2022 Cost of Living in Florence Italy- Expat Life In The Renaissance Capital




  • Monthly budget in Florence for a Single Person = $1,500 <skip to budget details>.
  • Real estate prices drive the biggest expense in Florence. Use co-living or roommates to cut costs by 50% or more.
  • Eating out is expensive, as even the average cost of a mid-priced meal is $28 per person. 
  • Florence is a highly walkable city, saving significantly on transportation costs.

Italian Renaissance Art brought me to Florence. The positive experience I had there influenced why I still live in Italy today. I was a first-year graduate student from Canada studying art history in New York state. I was counting down the days when I could see the artworks I was learning about in the classroom with my own eyes.

Before moving, the first thing people told me was that the cost of living in Florence was high. To give you an idea of the cost, €1 EUR is about $1.12 USD (approximately $1.45 CAD).

For someone who has never lived in Florence or any other Italian city, it was hard to plan ahead and fully grasp the costs of daily life. I mainly learned from talking with locals and, of course, trial and error. I wasn't going to let the high cost of living in Florence compromise the overall enjoyment and experience of being in the beautiful City of Lilies!

young woman with a city view shares her monthly living costs in Florence Italy

Our guest, Simona, describes her lifestyle and budget as a student expat living in Florence.

Living In Florence As A Canadian Expat

Street art on Via Toscannelli (Filippo Brunelleschi and Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli)

While expenses add up fast in Florence, there are many great things about Italian life that the living cost won't get in the way of. One of them is that there is so much art in the city! When I wasn't in class, I'd spend my time sightseeing. From the Loggia dei Lanzi sculptures to the street art on the city walls, art greets you at every corner.

Florence is also relatively small. You don't need a car or public transit to move around since mostly everything is within walking distance. No matter where you are if you look up and find the Duomo, you'll be able to make your way back to the city center- it's your North Star.

Another great thing is the amazing food. It's easy to find local and seasonal food that's affordable and delicious. Often, I'd meet friends for a bite to eat at the Mercato Centrale after a long day at the library. You'll quickly get hooked on the flavors and aromas of Italian food!

Since I lived with a flatmate, my monthly expense would be about €1,300.00 EUR (about $1,467 USD). This average cost includes rent, utilities, groceries, coffee/eating out, and social activities.

Is Florence, Italy A Good Place To Live?

Yes. Florence is clean, orderly, and, overall, safe. You also feel a delightful sense of multiculturalism. People dress nicely, and you get the vibe that the quality of life is quite good.

From early in the morning, while it's still a bit dewy, you'll see early risers snapping photos by the main attractions in places like the Duomo. Students flutter down the narrow streets on their way to class. As you walk by coffee bars, you hear the clinging of cups and the frothing of milk and overhear mild chatter as people are just waking up.

After a day's work, cars and cyclists take to the streets. Bars prepare for their aperitivi, restaurants get their tables set for the dinner seating, and the roads begin to fill up once more. In the evening, live music plays in Piazza della Signoria and echoes down the streets, slowly fading out as you reach Ponte Vecchio. On the bridge, you see people admiring the lights of the city reflecting in the Arno river.

view of the city at night make the cost of living in florence italy for an expat worth it

Florence is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day.

Expats In Florence

I studied at an American university and met many international students who, like me, were studying abroad. While this was nice, it's also great to make friends with locals. The truth is, it can be hard to meet locals when you're in a circle of people that aren't from the area.

My advice to make friends is to do an activity you enjoy. Maybe that's joining a gym or fitness class, cultivating a hobby like making ceramics or painting. You're bound to find expats you have something in common with!

Another good way to learn about what's happening in the city is to look for public events like festivities or markets from local news sources like La Nazione or English magazines like The Florentine. If social media is more your scene, you can follow news sources on Instagram.

Make More Friends Learning The Italian Language

Monthly Budget In Florence, Italy

There is much to do, eat and see in Florence, but all of this can become pricy fast. 

