by means of a mandatory notification (this is sent to all the competent control authorities, including the Ministry of Labour, the National Social Security Institute (INPS), etc.). The notice must be sent 24 hours prior to the start of the traineeship.
Both the promoter and the host organisation must designate a ‘mentor’ for the trainee.
As a rule, traineeships are open to all EEA citizens. However, there may be particular conditions related to specific regional regulations, education and training pathways or a specific status entailing certain requirements (such as unemployed or disadvantaged people).
The national guidelines, adopted in May 2017 under a state–region agreement, lay down the principles that regional governments must adopt in their regional legislation. They serve as a common national regulatory framework setting minimum quality standards for non-curricular traineeships.
These structures are fully consistent with the EU Quality Framework for Traineeships as they were approved during the preliminary work phases leading to the adoption of the EU framework. They include the imposition of a minimum remuneration threshold, in the form of an allowance, which varies within each region. The minimum amount is set at EUR 300.
Living and working conditions
Trainees must have accident and health insurance; in the individual training plan the employer must also specify the weekly working hours and the rights and duties of the parties. A suspension of the traineeship may be granted for health problems and maternity leave.
Remuneration and other allowances depend on regional legislation, without prejudice to the minimum standards defined in the national guidelines which, as mentioned above, correspond to at least EUR 300 per month.
Where to find opportunities
Traineeship opportunities and offers can be found on the following websites:
You can also find information and opportunities provided by the regional authorities as part of their employment market information system.
Funding and support
The regional websites contain useful information on funding for training and traineeships.
The following websites provide information at national level:
Where to advertise opportunities
Traineeship opportunities and offers can be advertised on:
In addition, regional websites provide information and opportunities – funded at regional level by the European Social Fund – on their labour market information systems.
Funding and support
Employers can contact the EURES advisors working in local employment services. The list can be found on the following websites:
Articles 41-47 of Chapter V of Legislative Decree No 81 of 15 June 2015 review the rules governing contracts and revise the legislation on apprenticeships, with the consequent repeal of Legislative Decree No 167/2011 —– Consolidated Text on Apprenticeships.
It provides for the option of recruiting unemployed persons as apprentices for the purposes of obtaining qualifications or retraining, regardless of their age at the time of recruitment.
Ministerial Decree of 12 October 2015 lays down training standards for apprenticeships and general criteria for the implementation of apprenticeship courses, which must be transposed by a decision taken by all the regions.
With effect from 1 January 2022, for the purposes of vocational qualification or retraining, workers in receipt of the special salary supplement provided for in Article 22ter of Legislative Decree No 148 of 14 September 2015, in addition to workers in receipt of mobility allowances or unemployment benefits (Article 47(4) of Legislative Decree No 81/2015, as amended by the 2022 Budget Law, Article 1(248) of Law No 234 of 30 December 2021), may also be recruited as vocational apprentices without any age limit.
Finally, in addition to the incentives for the recruitment of apprentices provided for in 2021 by Decree-Law No 137 of 28 October 2020 (the ‘Ristori Decree’, Article 15-bis(12) to (13)), with regard to first level apprenticeship contracts for a vocational qualification and diploma, the upper secondary education diploma and the certificate of higher technical specialisation, concluded in 2022, the 2022 Budget Law (Article 1(645)) granted employers who employ up to nine workers a 100% reduction (as regards the contribution due under Article 1(773)(5) of Law No 296 of 27 December 2006) for the first 3 years of the contract, without prejudice to a 10% quota for contribution periods completed in years following the 3rd year of the contract.
Decree-Law No 48 of 4 May 2023. Urgent measures for social inclusion and access to employment provides for private employers who hire the beneficiaries of the Inclusion Allowance with a full or part-time permanent employment contract, or also through an apprenticeship contract, the right, for a maximum period of 12 months, to exemption from the payment of 100% of the total social security contributions to be paid by employers and employees, with the exclusion of the premiums and contributions due to INAIL, up to a maximum amount of EUR 8 000 on an annual basis, apportioned and applied on a monthly basis. The computation rate for pension benefits remains unchanged.
Description of schemes
Apprenticeship is an open-ended employment contract designed to promote the training and employment of young people. Its main characteristic is the training content: in addition to paying a salary to the apprentice for the work done, the employer is obliged to provide the apprentice with the necessary training to acquire vocational skills appropriate to the role and tasks for which they were hired. The apprentice, in turn, is obliged to follow the training course.
There are three types of apprenticeship:
- apprenticeship for a vocational qualification and diploma, upper secondary education diploma and certificate of higher technical specialisation (first level apprenticeship)
- vocational apprenticeship (second level apprenticeship)
- higher training and research apprenticeship (third level apprenticeship)
The apprentice will then carry out part of the training at a school/training centre/university depending on the type of apprenticeship and part in the company and will have two mentors: a training mentor (within the school) and a company mentor (indicated by the company).
In the company, the apprentice will be able to acquire practical skills and technical/professional knowledge by working alongside experienced staff to acquire skills specific to the job in question. These will complement the theoretical skills acquired at a training centre, school or university, according to the type of apprenticeship.
For the rest of the time, the apprentice will work as a normal worker.
Apprentices may be paid less than other workers performing the same tasks. An apprentice’s grade may be up to two levels lower than the category occupied under the national collective labour agreement by workers performing tasks or duties requiring qualifications corresponding to the qualifications that the contract is intended to help the apprentice achieve. Alternatively, the apprentice’s salary can be set as a percentage and scaled according to length of service. Remuneration cannot be piecework or incentive-based. The apprentice enjoys special contribution allowances in addition to the specific remuneration system.
The apprentice must sign a written contract, including an individual training plan.
Apprenticeships can take up to 3 years (5 years in the crafts sector) to be completed, depending on the type of apprenticeship, industry and regional legislation.
The salary is determined on the basis of collective bargaining agreements.
The minimum duration of the apprenticeship is 6 months: the maximum duration of the contractual training period is equal to the duration of the course of study.
The main features of the apprenticeship system are defined in national law. The regions are responsible for regulating apprenticeships, especially as to their training aspects. The general rules governing recourse to apprenticeship contracts are established by the social partners through collective bargaining.
Detailed description of the three types of apprenticeship
First level apprenticeship – Apprenticeships for vocational qualification and diploma, upper secondary education diploma and certificate of higher technical specialisation
For young people aged 15 to 25 without a vocational qualification or diploma or without age limit in some cases (see later)
This is an employment contract that allows the apprentice to obtain a vocational qualification or diploma by alternating between work and study. The duration, which is determined on the basis of the qualification or diploma to be obtained, may not exceed 3 years, or 4 years in the case of a 4-year regional diploma.
It also allows the apprentice to complete their compulsory schooling
The salary ranges from EUR 2 000 per year for minors to EUR 3 000 for adults.
Second level apprenticeship – vocational apprenticeship
The purpose of this apprenticeship is to learn a trade or obtain a vocational qualification for contractual purposes.
For young people aged 18-29 who hold a vocational qualification, the minimum age is reduced to 17 years (Legislative Decree No 226/2005).
This is an employment contract for the purpose of obtaining a vocational qualification, in all private or public business sectors, for contractual purposes through cross-cutting and vocational training. Normally, the duration of the contract may not exceed 3 years or 5 years in the case of crafts.
The remuneration received is approximately 60% of the remuneration paid for the post the apprentice was appointed to fill. The salary will rise to 100% as the years pass following recruitment.
The region determines the training in basic and cross-cutting skills and the total number of hours is set on the basis of the initial education level, as follows:
- 40 hours for apprentices with a degree or equivalent;
- 80 hours for apprentices with upper secondary school diploma or vocational education and training qualification or diploma;
- 120 hours for apprentices without qualifications.
With effect from 1 January 2022, for the purposes of vocational qualification or retraining, workers in receipt of the special salary supplement provided for in Article 22ter of Legislative Decree No 148 of 14 September 2015, in addition to workers in receipt of mobility allowances or unemployment benefits (Article 47(4) of Legislative Decree No 81/2015, as amended by the 2022 Budget Law, Article 1(248) of Law No 234 of 30 December 2021), may also be recruited as vocational apprentices without any age limit.
Third level apprenticeship – higher education, higher training and research apprenticeship leading to higher education and higher education qualifications
For young people aged 18-29
This employment contract allows different levels of educational qualifications to be attained:
- Diploma in Higher Technical Education (ITS)
- 3-year and master’s degrees
- Level I and II master’s degrees
- higher fine arts, music and dance (AFAM) courses
- Research activities
- Access to professions regulated by specific sets of rules (internships)
A research project can also be carried out on an issue of interest to the employer.
At the end of the contract, one or both parties may decide to halt the career pathway in accordance with the arrangements laid down in the national collective labour agreement. If no one decides to terminate the contract, the working relationship will continue for an indefinite period.
Maximum contractual duration depending on the course of study undertaken
Higher Technical Diploma 36 months
3-year degree 36 months
Master’s degree 24 months
Single-cycle master’s degree 48 months
Level I master’s degree 12 months
Level II master’s degree 24 months
Research PhD 48 months
Research activities 36 months (+ 12 months’ extension in the event of special needs related to the project)
The duration of the internship depends on the time required to obtain an internship completion certificate in order to be eligible for the State examination.
Teaching must be planned jointly between the employer and the training institution in such a way as to enable the apprentice to achieve the learning outcomes relating to the qualification to be achieved.
