Working in Rome




Rome has the highest population of foreign workers compared to other leading Italian cities such as Milan. In view of the growing number of job seekers, first-time expats in Rome should expect a stiff competition and not to mention the many locals or those coming from EU states who are also looking for employment. 

Expats planning to work in the Eternal City should bear in mind that the job industry can be a bit hard to penetrate especially for those coming from non-EU states. It is best to consider an intra-company transfer from an Italian multinational company to ensure that they’ll have a secured job waiting for them once they relocate in Rome. Another factor to consider is that this city has the largest concentration of foreign assignees and nowadays, having above average command in English is no longer a guarantee that an applicant can secure a job. 

Many Italian and multinational companies based in Rome would strongly consider an expat who is reasonably proficient in Italian so it’s best to learn the language for higher chances of getting employed. Over all speaking, Rome remains to be a favourable destination for foreign assignees because of its competitive work environment and leading industries that show remarkable recovery after the financial crises. 

Leading Industries in Rome 

Tourism is one of the city’s largest sources of employment. To this day, Rome is still one of the most beautiful destinations and most famous attractions in the world. The labour market is consistent in providing employment in Rome especially in banking, finance and real estate markets. Job opportunities are also open to professionals that have expertise in HR management, logistics as well as tax consulting. 

Non-skilled workers are open to finding employment in Rome especially those who can work as bartenders, waitresses and receptionists in resorts or hotels. There are also several multi-national companies who are searching for expats that are fluent in speaking English. Teachers who have a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification from Italian accredited agencies also have high chances of landing a job in the local education sector. Employment opportunities are also available in the fields of: 

  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Networking
  • English Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Media
  • Fashion
  • Logistics
  • Infrastructure Planning 

Average Salary and Working Hours 

As of February 2017, the average monthly net salary in Rome is €1,500 while the annual net salary is around €30,000. This amount will still vary depending on the expatriate’s professional experience and line of job.

A typical working day in Rome starts at 8 or 9 in the morning and usually ends at around 6 or 7 in the evening, Mondays to Fridays. Compared to managers, employees in this city only usually work from 36 to 40 hours per week which is lesser compared to the standard maximum 48 hours per week in other countries. The Italian legal standard is 40 hours a week and should still not exceed a total of 48 hours per week if there is overtime work. Lunch hours before can extend for up to two hours, but that some company only allow a one hour break time.

Those working in the public sector have the different schedule that mostly starts at 8 in the morning until 2:00 pm from Mondays to Fridays. Some public offices require additional hours in the afternoon to compensate for their closed business hours during Saturdays. 

Holidays in Rome 

Below is the list of the Italian holidays that are being observed and followed by employers in Rome. 

January 1

New Year’s Day

January 6


March 20

March Equinox

March 25

Good Friday

March 27

Easter Day

March 28

Easter Monday

April 25

Liberation Day/Feast of St. Mark

May 1

Labour Day

June 2

Republic Day

June 20

June Solstice

June 29

The feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

August 15

Assumption of Mary/Ferragosto

September 22

September Equinox

November 1

All Saint’s Day

December 8

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 21

December Solstice

December 25

Christmas Day

December 26

St. Stephen’s Day

December 31

New Year’s Eve

Employee Benefits from the SSN 

The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) is the uniform health care system that covers the entire population of Italy regardless of one’s income, contributions, employment or pre-existing health conditions. It provides free or subsidised health care to all residents of Rome and to their families as well. In the case of expats who have residence permits, it is the job of their employers to deduct a certain amount from their salary and contribute it to the SSN. Some of the benefits that foreign workers in Rome can get from the SSN are: 

  • Care for minors
  • Pregnancy and Maternity care
  • Vaccines
  • Operations for international preventative care
  • Prevention, diagnoses and cure of infectious diseases 

Business Culture 

Italians by nature love to mingle. There are instances that they value the applicant’s social skills and personality over their formal educational background or lack of fluency in their official language. For them, the first impression is highly significant which means that an expat who has a friendly and vibrant aura has great chances of signing a contract. In Rome, appearance is quite important. It is always best to dress in a smart-casual way or to base your everyday work clothes from your colleague’s corporate fashion. 

Trust is also the core of a good business/work relationship in Rome. Expats are advised to look for a well-connected person who can establish the right introduction for them or to invest significant time in building a close relationship with their local colleagues since it is very vital in the Italian business culture. Expats must also remember that initial meetings are usually used by the Italians to evaluate the other party and to establish relationships, not to close business deals. 

Hierarchy plays a significant part not just in the society but also in the local business culture. Older people and those who hold high positions have tremendous power as well as influence in the work environment. Decision making process in Rome takes time and the Italians do not appreciate someone who puts to much pressure on them. Also, expats should remember not to set up any meetings in August, on national days off and on Catholic festivities.


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