Are you looking to know the cost of living in Italy? Then you are in the
Yes, in the last two articles I talked extensively about the relocation to Italy and hints on finding your dream home. I summarized the cost of living in my Relocation to the Fashion City – Italy post, to help you take your call.
After this post went online, I had many people who are looking to relocate to Italy, coming back with messages. And after going through the questions and discussions I had with them, one thing was clear. I was convinced that I should come up with a detailed post explaining the cost of living in Italy.
Yes, the predominant question from the majority of them was to know if their salary will be sufficient. And fair enough. You do not want to land in a new country only to know that the income you will earn will not help you to lead a life you expected. Right?
So, in this article, I will list out all the expenses that you will face when in Italy, and also the approximate numbers to it.
Actually, it’s smart to be aware of such expenses in a country where you pay like 30% tax in your income, and still, have to shell out 22% tax for most things you buy! Agreed?
Updates: Starting from the financial year 2020, the Italian government offers up to 90% of expatriate’s income to be tax-free. Read the new Income Tax Regime for Expats for more details.
As I mentioned in my post on finding the dream home in Italy, the major portion of your income will go to the house rent. As a thumb rule, you can assume it to be around 20-25% of your income.
Anyway, in order to clearly understand the cost of living in Italy, it will be easy if we could break up these expenses into Annual and monthly expenses.
Spese condominiali or House Maintenance cost
First on the list is the maintenance cost you need to pay for your house. Depending on the type of House Contract you sign, this could be included in the rent or paid at the end of the year.
This could easily touch 1500 to 2000 Euro per year for a 2 bedroom house. In case your apartment has a private garden, portineria (sort of assistant for the apartment) this could be slightly higher.
Insurance and Bollo for the Car
If you plan to own a car, then you need to pay a Bollo every year. Depending on the type of car you own, this could be in the range of 130 to 180 Euro per year.
Do not miss to read the tips & tricks in article to know How to win an Italian Driver’s License?
On top of this, you need to take insurance for your car and you (RCA). If you are getting your license newly from Italy, then it could be a bit expensive in the first few years till you get your credit.
So, be ready to spend around 600-800 Euro per year on this.
Tassa / Tari / Garbage Tax
Every year, you will get a notice from the Comune you stay. This has to be paid in two installments unless you want to make a single payment. And for a regular 2 bedroom apartment, this could be around 400 Euros per year.
Yes, you do have the Television tax in Italy, irrespective of you use the Public Channels or not. There are options to declare that you do not have TV, and hence do not want to pay. But the process is not straight forward, and you will decide to better pay.
There have been years when the invoice for this was to an individual every year as a separate post. But then, you know Italians and most people in this world. Most people just ignored this and the government could not collect it from all.
So, what happened next is interesting. Since the government could not track and catch individuals, it decided to link it to the electricity bills that you will get bi-monthly.
No escape now, right? Yes, in the sum you will spend 90 Euro per year for this tax.
Ok, let us get to the monthly expenses now that highlight the cost of living in Italy.
The most expensive expense for the month is the rent. It is a no brainer, right? For a
If you are looking for your dream home inside Milan, then it could be easily up to 2000 Euro per month.
Places in the north of Italy could go as low as zero in peak winter, which means you will spend a considerable amount on the heating system of your rooms. hence it is a good reason to look for highly energy-efficient houses with double glasses etc.
Although this depends on your usages and the number of people in your family, we can safely make a ballpark figure of 70-100 Euro on the higher side.
Telephone / Mobile
There is no person on earth without a mobile. One regular Mobile connection with a decent data plan will cost around 10 Euro per month. I have not seen many takers for the landline these days. But the Telecommunication companies offer landline along with Internet pack free of cost.
A decent high-speed fiber optic internet connection will cost 25 Euro per month. Not so costly, right?
Major cities in Italy are well equipped with Public transport like Trams, Buses, Metros, etc. Here is the latest public transport map of Milan. You can also read about the Public Transport details in Milan in my other article.
Good thing is, all the transport is covered under a single operator. So you can buy a single ticket or pass and use it cross all commuting options.
For example, in Milan, the monthly pass to over the full of Milan urban area will cost around 39 Euro. It used to be 36 Euro, but from this July 2019, it was changed/hiked.
If you have kids less than the age of 10 years, they go free with the Adults. So, you can calculate the expense considering this option.
Food & Groceries
Here come the most important expenses for your life – Food!!!
Fortunately, I would rate the cost of buying Groceries as not so expensive. You will agree with my statement once you do a one day dining out!
To give a glimpse of expense on food items, I am attaching the advertisements from the supermarkets.
There are multiple options for doing food & groceries shopping in Italy. I will brief it in detail below in a dedicated section.
One a high level, you would spend around 300-400 Euro per month on food & shopping.
How long will you be just working and working and working? How about the Entertainment?
Yes, you are in Europe. And a place where the
The ticket will cost in the range of 5-10 Euro per person depending on the day of the week.
No outing is complete, without a special dinner at the
I know you are not going to be dining out every other day, right? But, once in a while, you will have to. Come on, give a break for cooking at your home. Get out for a romantic dinner.
