If you’ve decided that you’re going to live in Italy, you’ll have to work out how much it’s going to cost. In fact, moving to Italy isn’t as simple as deciding upon a global budget, you need to know exactly how much everything will cost. If you’ve always dreamt of living in Italy, visiting the Trevi Fountain or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you’ll need to organise your finances. In this article, we’re going to look at the costs to expect when you move abroad as an expat and settle in Italy. We'll cover everything from the cost of travelling overseas to your destination, the cost of living abroad, immigration costs (such as visas, etc.), etc.
The Cost of Emigrating to Italy
If you want to live in Italy, you’ll need to get a visa. This gives you the right to live in the country for a given time and is an unavoidable expenditure (unless you have a potential employer willing to pay for it).
As a citizen of the EU, the work permit is automatically accepted. After three months, you’ll need to request a residence permit from the local questura. Here’s a short list of the costs of different visas:
- Short-stay visa (less than 90 days): €60
- Visa for children aged 0-6: free
- Visa for children aged 6-12: €35
- Student visa (for those studying less than 90 days): free
- Student visa (long stay): €50
- Long-stay visa (more than 90 days): €116
There are also other free visas for Italian citizens and short-stay visas. Of course, you’ll need to prove your status.
The Budget for Travelling to Italy
In the grand scheme of things, Italy is relatively close to the UK. You can even take the train from the UK to Italy. Of course, the cost will depend on where you live in the UK and the transport links you have access to. The cheapest way to get to Italy is by plane. You can get flights for as little as £30, which is a great way to save money. Don’t forget to get your travel insurance sorted before you head off!
The Cost of Moving to Italy
The Budget for Moving to Italy
Just like moving elsewhere in the UK, moving to Italy costs money. Let’s ignore the costs of transporting furniture because we reckon you won’t be taking absolutely everything with you to Italy. If you’re going to rent in Italy, you’re going to need around two or three months’ worth of rent. Most of the time, these are the only fees. Some Italian landlords don’t care that much about a deposit. However, having a job won’t hurt your chances of getting somewhere to rent since a lot of Italian landlords may be wary of a foreigner who's just arrived the country without any form of income. You’ll need a bit of money to do essential things like getting some shopping in, buying some furniture, and transport to and from your work. Kitchens aren’t always equipped in the same way as the UK so you may need to budget on getting it up-to-scratch.
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The Cost of Accommodation in Italy
This is the big question you need to ask when looking to rent a flat or house in Italy. On average, the cost of renting in Italy isn’t as much as in the UK. It might be a good idea to learn a bit of the Italian language before you start looking for a place to live.
Just like in the UK, if you move to a big city, you can expect to pay more than you would in small towns. Of course, There are plenty of different places to live in Italy and the cost of living is different in each region, too. You won't pay the same in Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria or Sardinia, for example. Additionally, there's your life in Italy. You'll pay more if you constantly eat in all the best places, live in a big house in a popular city centre, etc. As a guide, here are a few example prices of the average price of flats in the city centre:
- Modena: €760
- Florence: €1400
- Ancona: €630
- Genoa: €880
- Milan: €2050
- Naples: €910
- Ravenna: €850
- Rome: €1800
- Venice: €1820
These prices obviously don’t reflect the cost of any single type of accommodation and you can find places for less and more. Anyone living in London will know just how expensive renting can be. Use this list as a guideline and make sure that you shop around. Search online for accommodation in Italy, too. Don’t think that the price shown is set in stone as you can always haggle a bit. Additionally, you won’t be able to get government assistance as you might here in the UK. Finally, make sure you include any agency fees in your budget. These tend to be around 10% of the annual cost of the property. For example, if you rent somewhere in Turin at €650 per month, you’ll pay €780 in agency fees. If you’re buying in Italy, you’ll pay around €2,300 per metre squared.
The Cost of Living in Italy
The lifestyle is one of the main reasons many people choose to emigrate to Italy. You can live comfortably in Italy for less than in the UK. The cost of living in Italy tends to be lower than in the UK.
Eating and Drinking Well for Less
Italy is famous for its cheap and fresh produce. If you love cooking, it’s a perfect place to find ingredients that won’t cost you a fortune. Groceries in Italy cost around 9% less than in the UK. For cheap produce, you can go to a local market and discover a whole range of products that are of better quality than you’d find here in the UK. You can also throw a nice bottle of Chianti into your basket!
The Cost of Leisure in Italy
Living in Italy wouldn’t be anywhere near as good if you couldn’t enjoy the cultural, historical, and culinary heritage of the country. On average, restaurants are more expensive than in the UK, though this doesn’t take into account the difference in quality. Be careful, too, as bread and water aren’t always given away for free in restaurants and can add another €5 to your bill. It might feel weird going for a meal and opting not to get any bread or water. Furthermore, you should leave a tip. In terms of tourist sites, churches are often free while you’ll usually need to pay to visit museums. In Italy, there are a lot of transport cards that offer discounts for museums. Thus, you can visit the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Gulf of Naples, and Adriatic beaches for less. Visiting Italy doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
The Cost of Services in Italy
After you’ve eaten and had a good time, you’ll need to pay your bills. As a foreigner in a new country, you'll probably enjoy moving abroad to Italy because of how many things are cheaper than they are in the UK.
On average, transport is much cheaper in Italy, with the exception of taxis, which tend to start the meter at around €5. You can get a single trip on some buses for a euro or so. However, taking the metro in Rome won’t cost you anywhere near as much as the Underground in London. This is a great way to learn more about the rich culture of Piedmont, Bologna, or Puglia and visit all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After you’ve budgeted for Italy, you can start enjoying Italy to its fullest:
“Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto” (Eat well, laugh often, love a lot)
So do you fancy living in Italy? If this is the case, don’t hesitate to get some Italian lessons with a tutor on Superprof before you head off on your Italian adventure! These bespoke language lessons are a great way to learn the basics or brush up on your Italian if you haven't spoken it in a while. There are even classes via webcam if you can't find a tutor who works near where you live. Before you move to Italy, you should make sure that your passport is valid, look at places to live in your new home country, buy some Euros, and look at working in Italy if you haven't already got a job. Once you get there, you can immerse yourself in Italian culture and start enjoying la dolce vita from a piazza in the sun.
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