Can I stay in Italy 3 months as a tourist after my study visa expires?

Hi, I'm living in Milan on a 1 year student visa (with my Italian boyfriend).  The visa and my permesso di sioggorno expire in May.  As I'm Australian, in theory I am allowed to stay in the Schengen countries for 3 months as a tourist without a visa.  Can I therefore just stay on in Italy an extra 3 months after my study visa expires?  Or do I need to leave the Schengen area and then come back in to start a new 3 month visa?

If anyone has experience of the same, I would love to here from you!

I belive that you need to adress this question to the nearest questura.

I specifically remember my sister asking/doing the same thing after her permesso expired from studying in Florence. You are legally suppose to leave once your visa/permesso are expired.
However, I have lived in and off in Italy for 4 years (while waiting to have my perm permesso accepted and validated) and I never once had an issue coming or going. (Just for reference I'm American - and while this shouldn't make a difference...)

Hey guy, well I asked at the questura, and to be honest they told me a lot of bs.  They said I had to go back to Australia when my study visa expired, and then I wasn't allowed to re-enter Italy for 6 months as a tourist!!   This makes zero sense and is a rule I had never heard of before.  So I did some more research, and I am reasonably confident that I would be allowed to stay as a tourist, provided I left the Schengen zone BEFORE the expiration of my study visa, and then re-entered afterwards (and got a stamp when exiting/re-entering).  This is because the Schengen Border Code states that time spent in the country on a long stay visa (such as a study visa) does not count towards the 90/180 rule for tourist visas. 

Not sure if I can post links, but here are some other forums where it is discussed:

Hey! How did you work it out then?


I stayed on 3 months past my study visa without problems. I was in London for 3 days when my visa was due to expire and got the stamps (just in case). I left Italy several times (even did a trip to Australia) and there were zero issues.