The best cities to live in Italy

The complete guide to the “Bel Paese”

Italy, with its rich history, unparalleled culture and breathtaking landscapes, has always been a coveted destination for those who wish to change their lives or simply experience something different.

Italy is not only a country of thousands of years of history, food and art: it is also a place where daily life blends with tradition in a fascinating mix that beckons students, families and workers from all over the world.

Living in Italy means immersing yourself in a unique rhythm of life, made up of bustling piazzas, delicious food, unique landscapes, sunsets and sunrises over the sea.

But what are the best cities to live in Italy? Here is an overview of the most welcoming and livable cities in the Bel Paese: discover them together with the Spacest Team.

Rome: living in Italy’s Eternal City

Rome, the Eternal City, capital of the Roman Empire and then of Italy, is a place that fascinates and enchants anyone who visits or chooses to live there.

Rome has an abundance of works of art, monuments, and places of worship like no other city in the world, such as the Colosseum, the Imperial Forum, the Altar of the Fatherland, the Circus Maximus, the Trevi Fountain, and many many others.

In Rome you can truly find everything from history to art, from culinary tradition to youthful nightlife.

But what does it mean to live in Rome, especially if you choose to live for rent in Italy? Check out our best rental housing listings in Rome.

Living in Rome: pros and cons

Pros:

  • History and culture: living in Italy in Rome means being surrounded by millennia of history. Every corner of the city tells something, from ancient monuments to medieval works to Renaissance churches;
  • Cuisine: Roman cuisine is world-renowned. Living in Rome means having access to authentic dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, and coda alla vaccinara;
  • Climate: Rome boasts a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm but breezy summers.

Cons:

  • Traffic: like many large cities, Rome can have traffic problems. However, living in Rome without a car is possible thanks to a well-developed public transportation network;
  • Cost of living: Living in Rome can be expensive, especially in central areas. However, there are neighborhoods where living for rent can be more affordable;
  • Dispersiveness: Rome is a huge, stratified city and one of the largest municipalities in the EU. Moving around Rome can therefore be dispersed and definitely intricate.

Rome in 2023: an overview

In 2023, Rome continues to be a dynamic and evolving city. With urban development projects and initiatives to make the city greener and more sustainable, living in Rome today offers a unique combination of tradition and modernity: discover it in our dedicated guide All roads lead to Rome.

Rome is also home to numerous universities and institutions of higher learning. Living in Rome as a student means having access to historic libraries, cultural events and networking opportunities. Many students choose to live in rentals, taking advantage of the city’s cheaper areas.

Milan: living in Italy’s fashion and design capital

Milan, the fashion and design capital, is a city that never ceases to amaze.

With its vibrant nightlife, historic monuments and modern neighborhoods, Milan is a perfect mix of tradition and innovation.

Those who decide to move to Italy’s Milan often do so in search of opportunities. Indeed, the city is the beating heart of the Italian economy, a place where successful companies are born and grow, where art and culture merge with business.

Living in Milan means immersing yourself in a dynamic environment that offers new possibilities every day. Take a look at our best rental listings in Milan and discover apartment design.

But what does living in Milan really mean if you decide to live for rent in Italy?

Living for rent in Milan

The choice to live for rent in Italy, and particularly in Milan, is often dictated by the flexibility that this type of housing solution offers.

Medium- to long-term rentals allow people to enjoy the city without the commitment of a real estate purchase.

However, it is essential to inquire about costs. For example, living in Milan with 1.000 euros per month might be feasible in some areas, while in others it might be more onerous, such as in the historic center: check out our best listings of apartments for rent in Milan in the historic center.

Pros and cons of living in Milan

Like any major metropolis, living in Milan has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Wide range of cultural events;
  • Professional opportunities above the national average;
  • Presence of modern and well-organized infrastructure;
  • General excellent city organization.

Cons:

  • Cost of living;
  • Traffic;
  • Suboptimal air quality.

Although living in Milan can present challenges such as the cost of living (the highest in Italy) or city traffic, many believe that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

And if you’d like to explore the topic further, check out our dedicated guide Living in Milan.