For external training, the apprentice must attend the training facility for a portion of the number of hours of the course on which they are enrolled up to a maximum percentage defined by law in accordance with the parameters set out in the following table:
higher technical institute (ITS) pathways, up to 60% of regular training (equivalent to 1 080 hours / 1 620 hours)
bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, PhDs, higher fine arts, music and dance (AFAM) courses, up to 60% of the number of hours spent on the face-to-face classes required to gain the training credits for each university course
external training practical internships are not compulsory
external training is not compulsory in apprenticeships for research activity
the employer is exempt from any obligation to pay for the hours of training undertaken by the apprentice at the training institution. This means that hours spent on external training are not counted in the payroll calculation.
For in-house training, i.e. in the workplace, the apprentice must attend a number of hours equal to the difference between the statutory number of hours included in the training course and the hours of external training.
For apprenticeships giving access to the regular professions (internships) and apprenticeships for research activity, in-house training may not be less than 20% of the annual number of hours agreed in the contract.
The apprentice will be paid 10% of the minimum hourly wage for training hours carried out directly in the company and thus paid by the employer.
To ensure the course meets an appropriate quality level, the company must meet certain requirements demonstrating its training capacity in order to be able to enter into a third level apprenticeship contract. These requirements are:
structural: space must be available to enable in-house training and, in the case of students with disabilities, the overcoming or removal of architectural barriers;
technical: appropriate teaching tools must be available for conducting in-house training;
training-related: one or more company mentors must be available to support the student throughout the apprenticeship period.
In third level apprenticeship courses, the training mentor, identified by the training institution, and the company mentor, identified by the company, play crucial roles in jointly supporting students on their learning path, checking that it is properly implemented and working together to ensure the necessary teaching and organisational liaison.
- the training mentor assists the apprentice in the relationship with the training institution, monitors the progress of the course and intervenes in the initial, intermediate and final evaluation of the apprenticeship period;
- the company mentor facilitates the apprentice's integration into the working environment, supports and assists the apprentice during their in-house training, passes on the skills needed to carry out work activities and provides the training institution with the information needed to assess the activities carried out in the company and the effectiveness of its training process.
Assessment and certification of competences
The training institution, which may ask the employer to carry out in-house training, will assess the learning acquired by the student for the purposes of examination admission and the award of qualifications.
The procedures for assessing learning and certifying skills are carried out in accordance with sets of rules relating to the various study programmes (ITS, universities, AFAM, etc.).
If the training course is discontinued or the contract is terminated early, apprentices must be given an assurance that they can return to their normal training course with the support of their training mentor.
In the event of a break in the training course, starting from a minimum work period of 3 months, apprentices are entitled to obtain validation of their acquired skills, issued by the training institution.
In order to qualify for final evaluation and certification, the apprentice must have attended at least three quarters of in-house and external training by the end of the course. Where provided for in the various sets of rules, this attendance is also a minimum requirement that must be met by the end of each year in order to be admitted to the following year.
RECAP: how to activate an apprenticeship contract in 10 steps
The company identifies a job to be performed by a young person in an apprenticeship (level I, II, III)
By agreement with a training institution (school, vocational training centre (CFP), university, ITS), the company identifies a training course leading to a qualification/vocational qualification and recruits a young apprentice (level I, III)
However, if the young person is already studying, the training course is converted to an apprenticeship, taking into account the training already carried out prior to the contract. (Level I, III)
The training institution and the company jointly decide how best to perform the contract in a way that fits in with the company organisation and allows the young person to obtain a qualification (level I, III).
The company and the training institution sign a ‘protocol’ and draw up an ‘Individual Training Plan’ – PFI (level I, III) together with the young person.
The PFI sets out the essential elements of the apprenticeship pathway (level I, II and III): a. Appointment of company and training mentors b. Definition of the content of training c. Definition of the number of hours of in-house and external training at the training institution.
The company recruits the young person by drawing up a contract for the duration of the relevant course of study, and sends the mandatory notification via the specific information system.
The apprentice starts to work. They carry out the training as provided for in the PFI: the ‘in-house’ component of the company can be performed directly on the job (level I, II and III).
At the end of the contract, the company and the training institution complete an ‘individual dossier’ containing the apprentice’s general documents, documentation relating to the interim and final learning evaluation and certificates obtained (level I, III).
After completing the required number of hours or gaining the required number of university training credits (CFU), the apprentice takes part in the first available examination session to obtain the relevant qualification (level I, III)
Since they are employment contracts, apprenticeships are open to all EEA nationals. However, the schemes for secondary and tertiary education may have specific access rules.
Funding eligibility criteria for training are defined and made available to young Italian nationals within their education and training paths, and to unemployed persons registered with a public employment service, in accordance with national legislation.
Living and working conditions
Since apprentices are employees, they are entitled to insurance benefits for injuries and accidents at the workplace, occupational diseases and health at work, disability and maternity. Since 2013, they have also been covered by social security insurance.
Apprentices are entitled to paid annual leave in accordance with their employment contract, in addition to public holidays.
The salaries of apprentices depend on their sector of employment, since they vary according to the collective bargaining agreement and the year in which they are hired. As regards apprenticeships linked to the education and training system (first and third scheme), the salary is proportionate to the time effectively spent on the job. As a result, external training activities are not remunerated and in-house training hours are remunerated at a minimum flat percentage (under Legislative Decree No 81/2015, 10% for the first and second type of apprenticeship).
Where to find opportunities
There are no specific sites where you can search for apprenticeship opportunities in Italy. Please refer to the links in the other sections.
Funding and support
Useful information can be found on regional websites, including information on the funding of training activities.
In addition, there are national funding schemes to promote apprenticeships as an active labour market policy measure for youth employment:
Where to advertise opportunities
in addition, information and opportunities can be found on the regional websites, which provide information on labour market opportunities, including those with ESF funding.
Funding and support
At national level, incentives are available to support training activities by the Regions and Autonomous Provinces. In addition, specific funding schemes are provided for youth employability initiatives.
A company hiring an apprentice benefits from a number of tax breaks. Firstly, the costs of training the resource are reduced. An apprentice can be paid a salary equivalent to two pay grades lower than the salary they would have received as an actual worker doing the same job. In addition, a tax reduction of 50% is granted if a worker is employed under a vocational training contract. Employers can also participate in schemes such as the Youth Guarantee scheme, which often provide for additional benefits.
The main benefits for companies hiring under an apprenticeship contract are (Legislative Decree No 81/2015, Articles 42 and 47):
- in terms of pay, the worker’s pay grade can be up to two levels lower than that applicable under the relevant national collective agreement or the apprentice’s remuneration can be set as a percentage proportionate to the length of service;
- in terms of contributions, the possibility of receiving preferential treatment until the year after the date when the apprenticeship turns into an ordinary employment relationship;
- the apprentice does not count towards the numerical limits taken into account by law and collective agreements for the application of specific regulations or institutions.
In addition, for first level apprenticeship contracts for a vocational qualification and diploma, upper secondary education diploma and higher technical specialisation certificate, concluded in 2022, employers who employ up to nine employees are granted a 100% reduction in the contribution for periods completed in the first 3 years of the contract (Article 1(645), 2022 Budget Law).
The free movement of goods is one of the cornerstones of the European Single Market.
The removal of national barriers to the free movement of goods within the EU is one of the principles enshrined in the EU Treaties. From a traditionally protectionist starting point, the countries of the EU have continuously been lifting restrictions to form a ‘common’ or single market. This commitment to create a European trading area without frontiers has led to the creation of more wealth and new jobs, and has globally established the EU as a world trading player alongside the United States and Japan.
Despite Europe’s commitment to breaking down all internal trade barriers, not all sectors of the economy have been harmonised. The European Union decided to regulate at a European level sectors which might impose a higher risk for Europe’s citizens – such as pharmaceuticals or construction products. The majority of products (considered a ‘lower risk’) are subject to the application of the so-called principle of mutual recognition, which means that essentially every product legally manufactured or marketed in one of the Member States can be freely moved and traded within the EU internal market.
Limits to the free movement of goods
The EU Treaty gives Member States the right to set limits to the free movement of goods when there is a specific common interest such as protection of the environment, citizens’ health, or public policy, to name a few. This means for example that if the import of a product is seen by a Member State’s national authorities as a potential threat to public health, public morality or public policy, it can deny or restrict access to its market. Examples of such products are genetically modified food or certain energy drinks.
Even though there are generally no limitations for the purchase of goods in another Member State, as long as they are for personal use, there is a series of European restrictions for specific categories of products, such as alcohol and tobacco.
Free movement of capital
Another essential condition for the functioning of the internal market is the free movement of capital. It is one of the four basic freedoms guaranteed by EU legislation and represents the basis of the integration of European financial markets. Europeans can now manage and invest their money in any EU Member State.
The liberalisation of capital markets has marked a crucial point in the process of economic and monetary integration in the EU. It was the first step towards the establishment of our European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the common currency, the Euro.
The principle of the free movement of capital not only increases the efficiency of financial markets within the Union, it also brings a series of advantages to EU citizens. Individuals can carry out a broad number of financial operations within the EU without major restrictions. For instance, individuals with few restrictions can
- easily open a bank account,
- buy shares
- invest, or
- purchase real estate
in another Member State. EU Companies can invest in, own and manage other European enterprises.
