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Can you visit Italy without spending too much?
Let's see which places allow it.
Italy is one of the most incredible countries globally, where you can live comfortably on $1,000 monthly (or at least close to that).
There is so much cultural, natural, and culinary beauty in Italy! The weather is warm in the Summer and mild in the Winter, and the people are friendly and welcoming. Italy has many beautiful cities, such as Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice. It is very appealing to many people who want to live there long-term.
THE COST OF LIVING IN ITALY
The overall cost of living in Italy is lower than in the US and northern European countries, and it is an affordable location that offers a high quality of life for what you pay. Prices can be reasonably affordable, even in the central part of the country.
There is another inexpensive option that you might like about living in Italy:
Pick some well-known places such as Milan, Rome, etc., and live in less-known neighbourhoods or nearby cities which fit your budget and are easily accessible by public transportation.
The top three most expensive and well-known locations in Italy are:
MILAN & MONZA
Milan is an expensive and bustling city. It is beautiful in the centre with leafy and expansive parks, but it is also very crowded, noisy, and chaotic with the hustle and bustle typical to all metropolitan areas.
Milan has many business opportunities, shopping, dining, entertainment, residential infrastructure and services, and efficient public transportation. International companies like Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, and Google operate in Milan. The cost of living is high. Expect $800-$1,100 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre.
For a retiree, there might be better experiences than living long-term in Milan, and they will likely want to be outside the city in a quieter location.
The cheap and comfortable alternative to living in Milan can be in the northern or northeastern part of the province, toward the cities of Varese or Monza. A two-bedroom apartment starts at $640 per month in Monza. You can still work or study in Milan with a relatively easy commute.
ROME & VITERBO
Rome is another city in Italy that is extremely expensive. If you are looking for a 600-square-foot apartment in the centre of Rome, it would cost, on average, about $1,200 per month.
Suppose you go an hour outside Rome to Viterbo, a wonderful, overlooked town on a hill with medieval towers, many cultural events, and a friendly atmosphere. In that case, the same apartment will cost you $450 monthly. And it will be a furnished apartment in the city centre.
FLORENCE & PISA
Tuscany certainly draws a lot of tourist attention and can be very expensive. If you are going to live in Tuscany, anywhere between Florence and Siena, it will be costly.
Many people think Pisa is expensive because it attracts a lot of tourists. However, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is on the edge of the town, and many tourists need to go to the city centre.
Pisa is a thriving city with a renowned university and excellent healthcare (it is one of the best cities for healthcare in Italy), and everything is highly affordable there.
Pisa is also very similar to Florence in terms of ambience, and like Florence, it is located along the Arno River. It features towers and a medieval atmosphere, and Florence is a short train ride away.
A short comparison of property prices:
Florence: $520 per square foot.
Pisa: $305 per square foot.
As you can see, there is quite a difference. In Pisa, you can pay half what you would in Florence. And you can find a fully-furnished house in the centre of Pisa for $600 per month.
If you are looking for a mild climate and authentic lifestyle with friendly and active people around you, with excellent food, the province of Puglia is a great option. It is close to the sea, with access to the Ionic coast and the Adriatic coast, so you can easily walk to the beach.
If you prefer to avoid towns on a hill, there are also some inland plateau towns in the region: Lecce and Martina Franca.
On average, the rental cost is $450-$800 per month for a cosy and furnished apartment in the city centre, with your neighbourhood coffee bar right outside your door and a wide selection of restaurants within walking distance.
Padova is a perfect spot for long-term living and is the cheapest place to live in Italy (assuming you still want to live in some urban area).
You can find this relatively small town in the northeastern part of Italy, about 24 miles west of Venice.
There are many beautiful historical sites in Padova and the University of Padua. The city has a population of approximately 209,000 people, making it the ideal size for a quieter pace of life with almost all the conveniences a big city has.
Padova is also connected by train and bus to Venice and Milan and has a small airport with short flights to Rome.
The cost of living in Padova is the lowest compared to the previously mentioned places in this article, so it can be a solid choice to start your life in Italy on a budget.
It is also one of the cheapest Italian cities.
There is no need for a car in Torino, as public transportation is sufficient. Walking or cycling are viable options if you live near the centre.
Rents are much cheaper than in cities like Milan or Rome, and you still get the benefits of living in a large city with museums, concerts, festivals, etc.
University life is well-established in Torino, so there are plenty of activities to enjoy on weekends.
Additionally, there is an airport in Torino. If you need Malpensa airport, you can get there within a 1 hour 30 minutes drive, or by train, through Milano Centrale Railway Station.
The climate is better than in the cities found throughout northern Europe, and seaside resorts can be reached within two hours drive from the city.
So have you chosen where you want to move to?
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.