Maybe you have never been to Italy. You have just seen the pics of Venice and Florence and Rome, and you once went on a date with an Italian girl that went really well coz you knew how to eat spaghetti like an Italian. She never called back though. Now you are like: I gotta move there.
Or you have been on those gondola rides, taken a gazillion pictures of the Colosseum and all the other 99999 ancient monuments, had the best pizza and biscotti al latte, and every other amazing Italian cuisine that will take a lifetime to cover.
You love the language and you think you can speak it. And now, you are thinking about making Italy your base. Move there for a while. Maybe forever. Maybe just become a digital nomad for a year.
And now you are worried about the cost of living in Italy. After all Italy is in Europe and Europe can be expensive. If you are calculating the cost of living in Italy based on the cost of travel to Italy for that 3-week road trip, then you probably need to recalculate.
If you move to or live in Italy, and you need to take into account that it’s gonna be quite different from what you spent when you travelled there.
Now, like any other country, your living expenses in Italy can go up or down depending on whether you are a cheapskate or someone who lives a milk-and-honey kind of life.
For a digital nomad, Italy cost of living per month boils downs to four factors.
- Rent in Italy
- Travel in Italy
- Miscellaneous expenses like Internet, healthcare, mobile bills etc.
What is the Average Rent in Italy?
The average rent in Italy can go anywhere from 200-1000 euros (240-1200 USDs). It all depends on where you live.
If you plan on living in a city like Rome, Milan, Naples or Florence, and you plan on living in the city centre, then you must be ready to fork out some good amount of money.
If you want to live in a neighborhood with English-speaking community, with co-working spaces and a lifestyle that involves you living life to the fullest- then you can’t expect to rent on a tight budget.
But you can totally rent a place outside the city center, maybe on sharing basis and you won’t be spending a lot on rent.
|Accommodation Type||Rent in Euro/USD|
|One-bedroom apartment |
in city center
|One-bedroom apartment |
outside city center
|Room in city center||400-600 euro/|
|Room outside city center||150-200 euro/|
You will need to pay for electricity, water, garbage pickup and gas bills.
If you are living alone, your bills would range from 80-150 euro. I have known people who lived in cities like Milan and only paid 50 euro for utilities.
However if you are living in Italy on a sharing basis, your utility bills would be much lower.
How to Find Rentals in Italy?
If you are planning on renting for a short time, you can visit one of the Facebook groups for apartments in Italy or one for students, and find a place there.
Airbnb works pretty well for short-term rentals in Italy for a few months as well.
However, when it comes to long term rentals in Italy, do know that many landlords need a minimum of 1 or 2 years contract to lease an apartment. This can be negotiated, if you are charming and/or speak Italian.
How to Save on Rent in Italy?
If you want to save on rent in Italy, the two tips I can give you are: learn Italian and stay with a local.
When you learn the language, you would be able to find out places that you didn’t know exist before. You can bargain with locals and trust me, Italians are no strangers to negotiations.
Italy Food Prices
Food will definitely constitute a big part of your living expenses in Italy. Now, meeting someone who is not crazy about Italian food is sort of like finding signs of life in Mars(well, Elon Musk maybe has a version of himself living there already).
Jokes aside, food is pretty affordable in Italy.
Just be be flexible and adapt to the local eating culture. Don’t look for American or British breakfast or lunch and your food cost in Italy will dramatically come down.
Eating out in Italy: What is the Meal cost in Italy?
If you are paying more than 15 euros for lunch in Italy, you are living the high life, I would say. The local establishments, authentic trattorias, delis, street carts etc. serve you lunch for 3-10 euros depending on what you are eating.
You can simply go to an alimentori or a deli shop, and ask for a panino with prosciutto and/or pecorino without any extra ingredients. Most Italians eat a panino with meat and cheese.
Also the neighborhood matters a lot. Food prices in a shop in historic center would always be on the higher side than a suburb.
So your average meal cost in Italy can be as low as 3 euros.
How are Italy Supermarket Prices?
The supermarkets that are on the cheaper side are Coop, Lidl, Auchan, Esselunga, Eurospin. You can visit them and compare the prices to know which one clicks for you.
Food in the markets or grocery stores is real cheap usually and you can just buy something and have dinner in a nearby park or a large piazza, especially in the summertime.
How are the Beer Prices in Italy? And Wine?
A pint of domestic beer would cost 3-5 euros.
Coming to restaurants, house wine costs 6-10 euros per litre usually, while getting a bottle is definitely more expensive. And unless you really know your wine, know that house wine is often comparable to most of the bottled wines.
What is the Cost of Travel in Italy?
If you traveling to Italy from another country, then there are many low-cost flight options available.
A one-way bus or tram ticket costs 1.5 -2 euro for a ride within any region. And the metro would cost you the same in a big city like Rome.
Now that we are talking about big cities, you can also use bike-sharing services out there. They are pocket-friendly and good for the environment.
Cost of Italy Vacation
Taxi cost in Italy
It’s easy to find local taxis in major cities in Italy, and the standard meter fare starts from 3 euro, but you gotta be careful with the scammers.
In any case, if you need a lift, use the car-sharing app Blablacar.
Cost of Trains in Italy
Trains in Italy are a good way to travel inside Italy and between towns. While they may not always make it in time, the fares are pretty decent. I have always been a big fan of trains and while living in Colombia, I missed them a lot.
A great way to find cheap tickets is to find them on Italia Rail and choose the slower trains, like below.