Sicily for Expats Living Overseas

23 Apr
Sant' Elia village. Splendid azure water bay on Sicily, Palermo city location, Italy
Sant’ Elia village. Splendid azure water bay on Sicily, Palermo city location, Italy

Expats Living Overseas in Italy

Sicily is a beautiful and unique place to live as an expat. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean and is known for its stunning coastline, rich history, and delicious food. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about moving to Sicily as an expat:

  1. Language: Italian is the official language of Sicily, so it’s essential to learn at least some basic Italian before you arrive. While many Sicilians speak English, especially in tourist areas, it’s still beneficial to be able to communicate in Italian.
  2. Cost of living: The cost of living in Sicily is generally lower than in other parts of Italy, but it still depends on where you choose to live. The larger cities like Palermo and Catania will generally be more expensive than smaller towns and villages.
  3. Healthcare: The healthcare system in Sicily is considered to be good, but it’s essential to have health insurance as an expat. Private healthcare is available, but it can be expensive.
  4. Visa requirements: As an expat, you’ll need to obtain a visa to live and work in Sicily. The requirements and application process can vary depending on your country of origin, so it’s best to consult with the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country for more information.
  5. Culture shock: Moving to a new country can be a culture shock, and Sicily is no exception. The pace of life is generally slower than in other parts of Europe, and there may be cultural differences that take some getting used to. It’s important to be open-minded and patient as you adjust to your new home.

Overall, Sicily can be an excellent place to live as an expat, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. With some preparation and a willingness to embrace the new and unfamiliar, you can make a successful transition to life in Sicily.

Mondello, Palermo, PA, Italy
Mondello, Palermo, PA, Italy

Sicily Real Estate trends

Here are some general trends in the Sicilian real estate market:

  1. Demand for Property: The demand for property in Sicily has been increasing in recent years, especially among foreign buyers. Many people are attracted to the island’s beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and more affordable property prices compared to other regions in Italy.
  2. Property Prices: Property prices in Sicily vary widely depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. Generally, properties in larger cities such as Palermo and Catania are more expensive than those in smaller towns and villages. However, Sicily still offers relatively affordable options compared to other regions of Italy.
  3. Renovation Projects: Sicily has many historic properties, and there has been a growing trend of people buying old properties in need of renovation and restoring them to their former glory. This has also led to an increase in the number of renovation and restoration companies operating on the island.
  4. Investment Opportunities: There are also several investment opportunities in the Sicilian real estate market, such as buying properties to rent out as holiday homes or short-term rentals. With its beautiful scenery, warm weather, and rich culture, Sicily attracts a lot of tourists, making it an attractive location for such investments.

Overall, the Sicilian real estate market is dynamic, with a mix of local and foreign buyers, and has great potential for investment and development.

How much does it cost to buy a house in Sicily

The cost of buying a house in Sicily can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the location, type, size, and condition of the property. Generally, the prices of properties in larger cities such as Palermo and Catania are higher than those in smaller towns and villages.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the average price of a property in Sicily was around €1,300-€1,500 per square meter. However, it is worth noting that there are many properties available at a range of prices, and some properties in more remote areas can be found for less.

Here are some examples of property prices in Sicily as of my knowledge cutoff:

  • A small apartment in a town or village could cost around €50,000-€100,000.
  • A larger apartment in a city or coastal area could cost €150,000-€300,000 or more.
  • A small house in a village or rural area could cost around €100,000-€200,000.
  • A larger villa or farmhouse in a rural area could cost €300,000-€500,000 or more.

It’s worth noting that the above prices are general estimates and can vary widely depending on the specific location, condition, and other factors of the property. It’s essential to do thorough research and work with a reputable real estate agent to get an accurate understanding of the costs involved in buying a property in Sicily.

Taormina street scene, Sicily
Taormina street scene, Sicily

How long can you stay in Italy if you own a house there?

Owning a house in Italy does not automatically grant you the right to stay in the country beyond the maximum period allowed for visitors. As a non-EU citizen, you are typically allowed to stay in Italy for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.

If you wish to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa or residency permit. Owning property in Italy may help you in obtaining a residency permit, but it does not guarantee it.

The exact requirements and procedures for obtaining a residency permit in Italy can vary depending on your nationality, purpose of stay, and other factors. It’s recommended that you consult with the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country for more information on the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining a residency permit in Italy.

Image by user32212 from Pixabay and Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash

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