Life in Italy: 10 important pros and cons of living in Italy

Life in Italy 10 major pros and cons of living in Italy

Many tourists believe that Italy is prohibitively expensive, making the prospect of a life in Italy unrealistic.

Have a cup of coffee at St. Mark’s Square in Venice, and all your concerns are likely to be confirmed!

The truth is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a nice life in Italy.

If you’re thinking of living in Italy, we’ve put up a list of pros and cons to help you with your decision.

life in Italy

Life in Italy for foreigners

Life in Italy offers ex-pats a culturally diverse lifestyle in a country full of history.

Once home to Ancient Romans and revolutionary artists, modern Italy features lovely vineyards, international restaurants, a growing economy, and, of course, Vatican City.

It also has a romantic feel to it, which, when combined with a vibrant culture, makes it a favorite ex-pat destination around the world.

From the Roman Empire in Rome to the art renaissance in Florence and Venice, each city in this European country has a unique story to tell.

Italians are known for their strong family ties, which form the basis of the social system.

They are also well known for their passion for cibo (food). Italian cuisine is very much known in basically every city in the world.

Pizza and pasta may be found on almost every menu, no matter where you go. Formaggio (cheese), vino (wine), and salumi (cured meats) are among popular Italian exports.

Caffe’ (coffee) is an integral aspect of Italian culture, and the coffee shops that are springing up all over the world are a direct result of Italian coffee bars.

Here are 10 living in Italy pros and cons.

living in Italy

Pros of living in Italy

  • In Italy, the majority of residential areas are well-kept.

When visiting the cities of Italy, you’ll notice that practically all of the apartment buildings were constructed in the 1960s or 1970s.

Although these gray, concrete blocks continue to look the same as they always did, the communities are taking care of the properties so that they appear to be brand new.

  • You will be surrounded by some breathtaking views.

When you live in Italy, you have access to more history than you would in any other country on the earth.

The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are among the top places.

  • Italian food is both affordable and delicious.

There isn’t a better supermercato (supermarket) or food shop in the world than the ones in Italy.

Even the smallest businesses in remote locations offer excellent vegetable and meat options from local producers.

If you love cheese, then your life in Italy is going to be a dream come true.

  • Educational options are extensive and easily accessible.

The education of children is a key concern in Italian society.

Even if no one in your family speaks the language, you can be confident that everyone will have access to great learning opportunities.

At the age of three, most children in this country begin learning to leggere (read) and scrivere (write).

Their public schools are free to attend, and history, the arts, and the sciences are all included in the well-rounded education they receive.

If you wish, most of the cities in Italy have also access to reputable international schools.

  • You can benefit from Italy’s excellent health care system.

The World Health Organization considers Italy’s health care system to be in the top ten in the world.

When you live here, almost all of your medical bills are covered, so out-of-pocket charges are uncommon.

That implies you may have to wait in a public hospital, but despite the large number of people who can use it, the system is usually efficient.

Life in Italy for foreigners

Cons of living in Italy

  • You’ll need to be able to talk in Italian to some extent.

If you live in rural Italy, you’ll find that only a few people speak your language fluently.

English is particularly rare to find in this country, however, it is spoken more frequently in urban areas.

You may have to walk several kilometers (not miles) to find someone who understands your needs.

  • Life in Italy can be expensive

You may have heard that rural communities are selling low-cost homes to families who are willing to remodel them.

You could relocate to Italy for a single euro, buy property, and restore a centuries-old mansion to its former beauty.

When you arrive, you’ll notice that the majority of the affordable properties are located off the usual route, which is ideal if you prefer privacy.

If you prefer the social aspect of the Italian way of life, tiny appartamenti (apartments) with minimal modern furnishings will set you back to New York City costs.

  • Italy has a limited supply of resources
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When you first move to Italy, you may find that the food is more affordable, but practically everything else will be more expensive.

Imports of gas, other types of fuel, and even electricity are driving up basic living costs.

When you want to live somewhere popular, you’ll have to pay extra in addition to higher rent, so make sure you have some money set aside so your savings don’t suffer.

  • It can be difficult to find work.

When you live in Italy, being self-employed is your best alternative for a job.

If you’re looking for a formal job, you’ll find that it’s not as easy to find one here as it was a decade ago. This disadvantage extends to EU citizens as well.

Thousands of studenti universitari (university students) are graduating into an economy with insufficient vacant positions to accommodate everyone.

Because of the high unemployment rate, you could be out of work for 12 to 24 months before finding something that can help you pay the bills.

  • Italy’s bureaucracy may be a nightmare.

The Italian government and oversight agencies operate slowly. When you have administrative chores to finish, bureaucracy will inevitably get in the way.

Trying to get anything official done may be a time-consuming procedure that is fraught with frustration and ambiguity.

Hiring a trustworthy lawyer who speaks your language is a vital (and expensive) part of life if you need to sign any paperwork related to living or working here.

Final thoughts

The pros and cons of living in Italy depend on what you think to gain from the experience.

If your ultimate goal is to retire here and appreciate the region’s history, you may live practically anywhere on any budget.

When it comes to finding a job and adopting the Italian lifestyle, there may be some obstacles in your way.

L’Italia è meravigliosa e la vita è piuttosto bella,

Italy is gorgeous and life is pretty good,

so the positives almost always overshadow whatever negatives develop.

Read also: Italian dual citizenship: An easy guide + frequently asked questions

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!


I was born in Italy but after graduating from University I decided to travel around the world. I loved Asia and that’s why I decided to move, first to South Korea and then to China where I am currently working as a teacher.

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