The Most Budget-Friendly Places to Live in Italy


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Many people are looking for affordable places to live in Italy. Even if your income is limited or have a monthly retirement allowance, you can still find some amazing places to live in Italy for little money. In general, the country has a much lower cost of living compared to countries in the north of Europe or the United States.

Housing will always be the most significant expense when budgeting for a move, and this is the key to finding locations where you can live on a small budget in Italy. We’ve crunched the numbers based on the average rent of two-bedroom apartments in Italy and compiled the best places to live in Italy under $1,800 per month.

Italy has it all, from coastal cities, college towns, quiet medieval villages, and anything in between at most price ranges.

Let’s take a look at some beautiful options to settle in Italy on a monthly budget of $1,800.

5. Asti, Piedmont

  • Population: 85,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $560
  • Estimated monthly living costs: $1,680

In the northeastern section of Italy, Asti is a small medieval town in the center of Piedmont. The city’s location made it a hub of trade, art, and travel. Throughout the years, churches, towers, palaces, statues, and temples were built within the city walls.

Asti Piedmont Italy

With stunning natural beauty and a wealth of amazing art, the city offers so much history. You’ll find medieval architecture, Roman ruins, and Renaissance art throughout the city.

Visiting museums, admiring ancient structures, or dining at quaint restaurants are just a few of the things you can do on a daily basis. Plus, the city hosts the Palio horse race, where jockeys from neighborhoods and towns in the area compete for the famous banner prize.

Asti is also famous for Spumante, a world-famous sparkling wine whose grapes are grown just a few miles outside of the city. On top of this, the city is also known for its unique, delicious food. Restaurants often serve simple dishes like polenta and sausage, pasta and beans, or garlic, anchovies, and olive oil with grilled seasonal vegetables and fresh-baked bread.

However, if you move here and plan on looking for a job, you may find it difficult. The area is not rich at all, and if you don’t know Italian, you may struggle to adapt to the lifestyle here. But the good news is the city is only one hour to Turin and less than an hour and a half to Genoa, both places with more potential job opportunities.

Asti also offers a good balance as a medium-sized town, with many affordable accommodation options. Two-bedroom apartments cost around $560 a month, and we estimate that couples can budget around $1,680 in monthly living expenses.

4. L’Aquila, Abruzzo

  • Population: 69,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $560
  • Estimated monthly living costs: $1,680

Enclosed by medieval walls, L’Aquila rests on a hill surrounded by the Apennine Mountains in the green Abruzzo region. The cute cobblestone streets, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and stunning open-air piazzas lend the city a unique look and charm.

L'Aquila Abruzzo Italy

Though this town is the capital city of Abruzzo in southern Italy, L’Aquila has struggled since a major earthquake displaced many of its residents in 2009. However, it is slowly but surely rebuilding and is a perfect place to settle for lovers of the outdoors. As the town sits at the foot of the Gran Sasso, one of Europe’s largest and most biodiverse parks, it’s a hot spot for all types of adventures.

L’Aquila is also less than an hour and a half drive from Rome, and you’ll often find Romans visiting for skiing in the winter and cooler hikes in the summer. The mountains are quite spectacular, snow-capped in the winter and cool and green in the summer.

The city also has various events throughout the year, so you won’t have to leave the town’s walls to find something to do. You’ll have plenty of entertainment, from ice skating in the central piazza in the winter to the Jazz Italiano per le Terre del Sisma festival in September.

Unfortunately, much of the city is recovering from the earthquake almost 15 years later. You’ll see cranes and crumbling buildings spotted throughout the city. However, the local and federal governments are working on improving the city overall, including encouraging people to move to the town.

Though the town feels like a work-in-progress, that means a more affordable lifestyle. Two-bedroom apartments will cost around $560 a month, and a couple is estimated to live comfortably off $1,680 a month.

3. Brindisi, Puglia

  • Population: 87,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $600
  • Estimated monthly living costs: $1,800

If seafront living is what you’re most interested in, you’ll be surprised at just how many options you’ll have for settling in Puglia, Italy. Brindisi is an amazing seaside city on an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, just a few steps from amazing beaches and a beautiful waterfront.

