I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that will always be available to answer most of your general questions regarding life in Italy, starting with the elusive Permesso di Soggiorno documents. I’ll add to this page as I gather more information, and in the future I will reference it whenever appropriate. I recommend bookmarking it for your convenience and please feel free to share it with your friends.
Permesso di Soggiorno Documents
Due to popular demand, I’ve recently taken all the information that I’ve gathered on the Permesso di Soggiorno and organized it into an easy-to-use guide. Prego.
Italian Language Help
You can read about my experience with learning Italian here: The Best Way to Learn Italian
Two friends of mine—Steven and Linda, a married couple from the U.S.—started a company called “Cross Pollinate” back in 2000. They’ve done a lot of legwork in the years since, checking out unique apartments all across the city, and making them available for rent via their website. And they only work with places they feel that they can truly recommend. In other words, they’ve screened the places so that you don’t have to.
Their site has an easy to use search engine, as well as an interactive map. You can filter your search by price, features, and travel dates, or use the map to search by geographic area.
I highly recommend that you begin and end your search on the Cross Pollinate site. I promise you won’t go wrong, and you can save all that time online to plan some great day trips from temporary “home” in Rome.
And if you’re traveling around Italy (or Europe, for that matter), check out their options in other cities, too.
http://www.portaportese.it It’s only in Italian, but probably the biggest online source for finding longer-term apartments offered by individual property owners.
If you just need a room, check out this site (available in many languages): Easy Stanza
A couple more:
http://www.idealista.it/affitto-case/roma-provincia/mappa Also in Italian, but very useful for longer term (1 year or more) renting.
If you’re planning ahead, you can save yourself a BIG headache (and a great deal of money) by purchasing your train tickets online.
Locomotimes: this is a great FREE app from the Apple Store which will give you train schedules for all of Italy and even to and from other European cities. Easy to use and quite accurate.
Ferrovia dello Stato: if you don’t have the above app this works, but honestly, it’s a lot less convenient.
Charles Schwab Online Checking: this has turned out to be a great solution for me to handle my banking needs while in Italy with NO international transaction fees. You can read more about it in this post: Money Matters and the Cost of Living in Italy
Currency Exchange. If you need to exchange fairly large amounts of foreign currency into Euro, this is a good place to go: Pure FX Do NOT just wander into to a random bank or one of those little kiosks that you find randomly at airports or other tourist locations. The difference in fees is very significant.
And a few useful government websites
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs This is their general site.
Visa Page This is specific for visas, including information on fees and where to apply.
http://questure.poliziadistato.it/Roma/orari-5-468-1-1.htm This is the main Questura, or Police Station of Rome. However, there are small branches all around the city and you should locate the one nearest to your home.
http://questure.poliziadistato.it/stranieri/?mime=1&lang=IT To check on the status of your Permesso di Soggiorno, if you decided to apply for one.
http://www.esteri.it/visti/home_eng.asp For all your visa questions.
http://www.codicefiscale.us/ For your Codice Fiscale, or Fiscal Code. You’ll need this, and it’s very easy to obtain online.
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