Florence: living in Italy in the cradle of the Renaissance

Florence is universally recognized as the cradle of the Renaissance and is one of the best known and most visited Italian cities in the world.

Florence is a city that envelops you with its history, art and culture. Every corner, every street, every square tells a story. Living in Florence means immersing yourself in an environment full of museums, churches and historic buildings.

But that’s not all: the city also offers a vibrant culinary scene, year-round cultural events, and a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel instantly at home.

If you are considering living for rent in Italy, Florence offers several options. Whether you’re a student or a worker, the city has a wide range of housing to suit all needs and budgets: check out the best rental home listings in Florence.

Living for rent in Florence

Living in Florence as a student: the city is home to some of Italy’s most prestigious universities, such as the University of Florence and the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, as well as many prestigious international institutes. This means that there is a great demand for rental housing in Florence for students: there are many options, from traditional shared apartments to university residences.

Living in Florence as a worker: if you are moving to Florence for work, you will find many options in neighborhoods such as Rifredi, Novoli, or areas near the center. These neighborhoods are well connected to major workplaces and offer all the services you need.

And if you’re interested in learning even more about Florence, check out our dedicated guide Living in Florence: a guide to the Tuscan capital.

Pros and cons of living in Florence

Pros:

  • People-friendly size;
  • Art and monuments;
  • Numerous cultural and social events;
  • Strategic location in central Italy;
  • Excellent quality of life.

Cons:

  • Traffic and road conditions;
  • Cost of living and rents;
  • Excessive tourism at certain times.

Bologna: living in Italy in the university city par excellence

Bologna, known as “La Dotta” for its ancient university (the first in the Western world), is a city that offers a unique mix of history, culture, gastronomy and opportunity.

If you are considering living for rent in Italy, Bologna may be the right choice for you: a young and dynamic city full of events, clubs, culinary tradition, history and art.

Bologna also offers excellent professional opportunities for those who decide to move to Italy to Bologna for work: the productive fabric of Emilia is one of the most developed in Italy.

Bologna is also referred to as “La Rossa” (The Red) because of its red brick buildings and its leftist political orientation. But what does it really mean to live in Bologna? Find out in our dedicated guide Living in Bologna: the complete guide.

Living for Rent in Bologna

If you are considering living for rent in Bologna, there are several options available. From modern student residences to traditional rental homes in the historic center, there’s something for every need: check out the best rental listings in Bologna.

However, it is essential to research thoroughly and, if possible, visit the city before making a decision. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, quality of housing and, of course, the price of rent.

Pros and cons of living in Bologna

Pros:

  • Education: Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world, making it a hub for students and academics. If you are considering living in Bologna as a student, you will find a vibrant and international community;
  • Gastronomy: Bologna’s cuisine is world famous. Living here means having access to delicious dishes such as tagliatelle, lasagna and mortadella.
  • Location: located in the heart of Italy, Bologna is well connected to other major cities, making it ideal for travel and relocation;
  • Events: you will find events of all kinds and types in Bologna.

Cons:

  • Cost of living: although less expensive than other Italian cities, living in Bologna has its costs. Rent can be high, especially in central areas;
  • Climate: winters can be cold, wet and foggy, while summers are hot and muggy;
  • Micro-crime: being a cosmopolitan, bustling city, one must pay attention to which areas are safest and avoid others, especially at night.

Venice: living in Italy’s “Serenissima” on the water

Venice, known worldwide as the “City on Water,” is one of the most fascinating and unique places to live. If you are considering living for rent in Italy in a unique city, this may be the ideal choice for you.

Venice is a labyrinth of canals, bridges and ancient architecture. Living here means waking up every day in an open-air museum, where every corner tells a story.

But it is not only the historical and artistic beauty that makes Venice unique: it is also its distinctive lifestyle. Here, boats replace cars and squares become outdoor living rooms where residents and students meet: find out more in our guide dedicated 6 reasons to live in Venice.

Living in Venice: pros and cons

As in any city, living in Venice has its pros and cons. Among the advantages, there is definitely the opportunity to live in a UNESCO World Heritage site with a rich history and culture. 