Brindisi Puglia Italy

Surprisingly, Brindisi is seldom visited by tourists, which could have pros and cons. For one, jobs may be hard to come by for anyone settling there. On the other hand, you won’t have to deal with huge crowds of tourists. You’ll have no problem finding a spot at the local osterias and cafes without navigating a waiting list.

Brindisi has an airport and a top-rated international school, a perk that’s in great demand among expat families.

Brindisi Puglia Italy

On top of this, Brindisi is a great location for taking quick day trips to the rest of Puglia. With Lecce and Ostuni an hour away, these popular locations are easy to get to by train or car. Additionally, you can explore Puglia’s natural wonders nearby, in places like the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve. There is plenty to do in this park, like biking, swimming, and hiking in the olive groves, marshes, and dunes in the area.

Brindisi is the most expensive city on our list, with two-bedroom apartments running on average about $600. However, we estimate that couples can live off $1,800 a month. Generally, the charming Puglia is an affordable region to live, both to rent or buy real estate.

2. Messina

  • Population: 237,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $560
  • Estimated monthly living costs: $1,680

Sicily is a beautiful island and one of Italy’s most affordable regions to live in. Nicknamed the “Gateway to Sicily,” Messina is a perfect location to either explore the rest of the island or take ferries to the “toe” of Italy to wander around southern Italy. The city also has a lot going on there, too.

Messina Italy

As the largest city on our list with over 200,000 residents, Messina is an excellent location for anyone looking for a livelier town. The city’s town center has plenty of venues, from clubs, jazz bars, and free concerts in the square; you’ll find all kinds of things to entertain you at night.

On top of this, Messina is home to a university of over 25,000 students. With the school and the port’s frequent cruise line visitors, the city may be a good place to find a job as an English speaker. However, finding a job before moving here would be in your best interest.

Duomo di Messina Italy

Like so many of the port towns in Sicily, Messina was a multicultural crossroads, settled by Greeks,  Romans, Arabs, and many more civilizations. You can explore the town’s history in the Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare, which has art and archeology from Italy’s history, or the Regional Museum of Messina, which portrays art from the city.

The town is also quite inexpensive, considering how large of a population lives there. The average two-bedroom apartment will cost around $560, while couples can expect to live off of a monthly budget of $1,680.

1. Viterbo, Lazio

  • Population: 67,000
  • Rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $560
  • Estimated monthly living costs: $1,680

In the middle of the province of Lazio, Viterbo is a medieval city with a slow lifestyle and natural beauty. This town is nicknamed the “City of Popes” for its importance in the 13th century. Popes had homes here to escape from the unrest in Rome at the time, and the city still has tons of art and architecture left over from this time.

Viterbo Italy

Despite its smaller size, Viterbo can provide the best that Italy has to offer. Less than an hour from the Mediterranean coast and a two-hour train ride to the center of Rome, Viterbo’s location is perfect for those who want to live close to Rome, explore the rest of Italy or are interested in quick day trips to several popular destinations.

The town is also home to a university and a military base and always has cultural events. Even though it’s smaller than many of the cities on the list, you can find plenty of things to do if you’re looking.

However quaint Viterbo is, the city can feel quite isolating, especially if you don’t speak the language. If you want to move to this town, you’ll want to embrace Italian culture, customs, and, most importantly, the language.

Viterbo Italy

Viterbo is also quite affordable, as the apartment and estimated monthly cost are about the average for cities on this list. You’ll find two-bedroom apartments for around $560, while couples can expect to spend around $1,680 on living expenses a month.

Viterbo’s unique location also makes it a hotbed of amazing food. Like Rome and other cities in the region, many of the city’s pastas rely on Pecorino Romano cheese. But the combination of the lush and hilly landscape and proximity to the sea means the city offers a unique combination of delicious seafood and truffle dishes (separately, of course).

If that wasn’t enough, Viterbo is also home to amazing hot springs. There are options for free, public, open-air springs and resort-style spas where you can soak and relax.

hot springs Viterbo Lazio Italy

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

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