There is no easy way to sum up Florence. It’s an impossible task. There is no describing the feeling of your first sun-lit afternoon wandering the streets of Florence, convinced you may have accidentally wandered onto a movie set or through a time machine, were it not for all the tourists. Florence looks much the way it has for centuries, with no small degree of character, artistic sensibility and style.

Called the Italian capitol of culture by some and recently named #1 city in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, Florence thrives on this modern celebration of its phenomenal past. Home to over 300,000 people, the city maintains a sense of calm despite the masses of people. Living and working in this city is something that can’t be described; you’ll just have to go out and experience it.

In order to teach English in Florence, most teachers will require native English proficiency, a bachelor’s degree, and TEFL certification. The average salary for teaching in Florence is $1,000 - $2,500 per month.

Photo Credit: Katherine Knecht

Teaching jobs are available in both public and private schools at all grade levels. Italians teach English as a foreign language starting very early in primary school and continue through the end of high school. There are also the options of working in a language school or tutoring. Many who work in the schools also tutor for the extra cash.

The work schedules vary from school to school. Some will want to bring you on as the primary English teacher and others may only need someone to fill in the gaps. At most schools it will be a yearly position. It may be the case that your contract is renewed a few years in a row, but it is not as common to find a school that will sign you for a few years on a single contract.

When and Where to Look for Jobs:

The best time to look for teaching positions is April-June, though starting your search earlier is always better than later. Most people looking for jobs teaching English in Italy will probably have gone through a TEFL program, which is recommended on most teaching websites.

These programs train you for a number of weeks, and after you receive a certification, then some programs will help you send out letters and CVs to the schools. Florence is home to over 300,000 people, so it goes without saying how many schools there are in Florence.

Qualifications:

Italy has very simple requirements to teach English in their schools. You will need to be a native English speaker, have a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certification, and a work visa. As far as the bachelor’s degree, they are not very particular as to your major (though Arts & Letters is often preferred).

You do not need to have any specific knowledge of Italian since they want you to speak as much English with your students as possible. In regards to your work visa, you will work with your employer to get all the necessary paperwork that you will need. Check the consulate website before you leave to find out what is required.

Salary & Cost of Living:

The city and school you work in, along with the number of hours you work will affect how much you earn per month, but the average is €1000-1500 for Italy as a whole. In Florence, that is more than enough to cover your living costs and you will probably have a bit to save. If you have the time and want some extra money, consider tutoring. It pays well enough and there are plenty of people looking for tutors.

Housing costs are the biggest expense by far. Florence is one of the largest cities in Italy and was named #1 city in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler magazine this past fall. Higher demand means higher costs. Thankfully there are dozens of websites and/or offices in the city you can use to find a place. Some studios or rented rooms will go for as low as €300 per month, but more often the low prices are around €450-600 per month.

For the city center in Florence, you will get your money’s worth. The entire city looks like a movie set of a historical drama, with only some visual evidence of construction in the past three- or four-hundred years.

Plus, no matter where you live in Florence, you’re within walking distance of a dozen markets, pharmacies, and a bus line or two. It’s rare, but you may find a teaching job that gives you a small apartment. However it will be reflected in a lower paycheck and it will be your average apartment, nothing grand.

As for food, it’s Florence; you can’t go wrong with anything you try. Groceries for the month can cost as little as €150-200 per month (for every meal), especially if you stick to the Italian diet. Italians have a lot of produce and pasta in their diets, and very little meat.

Meat may only be included in dinner once or twice a week for many Italians, since it is widely believed that eating it often is unhealthy. Pre-prepared foods, cereals, and meat will be your most expensive grocery items. Being in the middle of Chianti country, you can buy a bottle or two of the cheapest wine for the price of one package of sandwich meat.

Classroom & Work Culture:

Florence and its inhabitants have a definite sense of style that you will not find too hard to blend in with. No one looks high maintenance, but there is a distinct effort and thought into the way they present themselves to the world. Both men and women are always clean, smart and effortless in their looks. For working in an academic setting, business casual is perfect. You can even get away with denim in some cases as long as you dress it up with the rest of your attire.

Much of the work culture will be manners you use in the rest of your day-to-day life. When addressing a colleague, elder, superior, etc., use the formal terms until they invite you to use the informal. Say hello to everyone you come across, especially if you make eye contact. When you first meet someone, you should say ‘Piacere’ (it’s the Italian ‘Pleased to meet you’, pronounced Pee-ah-chair-A).

Every school is different, but some will encourage you to use as little Italian with your students as possible. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t try to speak Italian with everyone else. Many people you meet will speak a little English, but some will not. Italians will respect you more if you at least attempt to speak Italian first. Plus, many of them actually enjoy helping you pronounce words correctly.

