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Italian Real Estate Buying: Q&A Series

This is the fourth in a series of questions regarding home buying in Italy. The questions are sent in by readers like you and are answered by our two experts, Italian real estate attorneys Claudia Bortolani (who is also licensed in California!) and Eleonora Cerin.

These Q&A sessions have been created in support of our Italian Home Buying tour next year. The dates for this tour are May 22 to 29, 2024 and we are now ready to take reservations!!

On this tour we'll be joined by Claudia and Eleonora, our real estate attorneys, and various agents as we view homes in the Sabina area of Italy. You'll get to know the area with us through activities like nature walks and cooking classes with locals and spend valuable time with experts so you can gain insight into their experience. All of this, the activities, lodging, meals, our attorneys are included in the price of the trip.

For our Q&A this week, we have a very sensible question from a reader:

Q: Do I need an Italian bank Account?

A: Actually, to buy a property in Italy you do not need an Italian bank account at the date of closing which will happen necessarily before an Italian notary public. Notaries in Italy are public officials entrusted of the transfer formalities and some important verifications on the legal status of the property. They may also act as escrow agents. So, you will be able to transfer the proceeds for the acquisition to your notary’s dedicated bank account, and have the notary transfer the sum to the seller with absolute certainty. After the transfer, it is advisable to open an Italian bank account for several reasons, but most importantly to be able to pay on-line your utilities bills through a direct, automatic charge, so you will not have to worry about it especially if you reside abroad. While it is fairly simple to open a bank account when you reside in Italy, not all of the banks open bank accounts to foreign residents. Some banks may have specific account options tailored for non-residents or foreign individuals purchasing property in Italy, so it is recommended to research different banks and compare their offerings, fees, and services. The assistance of a local counsel may be helpful to understand the bank’s requirements, documentation, and any specific procedures for opening an account as a foreign citizen.

If you have a question for Claudia and Elenora about the home buying process in Italy and you'd like to see it answered here, please email

If you'd like to sign up for the real estate buying tour, please let us know asap so that we can hold a spot for you. Our tours are small group and limited to 7 people.

We are also working on an October 2024 Tuscan Wine Tour. We'll release that itinerary within 2 weeks and it's expected to sell out quickly. Keep an eye out for that or let us know if we should hold a spot for you!

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