Claudia Bortolani

Claudia is an attorney admitted to the bar in Italy in 1993 and in California in 1997. She is the managing partner of Legal Grounds, a Rome-based law firm that she founded in 2009, joining forces in 2019, with Aliant, a global law firm focused on cross-border transactions. Claudia concentrates mainly in real estate transactions in Italy. Aliant also assists foreign companies in setting up operations in Italy, including labor, immigration, tax and transfer price issues.

Renting property in Italy

Leasing a property in Italy is a different from the rental process you may be accustomed to in the U.S. Here’s a breakdown of key things to know: Finding an Apartment: Forget the multi-listing systems you might use in the States. In Italy, real estate agents typically focus on specific properties, not finding them for you. So, if you see 10 apartments you like, you may need to contact 10 different agencies. Agent Communication: Sending lengthy emails with desired features (hardwood floors, balcony) might not be the most effective approach. Focus on the essential details (location, size, bedrooms) in your …

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Italy introduces new visa

Dealing with immigration matters can be tricky, especially when it comes to your visa or residence permit in Italy. A visa is a document, usually stamped in a passport, that allows a person to enter a country for a certain period of time, while a residence permit is a document that allows a person to stay in a country for an extended period of time (for work, study, family reasons or other). If you are entering the country for tourist purposes, as long as you do not exceed the 90-day period, no visa is required. It is crucial to know …

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Italian vs. American law

We have received a number of questions regarding the most common legal problems faced by foreigners who are traveling to, doing business in, and living in Italy. The answers often depend on how long you plan to stay in Italy, why you’re there, and how well you know Italian culture. We’ll be answering these questions in the course of the next several columns. What are some of the major differences in the Italian and American legal systems? The legal systems of Italy and the United States have many differences rooted in their historical origins and foundational principles. Italy follows a …

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Access to health care

If you have dual citizenship, do you have access to the Italian health care system while you’re in the country, even if you don’t live there? No, you don’t. As a dual citizen of Italy and America, you can apply for your Tessera Sanitaria, which is the Italian National Healthcare Card. This card grants you access to healthcare services in Italy and the EU at greatly reduced or no cost, but only if you choose to live in Italy as a permanent citizen. It’s important to note that, for dual citizen living permanently in Italy to use Italian healthcare benefits …

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What if I’m pulled over?

What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in Italy? Traffic tickets for safe drivers aren’t typically a problem in Italy and should not keep you from enjoying your vacation. Fines in Italy normally relate to parking violations, speeding, or entering ZTLs (permit areas only). If a driver is stopped by the police, they will be given the option of paying the fine on the spot, forfeiting any right to an appeal in the process, or they can pay a deposit and request an appeal. Those drivers who refuse either option will most likely have their car impounded …

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Longer-term stays in Italy

What do I have to do if I want to live in Italy for a year? If you are a U.S. citizen planning to stay in Italy for more than 90 days in any given calendar year, there are specific steps you need to follow: First of all, you will need to apply for a visa in your home country and obtain a Residence Permit within 8 days of your arrival in Italy.  It is crucial to identify the specific purpose of your stay in Italy before proceeding. Common reasons include work, study, family reunion or retirement. The type of …

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Fra Noi introduces new column

Care lettrici e lettori, saluti da Roma! My name is Claudia Bortolani and I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in Italy and California. I’m a partner in Aliant Law, an international firm that provides assistance with all aspects of Italian law for its clients in Italy and abroad, including the U.S. Fra Noi has invited me to launch a column in which I answer question that Americans commonly ask about Italian law, whether they’re vacationing in Italy or buying a home there. I look forward to sharing my expertise with you. Let’s start with a basic question in real …

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