Certain exceptions to this principle apply both within the Member States and with third countries. They are mainly related to taxation, prudential supervision, public policy considerations, money laundering and financial sanctions agreed under the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The European Commission is continuing to work on the completion of the free market for financial services, by implementing new strategies for financial integration in order to make it even easier for citizens and companies to manage their money within the EU.
The property market and prices of rental accommodation in Italy vary greatly depending on the location. There can be price differences between regions, towns and neighbourhoods. Prices are higher in tourist areas, historic city centres and areas well served by main urban or interurban transport links (metro, tram, bus, etc.).
In tourist areas, prices differ significantly between the high and the low season, except for cultural heritage cities that attract high tourist flows throughout the year. You can currently find information on houses to rent or for sale mainly from the internet, the classified sections of local newspapers, posters near the accommodation, notice boards in gathering points (universities, stations, etc.) or estate agents.
Free-market rents can be extremely high and you will often need to search outside town and city centres to find reasonable prices. Flat-sharing is a very common way of reducing the costs of rent and bills, particularly among young people. As the legally determined fair rent no longer exists, the best option to save money is an ‘agreed rent tenancy’ (‘canone concordato’). This is a rental agreement at a controlled price that benefits both the tenant and the owner, due to the associated tax benefits. Long-term rental agreements are renewed every 4 years.
You can also rent an apartment at a price freely agreed with the owner. Agreements must always be made in writing and registered with the Public Revenue Agency. In any case, the Public Revenue Agency must be notified of the rental agreement using the new RLI form.
When buying a property, you must consult a notary public to ascertain the terms and conditions of sale, and to draw up the deed of sale. As soon as you have signed your rental agreement or deed of sale, you should contact all the utility companies supplying electricity, gas and water. Notify the relevant public records office of your domicile or residence as soon as possible.
‘Scuola in chiaro’ is an online service of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research designed to help with choosing a school and educational path. The service provides information on all Italian schools, of all types and levels, both public and private with equal status (kindergartens, primary schools, lower and upper secondary schools, vocational training centres and provincial centres for adult education).
Starting from the search page and using three different search criteria, you can find schools, read individual fact sheets and make a comparison using certain parameters. The Ministry updates the data and indicators concerning each school, using both the information present in the information system and that obtained by means of specific surveys.
For those searching for universities, academies or music conservatories, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research has created ‘UniversItaly’, a portal providing guidance to students in choosing their post-school education.
Nursery schools for children aged 0 to 36 months are currently run by municipalities or private operators. To use their services, you should therefore contact the individual municipal administration or the private nursery school in your area directly (find them in the Paginebianche and/or Paginegialle directories).
Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
Scuola in chiaro
Paginebianche (phone book)
Paginegialle (yellow pages)
The implementation of the principle of free movement of people, is one of the cornerstones of our European construction, has meant the introduction a series of practical rules to ensure that citizens can travel freely and easily to any Member State of the European Union. Travelling across the EU with one’s car has become a lot less problematic. The European Commission has set a series of common regulations governing the mutual recognition of driving licences, the validity of car insurance, and the possibility of registering your car in a host country.
Your driving licence in the EU
The EU has introduced a harmonised licence model and further minimum requirements for obtaining a licence. This should help to keep unsafe drivers off Europe's roads - wherever they take their driving test.
Since 19 January 2013, all driving licences issued by EU countries have the same look and feel. The licences are printed on a piece of plastic that has the size and shape of a credit card.
Harmonised administrative validity periods for the driving licence document have been introduced which are between 10 and 15 years for motorcycles and passenger cars. This enables the authorities to regularly update the driving licence document with new security features that will make it harder to forge or tamper - so unqualified or banned drivers will find it harder to fool the authorities, in their own country or elsewhere in the EU.
The new European driving licence is also protecting vulnerable road users by introducing progressive access for motorbikes and other powered two-wheelers. The "progressive access" system means that riders will need experience with a less powerful bike before they go on to bigger machines. Mopeds will also constitute a separate category called AM.
You must apply for a licence in the country where you usually or regularly live. As a general rule, it is the country where you live for at least 185 days each calendar year because of personal or work-related ties.
If you have personal/work-related ties in 2 or more EU countries, your place of usual residence is the place where you have personal ties, as long as you go back regularly. You don't need to meet this last condition if you are living in an EU country to carry out a task for a fixed period of time.
If you move to another EU country to go to college or university, your place of usual residence doesn't change. However, you can apply for a driving licence in your host country if you can prove you have been studying there for at least 6 months.
Registering your car in the host country
If you move permanently to another EU country and take your car with you, you should register your car and pay car-related taxes in your new country.
There are no common EU rules on vehicle registration and related taxes. Some countries have tax-exemption rules for vehicle registration when moving with the car from one country to another permanently.
To benefit from a tax exemption, you must check the applicable deadlines and conditions in the country you wish to move to.
Check the exact rules and deadlines with the national authorities: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/registration-abroad/index_en.htm
EU citizens can insure their car in any EU country, as long as the chosen insurance company is licensed by the host national authority to issue the relevant insurance policies. A company based in another Member State is entitled sell a policy for compulsory civil liability only if certain conditions are met. Insurance will be valid throughout the Union, no matter where the accident takes place.
Value Added Tax or VAT on motor vehicles is ordinarily paid in the country where the car is purchased, although under certain conditions, VAT is paid in the country of destination.
More information on the rules which apply when a vehicle is acquired in one EU Member State and is intended to be registered in another EU Member State is available on this link https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/taxes-abroad/index_en.htm.
All European Union citizens have the right to enter and reside freely in Italy or in another Member State other than that of which they are nationals, under different arrangements depending on whether the period of residence is shorter or longer than 3 months.
Stays of less than 3 months
Union citizens have the right of residence in Italy for a period not exceeding 3 months without being subject to any conditions or formalities other than holding a valid ID for travelling abroad.
Non-EU family members of a Union citizen can also enter and stay in Italy without being subject to any formalities provided they hold a valid passport and, where required, an entry visa, unless they already hold a valid ‘residence card of a family member of a Union citizen’.
Both EU citizens and their non-EU family members can declare their presence in Italy.
Stays of more than 3 months
EU citizens have the right to stay in Italy for over 3 months, if they:
- are employed or self-employed in Italy;
- have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during their period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover or equivalent in the country;
- are enrolled at a recognised public or private institution to study or receive vocational training and have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during their period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover in the country;
- are family members accompanying or joining a Union citizen with the right to reside for over 3 months.
‘Declaration of presence’ for European Union citizens.
EU citizens or their family members can, based on the duration of their stay, declare their presence in Italy at a Police station.
Registering with the public records office
EU Citizens who intend to reside in Italy for more than 3 months must apply for registration at the public records office of the municipality in which they have decided to live.
Seasonal work and agriculture
Entry into Italy for seasonal work is subject to entry quotas laid down in what are known as ‘flow decrees’ issued periodically by the Prime Minister on the basis of the criteria set out in the three-year migration policy planning document.
These procedures have been managed online for several years now and can be completed directly from the user’s computer or with the help of the many authorised entities and workers’ assistance organisations (‘patronati’).
Users can access the website via internet connection and complete and submit the applications online.
Right to permanent residence
Any EU citizen who has legally resided in Italy for a continuous period of 5 years acquires the right to permanent residence.
The application for the issue of the permanent residence card can be submitted directly to the ‘Questore’ (Chief of Police) of the place of residence. Alternatively, the application can be submitted through the post offices using the appropriate form, to be filled in by the interested party. Applicants can request the assistance of municipalities or ‘patronati’ in filling in the form before sending it through the post offices.
Before leaving for Italy, ensure you have:
- obtained a valid identity document or passport, issued by the authorities in your country of origin, and a European Health Insurance Card;
- contacted the relevant social security institute/employment services to carry out the required formalities for any transferable social security entitlements and benefits/allowances;
- contacted the relevant tax authorities;
- informed the municipal or police authorities of your departure.
On arrival, EU citizens can, according to the duration of their stay, declare their presence in Italy at a State Police station by making a declaration of presence.
If you intend to reside for more than 3 months in Italy for work (as an employee or self-employed), study or elective stay, you must apply for registration at the public records office of the municipality in which you have decided to live.
If you intend to work or access social benefits, you must register and apply for a tax identification number at the office of the Public Revenue Agency nearest to where you live, and register with the local health authorities to choose your general practitioner and register with the national health service.
To open a current account with an Italian bank, you need a tax identification number and an identity document. After you submit the documents, the contract is signed and your signature is deposited. The bank account will be opened only after all the contractual documentation has been signed.
You can request a telephone and/or internet connection from the phone operators on the market.
To obtain a mobile phone number, simply go to a mobile phone shop or any centre specialising in telephone services (including online) and show an identity document and your tax identification number.
Quality of work and employment - a vital issue, with a strong economic and humanitarian impact
Good working conditions are important for the well-being of European workers. They
- contribute to the physical and psychological welfare of Europeans, and
- contribute to the economic performance of the EU.
From a humanitarian point of view, the quality of working environment has a strong influence on the overall work and life satisfaction of European workers.
From an economic point of view, high-quality job conditions are a driving force of economic growth and a foundation for the competitive position of the European Union. A high level of work satisfaction is an important factor for achieving high productivity of the EU economy.
It is therefore a core issue for the European Union to promote the creation and maintenance of a sustainable and pleasant working environment – one that promotes health and well-being of European employees and creates a good balance between work and non-work time.