$1500- Cost of Living in Florence Italy Details [HIDE]

Total Monthly Expense$1503
Rent- Shared 2-bedroom apartment Funished Santo Spirito546
Cell Phone13
Total Housing Expense645
Home Cooked Meals 18 times per week148
Budget Meal- Italian Fast Food 2 times per Week70
Trattoria Lunch 2 times per Week279
Splurge Meal 1 time per Month52
Total Food Expense548
Coffee with Friends- Monthly Espresso Budget25
Drinks with Friends- 2 Aperitivi once per Week60
Museum once per Week35
Gym Membership25
Total Entertainment145
10 Ticket Tram and Bus Pass17
Car Share 2 hours per Month38
Total Transportation Expense54
Travel Health Insurance60
Health Care Expense60
Personal Care (Shampoo, etc.) & Household Items (Soap, etc.)20
Total Personal Care and Misc Expense51
Exchange Rate to $1 USD to Euro (EUR)0.87

How Does The Cost of Living In Florence, Italy Compare To The US?

Look at the cost of living comparison below representing the Top 4 essential expenses in the US: housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average living costs in a major city.

Even when comparing Florence, an expensive city in Italy, to a medium-cost city in the US (Portland), the lower cost of living in Florence saves you over $14,000 a year.

Essential Living Costs

















Total Average Per Month



Save 48% on Major Monthly Expenses


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Apartment Cost In Florence

Shared Housing Costs


Housing is where the cost of living in Florence hits hard. On average, rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment in Florence will run between €800-1200 EUR/month ($900-1,353 USD/month).

I lived in a two-story, fully furnished apartment of approximately 100m² with three bedrooms, two washrooms, and a living room/dining room. The condo itself had four floors and no elevator. It was a 20-minute walk from the Duomo outside the old city walls of Florence in the Campo di Marte neighborhood. The flat was close to all the necessary amenities like a local grocery store, food shops selling pastries, bread, pizza, a pharmacy, and a bank.

Even though it was outside the historic center, rent prices were still relatively high at €1,400 EUR/month (around $1,580 USD/month).

Additional Housing Costs

In Italy, gas, water, electricity, and other bills like the internet, are paid every two months. Since your gas consumption might be higher in the colder months (November-February), be sure to keep a little extra money aside in your budget.

In a year, for an 85m²-100m² flat, you can expect to pay the following prices for your utilities:

  • Gas - €500-800 EUR ($564-902 USD)/year, €42-66 EUR ($47-74 USD)/month;
  • Water - €300 EUR ($338 USD)/year, €25 EUR ($28 USD)/month;
  • Electricity - €540-600 EUR ($609-677 USD)/month, €45-50 EUR ($51-56 USD)/month; and
  • Internet - €360 EUR ($406 USD)/year, €30 EUR ($34 USD)/month.

My roommate and I divided the monthly costs between us. 

 INSIDER TIP :  Condominium Fees- ask your landlord about the monthly cost of condo fees. Some landlords may include the price in your monthly rent while others don't. Condo fees can include cleaning common areas, regular maintenance, the waste tax, and heating and water, depending on if they are autonomous or centralized.

Best neighborhoods in Florence For New Expats

If you're new to the city and don't know anyone, the best place to live would be an area like Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno (the other side of the Arno river) that's vibrant and lively at night. It does have an expat community and is known to be chic and have a cool artistic vibe so expect rent to be pricier.

Otherwise, Sant'Ambrogio, one of the oldest areas with its famous fresh produce market, has that classic local flair and relaxed vibe that's bound not to disappoint newcomers.

Best Florentine neighborhood Outside the city center

Florence might be small, but there are quite a few neighborhoods to consider when choosing where to live. I wanted to be near the university's vicinity, so I lived outside of the city center in Campo di Marte. I chose this place for a few reasons: quiet, walking distance to campus (5 minutes), fully furnished, including a dishwasher, and air conditioning units on both floors. It definitely checked all the boxes for comfortable expat living.

INSIDER TIP :  Apartment Hunting In Florence

  • Two Room Apartments- Americans living in Florence are initially confused, as housing in a European city is listed by the total number of rooms (including a living room) in the flat, NOT the number of bedrooms. If you see a listing for a "two-room flat," that is ONE-BEDROOM. A "one-room" apartment is a studio, while a "three-room apartment" is a two-bedroom. 
  • Additional Costs - If you use a rental agency to find a flat be aware of additional fees and upfront costs.  Generally, the renter and landlord each pay one month's rent to the realtor, and you also need to leave a deposit of either 1-2 months' rent to your landlord.
  • Good to know: when dealing with a realtor, you will need to provide them with your Italian codice fiscale (the tax code mentioned earlier).
  • Valuable resources to consider when house hunting are: Immobiliare.it, Roomless, and idealista.it or Facebook groups like Rent rooms in Florence, or Erasmus Florence (for student accommodation).

