A permesso di soggiorno only really becomes a necessity if you plan to study, work (legally) or live in
Italy. Obtaining one is never a pleasant experience; it often involves long queues and the frustration of arriv-
ing at the counter only to find you don't have the necessary documents.
The exact requirements, such as specific documents and marche da bollo (official stamps), can change. In
general, you will need a valid passport (if possible containing a stamp with your date of entry into Italy), a
special visa issued in your own country if you are planning to study (for non-EU citizens), four passport
photos and proof of your ability to support yourself financially. You can apply at the ufficio stranieri (for-
eigners' bureau) of the police station closest to where you're staying.
EU citizens do not require a permesso di soggiorno .
Non-EU citizens who want to study at a university or language school in Italy must have a study visa. These
can be obtained from your nearest Italian embassy or consulate. You will normally require confirmation of
your enrolment, proof of payment of fees and adequate funds to support yourself. The visa covers only the
period of the enrolment. This type of visa is renewable within Italy but, again, only with confirmation of on-
going enrolment and proof that you are able to support yourself (bank statements are preferred).