Improving working conditions in Europe: an important objective for the European Union.
Ensuring favourable working conditions for European citizens is a priority for the EU. The European Union is therefore working together with national governments to ensure a pleasant and secure workplace environment. Support to Member States is provided through:
- the exchange of experience between different countries and common actions
- the establishment of the minimum requirements on working conditions and health and safety at work, to be applied all over the European Union
Criteria for quality of work and employment
In order to achieve sustainable working conditions, it is important to determine the main characteristics of a favourable working environment and thus the criteria for the quality of working conditions.
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in Dublin, is an EU agency that provides information, advice and expertise on, as the name implies, living and working conditions. This agency has established several criteria for job and employment quality, which include:
- health and well-being at the workplace – this is a vital criteria, since good working conditions suppose the prevention of health problems at the work place, decreasing the exposure to risk and improving work organisation
- reconciliation of working and non-working life – citizens should be given the chance to find a balance between the time spent at work and at leisure
- skills development – a quality job is one that gives possibilities for training, improvement and career opportunities
The work of Eurofound contributes to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.
Health and safety at work
The European Commission has undertaken a wide scope of activities to promote a healthy working environment in the EU Member States. Amongst others, it developed a Community Strategy for Health and Safety at Work for the period 2021-2027. This strategy was set up with the help of national authorities, social partners and NGOs. It addresses the changing needs in worker’s protection brought by the digital and green transitions, new forms of work and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the framework will continue to address traditional occupational safety and health risks, such as risks of accidents at work or exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The Community policy on health and safety at work aims at a long-lasting improvement of well-being of EU workers. It takes into account the physical, moral and social dimensions of working conditions, as well as the new challenges brought up by the enlargement of the European Union towards countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The introduction of EU standards for health and safety at the workplace, has contributed a lot to the improvement of the situation of workers in these countries.
Improving working conditions by setting minimum requirements common to all EU countries
Improving living and working conditions in the EU Member States depends largely on the establishment of common labour standards. EU labour laws and regulations have set the minimum requirements for a sustainable working environment and are now applied in all Member States. The improvement of these standards has strengthened workers’ rights and is one of the main achievements of the EU’s social policy.
The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers
The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will not become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.
Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU
As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.
For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.
Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe
The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.
Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU
Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.
In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.
The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.
A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.
The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.
Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents
- a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
- a cover letter editor,
- certificate supplements,
- diploma supplements, and
- a Europass-Mobility document.
The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.
The minimum age at which a person may work is 16, with the further requirement of having completed at least 10 years of compulsory education. Minors who have already turned 15 but are not yet 16 can access training apprenticeships for vocational qualifications.
The main types of work contracts are:
- Permanent and fixed-term employment contracts with obligatory set working hours, workplace and duties. The fixed-term employment contract may not exceed 12 months, or 24 months if there are temporary and objective needs unrelated to ordinary activities, needs to replace other workers or needs related to temporary, significant and unforeseeable increases in ordinary activities, unless the collective agreements provide otherwise; the 2023 Employment Decree covers other eventualities: it can be extended (always within the 24-month limit), for conditions provided for by collective agreements, or for technical, organisational and production reasons identified by the contracting parties in the individual contract (but only until 31 December 2024) and due to replacement of an employee.
Employment contracts include:
- apprenticeships (for young people up to the age of 29 and individuals of all ages receiving unemployment benefits) with a strong training element;
- the agency employment contract, where the worker is legally employed by an employment agency but works for a user enterprise;
- the on-call (or intermittent) contract, under which the employer may use the worker’s services when they are needed, for a total period not exceeding 400 days of actual work over a 3-year period (with the exception of the tourism, public services and entertainment sectors);
- Freelance employment contracts for professionals, consultants and professional activities, including manual trades, with full autonomy concerning working hours and methods.
- Occasional services for infrequent work of limited amount: each worker can work in this mode for no more than EUR 5 000 net in the calendar year and no more than EUR 2 500 net with each user. The maximum limit for these services cannot, in any case, exceed 280 hours per year. Occasional services are applicable only by micro-enterprises (enterprises with no more than five employees) and by public authorities only for special projects reserved for certain categories.
Domestic work is where the employer is a single natural person or family at whose home the work is carried out, to assist in the family’s day-to-day functioning.
The main professions covered by this type of contract are domestic workers, carers and housekeepers or home help (housekeepers may have a live-in arrangement, which includes salary, board and lodging).
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Collective National Labour Contracts (CCNL)
An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and a worker on the basis of which the worker performs work in return for remuneration from the employer.
In Italy, the system of direct recruitment applies for any type of employment relationship for all workers in the private sector.
Before (no later than the day before) hiring a new worker, the employer must send a mandatory online notice (CO) to the job centre in whose catchment area the workplace is located. This notice is also sent to the inspection offices of the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy, the National Social Welfare Institution (INPS), and the Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL). Unilav is not provided for in the case of self-employment, but is provided for in the case of extra-curricular traineeships (although this is not an employment contract but a training contract)
The employer must also provide each newly-hired worker with a copy of the above-mentioned notice or of their employment contract, including information on pay and legal conditions. An employment contract can be amended by collective bargaining agreements or by the employer and employee only in the cases specified by law.
The employer must provide sound reasons if the place of employment is moved to more than 50 km away.
The essential elements of an employment contract are:
- the agreement of the parties to the content of the contract (start date, working time, contractual conditions, duration of trial period if applicable, terms of notice in case of termination, basic salary, place of work, identities of the parties to the contract);
- the grounds: these must comply with the law and must define the exchange of work for payment;
- duties: the work to be performed, which must be consistent with the contractual reference category;
- form: it must be in writing;
- the duration (specifying the end of contract in the event of the contract expiring).
The 2023 Employment Decree simplified certain information obligations to be set out in the contract, regarding guidelines provided for in collective labour agreements.
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
ANPAL DIRECTORY INCENTIVES
People with disabilities: services for integrating disabled persons into the workplace are managed by the regions through job centres and operate in conjunction with regional and local social, health, education and training services. Unemployed disabled persons may register on the relevant lists held by the competent authorities. Civil service and private employers are obliged to employ a minimum number of disabled workers, depending on the size of the organisation.
Under 18s. The minimum working age is the age at which a minor completes their compulsory education (10 years), and in any event it cannot be less than 16 years of age (except for level I apprenticeship contracts which apply to 15- to 25-year-olds). It is illegal to employ minors in dangerous or harmful jobs. Before minors start work, they must have a medical check-up to establish their fitness for the job. Minors may not be employed for night work, apart from some limited exceptions laid down by law. Minors cannot work for more than 4.5 hours without a break. Minors must be guaranteed a weekly rest period of at least 2 days, preferably consecutive, including Sunday.
Women. Protection of working mothers. The employment of women during the 2 months preceding and 3 months following childbirth is prohibited; the full leave period amounts to 5 months (this is maternity leave, which is a period of obligatory leave from work). If complications occur in the pregnancy or when the working conditions are considered hazardous to the mother or unborn child, an application may be made to the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy’s inspection service to take early leave for one or more periods, of a length to be determined by the inspectors. Female workers performing heavy-duty jobs that are detrimental to pregnancy, included on a special list, must be transferred to other duties by law. Where this is not possible, the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy’s inspection service may decide to grant them leave from work throughout their pregnancy. Workers may also opt to take leave during the 1 month preceding and 4 months following childbirth if this choice does not cause any harm to the health of the mother and child.
The law also provides for a period of optional work leave (parental leave) that may be taken until the child is 12 years of age, up to a total amount of 10 months.
Night work by women. From the moment a woman has confirmed that she is pregnant and until the child reaches 1 year of age, she may not be employed between the hours of midnight and 06:00. There are no exceptions to this rule. The following are also excused from night work: a working mother with a child under the age of 3 or, alternatively, a working father cohabiting with her; a female or male worker who is the sole custodial parent of a child under 12 years of age living in the same household; an adoptive mother or mother with custody of a minor during the first 3 years following adoption, but not after the child is 12, or alternatively, and under the same conditions, an adoptive father or father with custody cohabiting with her; a female or male worker who has a disabled dependant.
- National Directory of Incentives
ANPAL publishes the ‘National Directory of Employers’ Incentives’ in relation to the recruitment of specific categories of workers.
The directory ensures transparency and coordination of incentives and is provided for in Article 30 of Legislative Decree No 150/2015.
The 2023 Employment Decree provided for the streamlining and simplification of incentives. It reduced times and costs for related applications, with digitization of procedures through the online platform incentivi.gov.it.
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
ANPAL DIRECTORY INCENTIVES
The forms of self-employment are as follows:
- entrepreneurial activities
- liberal professions
- professional partnerships
Information on support schemes for start-ups and self-employment, and for expanding existing activities, is available from the public job centres. Funding is managed and granted by the regions or by the relevant public authorities, and may be allocated by way of European, national or regional funds.
In general terms, funding may include subsidised loans or non-repayable grants, always on the basis of a business plan.
The main websites for information are those of the regional and national authorities.
Article 36 of the Italian Constitution states that workers are entitled to remuneration commensurate with the quantity and quality of their work and in all cases to an adequate remuneration ensuring them and their families a free and dignified existence. The law does not set a minimum wage guaranteed to all workers; it is common practice for the purpose of establishing a minimum wage to refer to the national collective agreements (CCNL), which also cover workers who are not affiliated to trade unions.
