Information on Italy’s Cost of Living, Infrastructure, Climate, Residency, Health Care and Real Estate
If you’re looking for quintessential Old World lifestyle, Italy deserves your attention. The old towns are charming, and the countryside between is pleasant. Even excluding the big cities like Rome, there is enough here to keep your interest and to support a fully appointed life on the Continent. What’s more, life here can be much more affordable than back home.
Stitching together seascapes with lush mountain valleys, Abruzzo is one of Italy’s secret treasures—and you’ll love it. No over-crowding, no heavy industry. Hiding away down its curvy roads are castles, vineyards, and villages made of stone and memory. Life in the Abruzzo hasn’t changed that much over the years, and it’s like wandering into a gentler, kinder yesterday…a yesterday with little or no crime and neighbors who watch out for each other.
Cost Of Living In Italy
Live and Invest Overseas offers monthly cost of living budgets (for a couple) for our favorite destinations in Italy:
Infrastructure In Italy
While Italy is a First World, EU-member country, its infrastructure sometimes falls short of the generally accepted EU standards.
Climate In Italy
Italy has a Mediterranean climate and enjoys four seasons, though they are not extreme seasons. Mountainous regions do experience harsher winters (and regular snow in winter) than regions at sea level.
The temperature in all areas of Italy typically ranges between 40°F and 85°F throughout the year. Average annual humidity is around 70%. Mountainous regions and any area above sea level may experience cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Italy receives little rainfall per year, most regions receive less than 30 inches of rain per year.
Italy is a sunny country, receiving over 2,350 hours of sunlight per year and enjoying nearly six-and-a-half hours of cloud-free daily sunlight on average.
As in any country, weather depends on your region, but generally Italy enjoys a warm, stable climate, with little temperature fluctuation from season to season.
Italian Winter: December to February
Residency In Italy
U.S. citizens may enter Italy without a visa and remain in the country as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days per trip. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, you need to seek permission to remain in the country.
Like many countries in Europe, Italy grants residency to foreigners who can prove they can take care of themselves (that is, pay their own bills and not be a burden on the state).
Health Care In Italy
The national health care system in Italy provides excellent—often free—care. Private medical care in Italy is described as luxurious… with a price tag to match.
The standard of health care does differ region to region in Italy. In the north, standards are high and no one can be denied care for any reason. The south, though, is not as developed, nor as generous. There is also a marked difference between the public and private hospitals according to region. These differences follow the same pattern: Northern Italy is a more affluent area and tends to have better public medical facilities, while the south has lower quality public medical facilities.
For major surgery and management of more serious diseases and conditions, you would need to travel to the larger towns and cities.
Real Estate In Italy
Italy has no restriction on foreigners owning property.
Italy’s population has been stagnant since the late 1960s, growing only marginally decade over decade. Due to this, over time, the Italian economy has grown sluggish… as has the property market. On top of this, now there is an increasing surplus of property on the market and no one to occupy it. Italians aren’t being born quickly enough, leaving the market wide open to foreigners.
Italians who consider buying a second home or a vacation property in this area generally look to the coast. But the romance of old places and rural living has a far greater appeal to foreigners. In general, Italians opt to live in modern apartments in cities or larger towns.
Rural areas are generally the best areas for a real estate buy in Italy. While the cities and coasts attract the working population and tourists, rural areas are becoming increasingly vacant.
Property in Abruzzo, for example, can be up to 80% cheaper than Tuscany, and up to 50% cheaper than Umbria. The region’s lack of employment opportunities has been the primary reason. For decades, people have had to leave the area to find employment. This has resulted in properties standing empty.
Some have stood empty for way too long… You’ll see numerous properties advertised for next-to-nothing prices, but with wood burning stoves (you’d need some kind of winter heating in the Abruzzo). You’d need to make some major upgrades to some of these bargain homes.
Another reason for low property prices is that relatively few foreign buyers have even heard of the Abruzzo—prices haven’t yet become over-inflated.