Italy is a promising option for expats looking for career opportunities and improved quality of life.
Migrants from all over the world flock to Italy. They are attracted by its culture, food, and climate.
One of the important considerations for migrants is the cost of living in Italy.
Here is some practical information that can help plan ahead.
The cost of living can vary widely with lifestyle and location. North Italy is generally more expensive compared to the south. Big cities such as Rome, Milan, and Venice cost considerably more to live in compared to small Italian towns.
There are many migrant communities in Italy. The largest of these are from Africa (22.1%), followed by Asia (18.8%), America (8.3%), and Oceania (0.1%). Living in a city with a significant presence of the community of your home country can help reduce costs.
Accommodation usually accounts for 25% of the total cost of living for expats. Apartment rents can vary from EUR 500 monthly in small cities like Naples and Turin, to EUR 1,300 in major cities like Rome and Milan.
Buying real estate is subject to the same principles. Houses in the southern part of the country cost nearly half as much to buy as compared to the northern cities.
Dining, Entertainment and Shopping
Italy is world renowned for its handmade pasta, cheeses, and wines. Restaurant meals cost more in tourist towns than in small towns. An average restaurant meal can cost EUR 10. A fine dining experience at a decent restaurant would cost about EUR 75 for 2. A movie ticket costs around EUR 8.5. A pint of beer costs EUR 4.5 on average.
Italy is well known for its fine clothing and fashion industry. International shoppers love brands like Valentino, Versace, Armani, Prada, and Dolce and Gabbana. Wholesale outlets such as Metro and 85 Cent are popular spots for some discount shopping.
Public transport provides good connectivity and convenience. A one-way bus ride in most Italian cities costs EUR 1.5. A monthly pass costs EUR 35, which can represent major savings for those who commute to work or school daily. Petrol costs EUR 1.34 per litre on average in Italy while diesel costs EUR 1.26 per litter.
Heating can be a significant cost in Italy depending on where you live. The cost of heating depends on the mode, which can be gas, electric, or other. The type of accommodation, age of the building, quality of insulation, and climate also make a difference to heating bills. Other than heating, utilities cost around EUR 200 per month for a family of 4.
Expat children are eligible for free education at Italian public schools. Textbooks are not included in the government subsidy on education. These represent a necessary cost.
Private schooling in Italy can cost EUR 7,000-20,000 annually depending on the city and school. St. Louis School in Milan and St. Stephen’s school in Rome feature at the top of the list of popular private schools for the children of expat parents in Italy. Many Italian employers grant an education allowance as a part of the relocation expenses for overseas employees moving to Italy.
Italy has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The country’s national healthcare plan called servizio sanitario nazionale (SSN) is free for all the residents including expats. The plan provides comprehensive healthcare services.
Italy is ranked highly for its quality of general healthcare. The life expectancy in Italy is 83 years, which is one of the highest in the EU. Expats can buy additional private health insurance to supplement the national plan. Private insurers like Allianz and INA Assitalia offer policies that cost EUR 1,300-2,300 per year for a family of 4.
One of the most important reasons for migrants to move to Italy is earning opportunities. Migrant workers in Italy send remittances back to their families using popular channels like the Ria Money Transfer App. The incentives don’t end there. Italy offers attractive tax deals for foreign professionals.
Expats get an exemption of 70% on income tax, which ranges between 23-43% for the first 5 years after relocating to Italy. The timeline for this exemption can be increased by another 5 years by purchasing a residential property in the country. An expat can get up to 90% exemption on income tax by relocating to some of the more scenic regions of Italy, such as Sicily, Sardinia, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Abruzzo, Basilicata, or Calabria. Most of these are in the picturesque southern part of Italy.
About the Author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.