The sum of all the items in the payslip makes up gross pay, from which social security contributions and withholding taxes are deducted.
Social security contributions are required by law and are calculated as a percentage of basic pay: one part is paid by the employer and one part by the worker. Remuneration comprises everything the worker receives in cash or in kind, minus any deductions. However, some items are excluded from remuneration and are not subject to contributions, for example: family allowances, sums spent on study grants, nursery schools and summer camps for employees’ families. The contributions must be paid each month and declared by the employer to INPS.
Once the contributions have been deducted from gross pay, the result is the taxable base, from which taxes are deducted. What is left at the end is net pay.
Remuneration comprises fixed and variable parts.
Fixed payments include:
- Basic pay or minimum pay constituting the remuneration for a particular job. Each occupation is assigned a job grade with its own minimum pay rate.
- Cost-of-living allowance, which is a mechanism for adjusting pay automatically in line with inflation.
- E.D.R. wage supplement (‘elemento distinto della retribuzione’)
- Seniority increase, which is the part of the worker’s pay linked to length of service at the firm within the same professional category.
- Supplement to minimum pay (‘superminimo’), which is negotiated at individual or company level, according to the worker’s professional skills.
- Additional monthly payments (thirteenth and/or fourteenth month, based on the provisions of collective agreements) generally covering periods longer than the normal period of pay.
Variable payslip elements include:
- Pay increases for overtime, night work and work on public holidays.
- Statutory allowances, such as payment in lieu of holidays
- Contractual allowances, such as productivity/performance bonuses and lunch allowances, being on-call, working unsociable hours, travel and cash allowances.
Payment of remuneration must be accompanied by a payslip (or salary statement). The salary statement must include the worker’s details and professional grade, the period to which the wage refers, the family allowances and all other elements of remuneration, as well as an itemised list of deductions. The employer arranges to pay the net salary by cheque or directly into a bank or post office account or in cash (for amounts of less than EUR 3 000).
CNEL (National Council for Economic Affairs and Labour)
Working time is generally 40 hours per week, not necessarily calculated on the basis of a set working week but for each 7-day period. In both public and private employment, during the COVID-19 health emergency, whenever possible, arrangements for remote working should be made (teleworking or smart working, the latter having more flexible arrangements compared to teleworking). Following the health emergency, more flexible ways of working were introduced in the public and private sectors.
Collective agreements may stipulate a normal working week of less than 40 hours. There is no fixed daily limit on working hours nor is there a narrow definition of the working week; a ‘working week’ is, in fact, any period of 7 days, which means an employer can select any day as the start of a reference week.
Whether or not a contract has been signed, the number of hours worked per week may not exceed 48 hours, including overtime.
The 48-hour limit is calculated over a 7-day period within a time period of no more than 4 months. This allows the 48-hour limit to be respected by means of a compensation mechanism: the limit may be exceeded in a working week provided the reference period includes working weeks of under 48 hours.
Workers are entitled to a rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours every 7 days. The calculation of the 24 hours also includes the daily rest period (which must be at least 11 hours). The weekly rest period may also fall on a day other than Sunday and may even be arranged by means of shifts in special cases.
Workers are entitled to annual paid leave of at least 4 weeks. This minimum amount of leave cannot be replaced by ‘compensation for leave not taken’, unless an employment relationship is being terminated.
Working hours may also be part-time (less than 40 hours a week). The employment contract must state in writing the number of hours and the scheduling of the working hours in terms of days, weeks, months and years.
Overtime (hours in addition to the agreed working hours) is possible and can be carried out on the basis of the procedures provided for in the collective agreement and within the limits of normal working hours. An employer may require a worker to work overtime, but this must not exceed 25% of the agreed weekly hours. Overtime is paid at a rate that is 15% more than actual full hourly pay.
Night work must be stipulated in the individual contract, and is governed by the collective agreement.
Night work means a period of at least 7 consecutive hours that includes the time between midnight and 05:00 a.m.
Smart working is a method of implementing the employment relationship characterised by the absence of time or spatial constraints and a form of organisation by stages, cycles and goals, established by agreement between the employee and the employer; this method helps the worker to reconcile their living and working hours while making them more productive.
The definition of smart working set out inLaw No 81/2017 emphasises organisational flexibility, the voluntary nature of the undertaking by the parties to the individual agreement, and the use of tools to enable remote work (such as laptops, tablets and smartphones).
Smart workers are guaranteed the same treatment – financial and regulatory – as their colleagues who perform the work in the normal way. They are therefore protected in the event of occupational accidents and diseases, in accordance with the procedures set out by the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) in Circular No 48/2017.
From 15 November 2017, companies that have signed individual smart working agreements can submit them via a dedicated IT platform provided on the service portal of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
When submitting the individual agreement, details of the employer, the worker and the type of smart work (fixed or open-ended) and its duration must be stated. It will also be possible to amend data already entered in the system or to cancel the submission.
Companies that sign up to a large number of individual agreements will be able to issue bulk communications.
Lastly, we would like to inform you that on 7 December 2021 the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy reached agreement with the social partners on the first ‘National Protocol on smart work’ in the private sector.
Holidays and leave
Employees are entitled to a break from paid work for various reasons, including:
All employees have the right to be paid if they take holidays, use sick leave or take care of a sick relative. When taking paid leave or holidays, employees are entitled to the minimum wage, excluding overtime, increments, allowances or bonuses.
Full-time and part-time workers are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave per year. Some workers will be entitled to an additional remuneration called annual leave loading.
Employees start to accrue their annual leave as soon as their employment relationship begins. Annual leave may be:
- used at any time during the first 12 months of work;
- for any period of time, including individual days or part thereof.
The employer and the employee must agree on when the leave can be taken. The employer may refuse the employee’s leave request only if that refusal is reasonable.
When the employment relationship ends, the employee is entitled to be paid for leave accrued but not taken.
The amount to which the worker is entitled must also include annual leave loading if that supplement would have been paid when the employee took leave during the employment relationship.
All workers are entitled to paid leave of 3 working days per year in the event of serious illness or death of their spouse or second degree relative or a partner certified to be living with them by the appropriate documentation. Alternative working arrangements may be agreed with the employer in the event of serious illness. Continuous or discontinuous leave of up to 2 years may be granted for serious, documented family reasons. Workers are not entitled to remuneration for this kind of leave, and the period is not included in the calculation of length of service for social security purposes. During the health emergency period, the types of leave available have been extended, in particular for certain categories of workers.
Maternity and paternity leave (compulsory leave)
Female employees may not be given work for 2 months prior to the expected date of childbirth and for 3 months following the actual date of childbirth. Before taking such leave, female workers must submit a written application to the paying institute – or INPS – and the employer, attaching a medical certificate of pregnancy indicating the expected date of birth. Throughout the period of maternity or paternity leave, a daily allowance equivalent to 80% of the most recent salary is payable by INPS, including any payment for sickness. Female workers may decide to be absent from work, again for a period of 5 months, from 1 month before the due date of birth and for 4 months after the birth.
Paternity leave is compulsory for fathers who are employees and consists of a statutory leave period of 5 days (as well as one optional day of leave subject to the mother giving up 1 day of her leave). These days can be used by the employee father, including adoptive and foster fathers, within the first 5 months of the child’s life. Paternity leave provides for the father’s absence from work for the entire length of the maternity leave (3 months after the birth or for the remaining part of it), in the event of:
the death or serious illness of the mother;
- the abandonment of the child by the mother;
- the father being given sole custody of the child;
- total or partial surrender of her maternity leave by the female worker in case of a child being adopted or fostered.
Parental leave (optional leave)
During the first 12 years of the child’s life, the parents are entitled to take up to a maximum of 10 months’ leave in a year. Until the 6th year of the child’s life, the compensation during parental leave is the equivalent of 30% of pay, for a maximum period for both parents of 6 months. If an individual’s earnings are below a set threshold (2.5 times the minimum pension from general compulsory insurance), then the compensation is paid until the 8th year of the child’s life.
During working hours, pregnant mothers are entitled to special paid leave to attend antenatal tests and clinical check-ups.
Both parents may also choose to request parental leave in hours rather than on a daily basis. This leave can be taken on an hourly basis equivalent to half the average daily working hours in the 4-week period or month of paid work that immediately precedes the start of the parental leave.
Leave to attend to a sick child
During the first 8 years of a child’s life, the parents are entitled to be absent from work when their child is ill, but they are not entitled to remuneration. A working mother is entitled to a daily rest period for breastfeeding upon application to her employer. At the end of the compulsory period of maternity or paternity leave, and any optional periods of leave taken, female and male workers are entitled to keep their job.
Study and training leave
There are three types of study and training leave:
- leave for student workers, who can use special leave for examinations;
- leave for training for workers with at least 5 years of service, suspending work for a period of up to 11 months over their entire working life;
- leave for continuous training established by the collective agreement.
Under the Italian system, a relationship may be terminated after the probationary period in the following circumstances:
- the company or the worker terminates the relationship where the worker has been absent beyond the statutory job retention period and unpaid leave period, or in case of permanent disability recognised under the law on disability and old age insurance;
- the company ends the working relationship with a worker who fulfils the pension requirements;
- individual dismissal for justified reasons (objective or subjective) or with good cause or under collective redundancies;
- the relationship is ended by the worker with good cause;
- by mutual consent or expiry of contract (in case of a fixed-term employment relationship).
