How to Open a Bank Account in Italy: You Full Guide 2024

If you need to open a bank account in Italy you might be finding the process of getting one a bit overwhelming. Whether you’ve just relocated to Italy, you’re planning a move, or you’re looking for Italian banking options as a non-resident, this guide has you covered.

With most Italian banks you’ll be asked for a local Italian address or residence permit, and a tax ID, to be able to open an account. That can make it tricky to get an account if you’re not in Italy yet, or if you’re only staying temporarily. We’ll look at your options and the process with major Italian banks - and some alternatives like Wise and Revolut as a more flexible comparison. More on that, later.

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What documents do I need?

To open a bank account in Italy - as with more or less anywhere else in the world - you’ll need to provide some paperwork for verification. While the exact documents may vary, you’ll often be asked for the following:

  • Proof of ID like a passport or National identity card

  • Proof of Italian address

  • Codice fiscale (tax number)

  • Proof of employment or student status

    If you don’t have an Italian address because you’ve not moved yet or because you’re non-resident you may only be eligible for a limited number of account products from Italian banks - but we’ve got some smart alternatives you might want to consider instead, coming up later.

Save the paperwork with alternative solutions like Wise or Revolut

Don’t have an Italian proof of address just yet? Consider a non-bank alternative like Wise or Revolut.

Digital providers like these offer multi-currency accounts you can use to hold, send, spend and receive euros, alongside a range of other currencies. Plus, you’ll be able to open your account with your local UK proof of identity and address, to get EUR bank details even before you’re an Italian resident.

Non-bank services like Wise and Revolut have been built with travellers, expats and digital nomads in mind, so you can set up your account online or via an app from wherever you happen to be, and complete the verification and onboarding process digitally before you travel.


Go to WiseGo to Revolut

How to open an Italian bank account as a foreigner

There’s no reason you can’t open a bank account in Italy as a foreigner as long as you’re an Italian resident with a local tax code and proof of address. If you don’t have these documents to hand you might find the process a little tougher going.

We’ll look at some smart alternatives - such as flexible international accounts from providers like Wise and Revolut - later. First, here’s a quick rundown of how to open a bank account in Italy if you’re a resident:

  1. Choose the bank and account that you’d prefer

  2. Double check if you’re eligible to apply online - this is often an option, but not always

  3. Gather the documents needed, usually including ID and proof of address, and your tax code

  4. Complete the application process online or in person at a branch

  5. Get verified and add money to your account

  6. You may be able to get your debit card instantly or you may need to have it delivered to your home later

    Related:Read more on what you need to know to open a bank account

What do I need to know before opening a bank account in Italy?

We’ve already touched on the fact it might be tricky to open an account if you're not living in Italy - but what about other options?

While some Italian banks do offer non-resident accounts, these may be marketed towards particular niches - such as cross border commuters living outside of Italy in one of the neighbouring countries, and working in Italy. Other choices include foreign and multi-currency accounts from the international divisions of major global banks - but these can come with higher fees.

Once you’ve found an account that works for you, be sure to double check all the documents needed, and whether or not you’re eligible to apply online or in app. You’ll also need to read through the account terms and fees carefully as they may be quite different to those you’re used to at home. We’ll look at some common fees to watch out for a bit later. Read more about how to open a bank account online from the UK.</center>

Can I open a bank account in Italy only with my passport

No. You won’t be able to present your passport and get an account with a bank in Italy. You’ll pretty much always need an Italian proof of address and a tax code to get an account with a bank.

Which account is best in Italy for foreigners? 

There’s no single best account in Italy for foreigners - the best one for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. We’ve picked out a couple of non-bank options - Wise and Revolut - to compare against a big European banking option, N26, and a local choice - BancoPosta. Here’s a quick overview of some key features and fees to know about:

Currencies covered40+ currencies including EUR and GBP Typically around 28 currencies including EUR  and GBPEUREUR
Open before you arrive in ItalyYesYesYes if you live in another country N26 operates in (the UK is not supported)No
Open onlineYesYesYesYes
Opening feeNo feeNo feeNo feeNo fee
Maintenance feeNo feeStandard plans have no maintenance fee - or customers can upgrade to accounts which have a monthly chargeAccounts with virtual cards have no maintenance fee - or customers can upgrade to accounts which have a monthly charge30 EUR annually for standard account
International transfersLow fee, from 0.42%, varies by currencyFee varies by currency and payment value, and the account type you haveLow fee, powered by WiseAvailable through money orders and Western Union with variable fees

As you can see, the options on offer can vary pretty widely depending on whether you specifically want an account from an Italian bank, or you’d prefer a flexible digital option from a non-bank service. There are plenty of other bank choices available for customers with an Italian address and tax code, so comparing a few is a smart move - or, if you’re not a resident yet, you might prefer to open a Wise or Revolut account before you move. These flexible multi-currency accounts also offer low costs and easy ways to hold, exchange, send, spend and receive euros and pounds - and other currencies - all in the same account.


