Buying Property in Italy

I am a UK citizen living and working in Hong Kong. I would like to buy a property in Sicily, Italy so that I can retire there (and perhaps run a holiday rental business from it). As an EU citizen, is there any paperwork that I need to complete - such as application for Italian residency or a carta identita etc -before purchasing a property? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

you can buy a property in italy even without italian residency and i.d. card but.... in this way you pay (a lot) more taxes in purchasing it now and in selling it in the future  !!

It's recommended to get a residency before purchasing because only to residents buying their FIRST house there's an important tax break (exemption from property translation tax).

I advise you to get help from a local "commercialista" (and not by real estate agents only) before moving to Italy.

Yes, get all your advice independant of any agency, from geometra, lawyer, translator and commercialista. Don't get seduced by an agencies all in fee, not come across an agency yet that helps English speaking people fully. I hear of a lot of stories re taking the fee and not completing the work, things going missing from properties mid sale, false promises re being able to make a good living,
Some charge for getting a codice fiscale etc., but it is free, and if not confident with Italian take a translater which is much cheaper than their fee. Same goes for utilities, residency. Also double check the amount of land you think you are buying, it is quite common for this land to be reduced and hard to back track if records have been changed. Sorry if this concerns you, but being cautious will help prevent problems and conflict further down the line.
On the positive side, get through all this, find your feet, learn Italian and you will not regret it, just don't be seen to be a walking meal ticket to sharks, show your metal and you will be fine.


You need to require a fiscal code at the Revenue Office, this will be released, upon request, immediately or after few days. Some offices allow you to give to your lawyer power of attorney, in this case you have to sign a document where you delegate your lawyer (or anyone else) to require your fiscal code on your behalf.

You need a bank account if you wish to require a mortgage, but there are very few banks which release a mortgage to foreigners.

Your passport will be enough as long you are a EU citizen. You do not need a carta d'identità.
Of course, there are fiscal implication if you are resident in the Country or if you wish to move your residency in Italy. ***
I hope I have been of help. Should you need more help, please just ask! :)


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If you are an EU citizen, that is from one of the 28 EU countries or one of the other countries affiliated to the EU you can freely enter Italy and stay there for a maximum period of 90 days. If your stay is extended, you must apply for registration in the Registry Office of the municipality where you reside. You will thus get a proof of residence that allows you to stay on Italian soil on an ongoing basis. After five years you are entitled to permanent residence.

Here you can find a useful guide on italian estate market, purcase process, taxes etc: … arket.aspx

@enncee we also live in Hong Kong. We just bought a house in Abbruzzo. Did you end up buying? We are planning to record our journey on you tube. [link moderated] 

Hello Moments Make a Life,

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