What to Leave Behind
Let's start out by saying that you should leave behind many of the preconceptions about Italy that you may have. The little old ladies dressed in black, etc. is an image that is somewhat outdated...so come with an open mind if you really want to make the best of the time in Italy.
But keep in mind that houses will generally be smaller in Italy versus the USA, Canada, Australia, or South Africa - so you want to avoid bringing too much stuff. Leave it in storage, or try selling it off over the internet. Ebay is the way to go, if you want to reach a huge market of bidders. So here are some of the things that others have said they would have left (or did) back home.
Electrical Appliances – We’ll get more into the detail of electrical appliances and electronics equipment in the section on “Setting up House-(coming soon)”. Just keep in mind that in Italy electric current is 220 Volts (vs. 110 in the USA) so if you don’t get a proper transformer (NOT just a converter!), you’ll literally fry your appliances. A good site to learn more about Italian (and other) electrical outlets and current is "Walkabout Travel", where you can also learn about international modem use. DVD’s use different formats. TV’s and VCR’s as well. So they are not compatible unless you buy one of the more expensive models that are “multilingual”. Telephones from the USA don’t work in Italy, but neither do analog phones from Germany (at least not mine). Some time ago, I was told by the local phone company (Telecom Italia) that it is possible to get German phones to work, but the cost (time and money) of figuring it out was not worth it. Modems can be set to be compatible – the main difference is that in Italy you don’t have a dial tone, so the (US- or German- Origin) modem has to be given specific instructions for it to work). Cell phones – make sure they are GSM compatible –and of the right frequencies. Satellite receivers – they will generally work (if you hook them up to an appropriate converter if they are set for 110 Volts) – but you will likely get compatibility issues if you try to subscribe to pay satellite services. And don’t forget the PAL issue…
Many things that were unavailable just a few years ago are available now. Dryers, stand mixers, etc. Check out our Appliance Guide for more information.
Automobiles - Yes of course you can bring a car over BUT remember, you will have 1 year from time of docking to get it to fit the standards in Italy, have it registered in Italy and get your license. We have one member who brought a car over and 2+ years later the car is sitting in a garage because it is not legal to drive in Italy. This after the fact that he followed everything by the book. Red tape gets in the way and you are stuck with a vehicle that cannot be driven.
This is a work in progress. If you have something to add to the list please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org