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Italy – Cost of Living

Italy is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and world-renowned cuisine. It is also a popular destination for expats looking to enjoy a high quality of life. In this article, we will explore the cost of living in Italy, including currency, comparisons to the UK and USA, breakdown of costs, and common forms of payment.

Local Currency in Italy

The local currency in Italy is the Euro (EUR). One euro is divided into 100 cents. Coins are available in denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents, while banknotes are available in denominations of 5 euros, 10 euros, 20 euros, 50 euros, 100 euros, 200 euros, and 500 euros.

Cost of Living in Italy Compared to the UK and USA

The cost of living in Italy is generally lower than that of the UK and the USA. According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different countries, the cost of living index in Italy is 64.37, while the UK is 69.08, and the USA is 76.86. This means that on average, it is cheaper to live in Italy than in the UK or USA.

Breakdown of Costs in Italy

The cost of living in Italy can vary depending on the location and size of the household. Here is a breakdown of some of the typical costs for singles, couples, and families of four in Italy:


Housing costs in Italy can vary depending on the location and size of the property. In major cities like Rome and Milan, the cost of housing can be relatively expensive, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costing around 800-1,200 EUR per month. Outside of major cities, the cost of housing can be lower but still relatively high compared to other countries.

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Italian cuisine is known for being fresh and flavorful, and eating out in Italy can be relatively affordable. A meal at a local restaurant can cost around 15-25 EUR per person, while grocery shopping can also be affordable, with a loaf of bread costing around 1-2 EUR and a liter of milk costing around 1-2 EUR.


The cost of utilities in Italy varies depending on the size of the household and the location. On average, electricity, water, and gas bills for a family of four can add up to around 200-250 EUR per month. Internet and mobile phone plans are also relatively affordable, with a typical plan costing around 20-30 EUR per month.


Italy offers a variety of leisure activities, from visiting historic sites to exploring the beautiful countryside and beaches. Many activities in Italy can be affordable, such as visiting a local museum or enjoying a day at the beach. Paid activities such as attending a concert or visiting a spa can cost between 50-100 EUR per person.


Public transportation in Italy can be relatively affordable, with a one-way ticket on a bus or train costing around 1-2 EUR. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also relatively affordable, with a typical 10-kilometer ride costing around 15-20 EUR. Owning a car in Italy can be expensive due to high taxes and gasoline prices.


The cost of clothing in Italy varies depending on the brand and quality. Affordable clothing options can be found at local stores, with t-shirts costing around 10-20 EUR and jeans costing around 30-50 EUR. High-end designer clothing can be more expensive, with a designer dress costing around 500-1,000 EUR or more.

Household Goods

Household goods such as furniture, appliances, and electronics can be relatively expensive in Italy, especially if purchased new. Vintage and second-hand options are available and can often be more affordable, with items such as a used refrigerator costing around 100-300 EUR and a used television costing around 50-100 EUR.

Common Forms of Payment in Italy

In Italy, cash is still widely used for smaller transactions, but debit and credit cards are becoming more common. Contactless payments are widely accepted, and many retailers also accept mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and credit and debit cards are accepted at most major retailers and restaurants.

In conclusion, Italy offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other countries, while still providing a high quality of life. Housing and transportation costs can vary depending on location, while food and leisure options can be relatively affordable. Cash is still widely used, but debit and credit cards are becoming more common, with contactless and mobile payments widely accepted. Italy is a beautiful country with a rich history, stunning scenery, and delicious cuisine, making it a great place to live for those looking for a European lifestyle at an affordable cost.

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