Food Prices In Florence

Italian cheese on sale at a neighborhood delicatessen

Food Costs


Grocery Shopping In Florence

On an average week, you will spend a good €25-30 EUR ($28-34 USD) for one person on food from your typical grocery store. However, I highly suggest going to the Sant'Ambrogio market for the delicious food and friendly faces. Fresh and local produce costs less at the market, and sometimes the vendors even throw in complimentary herbs upon buying! It's also a great place to experience a sense of community in the city.

How Much Does Eating Out In Florence Cost?

Basic Meal $7- Looking for a quick bite? Try a schiacciata (flatbread) sandwich from All'Antico Vinaio. A sandwich only costs €6 EUR ($6.79 USD). The queue leading to Florence's Most Famous Sandwich Shop rivals the line to the Uffizi, but like both, it's worth the wait and price!

Mid-Range Restaurant $28- Your average meal at an Osteria or Trattoria will range from €25-30 EUR ($28-34 USD). These are restaurants that are known for simple yet delicious local dishes. You can find several in areas like Santo Spirito. It's a vibrant square with many restaurants and bars.

Expensive Restaurants $45- If you opt for more of a fine dining experience, a meal can cost €40+ EUR ($45+ USD), especially if you order meat, fish, and wine. I recommend trying the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (beefsteak) at least once with a friend. For this local dish, you pay by kilo (e.g., €40-50 EUR/kilo ($45-56 USD/kilo).

picture of a budget sandwich expats can buy to keep their cost of living in florence italy low

Budget Bites $7- Schiacciata (flatbread sandwich)

Mid-Range Restaurant $28- Pappardelle with a wild boar ragùe

picture of a Fiorentina steak that is a treat on an expat budget in florence italy

Expensive Restaurant $45- Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Entertainment Budget In Florence

Florence has a year round calendar full of cultural events including the historical Calcio Storico match  Photo Credit

Entertainment and Sports


There are different kinds of activities you can do in Florence. I would go to one or two museums or churches a week for the art and check out any local festivities, especially around high holidays.

  • Festivals $varies- Florence has many social activities and free events/festivals annually in public squares. My favorites are the Calcio Storico and Scoppio del Carro. If you're in Florence during these events, they're worth checking out!
    Calcio Storico (historic football) - an annual historical football game played in front of the Piazza Santa Croce. The game is a mix between football, wrestling, and rugby. Players from four teams representing different parts of the city battle it out in medieval costumes.
    Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart)- On Easter Sunday, flag throwers, musicians, and people in medieval costume accompany a cart brimming with fireworks that burst in front of the Duomo.

 INSIDER TIP :  Weekend Getaway- if you can, take a weekend trip to Ivrea Turin and see The Battle of the Oranges festival in February – you won't be disappointed!

the cost of living in Florence Italy includes entrance into the Uffizi Gallery

Browse Italian Culture and Art Inside the Uffizi Gallery.

  • Museum Entrance $5- There are more than 70 museums and galleries to visit in Florence. Tickets can range from €5-25 EUR ($5.60-28 USD). I recommend buying your tickets in advance to avoid queues and tickets selling out, especially during high season (May-September). When you pre-book, you will be charged a service fee of about €1-4 EUR ($1.12-4.50 USD), but you'll save time by queuing up in the "pre-booked" line. 
    If you're in Florence for a few days, here are my top five places to visit, from the least to most expensive:
    • Basilica of Santa Maria Novella - €7.50 EUR ($8 USD)
    • Basilica of Santa Croce - €8 EUR ($9 USD)
    • Palazzo Pitti - €10 EUR ($11 USD) + €3 EUR ($3.30 USD) advanced booking fee.
    • Galleria degli Uffizi - €12 EUR ($14 USD) + €4 EUR ($4.50 USD) advanced booking fee.
    • Santa Maria del Fiore (aka the Duomo) - You can visit the cathedral itself for free by lining up unless you opt for a guided tour €13 EUR ($15 USD), but to visit the cupola, museum, baptistry, and bell tower, the prices vary ranging from €5-25 EUR ($5.60-28 USD).

 INSIDER TIP :  Florence Museum All-Access Pass- the "Firenze card" for €85 EUR ($96 USD) gives you access to all museums in the city for 72 hours. You can purchase the card online by downloading the Firenze card App.

