If you've searched the internet for private medical insurance that covers expats in Italy then you are probably for looking for trusted UK based health insurance companies that will cover your medical expenses in Italy.
Living as an expat in Italy you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Italy is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is extremely complex and if you want complete certainty that Italy is covered by your policy you should consult with a health insurance broker who can explain which providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Italy and which will not.
There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the biggest by far is that you're using their expertise at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.
- Do you live in many different postcodes? Some will give you a cheaper premium than offers. A broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've developed a certain condition and want to know which insurer offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you so much time and effort.
You can call around every medical insurance provider on the market and ask if they provider cover for expats in Italy, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its far far quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in Italy and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
With 94 million tourists per year (2019) according with ENIT, Italy is the third most visited country in international tourism arrivals, with 217.7 million foreign visitors nights spent and a total of 432.6 million visitors. According to estimates by the Bank of Italy of 2018, the tourism sector directly generates more than 5% of the national GDP (13% considering also the indirectly generated GDP) and represents over 6% of the employed. People mainly visit Italy for its rich culture, cuisine, history, fashion and art, its beautiful coastline and beaches, its mountains, and priceless ancient monuments. Italy also contains more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world (58).
As of 2018, the Italian places of culture (which include museums, attractions, parks, archives and libraries) amounted to 6,610. Active hotel businesses are 33,000, while non-hotel businesses are 183,000. The tourist flow in the coastal resorts is 53%; the best equipped cities are Grosseto for farmhouses (217), Vieste for campsites and tourist villages (84) and Cortina d'Ampezzo mountain huts (20).
People have visited Italy for centuries, yet the first to visit the peninsula for touristic reasons were aristocrats during the Grand Tour, beginning in the late 17th century, and flourishing in the 18th century.
Rome, as the capital of the powerful and influential Roman Empire, attracted thousands to the city and country from all over the empire, which included most of the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, mainland Great Britain (England) and parts of Western Asia. Traders and merchants came to Italy from several different parts of the world. When the empire fell in 476 AD, Rome was no longer the epicentre of European politics and culture; on the other hand, it was the base of the papacy, which then governed the growing Christian religion, meaning that Rome remained one of Europe's major places of pilgrimage. Pilgrims, for centuries and still today, would come to the city, and that would have been the early equivalent of "tourism" or "religious tourism". The trade empires of Venice, Pisa and Genoa meant that several traders, businessmen and merchants from all over the world would also regularly come to Italy. In the 16th and early 17th century, with the height of the Renaissance, several students came to Italy to study Italian architecture, such as Inigo Jones.
Real "tourism" only affected in Italy in the second half of the 17th century, with the beginning of the Grand Tour. This was a period in which European aristocrats, many of whom were British, visited parts of Europe; Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean places were amongst the most popular. This was in order to study ancient architecture and the local culture. The Grand Tour was in essence triggered by the book Voyage to Italy, by Roman Catholic priest Richard Lassels, and published in 1670. Due to the Grand Tour, tourism became even more prevalent - making Italy one of the most desired destinations for millions of people. Once inside what would be modern-day Italy, these tourists would begin by visiting Turin for a short while. On the way there, Milan was also a popular stop, yet a trip to the city was not considered essential, and several passed by, or simply stayed for a short period of time. If a person came via boat, then they would remain a few days in Genoa. Yet, the main destination in Northern Italy was Venice, which was considered a vital stop, as well as cities around it such as Verona, Vicenza and Padua.
As the Tour went on, Tuscan cities were also very important itinerary stops. Florence was a major attraction, and other Tuscan towns, such as Siena, Pisa, Lucca and San Gimignano, were also considered important destinations. The most prominent stop in Central Italy, however, was Rome, a major centre for the arts and culture, as well as an essential city for a Grand Tourist. Later, they would go down to the Bay of Naples, and after their discovery in 1710, Pompeii and Herculaneum were popular too. Sicily was considered a significant part of the trail, and several, such as Goethe, visited the island.
Throughout the 17th to 18th centuries, the Grand Tour was mainly reserved for academics or the elite. Nevertheless, circa 1840, rail transport was introduced and the Grand Tour started to fall slightly out of vogue; hence, the first form of mass-tourism was introduced. The 1840s saw the period in which the Victorian middle classes toured the country. Several Americans were also able to visit Italy, and many more tourists came to the peninsula. Places such as Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples and Sicily still remained the top attractions.
As the century progressed, fewer cultural visits were made, and there was an increase of tourists coming for Italy's nature and weather. The first seaside resorts, such as those in the Ligurian coast, around Venice, coastal Tuscany and Amalfi, became popular. This vogue of summer holidays heightened in the fin-de-siècle epoch, when numerous "Grand Hotels" were built (including places such as Sanremo, Lido di Venezia, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi). Islands such as Capri, Ischia, Procida and Elba grew in popularity, and the Northern lakes, such as Lake Como, Maggiore and Garda were more frequently visited. Tourism to Italy remained very popular until the late-1920s and early-1930s, when, with the Great Depression and economic crisis, several could no longer afford to visit the country; the increasing political instability meant that fewer tourists came. Only old touristic groups, such as the Scorpioni, remained alive.