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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Moving to Tuscany - head spinning

    Hello all. I was hoping for some advice about our impending move to Italy and renting long term accommodation. A bit of back ground first.

    I am British, and my wife is Thai; we have lived in Thailand for 4 years and Hong Kong for 4 years prior to that. Also note we have 3 dogs (2 Siberian and 1 Labrador - all rescue dogs that came from HK with us to Thailand). We have decided to move to Europe, and with the mind numbing impossible UK visas for non EU spouses, I quickly decided that I would much prefer to move to either Tuscany or the Loire in France which is where my heart wants me to be having visited many times, as opposed to my English head thinking back to the UK.

    Looking at France, it is near impossible because to get a rented house, you need to have a local bank account, and to get that, you need a house with the bills in your name. A vicious catch 22 which along with sorting out my business affairs here, visa for wife, full process for dogs etc, is far too much for me to consider dealing with as well. So therefore, moving to Italy has cemented itself at the top of the list.

    So here is a rough outline of my plan of action so far. Fly into Italy (end November) and straight into a pet friendly vacation house for a week or so. Use that time to view properties in the area we are interested in and secure somewhere to move into quickly. We really are not that fussy because with 3 dogs in S/E Asia we are more than used to making a home out of any building we are able to rent.

    Once the house is rented, then set up utilities, and get the local bank account, prior to starting a branch of my company either in the house as a home office or if needs must, in an actual office.

    The wife wants to spend time learning Italian Vegetarian cooking which is her passion anyway, and maybe either do some work for me, or some volunteer work locally, and I will carry on seamlessly working remotely, with a plan to live happily ever after.

    So that is the plan. Here are the points that I have not managed to work out from my research though so hope that perhaps some kind soul can help?

    1 - Is the above doable? Especially the part of renting a house prior to having an Italian Bank account / or opening a bank account prior to renting. Both needs to happen, but I don't care which order as long as it is not the catch 22 again.

    2 - Internet access. To work at home I would need ideally a fibre connection as my group telephony is on VOIP which I would continue to use. How wide spread is Fibre or good speed and quality internet access in Tuscany outside of Florence and Sienna as I would not be looking there? If not great, satelite internet might be an option from Tooway? Any suggestions?

    3- Rugby. I would love to get involved with a local club. I'm not great, and at 40, would be looking at a vets team to join in for training and a match or two. I can't seem to find much about Rugby in Tuscany though aside from Toscana which is way above my level. More interested in the social side of a town club which always helps to integrate into the local community and learn the language. Does anyone know of a town with a club there?

    4 - Renting with dogs. To be very honest, my dogs are house dogs. Coming from HK, before they were saved from death row by us, they were all used to living in 700 sq ft apartments. The Labrador was actually scared of grass the first time we took her for a walk and still today will try not to walk off of concrete unless she has to. What are land lords like there with regards to dogs?

    Hope I am not asking too much on my first post and we're both really excited about our move there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default some info


    I will try to provide some insights to your questions. Bear with me as Enligh is not my main language.

    1. It certainly is more doable than France or the U.K.
    Your options are to either use an agency, which will cost you service fees and might also not be the best way of getting a good monthly price, or contacting the owners directly.

    Banks will certainly be more helpfull to someone with employment and/or bank accounts in other countries, altough having a housing contract first will very likely be a requirement. This also opens the way to having initial documentation.

    2. Internet access in Italy is very poor outside of major cities. There are some satelite providers available and that might be your best option. I recomend getting an evaluation for the specific town you wish to go to.

    3. Can't help you.

    4. I don't think you will have a problem with your dogs as long as you aren't renting shared apartments.

    I work as a private consultant for start-ups aswell as a private tour organiser. I would be happy to answear any other questions you may have, either here or privately by e-mail, without charge, until the moment you actually request to hire me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Florence, Italy


    Ciao Adam,

    How is the house search/preparation for move going?

    If you come in November, you shouldn't have problems in finding places that will rent several short-term week as it is low season here (in this case, always deal directly with owner to get an estimate for the time you want, as they might offer lower per week fees than if you were to book online, whether through an agency or through their own online booking system). Take a look at

    As far as the longer term rental, yes, an agency will take fees but it will make it easier for you to find a place that meets all your requirements. Especially useful if that is what they specialize in. I would suggest you contact Maria Pia at Pitcher&Flaccomio ( - they specialize in the rentals over a month long, in Florence and across Tuscany. They deal with a lot of expats that are here for 2-4 years so the selection they have also meets a lot of your requirements (fast internet and pet-friendly). They will also be able to help with info on the documents/banks you are looking for (they also sell properties to expats so are knowledgeable about all of the paperwork).

    I would suggest you look into staying in an area that is well-connected to the train system, to also make moving around easier until you feel like leasing/buying/driving a car.

    Rugby: Florence has a club with all age divisions! I am thinking this would be your best bet.
    Here's the club's website:

    Lots of pets in apartments in Florence -- why is Florence not on your list? I would suggest the surroundings, like within 20km of the city, as a good combination of city/countryside.
    What to see in Tuscany? Check out ideas on our main website!!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016


    Hope you will be happy in Tuscany, you seem brave and adventurous people Sorry, I do not have any answer for your quiestions. I am replying because I've just stumbled upon an article about the top 3 nations that love Italy and it is said that the Tuscany region is the most popular with Britons. And I wonder why Could you explain me your decision? No doubts it is a fascinating place but as many others

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