Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world and one that seems to attract people from all over. Living and working in Rome can be challenging, not only because of the cultural differences, but also because of the paperwork involved. Still, the magic of the "Eternal City" is enough to get you through the hurdles of setting up house there.
If you plan on living in Rome for an extended period of time, you will need to find work. Work permits (known as Permesso di Soggiorno) for non-European residents are difficult to obtain and may require that you secure a job well in advance of your estimated time of arrival. To do that, you should obtain a job offer from a company in Rome, who will then need to obtain an authorization from the Department of Labor. Certain professions, including lecturers, IT professionals and doctors, may have more chance of obtaining a job. Teaching English is another quick way to make money.
Work out a budget as early as possible in the moving process. Rome is a highly touristic city, which means it is also relatively expensive. Unless you have enough money not to have to worry about these things, you will need to look into costs for renting an apartment, food and transportation. In most cases, it makes sense to live away from the city center. Rent is cheaper and you will have more access to traditional supermarkets rather than having to shop where the tourists do. Transportation in Rome is excellent, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting around.
Safety is not a big concern in Rome. The city itself has a low crime rate, especially when it comes to violent acts. There is a lot of pickpocketing going on, especially in the areas where tourists congregate, such as near the Colosseum. The Polizia, the motorway patrols of the Polizia Stradale and the Carabinieri are the three main divisions of the police force in Rome. The Polizia is the one you are most likely to encounter on the streets and the one you should search for if you need help. They dress completely in black.
Learning Italian will become essential if you choose not to live in the city center. Even a few kilometers out of the main tourist areas you will be in contact mostly with locals, who may not know English well enough to deal with you on a daily basis. While Italians are usually okay with the idea of your not speaking their language, knowing at least some common phrases, such as "Quante'e, per favore?" (How much does this cost?) and "Mi puo aiutare?" (Can you help me?) can go a long way toward making your life easier.
Identifying the main focal points of the city can help you make your life in Rome more manageable. Your first step upon arriving should be to contact your local embassy and register there. The American Embassy is located on Via Vittorio Veneto, easily accessible by public transportation. Other places you should locate quickly are your local ER (known as Pronto Soccorso) and hospital. There are numerous medical centers in Rome, so check your phone book for the one closest to you.