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Finding work in Florence

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Florence is an easy place to fall in love with, so it is no surprise that it is one of Italy’s most popular destinations for expats. Famous for its abundance of art, architecture, good food and wine, Florence also offers plenty of opportunities for expats. While the regional labour force was certainly affected by the global economic crisis, it was felt less acutely here than other cities in Northern and Central Italy.

Unlike the more industrial cities of Milan and Turin, Florence’s economy is based largely on tourism, although the professional and finance sectors are growing. The services sector accounts for 70% of total employment in the region, with the vast majority of people employed in commerce, hotels, and catering. Manufacturing still plays an important part in the local economy, with many of Tuscany’s most important vineyards located close to the city in the Chianti region.

Florence also has a reputation as a hub of creativity, and writers and artists have flocked there for centuries, keen to try their hand in the traditional arts and literature, as well as somewhat more unusual pursuits such as leather binding and jewellery making.

 Important:

A good command of the Italian language is almost always a necessity unless otherwise specified.

Types of jobs available in Florence

Tourism is at the centre of the Florentine economy, and a popular industry for expats looking for work. There is an abundance of hotels, bed and breakfasts, agriturismo, tour agencies, spas and restaurants, all seeking bilingual English speakers, particularly in high season. The most common service occupations in Florence include waiters, bartenders, porters, chefs, tour guides, drivers, and receptionists. Industry directories such as Valdichiana, a comprehensive list of hotels in Tuscany, will give you an indication of opportunities in Florence.

Other potential avenues for bilingual expats or expats with a good understanding of Italian include translation and interpretation services, and real estate and property management.

As with other large Italian cities, teaching English as a foreign language is a popular path for expats in Florence. Positions as an ESL teacher for both private and language schools can be found online on websites like TEFL jobs in Italy. Use the ESL Base-Italy to search for lists of language schools based in Florence and contact them directly. The British Council also offers opportunities to relocate with their language assistance programmes.

Florence also benefits from being home to the Università degli Studi di Firenze, as well as other prestigious schools and international institutions. It is worth getting in touch directly to find out what vacancies they have open to English speakers.

Whilst smaller than the tourism industry, manufacturing plays an important role in the local economy. Alongside food and production, Florence has a strong artisanal culture and it is famous for the production of jewellery, perfume, ceramics and leather, as well as for pioneering unusual production techniques such as marbling and mosaicking. If you have strong technical skills and experience, it may well be worth exploring these options.

There is also an abundance of work in agriculture and viticulture in the surrounding countryside, though you may need specific skills or be prepared to volunteer initially.

 Good to know:

Florence’s economy is largely made up of micro-businesses and small enterprises, with 41% of workers working in companies with fewer than 10 employees, and only 9% working in companies with over 250 employees.

In Tuscany, and Florence more specifically, there is a higher than average percentage of self-employed people.

Where to look for jobs in Florence

LinkedIn provides a useful starting point for looking for jobs in Florence, as well as other popular job sites like Indeed, Monster, Jobrapido, and Glassdoor. You could also consult the classified ads in outlets such as The Florentine and The Local.

You should also consider signing up to employment and recruitment agencies in Milan. Agencies like Ali spa, and Trenkwalder Italia have offices in Florence. The Florence Labour Centre often places adverts online too.

 Important:

Expats wishing to work in Florence will need to produce a valid passport in order to seek work. They will also need to obtain a Permesso di Lavoro (more information in our guide to long-term visas). Note, if you are a citizen of an EU country, you will not need to obtain a work visa, although you will need a residency permit.

If you are having trouble finding a job, you must register with the Ufficio del Collocamento (your local job centre).

 Useful links:

LinkedIn
Indeed
Monster
Jobrapido
Glassdoor
The Florentine
The Local
TEFL jobs in Italy
ESL Base-Italy
The British Council
Florence Labour Centre

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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See also

Our expat guide to applying for a job in Italy, including how to find work, how to write an application letter, and how to write a CV.
Our guide to working in Italy, including essential information on the Labour Market, documents you will need, and employee benefits and entitlements.
Our guide to the Labour Market in Italy, including popular industries, how to find work, and information on where to find a job in Italy.
Our expat guide to setting up a business in Italy, including types of business structure, details on how to set up the business, and general requirements.
Our expat guide on how to find an internship, what you will need to start an internship, and regulations around internships and work experience in Italy.