Best Places to Live in Italy on a $1,600 Monthly Budget


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So you’re planning to move to Italy just after college or have a strict retirement budget, but what are the best places to live in Italy on $1,600 per month?

Housing is the largest expense no matter where you live and it shouldn’t account for more than a third of your total monthly budget or income. To identify the locations in Italy where you could afford to live well on a set budget, we looked at the monthly cost to rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in hundreds of locations in Italy to find those places where you could live comfortably on $1,600 per month.

Whether you’re looking for a lively town with activities and entertainment options or a quiet village where you can exprience the authenticity of rural life, you’ll find plenty of options throughout Italy where it doesn’t cost a lot to live.

Though you won’t find much on a $1,600 budget in bigger cities like Rome or Milan, you may be surprised at how many great options you can find nationwide. We’ll break down the prices of each city based on how much a couple can expect to spend on living expenses, plus give you essential information about each town.

5. Marsala, Sicily

  • Population: 85,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $470
  • Estimated living costs: $1,410

Marsala is an incredible coastal town on the border of Sicily, an undiscovered gem that may lack huge tourism spikes for now but makes up for it in the locals’ pride. Throughout the centuries of history, people from across the world setted here and developed the unique seaside town. In fact, Marsala is probably taken from Arabic, translated to “God’s Harbor.”

Marsala Sicily Italy

Among the best places to live in Sicily, Marsala is the right place for you if you’re a big fan of pristine beaches and hot Mediterranean weather. The city offers many water sports like sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Tours to the Egadi Archipelago, an incredible series of islands off the coast, give you plenty of exciting locations to explore.

Outside of water sports, the area offers tons of amazing things for you to do. You can walk through the town center to admire the wide range of architectural styles, admire over 100 churches, dine at local restaurants, or sip on the famous Marsala wine.

What’s best is that you can live this lifestyle on a tight budget. The average two-bedroom apartment costs $470, the cheapest you can find on this list, and on average, a couple can expect to spend around $1,410 on living costs.

Marsala Sicily Italy

There are a few challenges to moving to a town like Marasala. For one, it’s on the easternmost coast of Sicily, so you may find yourself feeling quite isolated if you move here (perhaps this is a good thing for some). Additionally, like a lot of Sicily and other smaller towns, finding work is pretty difficult.

You may also find that local transportation could be improved, but the town is becoming a more popular tourist spot. If you do end up living here, you may want to invest in a car or at least find a local taxi driver’s number.

4. Terni, Umbria

  • Population: 110,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $530
  • Estimated living costs: $1,590

Terni is a strange, unique city by Italian standards. When you step off the train outside of the town’s center, instead of elaborate fountains and landscaped gardens you’d find in most quaint towns throughout Italty, you’re greeted by a towering steel press that once belonged to Ternane Steelworks.

Terni Umbria Italy

The town was built on the steel industry, with a huge factory producing parts for companies throughout the world. As a population largely made of laborers, the city is full of down-to-earth, friendly locals. Additionally, because the town is only about an hour’s train ride away from Termini station in Rome, you’ll also find many commuters living here.

If you’re outdoorsy, don’t let the steel facade fool you. Terni is in the southernmost section of Umbria, an affordable region dubbed the “Green Heart of Italy.” You’ll find many options for outdoor adventures, like the breathtaking views in Monte Cucco Park or the bike and hiking trails throughout the region.

Terni offers an incredible balance, too, if you’re also interested in a bit of hustle-and-bustle. You’ll find dance classes, bars, mom-and-pop restaurants, famous shops, and so much more. The city’s quaint center is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon apertivo.

Though Terni is the most expensive of the cities on our list, it still qualifies as one of the best places to live in Italy on a $1,600 budget. You can find apartments for around $530 a month, and couples can expect to live on $1,590 a month.

Though the town is one of the biggest on our list, with just over 110,000 people living there, the nightlife may seem sparse for many. Because of its “commuter” nature, much of its population is young families or older couples.

3. Foggia, Puglia

  • Population: 150,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $520
  • Estimated living costs: $1,560

In the center of southern Italy, Foggia is a landlocked city of around 150,000 people. Though it may be considered small, especially compared to cities like Rome, you may be surprised just by how lively the town is. On any given Tuesday, you’ll find locals out and about past midnight hanging out with friends, chatting, and drinking outside of bars and Osterias.