Wise accounts can hold, exchange, send, spend and manage 40+ currencies including both pounds and euros. You’ll also get a linked debit card, bank details for up to 10 currencies - including GBP and EUR - to receive payments, and you can send money to 160+ countries.

Wise accounts have no minimum balance or monthly fees to pay, and all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees. Read more about Wise accounts 

Go to Wise

How to open an account with Wise 

Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app. Just tap Register, and follow the prompts to create an account using your email, Google, Facebook or Apple ID. You’ll be guided through the process to get verified with your UK ID and address documents, and can get everything done with just a phone or laptop.


Revolut accounts can hold and exchange 25+ currencies including pounds euros. Revolut standard accounts have no ongoing maintenance costs, or for more features you can upgrade to a paid plan for a monthly fee.

All accounts have a linked debit card, some weekday currency exchange which uses the mid-market rate depending on your account type, and some no fee ATM withdrawals. revolut_account.png

Go to Revolut

How to open an account with Revolut 

The easiest way to open a Revolut account is in the Revolut app. Just tap Sign up and enter your personal and contact information - select the account type you want and follow the prompts to upload your ID and address documents.


N26 is a digital bank operating in Europe with a full European banking licence. It covers many countries of the EU and EEA - but not the UK. You can open a N26 account with a proof of address from any of the supported countries, and pick from a range of EUR accounts and cards depending on your needs.

Some accounts have ongoing fees, but it’s possible to have an N26 account with no maintenance charge if you don’t need a physical debit card for payments.

How to open an account with N26

Open your N26 account online with a proof of address and ID from one of the eligible countries in the EU. Just head to the N26 website page for the country you’re resident in, to check the documents you can use and the process - it’s all done online so there’s no need to head to a physical branch to get started.


BancoPosta is the banking division of the Italian post office. There’s a range of services on offer, and you can visit physical locations in post office branches if you’d prefer to transact in person. For standard EUR accounts you’ll pay 30 EUR a year, although there are some cheaper options for selected customers.

BancoPosta may be worth considering as a one stop shop if you’re an Italian resident and want a way to manage your money, take a loan, invest, and manage your mail all in the same place.

How to open an account with BancoPosta

You can open a BancoPosta account online if you have the full set of paperwork required - you can also pop into a branch to have someone guide you through the process if you’d prefer.

What is a bank account in Italy needed for?

Having a bank account which you can use to hold and exchange euros can be helpful in lots of different scenarios:

  • If you want to receive and hold payments in euros - as a freelancer working with EU clients for example

  • If you’re moving to Italy to live or work, or if you plan to travel there extensively

  • If you need to send EUR payments to others - such as paying for an overseas mortgage

Benefits of opening a bank account in Italy

Italian bank accounts - and EUR accounts from non-bank alternatives - have a few great benefits which may come in handy:

  • Hold euros to save or invest

  • Receive payments in euros without needing to convert back to GBP instantly

  • Spend easily in the Eurozone without needing currency conversion

  • An Italian bank account is pretty essential if you live in Italy, for setting up local services for example

Can I open a bank account in Italy before arrival?

You won’t usually be able to open a standard account with a bank in Italy without a local Italian proof of address. Some banks which operate in Italy do have specific non-resident account products which you may be able to open before moving - but these are likely to have their own restrictions, or a requirement for you to be based in the EU already.

You’ll also usually need an Italian tax ID to open your bank account there. If you don’t have an Italian proof of address and tax details you might be better off with non-bank alternative providers, such as Wise and Revolut.

Can I open a bank account online?

Italian banks do offer online and in app account opening, but only if you have a full set of standard documents including a proof of ID, acceptable proof of address, and a local Italian tax ID.

If you don’t have these you can still open an account with online providers such as Wise and Revolut instead. Digital services like these have been built to offer a fully in app or online account opening, verification and onboarding process which is convenient and easy to use.

How long does it take to open a bank account in Italy?

If you have all the required paperwork you’ll be able to open a bank account in Italy fairly quickly. If you’re following an online process you may then need to wait a few days for your debit card to arrive by mail, although some providers offer virtual cards you can set up right away.