When it comes to interacting with students, most teachers are definitely in charge, but are also very open and friendly people. Even at work, it is difficult to separate the Italian habits of conversation from an easy-going tone. In the classroom, equal time is spent on individual work, group work, and class discussion.

Contributed by Maria Martellaro
Due to the COVID-19 crisis we understand there is a lot of uncertainty around travel. While many programs have been canceled this summer we're all crossing our fingers that travel opens again soon. In the meantime many new online programs have emerged. While certainly not the same experience as going overseas, we think they offer the next best thing to creating a connection to the world.
Coronavirus Information
  • Italy has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • The Italian government has strict movement restrictions and law enforcement authorities are collecting self-declaration forms from travelers specifying the purpose of their movement and destination.
  • Public transportation including airlines, trains, and buses continue to operate, but with reduced frequency. Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of additional travel restrictions to be implemented with little or no advance notice.
  • Beginning April 26, travel is permitted within the same region for work, health, emergencies, and to visit family members.
Last Updated:
May 29, 2020

Teaching Programs in Florence

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 programs
A.C.L.E.
Travel Italy and Become TEFL-TP Certified with A.C.L.E.
Italy
62 reviews6 interviews

Travel Italy and become TEFL-TPⓒ Certified with A.C.L.E. Receive...

International TEFL Academy
Get Paid to Teach English in Italy with TEFL Certification
Italy
5 reviews1 interview

Interested in getting paid to travel the world? By earning your...

Cultural Homestay International
Teach English to a Host Family in Italy with CHI
Italy
2 reviews1 interview

Volunteer to teach English in Italy with Cultural Homestay...

TEFL Courses in Italy

A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in Italy
  • A.C.L.E.
    Travel Italy and Become TEFL-TP Certified with A.C.L.E.
    Italy
    62 reviews6 interviews

    Travel Italy and become TEFL-TPⓒ Certified with A.C.L.E. Receive...

  • International TEFL Academy
    Get Paid to Teach English in Italy with TEFL Certification
    Italy
    5 reviews1 interview

    Interested in getting paid to travel the world? By earning your...

  • Via Lingua
    Get TEFL Certified in Florence, Italy
    Italy
    13 reviews1 interview

    Via Lingua Florence provides an intensive, interactive program to gain...

  • The TEFL Academy
    Combined Level 5 TEFL Course in Europe
    Multiple Countries
    20 reviews2 interviews

    At the TEFL Academy we only offer one course because we want all our...

  • TEFL Heaven
    TEFL Heaven: Inspire in Italy with Guaranteed Paid Job!
    Italy

    TEFL Heaven offers the exciting opportunity to earn your TEFL...

  • Global English TESOL
    10% off the ideal TESOL course for Europe
    Italy

    Teaching English is in high demand across Europe, and at Global...

  • GeoVisions Foundation
    Accredited 130-Hour TEFL Certification In Florence, Italy
    Italy

    Learn to teach, travel and make a difference! This is not your average...

  • TEFL Services International
    Italian Language Corse + TEFL Certification
    Italy

    Our unique program includes Italian Language training followed by our...

  • Eurolingua Institute
    Eurolingua TEFL Course in Genoa, Italy
    Italy

    Savor the experience of teaching English in Italy. Our TEFL courses in...

Explore Teaching Abroad in Italy

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much do English teachers make in Italy?

    Typically, an English teacher in Italy can earn between $1,000-$1,800 (€900-€1,600) per month. Those at private language institutes can expect an hourly rate between €15-€30 per hour.

  • What qualifications do you need to teach English in Italy?

    The job market for English teachers is quite competitive, so it's necessary to have your TESOL/TEFL certificate to teach in Italy. However, it's not a requirement to have a bachelor's degree -- it's possible to find opportunities that do not require a university education. If you don't have a teaching certificate of some sort, you can consider taking one in Italy before applying for jobs.

  • Can I teach English in Italy without a degree?
    Although it may open up your chances to more job opportunities, you can teach in Italy without a college degree. If you don't have a degree, make sure to have a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA.
  • How long does it take to get an Italian visa?
    The processing time to obtain a visa for Italy varies by the type of visa. A tourist visa may take between one to two weeks, while a work visa may take up to a month.

What People Are Saying

Best students <3

Not only is ACLE a really smart and rewarding way to travel, but it's a break from the stress of wherever your life is at before you go there. It provides a home away from home and amazing...

My host family in a gondola in Venice!

I frequently talk about and look back on my summer of 2018. Italy is an amazing country and this program allows you to stay with host families who give you a real taste of the culture. The staff...

Last day of Orientation

Working for ACLE was one of the best experiences of my life! From the fun and inspirational training where I met amazing people from all over the world, to traveling throughout Italy each week...

Related Teach Abroad Articles