  • Aperitivo with Charcuterie $6 - If you don't know Italian yet, aperitivo (happy hour) should be the first word you learn. A drink costs €8-11 EUR ($9-13 USD) at your standard bar. Average prices rocket at 'trendier' places or at any bar with even the slightest view of the Duomo. What makes aperitivo better than happy hour is that your drink comes with some snacks like chips, cheese, cold cuts, olives, or, if you really hit the jackpot - a buffet.

    My go-to bar was the Enoteca Alla Sosta dei Papi near the church of Sant-Ambrogio in the city center. For €5 EUR ($5.66 USD), you can get a glass of wine and a decent tagliere (charcuterie board) to share with friends. This bar is a hole in the wall but comes alive at night!
  • Gyms or Fitness Centers $25 per month- You can expect to pay between €300-900 EUR ($338-1,120 USD)/year for a membership at a gym. Gyms like Florence Fitness or Palesta Ricciardi in the city center offer an all-inclusive membership and cost about €15 EUR ($17 USD)/day and around €80 EUR ($90 USD)/month. A gym outside of the city center is more budget-friendly. The monthly fee for a gym like FIT EXPRESS is roughly €240 EUR ($270 USD)/year or €20 EUR ($23 USD)/month.

 INSIDER TIP :  Gym Health Certificate-  to join a gym in Italy, you'll need a medical certificate from a physician stating you are in good health. I've had to pay around €10 EUR ($12 USD) for such a certificate plus an additional €70 EUR ($79 USD) to do an electrocardiogram (EKG) test privately. Some physicians may not provide the certificate if you do not do this test.

Transportation Cost In Florence

Florence's main train station can whisk expats to different Italian cities quickly and cheaply



It's easy to get around Florence on foot, it's pedestrian-friendly, and traffic is pretty reasonable. If you need transportation, here is what you need to know:

  • Public Transportation - a single tram or bus ticket for a 90-minute, multiple-trip ticket costs €1.50 EUR ($1.70 USD). You can buy tickets online using the TABNET App.
  • Bike-sharing - with RideMovi, bike-sharing will cost €1 EUR ($1.12 USD) for the first 20 minutes and then an additional euro every 20 minutes. You can get a day pass for €4.99 EUR ($6 USD) or pay €12.99 EUR ($15 USD)/month.
  • Car sharing - using Enjoy will run you €0.25 EUR ($0.28 USD)/minute, the maximum price for the day is €50 EUR ($56.39 USD).
  • Train - the cost of your train ticket depends on your destination, length of stay, etc., but I think it's helpful to compare the prices between the two carriers, Italo Treno and TrenItalia, when planning your trip. Italo tends to have less expensive options while still providing an equally comfortable ride.
  • Taxi - the cost of a taxi depends on where you're going, traffic and so on. One super helpful App is Taxi.it. If you don't speak Italian, it's great because you insert all your trip information in the App, and they all accept credit card payments.

 INSIDER TIP :  Tuscany Weekend Trip-  If you're looking for a short train trip in Tuscany, consider taking the train to the Saturnia Hot Springs for a relaxing and beautiful weekend!

International Flights

Florence's Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR) is a medium sized international airport serving the Tuscany and Firenze areas. 

Florence Airport has direct passenger flights to 29 cities in 14 countries.

Airport Pick Up-  Avoid the stress and hassle of finding a taxi in a strange country. Get a safe airport pickup with no hidden costs.

Other Costs When Moving To Florence

My living costs in Florence includes regular cups of coffee at the Biblioteca delle Oblate

  • Local Espresso $1.25 - What would living in Italy be like without coffee? My weekly budget tops an easy €5 EUR ($6 USD) on coffee. In Florence, your average espresso costs €1.00-1.10 EUR ($1.12-1.24 USD).Often, I went to the Biblioteca delle Oblate public library to study because it's one of the few libraries that's free to the public without a library card, has wifi, and is open on Saturdays. While it's a great place to study, it's also known for its bar with a stunning view of the Duomo.
  • Mobile Internet Plan $12- In general, cellphone plans are affordable. Things to expect: one-time cost of a SIM card €10.00 EUR ($11 USD). For about €11 EUR ($12 USD), you can get a plan that gives you about 8GB of data with unlimited nationwide calls and sometimes a deal that includes minutes to call to another country.
    You can walk into Wind3, Tim, Vodafone and ask if they have any current promotions for new clients. Download your carrier's App to track your usage and pay for your plan.

