Whether you are moving near the Aviano Air Force Base in northern Italy or more south to the NSA Naples Navy Base, you’ll want to ensure your PCS to Italy is well-planned and organized. Compared to CONUS moves, OCONUS (outside of the continental United States) moves have more processes and steps to follow from the moment you are provided orders to the second you are settled into your military housing in Italy.
Therefore, we created a helpful PCS Italy guide. With this resource, you can come prepared to find ideal military housing and effectively transport your life across the world.
Research Your U.S. Military Base in Italy
Before you even begin looking for military housing, you’ll want to do some research on your U.S. Military Base in Italy. Knowing exactly where your next installation will be located will guide many of the upcoming decisions you’ll have to make.
For example, you’ll want to know all about the towns near your U.S. Military Base in Italy, education opportunities in the surrounding area, and even the type of weather you can expect to experience while you’re there.
List of U.S. Military Bases in Italy
- Aviano Air Force Base in Aviano, Italy
- Camp Darby Army Base in Tirrenia, Italy
- Caserma Ederle Army Base in Vicenza, Italy
- NAS Sigonella Navy Base in Sicily, Italy
- NSA Gaeta Navy Base in Gaeta, Italy
- NSA La Maddalena Navy Base in La Maddalena, Italy
- NSA Naples Navy Base Naples Italy in Naples, Italy
- Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples, Italy
Like most countries, Italy’s weather, geography and culture can vary depending on where you are located. For insance, Aviano is known for having harsh winters, while Naples has a climate more closely associated with the Mediterranean.
This, along with other facts about your assigned area, is valuable information to know when you begin making decisions about what clothing, supplies, etc., to pack and what items should remain in storage.
Find Military Housing In Italy
Many Italian military bases do not offer on-installation housing. Therefore, you are asked to live “on the economy,” which is a term you’ll hear quite often during an OCONUS stay. This means that you will live among the locals as you rent from an Italian landlord.
Especially if you do not speak Italian, it can be tough at first to navigate trying to find the type of military housing you are looking for. While your assigned military base’s housing office can provide resources, you can also check out the listings and resources on AHRN.
Our focus is on helping those in the military secure a home that is perfect for their needs and close to their assigned installation. As such, our military-focused platform provides resources to connect service members with military housing across the world.
Italian Housing Differences
While Italian houses, apartments and condos do closely relate to those we find in the United States, there are some key differences to be aware of while you are house hunting.
When viewing homes online, it’s important to view their location on a map. This is because homes in Italy can be rented out on acres over acres of land covered in orchards and grapevines. Or, a massive home can appear to have a large yard but actually be located on a small plot in the busy center of town.
Do you need a big backyard attached to a home on the outskirts of town or would you prefer to live in an apartment in the heart of a city? Check out the addresses of homes you are interested in on a map to gain a clear view of where they are located exactly!
Unlike in the United States, it isn’t common to find whole neighborhoods that were mass-built. Therefore, it isn’t likely that you’ll find cookie-cutter suburbs while searching for military housing in Italy. It is also rare for Italian homes to come with carpeting, so many military families often choose to invest in large rugs for the main areas of their homes.
OCONUS Education for Military Kids
Conveniently, the Department of Defense (DoD) has compiled information regarding Education for military kids. Military members can choose to send their children to local schools, where they can become immersed in Italian culture, or they can opt to have their children attend school on the military base.
Review the USAG Italy Education page for updated information regarding education on-base and local schools in Italy that are available to military kids. This resource also provides a bit of information about what college-level education opportunities are available for adults PCSing to Italy.
PCSing to Italy With Pets
It is quite a chore to move pets to Italy while PCSing, but it can be done! Keep this checklist of items you’ll need to complete as you prepare your pet to make the move overseas:
- Gather proof that your pet has been vaccinated for rabies
- Have your pet microchipped
- Obtain an EU pet passport
- Provide tapeworm, flea and tick treatment at least a week before flying
- Ensure the animal’s carrier complies with airline regulations
- Check for dog breed restrictions
While cats are widely accepted to be transported to Italy, some dog breeds may be restricted. Before you assume your dog is allowed, it’s best that you double-check airline restrictions as well as Italian law. Furthermore, it’s essential that you have handy the paperwork you need to prove that your pet has received the proper treatments to fly and enter Italy.
More Like This: Learn more about Moving With Pets as you PCS to your overseas installation!
Prepare Your HHG Move
The amount of information you need to know about moving overseas is dizzying! Review our article, Your Next Military Move Checklist—Processes and Strategies to Know, for in-depth details about the terms and processes you’ll need to know to get the ball rolling.
Knowing how much money the military will pay for you to move your items can greatly influence how much you decide to pack! Figure out your PCS Weight Allowance to help you decide what goes with you to Italy and what may need to be sold or kept in storage.
Hot Tip: Create a PCS home inventory to ensure you have documentation of the existence and condition of your property!
Learn About Cultural Differences
Although many Italians speak some level of English, it is still a good idea to brush up on the common cultural differences between the United States and Italy. In general, showing respect for Italian culture and history will earn you kindness and respect from locals.
Tips for Approaching Italian Culture
- Language: Asking locals if they speak English before you jump into a conversation in English will lead to a more pleasant interaction. This shows that you do not simply expect them to accommodate you, but are politely asking for a conversation in English.
- Lifestyle: Italy is known for operating on a more relaxed approach when it comes to time, schedules and work. This greatly differs from the speedy hustle-and-bustle found in the United States. So don’t expect services, appointments, etc., to be rushed.
- Meal Times: Lunch is typically seen as the most important meal of the day. In fact, breakfast is usually a pastry and an espresso, and dinner is a light meal between 6-9 PM.. Whereas restaurants are open at all times of the day in the United States, Italian restaurants and cafes follow this schedule pretty closely.
- Driving: If you are from New York or Philadelphia, then you are already used to the type of driving commonly found across Italy! Renowned for having an assertive approach to driving, you’ll need to adopt that same style to get where you need to go in a timely manner.
As Italy is a country that is heavily traveled by tourists, locals are well-acquainted with navigating interactions with Americans. By showing an interest in Italian customs and traditions, you will earn any forgiveness needed if you ever commit a faux pas or say something incorrectly.
Staying Organized is Key
Our AHRN team is dedicated to helping military members PCS with ease. And we know that having an organized PCS plan in place is key to a successful OCONUS move! Check out our Complete PCS Guide with Tips to help you systemize your approach to moving to Italy.