Italy is a member of a group of around twenty-five countries that have signed the Schengen Convention, an agreement allowing citizens of member countries to travel within another Schengen country without a visa. The United Kingdom and Ireland are not member countries but are exempt from visa requirements. Nationals from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the USA, Israel, Australia and Switzerland can spend up to 90 days in Italy without a visa.
Non-EU citizens who would like to work in Italy must obtain a permesso di lavoro (work permit). It is advisable to seek extensive information from an Italian consulate or embassy on the precise requirements before you embark on a search for work in Italy.
Many people head to Italy without obtaining the formal documents mentioned above. This means working ‘in black’ in areas such as hospitality, bars, restaurants, teaching English, babysitting, tour guiding and seasonal work. A good bet is to network and get to know the ex-pats around Florence. Check the local newspapers and magazines for advertised jobs. There are numerous online and printed publications offering advice on working in Italy.
If you are a non-EU citizen wanting to study at a university or language school in Italy you need to get a study visa. Such visas are obtained from an Italian consulate or embassy. To obtain a study visa you will need to show proof of payment of fees and sufficient funds to support your studies. This visa will last the length of your course and can be renewed in Italy along with confirmation of continuing enrolment.