The absolute basics of being able to survive Italy

One thing people forget to explain to new people coming to Italy is the bureaucracy and how to just do simple things . So here are a few real essentials that you will need.

Codice Fiscale

Everything in Italy needs your Codice Fiscale, from online shopping, to pharmacies and so on. It is basically your Tax Code, for utilites, to renting and so on, without one you won’t be able to do anything. Obtaining the code is quick and simple. You obtain it direct from your Local Tax office in most cases for free. Or embassies and consulates abroad. The Tax office website is in English so it’s simple to understand.


PEC is basically the equivalent of Registered mail but done by email. Companies often answer quicker and you can cancel contracts and so on, via PEC which you can’t via normal email. A PEC email is low cost and there are many providers. seems the simplest to open. Poste Italiane is what many people use, but it involved visits to the post office and many people have found difficulties doing it this way. In fact the post office wouldn’t even do it for me because of problems with the system, where as Auruba was very quick.


Anything official online is generally being evolved to using SPID to allow you to login, there are many providers of SPID in Italy, and you can only use an official one approved by the government.

The official website is in English as well as Italian and German.

I struggled to use some providers, so ended up using I found the site easy to use, it was logical, the aruba apps are very easy to use. Direct link to Aruba SPID pages is

Carta di identità elettronica

In Italy you legally have to carry ID with you, most people just carry there Identity Card, your local Anagrafe office at your Comune (Town hall) issues this card. It costs around €30 and is valid for 5 years. You normally just need to provide your passport, passport sized photos and codice fiscale. The card is sent to you in 6 days, and at the appointment for your card, they will take your fingerprints.

Contrary to popular belief anyone legally resident in the country is able to get the new Electronic ID card. The only difference is, Italian Citizens can use the card to travel in Europe as a travel document, foreign citizens cannot, and the card clearly states that.


The Italian Government has an official app that shows you some services you can access via the app, more are always being added. The Government expects most government services to have some online presence. In the App you can pay your car tax, view your application for citizenship, join government bonus schemes and so on. You will need a SPID to register for the app as you can access some confidential personal information. The app is also in English which makes it easier to use.

Search the relevant App Store for iO – L’app dei servizi pubblici

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