When one thinks of Italy as a place to live, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost: people often think that Italy is an expensive country and that the cost of living is pretty high. However, what causes people to think so are tourist traps and prices in big, touristy cities such as Rome, Milan, Florence or Venice. Visiting Italy as a tourist might in fact cost you more than what you would expect, especially if you sit down to have a coffee in Piazza San Marco in Venice or in a café which overlooks the Coliseum in Rome. Nevertheless, there are a lot of small towns and villages in Italy where the cost of living is more affordable.

In particular, real estate prices in small villages or towns are rather cheap: with a little luck, you might even find apartments for sale for less than €10.000! Besides very competitive purchasing prices, places outside big city centres offer beautiful landscapes and a quieter life style. 

Living near the seaside is an often underestimated but  affordable option; many think that properties on the coast are very expensive but this might not always be the case. De facto, regions in southern Italy are usually the cheapest ones. You might prefer one region to another: each has its own characteristics.

Abruzzo is the least expensive region; it is cheaper than countries such as Spain, Greece, Hungary and Turkey. It has more than 130 km of coast and it also counts a number of medieval villages which are scattered on its hills. Natural parks and protected areas cover most of its non-urban surface, including lakes, forests and hills. Another great region to live in if you love the sea is Puglia. The region is often referred to as the heel of the Italian boot, and it is full of nature and history. In particular, many Mediterranean civilizations left their traces in this area and nowadays the region has become famous internationally for its stunning beaches, food and culture. The high percentage of tourists has also helped the region to develop and  there are now two international airports. Among the most beautiful towns we suggest are Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, the area of Gargano and Santa Maria di Leuca, which is the southernmost point of the region.

Basilicata is another cheap region which offers beautiful mountainous landscapes. If you love outdoor activities this is the perfect place for you.  The city of Matera, which was carved into the rocks, is famous on an international level and is definitely worth visiting. The same applies to the region of Calabria. In particular, its climate will allow you to enjoy both outdoor summer activities such as swimming, as well as winter activities such as skiing. Calabria has in fact around 800 km of coast as well as mountainous areas. In terms of the real estate market, the region offers a high number of seaside apartments and small affordable houses. There is an international airport but public transport is not the best.

Finally, another affordable region is Marche, which is known as “the new Tuscany” for its excellent food and weather. Places such as Conero Riviera and Urbino are well-known in Italy; the region is also famous for its beaches and its medieval and Renaissance architecture. On the other hand, Molise is a small mountainous region; Termoli and Pietracupa are among its most appreciated cities. Few tourists visit Molise and this makes the region a hidden treasure in central-southern Italy.

Other locations which are worth mentioning are western and southern Sicily such as Noto, Modica, Marsala, or Siracusa and its Greek ruins. Sicily is indeed full of history and culture, and crystalline-clear water surrounds this triangle-shaped island. With a bit of research, it will not be difficult to find lovely and affordable houses on the Ionian coast.

On the other hand, if you prefer the north of Italy you might want to look at real estate opportunities in the regions of Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The advantage of northern Italy is that public transport is efficient and the road network links every city. If you move to the north you will also be closer to a lot of cities such as Bologna and Modena (in Emilia-Romagna), Verona and Venice (in Veneto), Milan (in Lombardy), Turin (in Piedmont).

The reasons behind central and southern Italy being less expensive compared to the north are not only linked to the overall cost of living but also to lower salaries. Moreover, a considerable part of central Italy is still recovering from the not-so-recent earthquake. This is one of the reasons why many renovation works need to be carried out on properties. Moreover, in rural and coastal areas houses are often old and thus need renovation works.

The chances of finding your dream home near the seaside are quite high in Italy, however, it is always advisable to ask a real estate agent for a consultation or at least for support during your research. As experts in this field, we are constantly up to date with the latest offers and are well-informed about the Italian real estate market.

If this article triggered your desire to look for a house in Italy and perhaps in one of the locations mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com or to visit our website at https://italianrealestatelawyers.com/contact-us/.




  1. November 29, 2020

    Very Informative Article. I am trying to get as much information as possible especially for properties under €50,000



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