Cost of Living in Italy
The cost of living in Italy is not as high as many suspect. Many tourists are under the impression that Italy is expensive. And, of course, if you have a cup of coffee on St. Mark’s Square in Venice, all your fears are likely to be confirmed. But the truth is, outside the tourist hot-spots (and even in them if you know where to look), you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy la dolce vita (the sweet life).
Obviously, how much it costs to live in Italy will depend on your lifestyle and where you choose to settle. Housing costs aside, singles can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in northern and central Italy on an annual income of $22,000 to $28,000. Couples may require an income between $28,000 to $45,000.
Day-to-Day Costs in Italy
American and Canadian expats living in Italy report low day-to-day costs like:
- 90 cents for a cup of coffee in sunny southern Calabria
- $34 per person for a multi-course meal (Calabria)
- A year’s worth of health insurance payments for a couple just over $200 (Calabria)
- $600 per month for a one-bedroom apartment with a pool and views of the Umbrian hill country (Umbria)
- $1,200 per month for a beautiful chalet-style home in the Alps
- $400 per month for a small apartment with frescoes on the ceiling in Le Marche
- $10-$12 for a whole pie in a sit-down pizzeria in Rome
- About $10 per month for a basic phone plan
One couple reports their life in Le Marche is 80% cheaper than their life in New York City. Another couple says that in Calabria it’s unusual to pay for fruits and vegetables, as they’re bursting from the local gardens and your neighbors will happily share their fresh produce with you for free. And one of our correspondents spent a month in Umbria for less than $2,000—and that’s before the euro’s value dropped. Today, her expenses would be more akin to $1,500.
*Prices as of 2015
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