Anyone who has visited Italy will know the prices are high for most items, from holiday rentals to a cup of coffee. But is it the same for the cost of living in Italy? Here are our 2022 findings.
Expats flock to Italy for various reasons; great weather, rich history, and of course, stunning scenery. However, the reality of living in a foreign country is completely different from spending a few weeks there for a holiday.
What to Expect for Small Extravagances
Affordability is the key to living anywhere. If you are used to living in a country (like the USA) where the price of a cup of coffee is around $3, you will immediately see differences when moving to Milan.
Currently, the cost of a cup of coffee in Milan is roughly €1 for an espresso and around €1.30 for an Americano or Cappuccino. If you like getting free refills back home, you can forget about that, they don’t do that here.
Cigarettes in Milan work out to about €5.20 on average, which is comparable with the US. Except for New York City residents, where smokers can expect to pay up to $13.00 a pack.
Happy hour, or as it is known here in Italy, l’aperitivo. It is very common to meet friends or colleagues for cocktails after work or before dinner. Drinks can cost from €8 – €15 in Milan. The trendier the location, the more you will pay. Traditionally, drinks in Italy come with a few snacks to tide you over until dinner.
Gym memberships are notoriously high in most places, and Milan is no different. The average cost for full membership in the city is €60 – €100 a month.
If you commute by train from outside the city, you may want to get a monthly ticket. For example, a commuter pass (abbonamento) from Como to Milano is €81. If you want to be sure to get a seat each day and have a more relaxing ride, splurge for the first-class ticket for €122.
Rent and Utilities
Finding comfortable and safe housing should always be prioritized when moving to a new country. Rent and utilities are never cheap. Milan is a small area but has a large cost disparity. The average rent in the city is around €1163 for a one-bedroom apartment. Lower rents can be found outside the city center and ring roads, where monthly rents can be as low as €800. Moving out of town to a smaller town or village can significantly make a difference in your lifestyle budget. For example, a 4-room apartment in the center of Varese can be found for around €850. Click here to search apartment listings on EasyMilano.
Utilities are a different story. Research has shown that the average cost of utilities in Milan is much lower than in other countries. On average, one can expect to pay around €200 – €300 per month to cover electricity, gas, water, internet, and satellite TV in Milan.
The Cost of Eating Out in Milan
Grocery shopping in Milan is the most economical way to eat well. Expect to pay on average €289.50 for monthly groceries. If you like eating out, Milan offers a variety of options, from quality street food to fine dining. Expect to pay around €30 for a quality meal with their house wine in a restaurant.
Public Transport in Milan
Using public transportation in Milan is very reasonable and is a popular way to get around. A taxi, for example, will cost about €5.95 when first entering the cab and about €1.80 per km after that.
The public transit in Milan is very reliable; a one-way ticket on public transportation (bus, metro or trams) costs €2.00 for a cross-city trip.
If you use a car, gasoline prices in Milan fluctuate; costs are currently around €1.77 – €1.90 per liter.
There is so much more to learn about Milan, but hopefully, some of the above tips will help give you an idea about living here.
Article by Anthony Ryan for EasyMilano.com
Featured image BAM Milano
Cappuccino by Julie Aagaard
Apartment by Vecislavas Popa
Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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