To safeguard the worker, the employer must notify them of the dismissal with good cause or justified grounds in full compliance with the statutory formalities and procedures. The worker may appeal against the dismissal within 60 days of receiving notice. To ensure the effectiveness of the appeal, the worker must, within 180 days, either file for judicial redress with a Labour Court or inform the other party of a request for conciliation or arbitration (at a trade union or local offices of the regional labour directorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy).
If a judge finds that a dismissal is discriminatory, null and void, made orally or due to an inability to carry out tasks because of injury or illness, the employer is ordered to reinstate the worker in the same post and to pay compensation and social security contributions.
In the event of dismissal without good cause or justified grounds, the judge will declare the employment relationship terminated and will order the employer to pay compensation of between 6 months’ and 36 months’ pay. The worker only has the right to reinstatement if the judge finds the absence of the material fact defined as the just cause or specified grounds for dismissal.
In the event of dismissal for which no reasons are given or in breach of the procedure laid down for disciplinary proceedings, the judge shall declare the employment relationship terminated and order the employer to pay compensation, amounting to a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 months’ pay.
When either the employer or the worker terminates the employment contract, the terminating party must give notice in accordance with the terms and procedures laid down in the collective agreements under Article 2118 of the Italian Civil Code. Where the terminating party fails to give notice, it is bound to pay the other party compensation equivalent to the amount of remuneration that would have been due for the period of notice.
In relation to pensions, from 1 January 2012, the service pension – which allowed the retirement age to be brought forward if certain contribution requirements had been met – was replaced by the early retirement pension, which has different conditions, depending on when the person in question started paying contributions. The entitlement can be exercised when a person reaches a set point between the minimum retirement age and the time at which that person has at least 40 years of contributions.
In the case of an retirement pension, however, entitlement is conditional on the person’s age. Since 2019, the retirement pension age has been set at 67 for all categories.
The most representative trade union confederations are the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions (CISL) and the Italian Labour Union (UIL). Note that, besides these confederations, there are a considerable number of ‘independent’ trade unions in Italy.
The confederated trade union organisations are each composed of several industry-specific unions, with national, regional and local chapters. The national-level industry unions conclude the collective national labour agreements that apply to all workers employed in a particular sector, whether or not they are union members. Workers are not obliged to join a trade union but, if they decide to do so, they must join the relevant national industry federation. They can join a union in two ways: a) by authorising the employer to make a monthly deduction from their payslip equivalent to about 1% of their gross monthly remuneration (which the employer then passes on to the relevant trade union organisation); b) by paying a membership fee directly to the union at the time of enrolment. Union membership is relatively widespread in Italy; although it is very difficult to give accurate figures, based on long tradition it can be said that the level of unionisation is on average higher than in other European countries. Trade unions also offer other types of service: legal assistance in disputes with employers, assistance with social security matters and assistance with tax matters. In companies with more than 15 employees, a workplace unitary trade union representation (Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria – RSU) is appointed by the workers based on a democratic voting system. The workplace union representation may also include trade unions other than those referred to above, provided they receive at least 5% of the workers' votes. The RSU is empowered to negotiate, namely to discuss working conditions and any work-related topics with company management. The RSU is also tasked with discussing the decisions of the external union organisations with the workers and has a duty to participate in committees and commissions set up in the workplace by agreement between workers’ organisations and management to manage various aspects of the business jointly.
If workers consider that their employer is not respecting their contractual and trade union rights, they may turn to a trade union organisation or a lawyer to resolve the situation and, where appropriate, obtain compensation for any financial loss sustained. In both cases, the first step is an attempt at conciliation (a form of agreement that is satisfactory to both parties). If this path is not feasible, a worker may take their employer to court (with the assistance of a lawyer, hired personally or by a trade union) and an employment judge will then rule on the dispute.
In Italy, it is only possible to dismiss a worker with good cause or justified grounds; if a worker is challenging the legality of the dismissal, they may take the employer to court to obtain compensation for any financial loss sustained.
A strike may be considered the main form of self-protection for workers. The right to strike. According to Article 40 of the Italian Constitution, the right to strike is exercised in accordance with the laws on such action. Individuals working within the public or private sector have the right to strike, which they may exercise without the need for union approval. The right to strike is enjoyed individually but is exercised collectively, as a call to strike must be collective. A strike may be legally called not only on issues of remuneration, but also, more broadly, on any issues relating to the workers’ general interests. Any form of strike is legal, even in forms other than the wholesale suspension of working activities, provided it does not jeopardise other constitutionally protected rights.
The exercise of the right to strike in essential public services and the safeguarding of constitutionally protected human rights is governed by Law No 146/1990 (as amended and supplemented). Strikes are relatively common in Italy; the only consequence for a striking worker is a loss of earnings equivalent to the number of hours absent from work. The employer is allowed to temporarily shut down work fully or in part (so-called ‘lockout’) to put pressure on workers, unless this act constitutes anti-union conduct, i.e. it is intended to limit or prevent the exercise of union rights or the right of workers to strike.
If an employer takes direct action to prevent or limit the exercise of union rights or the right of workers to strike, the law provides for a fast-track procedure – which can be launched by the relevant local chapters of national trade unions – before an employment court to stop the unlawful conduct and remove its effects.
Protection of trade union rights
The term Vocational Education and Training refers to practical activities and courses related to a specific occupation or vocation, aimed at preparing participants for their future careers. Vocational training is an essential means to achieve professional recognition and improve chances to get a job. It is therefore vital that vocational training systems in Europe respond to the needs of citizens and the labour market in order to facilitate access to employment.
Vocational education and training has been an essential part of EU policy since the very establishment of the European Community. It is also a crucial element of the so-called EU Lisbon Strategy, which aims at transforming Europe into the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based society. In 2002 the European Council reaffirmed this vital role, and established yet another ambitious goal – to make European education and training renowned globally by the year 2010 – by championing a number of world-class initiatives, and in particular by strengthening cooperation in the area of vocational training.
On 24 November 2020, the Council of the European Union adopted a Recommendation on vocational education and training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.
The Recommendation defines key principles for ensuring that vocational education and training is agile in that it adapts swiftly to labour market needs and provides quality learning opportunities for young people and adults alike.
It places a strong focus on the increased flexibility of vocational education and training, reinforced opportunities for work-based learning, apprenticeships and improved quality assurance.
The Recommendation also replaces the EQAVET – European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training – Recommendation and includes an updated EQAVET Framework with quality indicators and descriptors. It repeals the former ECVET Recommendation.
To promote these reforms, the Commission supports Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) which bring together local partners to develop ‘skills ecosystems'. Skills ecosystems will contribute to regional, economic and social development, innovation and smart specialisation strategies.
Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. This is nearly double the funding compared to its predecessor programme (2014-2020).
The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.
It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also
- supports the European Pillar of Social Rights
- implements the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027
- develops the European dimension in sport
Who can take part? Find out here.
Adult Education and Lifelong Learning in Europe
Lifelong learning is a process that involves all forms of education – formal, informal and non-formal – and lasts from the pre-school period until after retirement. It is meant to enable people to develop and maintain key competencies throughout their life as well as to empower citizens to move freely between jobs, regions and countries. Lifelong learning is also a core element of the previously mentioned Lisbon Strategy, as it is crucial for self-development and the raising of competitiveness and employability. The EU has adopted several instruments for the promotion of adult education in Europe.
In order to make lifelong learning a reality in Europe, the European Commission has set itself the objective of creating a European Area of Lifelong Learning. In this context, the Commission focuses on identifying the needs of both learners and the labour market in order to make education more accessible and subsequently create partnerships between public administrations, suppliers of educational services and civil society.
This EU initiative is based on the objective of providing basic skills – by strengthening counselling and information services at a European level, and by recognising all forms of learning, including formal education and informal and non-formal training.
EU organisations promoting vocational education in Europe
With the objective of facilitating cooperation and exchange in the field of vocational training, the EU has set up specialised bodies working in the field of VOCATIONAL TRAINING.
The European Centre for Vocational Training (CEDEFOP / Centre Européen pour le Développement de la Formation Professionnelle) was created in 1975 as a specialised EU agency for the promotion and development of vocational education and training in Europe. Based in Thessaloniki, Greece, it carries out research and analysis on vocational training and disseminates its expertise to various European partners, such as related research institutions, universities or training facilities.
The European Training Foundation was established in 1995 and works in close collaboration with CEDEFOP. Its mission is to support partner countries (from outside the EU) to modernise and develop their systems for vocational training.
Quality of life – on top of the EU social policy agenda
Favourable living conditions depend on a wide range of factors, such as quality healthcare services, education and training opportunities or good transport facilities, just to name a few aspects affecting citizens’ everyday life and work. The European Union has set for itself the aim to constantly improve the quality of life in all its Member States, and to take into account the new challenges of contemporary Europe, such as socially exclude people or an aging population.
Employment in Europe
Improving employment opportunities in Europe is a key priority for the European Commission. With the prospect of tackling the problem of unemployment and increasing the mobility between jobs and regions, a wide variety of initiatives at EU level are being developed and implemented to support the European Employment strategy. These include the European Employment Services network (EURES) and the EU Skills Panorama.
