Family OfficeFinanceInsuranceMortgagePropertiesWhy is it that when a foreigner buys real estate in Italy all the documents are only in Italian?

16 October 20230

Italy has been and always is a magnet for foreign investors, particularly in the real estate and financial sectors. However, one crucial aspect that is often a barrier is language. Negotiations, documents and official negotiations in Italy are conducted in Italian, which could be an obstacle for those who are not proficient in the language.
Italian: the official language for official documentation
In Italy, all official documents related to financial services, insurance, and real estate transactions are written in Italian. This also applies to documents of banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions. The reason is simple: since the services and products are provided in Italy, the official language for all transactions is Italian.

The implications

This language policy means that foreign investors or buyers will receive documents such as bank statements, insurance policies, and real estate contracts in Italian. It is not possible to request these documents in other languages. This is a rule rooted in the Italian legal framework, of which any foreign investor or buyer should be aware.

The cost of translation

For people who need these official documents translated into their native language, the burden of obtaining translations falls on them. They can ask for help in understanding the documents from their brokers or real estate agents, or they can hire professional translators. In any case, the cost of these translations is borne by the applicant.

Legal disputes and jurisdiction

In the case of legal disputes arising from financial, insurance or real estate transactions, jurisdiction lies with the Italian courts. Consequently, all documentation and proceedings will be conducted in Italian. This further emphasizes the importance of understanding the language or having a reliable global advisory service available.

Assistance from real estate brokers and agencies

Many real estate agencies and financial brokers in Italy offer assistance to their foreign clients by helping them understand documents, laws and regulations. This is a valuable service that can help foreigners navigate the complex landscape of the Italian real estate and financial sector. These agencies and brokers also often assist in negotiations with banks and insurance companies, bridging the language barrier.

Preparing for a smooth transaction

Foreign investors and buyers should consider the language aspect as a crucial preparatory step before plunging into the Italian market. Having a clear understanding of the language or ensuring access to reliable translation services can facilitate the transaction process and prevent misunderstandings that could lead to legal disputes.


Language is a significant factor in real estate and financial transactions in Italy. Therefore, foreign investors should equip themselves with a good knowledge of Italian or avail themselves of reliable advisory services to ensure a smooth and successful transaction process.
Through reliable advisory services and obtaining reliable translation services, foreign investors can mitigate the risks associated with language barriers and ensure a smooth transaction process in the Italian real estate and financial sectors.

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