Foggia Puglia Italy

Foggia checks so many boxes for people looking to get a slice of unique Italian culture and a slower pace of life. The Puglian city has largely avoided busy tourists, keeping prices of homes, apartments, food, and drinks to a minimum. In fact, the average two-bedroom apartment is $520 in this city.

Yet as the capital of the province of Foggia, you’ll find it is well connected, with a large central train and bus station. Plus, you’ll find large banks, busy shops, pharmacies, and green spaces throughout the town.

However, like so many of these cheaper locations throughout Italy, you may need help finding work when you move there. Though it’s a relatively large town, the lack of tourism means English speakers may struggle to find work.

As a bonus, Foggia’s central location makes it a great place to settle and tour around the region of Puglia. With a three-hour train ride to Naples and Rome and a one-hour ride to the Gulf of Manfredonia, you’ll find tons of new places. On top of this, it’s just a 21-minute car ride to Proco del Gargano, where you can find tons of hikes and mountain biking routes.

2. Alessandria, Piedmont

  • Population: 93,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $480
  • Estimated living costs: $1,440

Alessandria is ideally situated in northern Italy, in the beautiful region of Piedmont, an hour away from large cities like Turin, Genoa, and Milan. Whether you’re commuting to these cities or looking for a slower-paced lifestyle, Alessandria is an excellent choice.

Alessandria Italy

Alessandria sits between the Tortonese and Moneferrato hills, perfect for olive tree farms and vineyards. You can find the local produce in daily farmers markets, rotating throughout the town’s many piazzas.

With a population of almost 93,000, Alessandria gives small-town vibes without making you feel overly desolate. Plus, the city is much more affordable than the towns many commute to for work. You can easily find two-bedroom apartments for under $500 a month, and we estimate that couples can get by on a monthly budget of $1,440.

Alessandria Piedmont Italy

The town has many things to do, like art museums, museums, and events held throughout the year. On top of this, you can also easily travel to bigger cities, outdoor hikes or mountain biking trails, and fantastic fishing spots.

Though the town is primarily a commuter city, you may struggle to get by if you don’t know much Italian. The city comprises mosty Italians, so you may feel isolated if you struggle to adapt to the culture.

However, with such a central location, going to a town with tons of nightlife or driving down to the beach will only take you one or two hours per trip.

1. Taranto, Puglia

  • Population: 200,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $520
  • Estimated living costs: $1,560

On the heel of the Italian boot, in the affordable region of Puglia, Taranto is known as the “city of two seas.” Despite its incredible coastal location, Taranto is not a popular tourist destination, which makes it a pleasant, laid-back place to live. Moreover, Taranto has established itself as one of the favorite destinations for English-speaking expats in Puglia, for its affordability and beauty.

With a population of around 200,000 people, this is the largest city on our list, so you will enjoy all the amenities and entertainment you’d expect from a city of this size. Because of the city’s location on the Ionian Sea, it has also emerged as a major commercial and shipping hub.

Taranto Italy

One of the strange things about Taranto is that it lacks the hustle-and-bustle despite its large population. In fact, the city was involved in a government-funded €1 home scheme meant to repopulate the historic city center. A while back, the population in this area declined to around 3,000, leaving lots of buildings in disrepair.

Though you may not be able to find a €1 home today, you can still get your hands on amazing coastal property for affordable prices. Two-bedroom apartments will generally cost $520, and a couple can live off of an estimated budget of $1,560.

Taranto, Italy

Perhaps the main attraction to living in Taranto is the city’s sandy beaches, but the town has plenty of other things for you to do. You can find historical attractions like the National Archeolical Museum of Taranto and the Aragonese Castle, a fortress on the coast built to fend off invaders from the sea.

The region is also known for its amazing food, like the Tarantino panzerotti, which is something between a calzone and an empanada, or the pettole, balls of dough that are lightly fried and sprinkled with salt or sugar. Additionally, the region grows more than 50 varieties of white and red wines that you can sample, too.

This article originally appeared on MyDolceCasa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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