Here you have a wide choice of restaurants starting from simple to more exotic. You have the all you can eat sushi at 20 Euro, those special fish coming from Sardegna that could cost more than a few 10s of euro.
Let’s keep this simple. A burger menu at Mc.Donald will cost 7-8 Euro. In a typical restaurant, for a three-course meal, it could be around 25-30 Euro per head.
When you are out on dinner with your wife/girlfriend, how could you skip a glass of wine, right? Yup, a glass of local wine could be in the range of 5-10 Euro. It could go north depending on the region you choose.
Markets in Italy
When it comes to shopping, there are plenty of options in Italy. Starting from the Western-styled Malls to the street markets, you have everything in Italy.
We have the Armani for those roaming around in their Ferrari, and also the other shops for people coming from the Metros.
Well, this was just to add flavors to the writing, and so please do not take offense!
Malls and Shopping Complex
You will find most of these outside the city center. Isn’t it easy to understand why so? Yes, you are right. It is not only costly to have such a big complex in the city center, but it is also too difficult to grab such a huge volume of land.
These places will have almost everything under the sun. You can do the shopping for your fashion, and also buy your groceries.
You will find many different brands here and so sometimes it could even be a quick picnic for your kids!
It is not only about fashion outlets, but you will also find such outlets for automobile shopping. This will be a good choice if you are looking to do some shopping – buying top brands at economical rates.
Because such outlets have sales going on almost every part of the year.
These are markets next to your neighborhood. You have the Italian Essalunga, German LIDL, French Carrefour to Chinese Aumai. These sell all your everyday needs from food, fruits, vegetables, meat, water to even office stationery.
Most of them also sell clothes, cosmetics, and even automotive products.
These are the boom for all those immigrants who have relocated here. In these markets, you will be able to find all those stuff from your home country.
Do not just go by the name, it like all countries in one roof. For example, if you see an Indian grocery shop, 90% of the time it would be a non-Indian shop. Like Pakistan or Bangladesh or even Srilankan shops.
But hey, we all eat similar, right?
This is the most important market for immigrants. These are the places where you can find your home country vegetables, etc but at a fair price than those Asian/African markets.
These markets are held weekly once or twice in a given street. Please make sure you identify the closest one to your place and do not miss visiting them.
You will also notice people selling the big brands of bags and belts like the Gucci, Prada and Louis Vitton, etc. You guessed it right, these are just the duplicates of the bigger brands. It is not a mistake to buy these, but buying it believing this to be genuine is. So, if you like it, go ahead and start your bargain before paying for it.
Finally, a few more tips to save some money.
Yes, these wholesale markets are predominantly run for those who run a hotel industry. But, one day in a week it is open to the public too.
If you want to visit here, unity is a strength. Why?
They sell all the products at a cheaper price, but you cannot buy in small quantity. So, unless you are in a group and who can share what you buy, do not visit here.
Time for a get-together?
Education in Italy is almost free, provided you go through the public school system. But still, I am including this in the cost of living in Italy’s article so that you can be aware of every detail about schooling.
Kids start schooling at the age of 6 years in Italy. Public school fees will be in the range of 150-200 Euro per until the kids complete schooling.
The first 5 years of schooling are called “Elementare”. Even though it is free, you will end up paying around 700 Euro for lunch. In these first 5 years, even the school books are freely distributed.
Next 3 years, you will not pay for the lunches, but small fees less than 100 Euro per year. Books have to be purchased by students and it would cost around 300 Euro.
The last 5 years of schooling is not compulsory. And in these years you will be spending around 150-200 Euros as fees. Of course, books have to be purchased by students.
International schools are the most expensive one, not just in Italy. But the whole of Europe.
The fees will range from 300 Euros to 1500 Euros per month. I repeat, per month. These schools are minting money mostly due to the expatriates who live here for a short duration and plan to return to their native country.
And in most cases, the fees are paid by the company.
On top of the fees, you will also need to spend on uniforms, books, notebooks, park visits, etc, etc.
Expenses for a family of 4
So, finally to answer your question on “How much I need to earn” I want to take an example.
A family with 2 young kids, living in a home of 80sqmt.
|Expense Heading||Expense Amount|
|Gas / Electricity||50|
So, as you can see, the living cost could easily be around 1600 Euro for a family of 4 people.
There could be some entertainment and outings on those weekends to those beautiful places in Italy. I leave it to you since there would be no end if I start to put up such details here.
Last but not least, I also want to highlight the recurring expense you will have to consider for the renewal of the Permesso Di Sioggiorno.
For the renewal of one Permesso for 2 years duration, it would cost around 200 Euro if done directly by yourself. Do not even ask me, if you want to go with the lawyers.
As they say, the Devil is in the detail. Hence I tried my best to make sure I include every small expense that you can expect once in Italy.
Again, I repeat. This is not to demotivate you, but to equip you with the right information.
This article is only to make you aware of the cost of living in Italy so that you can negotiate accordingly with your company before you step in this Land of fashion!
I have taken every effort to keep this cost of living in Italy’s
Your feedback from your experience will be helpful to other people looking to take this big step in their life. So, please comment and share your personal experience.
Happy relocating to Italy!