However, some practical aspects must also be considered. For example, costs can be very high, especially if you want to live in the more central areas. In addition, the city can be crowded during the tourist season, which makes it difficult to get around.

There are no roads or cars in Venice, so you can only get around on foot, by boat or the famous “vaporetto.”

Living for rent in Venice

If you are considering living for rent in Venice, there are several options available. From traditional Venetian houses to modern apartments, there is something for every taste and budget: check out the best rental listings in Venice and choose the solution for you.

Venice has decidedly high living and rental costs compared to the average. In the lagoon, where major universities and prestigious buildings are located, renting a house in Venice has higher costs than the national average.

For a single room in Venice, the average price is 500 euros monthly. While for apartments, studios and/or two-room apartments, prices can exceed 1.000 euros monthly.

Cheaper and more affordable solutions can be found on the mainland, in Venice Mestre and Marghera but also in Venice Lido, where prices tend to be slightly lower than the main island.

Turin: living in Italy’s industrial hub par excellence

Turin, located in northwestern Italy, is a city that perfectly combines its rich historical past with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook. Known as the cradle of the Italian automotive industry thanks to FIAT, Turin has much to offer.

The city is home to numerous museums, including the famous Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Cinema. Art and history lovers will find themselves immersed in a stimulating environment.

Strolling through the streets of Turin, one can admire the elegance of its historic buildings, wide squares and long arcades, ideal for a stroll even in rainy weather.

And with the proximity of the Alps, Turin offers spectacular mountain views and the possibility of reaching mountain resorts for hiking or winter sports in a short time.

If you are interested in Turin, check out our dedicated guide Living in Turin: the complete guide and discover all that the Piedmontese capital has to offer.

Living in Turin: pros and cons

Like every city, Turin has its pros and cons. Many people ask, “is it better to live in Turin or Milan?” or “what are the advantages and disadvantages of living in Turin?” Here is a brief overview:

Pros:

  • Cost of living: compared to other major Italian cities, Turin has a relatively lower cost of living, making it attractive for people who want to live in rentals;
  • Quality of life: Turin offers an excellent quality of life, with ample green spaces, efficient services, and excellent cultural offerings;
  • Strategic location: its location provides easy access to other Italian and European cities.

Cons:

  • Climate: the weather can be quite variable, with cold and foggy winters;
  • Traffic: like many other cities, Turin can have traffic problems, especially during rush hour. However, it is possible to live in Turin without a car, thanks to an efficient public transportation system.

Living for rent in Turin

If you are considering living for rent in Turin, there are several options available, suitable for students, professionals, or families. The city offers a wide range of housing, from modern apartments in the city center to more traditional homes in the suburbs.

And with the current trend of medium- to long-term rentals, you can find the perfect solution for your needs: take a look at our best rental listings in Turin.

Naples: living in Italy in the Neapolitan city

Among the many cities that make up Italy, last but not least, Naples stands out as one of the most authentic and vibrant destinations. If you are considering living in Italy, Naples may be the right choice for you.

Naples is a city that captures you with its energy, history and culture. Located on Italy’s west coast in the south, it offers spectacular views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. The city is famous for its cuisine, especially pizza, and its historic monuments such as the Duomo and the National Archaeological Museum.

Discover Naples and its sights in our special guide Living in Naples, the ultimate guide.

Living in Italy means immersing yourself in a rich and varied culture, and Naples is no exception. The city has a strong cultural identity, with traditions and festivities dating back centuries. Living in Naples allows you to be at the center of cultural, musical and artistic events throughout the year.

Living for rent in Naples

If you are considering living for rent in Naples, there are a few things you should know: Naples is generally cheaper than other major Italian cities such as Milan or Rome. This makes it an attractive choice for people looking to live in Italy without spending a fortune.

There are many fascinating neighborhoods to live in, such as Chiaia, Posillipo and the historic center. Each neighborhood has its own uniqueness and character: discover them in our best rental listings in Naples.

Transportation: the city has a well-developed public transportation network, including buses, streetcars and the subway.

Pros and cons of living in Naples

Like any city, Naples has its pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Delicious and authentic cuisine;
  • Rich history and culture;
  • Relatively low cost of living.

