Moving to Sardinia: A Guide for Americans

american citizens buying home in italy, treaty 1948 and the flags of USA


Moving to a new country is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. This guide is specifically tailored to provide American citizens with valuable information on relocating to Sardinia (and in general in Italy).

Sardinia offers a unique and inviting experience for those seeking a change of pace.

Why Move to Sardinia, Italy?

Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a diverse range of attractions that make it an appealing destination for expatriates and international people. The island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and captivating landscapes. Additionally, Sardinia’s warm climate and delectable cuisine contribute to its overall charm. By relocating to Sardinia, American citizens can immerse themselves in a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, far from the hustle and bustle of urban centers.

Positive Aspects of Living in Sardinia

Natural Beauty

Sardinia is home to some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world. From the otherworldly rock formations of Valle della Luna to the dazzling blue waters of Cala Goloritzé, the island offers an abundance of natural wonders waiting to be explored.

Rich History and Culture

The island’s rich history is evident in its ancient ruins, traditional festivals, and unique customs. Sardinia’s distinctive culture, influenced by various civilizations throughout the centuries, provides an enriching experience for those interested in history and anthropology.

Quality of Life

Sardinia is known for its high quality of life, with a strong sense of community and a focus on work-life balance. The island’s slower pace of living allows residents to savor each moment and appreciate the simple pleasures of daily life.

Health Benefits

The Sardinian diet, which is rich in fresh produce, seafood, and olive oil, has been linked to longevity and good health. The island is also famous for its clean air and tranquil environment, which can have a positive impact on overall well-being.

Practical Steps for Relocating

Visa and Residency

American citizens planning to move to Sardinia should familiarize themselves with the visa and residency requirements. Depending on the purpose of their stay, they may need to apply for a specific type of visa, such as a work visa, student visa, or long-term residency permit.

Housing and Cost of Living

Researching the housing market and cost of living in Sardinia is essential before making the move. Whether renting or buying property, it’s important to consider factors such as location, amenities, and accessibility to essential services.

Healthcare and Insurance

Understanding the healthcare system in Sardinia and securing comprehensive health insurance coverage are vital aspects of relocation. Expatriates should explore their options for accessing medical care and ensure that they are adequately protected in case of illness or injury.

Language and Integration

Learning Italian and familiarizing oneself with the local customs can greatly facilitate integration into Sardinian society. Embracing the language and culture will not only enhance the expatriate experience but also foster meaningful connections with the community.

Relocation of US Citizens to Italy

To relocate from the United States to Italy, American citizens have several options, including applying for an Elective Residence Visa or seeking Italian citizenship.

The documents required and the offices where they need to be submitted may vary depending on the chosen relocation path. For example, individuals relocating as retirees can apply for an Elective Residence Visa, while those seeking Italian citizenship will need to follow a different set of procedures.

Relocating as a Retiree

American citizens who wish to relocate to Italy as retirees can apply for an Elective Residence Visa. The following are the general steps and documents required for this process:

  1. Visa Application: Submit a visa application to the Italian consulate or embassy in the United States.
  2. Proof of Retirement Income: Provide evidence of stable and regular retirement income, such as pension statements or investment income.
  3. Health Insurance: Obtain comprehensive health insurance coverage that is valid in Italy.
  4. Criminal Record Clearance: Obtain a police clearance certificate or similar document from the relevant U.S. authorities.
  5. Proof of Accommodation: Show proof of suitable accommodation in Italy.

Seeking Italian Citizenship

American citizens who are eligible and wish to obtain Italian citizenship can do so through various means, such as descent, marriage, or naturalization. The specific documents and offices involved in this process will depend on the individual’s circumstances.

  1. Descent: If the individual is eligible for citizenship by descent, they will need to gather documents proving their Italian ancestry and submit the application to the competent Italian authorities, such as the consulate or comune (municipality) in Italy.
  2. Marriage: Spouses of Italian citizens can apply for citizenship after being married for a certain period. The application and required documents are typically submitted to the local Italian authorities.
  3. Naturalization: For those seeking citizenship through naturalization, the process involves submitting an application and various supporting documents to the competent Italian authorities, such as the police headquarters (Questura) in Italy.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for relocation and citizenship may change over time, so it’s advisable to consult official sources, such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or legal professionals specializing in immigration law, for the most up-to-date information.

By following the appropriate steps and ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order, American citizens can navigate the relocation process effectively and fulfill their dream of living in Italy.

The information provided is based on general guidelines and should be verified with official sources before proceeding with any relocation or citizenship applications.

But legally talking, can an American buy a property in Italy?

So, you’ve fallen in love with Italy – the beautiful landscapes, the people, the food …

Have you dreamed of owning a piece of La Dolce Vita? 

But hold up, can you, as an American, actually buy property in Italy? 

The short answer? Yes, Americans can buy property in Italy. 

First things first, let’s talk treaties. 

There’s an “Agreement” called the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation between the United States of America and the Italian Republic. 

This treaty, signed in 1948 and updated in 1999, forms the legal basis for various aspects of the relationship between the two countries, including real estate transactions.

Now, why is this document important? 

Well, this treaty provides certain rights and protections for American citizens looking to buy property in Italy. It helps ensure a smoother process and safeguards your interests as a buyer. 

Not every foreigner can buy in Italy that easily, read more here.

While Americans may have the green light to buy property in Italy, other nationalities might not be so lucky. Canadians and Swiss citizens, for example, might face more hurdles due to different treaties or regulations between their countries and Italy.

Are you Canadian? Read here.

Are you British? Read here.

So, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal framework governing such transactions. Remember, always do your due diligence, consult with legal experts, and proceed with caution. 

With the right knowledge and assistance, you could soon be sipping Italian wine on the terrace of your very own Italian home.