Cost of Living
Cost of living figures are very helpful to those who are planning on moving to another country. The biggest problem with doing this in Italy though is that every area has a different cost of living. I recently saw an ad for an apartment inside the walled city of Siena that is 70 square meters (around 700 square feet) and the cost was €390,000. For that price though, I could buy a huge house if I went outside of Tuscany and into the less touristy areas. So we decided to try to get a questionnaire together to have people give their basic costs.
Unfortunately not as many people filled out the form as I would have liked but hopefully in time others will add their information and those results will be added to give a better idea of what you need to get by. The averages here are based on a household of 2 people and this questionnaire was done in mid 2005.
GAS - If you are using city gas which is metano, the average is €29 per month. If instead you are using GPL which are the gas tanks, either large or small, the average is €130 per month. You will pay a little more than €40 to turn on the gas to your property if there is already a line in. If not you will need to pay depending on the distance from the tank or the mains to your house.
WATER - If you live in an apartment, water is normally included either in your rent or in your condominium fees. If you live in a house with separate lines the average is €18 per month.
ELECTRICITY - Average is €48 per month. To turn on electricity to your house or apartment, the fee is €505. The base allotment for electricity is 3.0 kW. If you would like to increase this (so that you are able to run two high consumption items at the same time) you will need to pay around €75 for every extra kW as well as the price of usage per kW goes up. As a household of 4 with high consumption items, 4.5 kW of power, we pay on average €110 per month.
TELEPHONE - This one is very hard to get an average for as some use the phone a lot to call long distance, some use programs that give flat fees, etc. etc. The average of the results so far though is €108 per month. There is a one time €150 fee to telecom for the line.
GROCERY (including cleaning agents, paper products, toiletries, food and beverages) For a family of 2 the average was €289 per month. There are some samples of grocery prices below. These items were gathered from the COOP grocery chain at their online supermarket E-Coop. All prices are quoted as of Nov. 29, 2004 and are subject to change.
GARBAGE - Those who rent or have condominium fees normally have this included. For those who do not the fee is based on size of property, comune and the number of people. Average though was €123 per year.