Cost of living in Italy: prices in 2021

What is the cost of living in Italy?
What is the cost of living in Italy? / Unsplash
28 June 2021, Emma Donaldson

How much do you need to live comfortably in Italy? What is the cost of living in Italy? These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in this guide to the cost of living in Italy in 2021. Whether you're moving to Italy with a family or if you want to know the living cost in Italy for an international student, we've got you covered. Let's find out if Italy is expensive to live in and more about the cost of living in Italy in 2021

What is the cost of living in Italy? 

Is living in Italy expensive? The truth is that the cost of living in Italy largely depends on what area of Italy you choose to live in. Compared to other Southern European countries, Italy is one of the most expensive countries for expats. Nevertheless, the cost of living in Italy can be affordable depending on your lifestyle choices: for example renting a room in Milan will be more expensive than renting a room in Naples. The cost of living in Italy's major cities, such Milan, Rome, Bologna, Florence. The cost of living in touristy cities in Italy is higher, while the cheapest place to live in Italy is the smaller towns in Southern Italy. 

What are the living costs in Italy? How much can you get by on? And how much do things cost in Italy? According to Numbeo, the world's largest cost of living database, you can expect to pay the following prices in Italy (updated in June 2021): 

ItemAverage cost in Italy (euros)Average cost in Italy (pounds)
Milk (1 litre)1.16€£0.99
Loaf of bread1.57€£1.35
Bottle of water (1.5 litres)0.42€£0.36
Bottle of mid-range wine5.00€£4.28
Meal for 2 people in a mid-range restaurant55.00€£47.06
Pint of beer4.50€£3.85
Regular cappuccino1.39€£1.19
One way train or bus ticket1.50€£1.28
20 pack of cigarettes5.50€£4.71

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Italy?

According to Numbeo, the estimated average costs for a single person without rent are £639.95 (747.92€), while the same costs for a family of 4 are £2,261.32 (2,642.81€). Compared to Spain, for example, the cost of living in Italy is over 20% higher. Nevertheless, Italy is still a great option for those who want to live well and have a high quality of life without spending too much. In addition to this, one of the main advantages of living in Italy is the fact that healthcare for residents is free as part of the Italian national health service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN). 

How much is average rent in Italy?

Property prices and average rent in Italy is also something that varies depending on where you choose to live. Renting a small room in one of Italy's main cities such as Rome or Milan is possible for around 500€ per month, but if you want an entire flat with more space, then prices will be considerably higher. Milan is the Italian city where paying rent weighs the most on household income, for example. The cheapest property prices in Italy for sale and rent are found in the south of the country. 

The cost of living in Italy vs UK

The cost of living in Italy compared to the UK is generally cheaper. While things such as groceries and food are slightly cheaper in the UK, the general cost of living including rent is 10.35% higher in the UK, according to Numbeo. While the cost of living in Italy is lower, it's also important to remember that salaries in Italy are considerably lower than in the UK. The average monthly net salary in Italy in 2021 is £1,223,27 (1,429.64€), compared to an average salary in the United Kingdom of £1,950.59 (2,279.66€).

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