Health and healthcare in the European Union
Health is a cherished value, influencing people’s daily lives and therefore an important priority for all Europeans. A healthy environment is crucial for our individual and professional development, and EU citizens are ever more demanding about health and safety at work and the provision of high quality healthcare services. They require quick and easy access to medical treatment when travelling across the European Union. EU health policies are aimed at responding to these needs.
The European Commission has developed a coordinated approach to health policy, putting into practice a series of initiatives that complement the actions of national public authorities. The Union’s common actions and objectives are included in EU health programmes and strategies.
The current EU4Health Programme (2021-2027) is the EU’s ambitious response to COVID-19. The pandemic has a major impact on patients, medical and healthcare staff, and health systems in Europe. The new EU4Health programme will go beyond crisis response to address healthcare systems’ resilience.
EU4Health, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/522, will provide funding to eligible entities, health organisations and NGOs from EU countries, or non-EU countries associated to the programme.
With EU4Health, the EU will invest €5.3 billion in current prices in actions with an EU added value, complementing EU countries’ policies and pursuing one or several of EU4Health´s objectives:
- To improve and foster health in the Union
- disease prevention & health promotion
- international health initiatives & cooperation
- To tackle cross-border health threats
- prevention, preparedness & response to cross-border health threats
- complementing national stockpiling of essential crisis-relevant products
- establishing a reserve of medical, healthcare & support staff
- To improve medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products
- making medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products available and affordable
- To strengthen health systems, their resilience and resource efficiency
- strengthening health data, digital tools & services, digital transformation of healthcare
- improving access to healthcare
- developing and implementing EU health legislation and evidence-based decision making
- integrated work among national health systems
Education in the EU
Education in Europe has both deep roots and great diversity. Already in 1976, education ministers decided to set up an information network to better understand educational policies and systems in the then nine-nation European Community. This reflected the principle that the particular character of an educational system in any one Member State ought to be fully respected, while coordinated interaction between education, training and employment systems should be improved. Eurydice, the information network on education in Europe, was formally launched in 1980.
In 1986, attention turned from information exchanges to student exchanges with the launch of the Erasmus programme, now grown into the Erasmus+programme, often cited as one of the most successful initiatives of the EU.
Transport in the EU
Transport was one of the first common policies of the then European Community. Since 1958, when the Treaty of Rome entered into force, the EU’s transport policy has focused on removing border obstacles between Member States, thereby enabling people and goods to move quickly, efficiently and cheaply.
This principle is closely connected to the EU’s central goal of a dynamic economy and cohesive society. The transport sector generates 10% of EU wealth measured by gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to about one trillion Euros a year. It also provides more than ten million jobs.
The Schengen area
The Schengen Convention, in effect since March 1995, abolished border controls within the area of the signatory States and created a single external frontier, where checks have to be carried out in accordance with a common set of rules.
Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU countries, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania. However, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area and already applying the Schengen acquis to a large extent. Additionally, also the non-EU States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen Area.
The creation of a single European market in air transport has meant lower fares and a wider choice of carriers and services for passengers. The EU has also created a set of rights to ensure air passengers are treated fairly.
As an air passenger, you have certain rights when it comes to information about flights and reservations, damage to baggage, delays and cancellations, denied boarding, compensation in the case of accident or difficulties with package holidays. These rights apply to scheduled and chartered flights, both domestic and international, from an EU airport or to an EU airport from one outside the EU, when operated by an EU airline.
Over the last 25 years the Commission has been very active in proposing restructuring the European rail transport market and in order to strengthen the position of railways vis-à-vis other transport modes. The Commission's efforts have concentrated on three major areas which are all crucial for developing a strong and competitive rail transport industry:
- opening the rail transport market to competition,
- improving the interoperability and safety of national networks and
- developing rail transport infrastructure.
Italy is a parliamentary republic. The President of the Republic is elected by the Parliament in joint session for a 7-year term of office and may be re-elected, while the Parliament has a term of 5 years. Executive power in Italy is exercised by the government, which comprises the Prime Minister, appointed by the President of the Republic, ministers, deputy ministers and under-secretaries, and must have the support of both Chambers. The Parliament has legislative powers and comprises the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic.
The ‘Delrio Law’, in force since April 2014, redefined the boundaries and powers of local authorities by establishing metropolitan cities run by local mayors and turning provinces into ‘large area authorities’ without specifically elected or paid political staff. There are now only two directly elected regional and local administrative levels: regions and municipalities.
The ordinary Italian judicial system is divided into two main branches dealing respectively with civil and criminal law. The civil justice system includes the following bodies: Justices of the Peace, who have jurisdiction on civil actions of low financial value; Courts of First Instance (Tribunali): with a single judge within a territorial district. In civil cases these courts adjudicate higher-value actions and appeals against rulings of the Justices of the Peace. In criminal cases, they try criminal offences (except for the serious crimes reserved for the assize courts). In both civil and criminal matters, the rulings of the court of first instance may be appealed against before the Court of Appeal. In every Court of Appeal district, there is a Juvenile Court that deals specifically with under18s. There is at least one Regional Administrative Court in each region. Public order is maintained by the military police (Carabinieri), the police force, the customs police (Guardia di Finanza) and the municipal police.
The Ombudsman is responsible for examining and reporting citizens' complaints of service failure by municipal departments.
Constitutional Court website
Court of Auditors website
Italian Government website
INPS website (National Social Security Institute)
Ministry of Justice website
Italian Parliament website
Remuneration is the employer’s main obligation to the worker in return for the work performed (see Articles 2094 and 2099 of the Italian Civil Code). In Italy, remuneration must be based on an agreement between the parties on the basis of the contractual minimum pay levels under the relevant collective agreement. Remuneration is frequently expressed net of direct taxes withheld at source and of social security contributions borne by the employer and the employee and includes all various forms of consideration paid, including the basic salary and connected bonuses, benefits in cash or in kind (basic pay, special supplementary allowances, additional months, performance bonuses and any other benefits). The amount of each individual item of pay is usually established in the individual or collective employment contract. In Italy, there is no provision for a guaranteed minimum wage, which is currently the subject of political discussion.
Equal pay for equal work is a principle of the Italian labour system that only applies to the work of women compared to the work of men and of child workers compared to adult workers (Article 37 of the Italian Constitution).
Taxation on personal income (IRPEF) is a direct, progressive tax, proportional to the actual total of all income received by the taxpayer, who pays tax on the basis of income bands. The 2022 Budget Law adjusted the system for calculating IRPEF with a broad review of taxation covering statutory marginal rates and tax brackets, as well as deductions by income type. Currently there are four tax brackets, following the abolition of the 41% rate:
- up to EUR 15 000 23%
- from EUR 15 000 to EUR 28 000 25%
- from EUR 28 000 to EUR 50 000 35%
- over EUR 50 000 43%
Value added tax (IVA) is a consumer tax affecting every stage of production for specified goods and services. The standard VAT rate in Italy is 22%, following an increase which came into force on 1 October 2013.
Local taxes are taxes on housing – namely property tax (IMU) – calculated on the basis of municipal rates (excluding first homes), taxes on waste (TARI), and taxes on shared services which are paid by the owner or tenant (excluding main residence). These taxes vary from one city to another.
Vehicle taxes are applied to vehicles and motor vehicles and are managed by the regions; the tariffs used for calculation are based on kW or horsepower.
Ministry of Finance
INPS (National Social Welfare Institution)
Italian labour portal
Public Revenue Agency
Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI)
Il Sole 24 ore
Associazione Difesa Consumatori (Consumer Protection Association)
Starting in 2022, consumer prices were affected by a strong hike in inflation. In December, this amounted to + 11.6 % according to final data on the national consumer price index released by ISTAT, with a national average of 8.1 %.
Rising energy and fuel costs contributed to the price increase: the price of petrol in Italy rose sharply in 2022. Despite several increases, public transport costs are still below the European average, but motoring costs (insurance, road tax and fuel) are 42 % higher than the European average.
Living expenses (food, bills, taxes, etc.) account for more than 70% of household income, 10% more than the European Union average of 60%. The difference reflects the difference in overall income, which for Italian families is 25% lower than the European average.
A Codacons survey based on data from the Ministry of Development has published a ranking of the most expensive Italian cities. The average cost of living is higher in the north. The most expensive city in Italy for the weekly shopping basket is Milan, where the average spend is EUR 116. This is followed by Aosta at EUR 109.91, Genoa at EUR 107.91, Trieste at EUR 107.29 and Bologna at EUR 105. Other cities above the EUR 100 average include Florence at EUR 104.70, Trento at EUR 104.68, Turin at EUR 103.96 and Rome at EUR 101.92.
However, the household expenditure level in southern regions is below the national average: Naples, Palermo and Catanzaro are the cheapest cities in Italy, according to the same survey, with an average weekly spend of EUR 75.16, EUR 86.97 and EUR 79.33 respectively.
Most places for rent or for sale can be found through adverts on specialised websites, estate agents and private adverts. Sale and rental prices vary by region, city and neighbourhood. When renting a house, the landlord and tenant must draw up a written agreement. The rental agreement must indicate the duration, monthly rent, notice period in the event of termination of the contract, and obligations relating to the costs of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance on the property. The contract must be signed by the tenant and the landlord and registered by the landlord with the Registry Office of the Public Revenue Agency within 20 days of conclusion of the contract. The registration tax is 2% of the annual rent. The registration must be renewed each year. The landlord will usually require a deposit amounting to 2 or 2 months’ rent, which is returned at the end of the contract. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can claim statutory tax relief or allowances until the contract is registered. For information on types of rental agreements, contact the National Union of Private and Social Tenants (SUNIA), which has branches in all regions of Italy. In order to buy a house, it is possible to obtain a mortgage loan to be repaid in 15 or 20 years from banks or credit institutions for up to 75% of the total purchase price. You must consult a notary, who will verify the terms and conditions of sale and draw up the deed of sale.
