If you’re thinking of renting in Italy for a year or two, you’re probably better off looking for a furnished property. Unfurnished really does mean bare bones: Italians will take the curtain rails, the light bulbs, and the toilet seat when they move home.

Unless you’re quick off the mark and have a good command of Italian, scouring local newspapers for accommodation can be frustrating. Although it will almost certainly cost the equivalent of at least a month’s rent, the hassle-free way of finding homes is through agencies or realtors that specifically deal in rentals.

Immobiliari and rental agencies demand the first months rent up-front, and you may have to provide the equivalent of another one to three months rent as a security deposit. Providing the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, this deposit is returned at the end of the lease period.