If you are dreaming about moving to the so-called Bel Paese to start a new life you will probably find information about the cost of living very helpful. Therefore, it will be the aim of this article to provide you with an overview of the cost of living in Italy, from housing to healthcare and education.
Generally speaking, people in Italy earn less than people in the U.S. In fact, annual salaries reflect the cost of living which is cheaper in Europe than in the United States. However, it should also be noted that there are substantial differences among Italian regions and cities in terms of cost of living. For instance, it is well-known that living in a beautiful coastal region in southern Italy is cheaper than living in northern Italy, which represents the driving force of the Italian economy. Nevertheless, there are also substantial differences within northern Italy and between cities like Milan and smaller cities in the countryside where the cost of living is much cheaper.
In order to provide you with some practical examples, here is a rough estimate of what the cost of living in a midsize Italian city might be for a couple. Although the cost can vary considerably depending on an individual’s lifestyle, according to some expats’ personal experiences, on average a couple in Italy spends up to €1,500 per month; please note that this applies to individuals who do not own a property and thus need to pay a monthly rent. People who live in big cities such as Milan, Rome, Bologna and Firenze might need an additional €400 euros per month.
A factor that largely influences the cost of living in an area is housing. Broadly speaking, accommodation in Italy is considerably less expensive than in the U.S. both for rent and for sale. As mentioned above, there are substantial differences between regions and cities in the Italian Peninsula. In fact, renting an apartment in Milan or Rome is very expensive and it can cost twice as much as an apartment in Naples. Undoubtedly, you can get a better value for money by choosing a property which is just outside big city centers.
Following on from the example mentioned above, a couple who relocates from the U.S. to a midsize city in Italy, for instance, usually spends about €550 on rent. Please note that when you rent a property in Italy you will need to pay the real estate agency a commission fee and you will also need to pay a deposit, which is generally equal to 3 months’ rent and which is returned to you at the end of the lease agreement. In addition to this, there might be additional costs that cover admin expenses which could include translating the rental contract or legalizing documents for the couple to be able to rent a property in Italy. As for utility bills (water, gas and electricity), the average monthly cost is €70. However, these may be higher during the winter. Finally, setting up an internet connection could cost up to €70 and a basic internet package could be around € 35 per month. Finally, an individual might spend up to €300 per month on food, transport and recreational activities. On average, food prices in Italy are very affordable and the quality is excellent.
Another crucial aspect that explains a lower cost of living in Italy compared to the U.S. is healthcare. In fact, healthcare in Italy is free for people who reside in the country. Residents are entitled to free universal healthcare and small payments include tests, surgery or medical assistance provided by specialists. You can also decide to go to private medical facilities which will provide a faster but more expensive service. On the other hand, healthcare in the U.S. is known to be exceptionally expensive. As a matter of fact, it is common for people in the U.S. to take out a health insurance which is a way to reduce costs to more affordable amounts. Therefore, universal healthcare is certainly one of the chief financial advantages of living in Italy.
Finally, if you are planning on moving to Italy to lay the foundations for your children’s future, you will be glad to know that Italy provides high-quality public education. Public primary, middle and high schools are free and you might only need to pay the school a small amount of money which, on average, does not exceed €50 per year. As for universities, the tuition fees vary from a few hundred of euros for state universities to a few thousand euros per year for private universities but the cost for the latter is still a fraction of the cost of universities in the U.S. The University of Bologna, for instance, is a public university with an excellent reputation and it is one of the oldest universities in the world. There are also private universities such as Bocconi University in Milan or Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome which might be considered more prestigious in some specific disciplines and have higher tuition fees, usually ranging from €10,000 to €15,000.
In conclusion, although incomes are lower in Italy compared to the U.S., enjoying life in the so-called Bel Paese has become a reality for many U.S. citizens who have decided to move to Italy permanently to benefit from universal healthcare, high quality education, and a competitive and affordable real estate market. If you need assistance with relocating to Italy and finding a property, do not hesitate to contact our team of Italian real-estate specialists and legal consultants at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to help you.