Cons:

  • Some areas can be crowded, particularly during tourist season;
  • Traffic problems in some areas;
  • Some neighborhoods may have decay and filth.

Living in Italy: hidden gems

These are just some of the major cities in Italy where living in Italy is at its best, the cities that certainly offer the most services, professional and academic opportunities. But it is not only the big cities that make up the Bel Paese and its social and traditional fabric.

Here for you are some “hidden gems,” cities that are less popular but of extraordinary beauty and opportunities for those who prefer more livable and human-scale places, away from the chaos of big cities:

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, a glimpse

The Cinque Terre, consisting of the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, offer an authentic living experience away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.

Imagine waking up every morning to the sight of picturesque villages perched on cliffs overlooking the sea. Living in Cinque Terre means immersing yourself in a postcard-perfect atmosphere, where every corner tells a story and every sunset leaves you breathless.

Padua

Padua, Prato della Valle

Padua, an important town in the Veneto region, is a city with a great history and rich culture. The city is famous for its University, founded in 1222 and one of the oldest in the world, and for its many works of art, such as the Scrovegni Chapel and the Palazzo della Ragione.

Discover Padua in the dedicated guide Living in Padua: the complete guide.

For this reason and others, the city is in high demand for real estate investments and rentals, with numerous requests especially from students and workers: check out the best rental listings in Padua.

Genoa

vivere-a-genova-da-studente-o-lavoratore

Genoa, capital of charming Liguria, is a maritime and port city of great importance in the Italian and European landscape.

An important commercial hub, it overlooks the Ligurian Sea and is home to a large and fundamental port, prestigious universities and a very fertile productive and industrial fabric: discover it in the dedicated guide Living in Genoa as a student or worker.

The Ligurian capital attracts visitors every year but also students and workers who decide to live for rent in Genoa, thanks to its many employment opportunities, proximity to the sea and beaches, and top universities.

Perugia

In the heart of Umbria and the center of Italy, living in Perugia offers a unique experience. Known for its historic center and famous chocolate, Perugia is a city that combines tradition and modernity. Medium- to long-term rentals are ideal for those who want to immerse themselves in Umbrian culture.

Lecce

Known as the “Florence of the South,” Lecce is famous for its Baroque architecture and lively atmosphere. Living in Lecce means enjoying the warmth of southern Italy and a rich culinary tradition. The city offers several options for those seeking medium- to long-term rentals in a welcoming environment.

Pisa

Pisa, the second most strategically and culturally important city in Tuscany, is an important national university hub and home to a number of institutions and excellences that are also renowned at the European level, such as the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna: discover it in the special guide Living in Pisa: the complete guide in the City of the Tower.

The city is also home to one of Italy’s most famous monuments in the world, the world-famous Leaning Tower, and its proximity to cities such as Florence and Lucca, the sea and the port of Livorno, as well as the presence of the main airport on the Tuscan territory, means that the city is also in high demand as a tourist destination: check out the best rental listings in Pisa.

Trento

Located in the mountains of Trentino-Alto Adige, living in Trento offers beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere. The city is a mix of Italian and German culture, making it unique. Medium- to long-term rentals in Trento are ideal for those seeking a quiet life surrounded by nature but enjoying great amenities and a high quality of life.

Learn more about Trento in our dedicated guide The greenest city in Italy: Trento and, if you are interested in rentals, take a look at our rental listings in Trento.

Bottom line: is living in Italy a good choice?

To live in Italy you can find a rental solution that meets all your needs; although it can be difficult to adapt to living in a new country and in a new context, finding a rental accommodation in Italy is very easy thanks to the solutions available on our site. A new experience is waiting for you and we are here to make it as easy as possible thanks to our solutions and technology.

Visit our website and contact our Team of experts, who will be able to help you in these early stages of your research. Once you understand the secrets of living your new daily life in Italy, don’t forget to keep up to date by reading our blog, where you will always find useful tips and constant updates.

If you are interested in getting more information about all the opportunities you can take advantage of while living in Italy and delve further into the initiatives proposed in the area and news about events, we suggest you don’t miss our sections dedicated entirely to advice on the most interesting activities in the cities.

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