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Many Americans I’ve spoken with about my time in Rome always assume that the cost of living is roughly equivalent to living in New York City – nope! This is certainly not the case.
Not only is Rome not near as expensive as NYC, but it’s also one of the most reasonable major European cities to live in. Since the cost of living in Rome is so affordable, it’s a great destination for remote workers, freelancers, and other digital nomads who are paid in European Euro or United States Dollars.
If you’re planning to move to Rome sometime soon, you’ll want to think about how much money you’ll need every month. Let’s break down what it actually costs to live in Rome, Italy.
The Cost to Live in Rome Compared to Other Major Cities
There were so many factors that appealed to me when I set out on my adventure to live in Rome – the traditional Italian foods, the history, the beautiful places, the unique places to visit in Italy, and more.
But one of the biggest drawbacks was the cost of living in Rome.
So, how does the cost of living in Rome stack up to other cities? Here’s an overview of the cost of living in Rome compared to other popular cities. All data sourced from 2020 Numbeo estimates.
New York City
- Consumer prices in Rome are 23.91% lower than in NYC.
- Rent prices in Rome are 63.53% lower than in NYC.
- Consumer prices in Rome are 12.21% lower than in London.
- Rent prices in Rome are 51.96% lower than in London.
- Consumer prices in Rome are 16.20% lower than in Paris.
- Rent prices in Rome are 29.74% lower than in Paris.
- Consumer prices in Rome are 10.68% lower than in Tokyo.
- Rent prices in Rome are 16.51% lower than in Tokyo.
- Consumer prices in Rome are 9.34% higher than in Berlin.
- Rent prices in Rome are 1.00% higher than in Berlin.
- Consumer prices in Rome are 18.54% higher than in Barcelona.
- Rent prices in Rome are 8.30% higher than in Barcelona.
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What currency is used in Rome?
Italy, like most of the European Union, uses the Euro (EUR). One US dollar is equal to 0.85 EUR, so if two items cost the same number amount, you will spend a little more.
What does it cost to live in Rome?
Average Monthly Rent in Rome
Monthly rent in Rome will mostly depend on how much space you require and the neighborhood you choose. The best neighborhoods to live in Rome are Trastevere, Ponte Milvio, Monti, Testaccio, Monteverde, and Aventino. To live in these neighborhoods, lean toward the higher price in the range for a more accurate picture.
|TYPE OF APARTMENT||AVERAGE||RANGE|
|Studio in City Center||900 EUR||700-1200 EUR|
|Studio Outside City Center||630 EUR||500-800 EUR|
|3 Room in City Center||1900 EUR||1400-3000 EUR|
|3 Room Outside City Center||1200 EUR||900-1700 EUR|
Average Prices for Purchasing an Apartment
|TYPE OF APARTMENT||AVERAGE||RANGE|
|Price per Square Meter in City Center||6900 EUR||4700-10000 EUR|
|Price per Square Meter outside City Center||3300 EUR||2500-4100 EUR|
Average Monthly Prices for Utilities
Depending on the apartment, you may find some apartments have the cost of utilities already included in the rent. General utilities are largely on par with prices in the US, but as you can see below, cell phone prices and cable/internet prices are both much more affordable.
|General Utilities (Electric, Gas, Water)||180 EUR||100-350 EUR|
|Pre-Paid Cell Phone||25 EUR||20-30 EUR|
|Cable & Internet (60 mbps or more)||30 EUR||25-40 USD|
Average Monthly Spending on Groceries
The trick to keeping grocery costs low in Italy (as an American) is to buy local products – you’re in Italy! Enjoy the superb-quality ingredients and treats that are made in the country, and avoid trying to recreate your cupboards or refrigerator back in the States. Forget the peanut butter and grab a jar of Nutella instead!
For my fellow Americans – 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
|1 Loaf Bread||1,88 EUR|
|1.5 L Bottled Water||1 EUR|
|1 Bottle Mid-Range Wine||8 EUR|
|6 Pack Domestic Beer||6 EUR|
|6 Pack Imported Beer||8 EUR|
|1 kg Onions||1,45 EUR|
|1 kg Potatoes||1,36 EUR|
|1 kg Apples||1,90 EUR|
|1 kg Bananas||1,67 EUR|
|1 Dozen Eggs||3,64 EUR|
|1 kg Local Cheese||13,50 EUR|
|1 kg Chicken Breast||8,75 EUR|
|1 kg Beef Round||15,64 EUR|
|1 L Milk||1,46 EUR|
Average Monthly Spending on Transportation Costs
Having a car in Rome is just a bad, bad idea. Public transportation in the city is widely used and reliable, but, you will have to keep your wits about you. I had my wallet stolen out of my purse one evening without ever noticing until I reached my destination.
Another thing worth noting about public transportation in Rome – rideshare services aren’t very widely used. Most taxi drivers will tell you Uber is illegal (it’s not, but it’s not too common). Download the MyTaxi app that will connect you with local drivers. You can also use this app to book a taxi in advance.
Be sure to validate your tickets! You WILL be fined. When riding a bus or tram, stamp your new ticket in one of the machines near the doors immediately after boarding. Be sure to keep your ticket with you until your ride has ended in case you need to show it to someone.
|1-Way Bus Ride||1,50 EUR|
|Monthly Bus Pass||35 EUR|
|Taxi Start||4,00 EUR|
|Taxi Fare per 1km||1,30 EUR|
|Gasoline per Liter||1,47 EUR|
Average Monthly Spending on Leisure Activities
Going out to eat in Rome is a fairly expensive activity, considering the city’s tourist nature.
You can find some hidden gems, however, if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg.
I used to frequent Galeassi in Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere a few times a week with my roommate. A big bowl of their delicious penne all’arrabiata was only 9 EUR, and there’s a delicious gelateria next door.
Walk it off afterwards, or find an outdoor exercise source on one of Rome’s seven hills, because the gym prices are a little excessive for my liking!
|Activity / Item||Average Price|
|Monthly Gym Membership||70 EUR|
|Movie Theatre Ticket||9 EUR|
|Museum Admission||10 EUR|
|Meal for 2 at Mid-Range Restaurant (with drinks)||75 EUR|
|Fast Food Meal||9 EUR|
What other costs of living in Rome should you take into account before you move?
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