What are the types of bank accounts in Italy

The bank accounts in Italy that are available to you will depend on the bank you pick and your residency status. If you’re a non-resident or a cross border commuter you’ll find your options may be a bit reduced as you can’t show a local Italian proof of address. However, there are still a few options out there which might suit you.

If you’re an Italian resident you’ll have a far greater range of account options including accounts for everyday use - like current accounts in the UK - savings accounts, student accounts, accounts for younger people under 30 and so on.

How to choose a bank account in Italy

It’s worth looking at a few different account types and options before you open your bank  account in Italy - bearing in mind that the features will be different to the account you’ve been used to.

Check the bank you pick has good branch and ATM access, as well as online and mobile services. Review the fees carefully, looking out for ongoing and unavoidable costs in particular. It’s also a smart idea to double check online reviews to see what existing customers say about your preferred bank before you get started.

Compare your options for Italian banks against non-bank alternatives like Wise and Revolut. The features won’t be exactly the same, but you might find you get lower overall costs and easier ways to manage your money between the UK and Italy.

How much does it cost to open a bank account in Italy? 

Some Italian bank accounts have no ongoing costs - but that doesn’t mean they’re free to use. You’ll need to check through the account terms and conditions really carefully to make sure there are no surprises when you start to transact. In particular check for:

  • Monthly maintenance fees - or fall below fees

  • International payment fees

  • Foreign transaction fees when spending or withdrawing with your card

  • Overdraft fees

  • Credit card costs including cash advances and interest

  • Account dormancy or early closure fees

Is it possible to open a fee-free account in Italy?

Accounts with no maintenance fees are available in Italy - but you may find restrictions, such as no physical card on offer. Some accounts with no monthly fee are also only available in specific circumstances, such as for younger customers or students.

Even where an account does not have a maintenance fee, there will be transaction and service fees to pay - read through the fee schedule carefully before you sign up.

What are the additional costs?

So what are the common extra costs when you open an account in Italy? Look out for these which may work differently to the UK - or be higher than you expect:

  • Card fees - annual costs based on the card you select

  • Withdrawal fees - local and international ATM charges

  • Foreign transaction fees - fees applied if you spend in a foreign currency

  • Interest or overdraft charges

  • International transfer fees - particularly important when moving, as the costs of sending money abroad can be high

Tips for sending money between the UK and Italy

If you’re planning to move to Italy from the UK you’ll probably need to send money frequently from GBP to EUR or vice versa. This can be pretty expensive to do when you take into account all the fees that apply. Here are a few tips to help you cut the costs overall:

  • Compare the exchange rate you’re offered against the mid-market exchange rate to see if a markup is being used

  • Review the terms and conditions of your specific account to see the transfer fee which will apply

  • Check if there are third party fees associated with the SWIFT network – these can push up the overall costs

  • Consider using a specialist service like Wise instead of your regular bank - this can keep the costs down and mean you get a faster service, too


You can open a standard account with an Italian bank if you have a proof of Italian residency and a local Italian tax ID. Without these it’s usually pretty hard to get a full service account from an Italian bank - although some options do exist for cross border commuters, EU residents or expats working abroad for example. Non-resident accounts from European and UK banks usually have some restrictions - or high fees - which means you might prefer an account from a non-bank provider like Wise or Revolut.

Options like Wise and Revolut allow customers to set up an account to hold and exchange EUR alongside GBP and other currencies, with a UK proof of address and ID. This means you can get everything arranged before you move, and hit the ground running once you arrive in italy.


Can a foreigner non-resident open an account in Italy?

You usually need a local Italian address and tax code to get a bank account - so non-resident foreigners may struggle. If that sounds like you, you might find it easier to get set up with an online account with a specialist provider like Wise or Revolut.

How much do I need to open a bank account in Italy?

Some bank accounts in Italy have minimum opening deposit requirements, or ongoing monthly or annual maintenance fees. Some options, including specialist services, may be completely free to open with no minimum  balance - compare a few providers to get the best deal for your needs.

Can I open an Italian bank account online?

If you have a full set of eligible documents including proof of Italian address and a local tax ID, you might be able to open an Italian bank account online. However, without this a better option might be to pick a specialist provider with a more flexible verification process, to open your account from home on your laptop or mobile device.

How to apply for a bank account online in Italy?

If you’re eligible to open a bank account online in Italy you can do so by uploading an image of your proof of address and ID, and giving information about your local tax code. Your debit card will then be shipped to your home address once you’ve been verified.

Can I open a bank account in Italy before landing?

You won’t usually be able to get a bank account in Italy until you can prove your legal residence there, and until you have a local tax ID. Specialist services like Wise or Revolut may be a better choice because they can accept international proof of address documents when you open your account.