There’s truly something for everyone in Italy. You might want to live in the cultural heart of Rome, the fashion and finance centre of Milan, or off the beaten track entirely. With fantastic cuisine, a mellow climate and reasonable costs of living, there’s plenty to recommend wherever you end up.
The official currency in Italy is the Euro - EUR or € on currency exchanges.
You can find out the exact value of your money in EUR, using an online currency converter - but here’s a rough guide to what it is at the moment:
- $1000 = €900
- £1000 = €1140
- A$1000 = €680
|Comparing basic cost of living||One bedroom flat in city centre - monthly rent||Lunch for two - Three courses, mid-range restaurant||Transportation - monthly pass|
|New York City, USA||€2,675||€67||€105|
One major factor that adds expense for expats in Italy is the cost of converting cash to euros from your home currency. Even if your bank says it offers fee-free money exchange, you can be sure that its cut is rolled up in the exchange rate it uses.
To get the best deal, you should use an exchange service like TransferWise, which gives you the same rate that you’ll find on Google. With a quick service, and a low transparent fee to transfer your cash, this can be a much better deal than relying on your bank.
Although it’s Italy’s second city, as the financial centre of the country, Milan is actually more pricey than the capital, Rome. If you’re on a fixed income though, you can still get by on relatively little.
|Living expenses in Italy excluding rent||Rome average cost||Milan average cost|
|Single person, per month||€715||€780|
|Single person, per year||€8,580||€9,360|
|University student, per month||€529||€564|
|Four person family, per month||€2,561||€2,833|
|Four person family, per year||€30,732||€33,996|
Average salaries in Italy are relatively low compared to some other European countries. For the best paid jobs you’ll need to head to Rome or Milan, but it’s perfectly possible to live well in Italy for an average wage.
|Salary averages for Italy||Average annual salary|
The amount you pay in rent is a big driver of your overall cost of living. Renting in Milan or Rome is fairly costly, but by choosing a place that’s outside of the city centre you can get a lot more for your money. Alternatively, if you choose to buy a house in Italy this could bring down your day to day costs.
|Renting in Italy||Average monthly cost - Rome||Average monthly cost - Milan|
|One bedroom apartment, city centre||€959||€1,028|
|One bedroom apartment, outside of city centre||€650||€693|
|Three bedroom family home, city centre||€2,004||€2,014|
|Three bedroom family home, outside of city centre)||€1,233||€1,186|
|Utilities - gas, electric and water for a 85m2 apartment||€130||€123|
Italy has a health system which is rated as one of the best in the world. Care is usually free at the point of need, and residents can either use the public system or turn to private facilities if they prefer. Having private health insurance can mean you get access to services quicker than through the public system.
|Healthcare service||Average cost to you|
|Family doctor check-up||€74|
|Cold medicine for 6 days||€8|
Travelling by car in the cities in Italy is often fairly slow, making public transportation a smart choice. If you choose to commute by bus or train, it’s good to know that costs are low and the network is generally pretty strong.
|Transportation and vehicle prices for Italy||Average cost|
|Gasoline, 1 litre / 0.25 gallon||€1.52|
|Monthly bus/transport pass||€35|
|Bus ticket, single use||€1.50|
|Taxi tariff, 8km/5mile journey||€15|
|Toyota Corolla, new||€20,686|
|VW Golf, new||€20,000|
Italy has world class universities and good schools. There are both public and private universities, with the University of Bologna being the most popular university in Italy. However, studying at university level is usually more expensive if you’re from outside of the EU.
|Preschool / kindergarten, monthly fee||€500|
|Private school for lower grades, annual||€11,833|
|University tuition, University of Bologna||Fees are based on the financial status of the student, and can reach €4,000 a year|
|University tuition, University of Pisa||Fees are based on the student’s country of origin, and are between €407 and €2,354 a year|
Italy has so much to offer, it’s hard to really get a sense of it all in just a vacation or two. It’s no surprise that plenty of expats have made the leap, and moved to Italy for the long term in search of a great life. Whatever you’re looking for, Italy is a fantastic destination for a permanent move or just to spend a year or two exploring somewhere new.
Good luck with your new life in Italy!