National Union of Private and Social Tenants (SUNIA)
Public Revenue Agency
Estate agents portal
Italian citizens and non-nationals legally residing in Italy are entitled to healthcare. This includes the right to choose a general practitioner for adults and, for children up to the age of 14, a paediatrician.
In order to receive healthcare, you must register for free with the national health service and select a general practitioner or paediatrician, whose names are given on a specific list available at the district offices of the health services agency (ASS).
When you register, you will be issued with a health card that you must then present to receive health services.
The health card is a personal document issued to all Italian citizens entitled to the benefits provided by the national health service (SSN).
It is free of charge and its duration is normally 6 years or equal to the duration of the residence permit. On expiry of the health card, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance sends a new card to all citizens entitled to use the national health service.
The health card is required when a citizen is seen by a doctor or paediatrician, collects a prescription in a pharmacy, books a test in an analytical laboratory or undergoes examination by a specialist at a hospital or a local health authority (ASL) clinic. It is needed whenever you need to certify your tax number.
The health card is produced automatically when the ASL sends the patient’s data to the health card system; the health card is delivered to the address of residence present in the tax register database at the time the card is produced.
The back of the health card acts as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
EU citizens who come to Italy with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) are entitled to emergency medical care.
They can receive medical treatment equivalent to that of an Italian citizen by presenting this card to the relevant regional health services agency (Azienda per i Servizi Sanitari – ASS).
For further information and updates, please contact the relevant local health authority (see the website for the addresses).
Ministry of Health
List of Local Health Authorities
Healthcare insurance cards
Compulsory education lasts 10 years, from 6 to 16 years of age. It comprises the 8 years of the first cycle of education and the first 2 years of the second cycle, which can be spent in upper secondary schools – run by the State – or attending regional vocational training courses. All young people also have the right to and duty to undertake education and training for at least 12 years or until they obtain a 3-year vocational qualification by the age of 18.
Compulsory education can be delivered by State schools or accredited private schools (‘scuole paritarie’), which collectively make up the public education system; alternatively, it can be obtained from non-accredited private schools or by means of home schooling. However, in the two latter cases, certain conditions apply for the compulsory schooling requirement to be satisfied, including taking examinations.
On completion of the compulsory education period, which is usually the end of the 2nd year of upper secondary school, those pupils who do not continue their schooling are issued a certification of competences acquired.
Pupils who complete their upper secondary schooling, passing the State examination, can access tertiary education (universities, art and music academies and technical colleges). Some university degree programmes are on a limited access basis and applicants must pass an entry test. Following a major reform, the Italian university system is now based on two cycles: a 3-year bachelor’s degree (Laurea – L) followed by a specialist or master’s degree requiring a further 2 years of specialist study (Laurea Specialistica – LS). There are also some single-cycle degree courses, with no degree awarded after the first 3 years, and leading directly to a master’s degree.
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Universities and Research
Italy is famous all over the world for the unique beauty of its natural, historical and artistic heritage, to the extent that it is known as ‘il bel paese’ (the beautiful country). Its magnificent heritage cities such as Venice, Ravenna, Ferrara, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples, Palermo, etc. still bear indelible witness to the country’s history, culture and ancient art.
Italian culture is typified by its official language, Italian, but also by a wide range of regional dialects that reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the different Italian regions. Each region has its own distinctive dialect, with unique phonetic, lexical and grammatical characteristics. Italian dialects are very important for Italian culture, as they represent the history and traditions of each region. People in some parts of Italy, such as Sicily and Sardinia, speak dialects that are not immediately understandable to Italians from other regions. However, standard Italian is the official language of Italy and is used for official and formal communication throughout the country.
Despite the presence of dialects, knowledge of standard Italian is indispensable for everyday life in Italy, especially in business and trade. In fact, most institutions, schools and companies use Italian as an official language, and knowledge of the language is a prerequisite for many job and study opportunities in the country.
Italians are famous for their love of art and history, so one of the most popular cultural activities is visiting museums, art galleries and historical sites. Theatre and music are also very popular in Italy, with many music and theatre festivals and performances being held throughout the country.
As far as recreational activities are concerned, football is a very popular sport in Italy, and many people follow the Italian football championship with great interest. The many outdoor activities on offer include trekking, climbing, cycling and swimming. These are very common, especially in mountain and coastal regions.
Evening entertainment in Italy varies between cities and regions, but one of the most popular activities is going out for an apéritif or a glass of wine with friends, which often turns into an informal dinner. Many cities are also home to clubs and discothèques that stage music and dance events, especially at weekends.
Because Italy is famed for its cuisine, many people like to go out to eat or experience the very varied gastronomic culture at first hand. You can sample the food on offer at well-known restaurants in famous foodie cities, or in the many small trattorias found tucked away in old town centres. Local delicacies can be tasted in restaurants or food markets the length and breadth of Italy.
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism
ENIT (Italian Government Tourist Board)
ITALIA NOSTRA – national association for the protection of historic, artistic and natural heritage
When a child is born, the health authority issues a birth certificate to the parents, who must register the birth of their child within 10 days. The declaration must be taken to the town hall of the municipality in which the child was born or the municipality where the parents are resident.
Prospective spouses must visit the Civil Registrar in the municipality in which one of them is resident, and announce their intention to marry. Then the Registrar, together with the future spouses and in the presence of two witnesses, draws up the official document in which the marriage banns are to be published. A summary of this must remain on display for 8 consecutive days at the town halls of residence of the prospective spouses. After this period, a certificate attesting to the publication of the banns is issued. The parties concerned then have 6 months in which to get married, after which the procedure lapses and must be repeated. The marriage ceremony may be performed by the mayor or one of their delegates, or by a minister of the Roman Catholic Church; under the Concordat between the Italian State and the Catholic Church, the latter performs the functions of the State in marrying the couple.
When a person dies in hospital or in a private residence, a physician from the competent local health authority draws up a medical death certificate, which the next of kin must take to the Civil Registrar to register the death and obtain authorisation for burial. However, if a death occurs as a result of a road accident or other violent circumstances, a death certificate issued by a magistrate and the burial permit from the Public Prosecutor must be produced in addition to the doctor’s certificate; the official death certificate will be produced afterwards.
- Presidential Decree No 396 of 3 November 2000 on Rules for the revision and simplification of civil registers, pursuant to Article 2(12) of Law No 127 of 15 May 1997.
- Legislative Decree No 5 of 19 January 2017
Updating of the rules on civil registers concerning registrations, transcriptions, and annotations, as well as amendments and supplements to the rules on civil partnerships, pursuant to Article 1(28)(a) and (c) of Law No 76 of 20 May 2016. (17G00011) (Official Gazette - general series, No 22 of 27 January 2017)
The Public Digital Identity System (SPID) is a simple, fast and secure code for accessing the digital services of local and central authorities.
A single credential (username and password) representing the digital and personal identity of each citizen, grants them the right to make personalised and secure use of digital services operated by the public authorities.
The SPID also allows access to public services of the Member States of the European Union and of companies or traders who have chosen it as a means of identification.
The access system on which the SPID is based is designed to bring the public authorities closer to citizens. By providing everyone with an fair and intuitive way of accessing online services, the SPID facilitates the use of online services and simplifies the relationship between citizens and public offices.
The private sector can also benefit from a digital identity to improve the user experience and manage its customers’ personal data more effectively.
In Italy, various means of transport are available for travelling within cities and between different regions of the country. The most common transport methods are:
- Car: the car is one of the most used means of transport in Italy, especially for short and medium-distance trips. However, traffic can be heavy in large cities, especially during peak hours, and traffic-restricted zones and paid zones are imposed.
- Motorcycle/scooter: motorbikes and scooters are very handy vehicles for getting around in a city, especially in traffic-restricted zones. Purchase and maintenance costs are generally lower than for a car.
- Public transport: in Italy, local public transport is run by municipal companies and provided by buses, trams and metros. The cost of tickets varies depending on the city and the means of transport used.
- Train: trains are a very convenient and fast means of transport for travelling between the different regions of Italy. In Italy, a large rail network managed by Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) connects all the country’s main cities.
- Aeroplane: planes are mainly used for long-haul travel and to reach the Italian islands. There are many airports in Italy, operated by different airlines.
Transport costs depend on the different options available and the type of service chosen. For example, the cost of an urban bus ticket can range from EUR 1.50 to EUR 2.50, while the cost of a train ticket may vary from a few euro to several dozen euro, depending on the distance travelled and the class. In general, transport costs in Italy are similar to those in other European countries.
Italy also offers several car-sharing and bike-sharing schemes, which allow cars and bicycles to be rented for short periods at affordable prices.
For information on trains, flights and other transport networks, consult the relevant websites shown below. In particular, once you have selected the town or city you require, you can look up timetables, routes, prices, services offered, etc.
Remember that before you take any form of public transport, you must obtain an appropriate ticket that may be purchased online or from a newsstand or tobacconist.