 INSIDER TIP :  Cell Phone Requirements- when getting a SIM card, bring a photo piece of ID like a passport and your codice fiscale (tax code). You do not need to have Italian citizenship or residence to obtain this, and it's free. You can pick one up at the closest Italian Consulate in your city before leaving for Italy or contact the Agenzia delle entrate (Italian Revenue Agency).

  • Hair Salons $36- a cut and dry for women can range be €40-100 EUR ($57-113 USD) depending on the length of hair, and for men €15-25 EUR ($17-28 USD)
  • Manicure/Pedicure - €20-40 EUR ($23-45 USD) depending on if it's regular polish or gel. A pedicure can cost between €30-50 EUR ($34-57 USD). My go-to place for manicures and pedicures was Maniboo - excellent service, affordable and friendly staff.

 INSIDER TIP :  Tipping Culture In Italy- In general, tipping is not common, but some may round up the total cost for services at the salon.

How Much Does Health Care cost In Italy?



Should you obtain an elective residency visa in Italy, you will also be part of the national healthcare system and have a tessera sanitaria (health care card). Otherwise, you can opt for travel insurance from your home country. It's better to be on the safe side, and should anything happen, and you need surgery abroad, they will cover up to a certain percentage of the costs and reimburse you. Keep proof and receipts of everything!

Italy's national health care system is excellent. Emergency healthcare for foreigners is treated regardless of nationality or whether you're part of the public health care system or not.

Will I Have To Pay Taxes Living In Italy?

Personal taxation in Italy is based on ‘tax residency’. Italy will consider you a tax resident if for more than 183 days in a fiscal year you:

  • are registered in an Italian resident (Anagrafe)
  • have a residence (habitual abode) in Italy
  • your "center of life," your principle location of business, economic, or family life is in Italy

If one of the above is true, Italy may qualify you as a tax resident.

Italy has three levels of personal income tax: national, regional, and municipal taxes. Expats migrating to Italy may also have a flat tax on their investments abroad. To avoid any complications, penalties, and fines,  speak with a tax advisor for details.

What Are The Visa Requirements For Italy?

 US citizens do not require an Italian visa for visits for up to 90 out of 180 days. Italy is in the Schengen agreement along with 26 other European countries. Foreigners looking to visit strictly for vacation or tourism can enter Italy as part of the Schengen Visa. Schengen is expressly for tourism and is not ideal for retirees or digital nomads looking for long-term options. With 90-days, you would barely have enough time for a trip through the beautiful countryside or Italy's most popular cities.

To determine the type of visa you will need, check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation website. 

What About An Italian Retirement Visa?

Expats and retirees looking for long-term residency can apply for an Italy Elective Residency Visa. This visa allows foreigners who have the financial means to support themselves (Minimum of €31,160 for individuals and €38,000 for married couples) without employment (i.e., retiree) an opportunity for permanent residency and a path to Italian citizenship.


Still researching the best cities for retirement? Check out our extensive Cost of Living collection for the best expat destinations. Get insider information and real examples of expat life from people who have spent years living abroad. I've compiled all the information you need: cost breakdowns, insider tips to save money, and detailed examples of the quality of lifestyle you can enjoy. 

Final Thoughts: Is Florence An expensive City to live in?

Florence can be an expensive city even by Western European standards, but living costs can vary dramatically depending on lifestyle and personal interests. Thankfully this culturally rich city offers a range of low-cost activities, a variety of affordable food options, and alternative options for housing, giving you some control over your monthly costs.

In the end, I'd say Florence is a special place to live in. From my experience, a city in and of itself is just a place. What made living in Florence so great for me were the people I met and the friends I made along the way.

There is much to enjoy in this city. While the cost of living in Florence can be high, the memories and people you'll meet will make your experience priceless.

FAQs: Average Cost Of Living In Florence Italy

How much money do I need to live in Florence, Italy?

If you want to live comfortably in Florence, plan on needing at least $1,500 USD per month. This budget includes food, transportation, entertainment, health care, and other costs. An expat with a $1,500 budget can still enjoy deliciously prepared local Italian food, aperitivi with friends, and a daily espresso. 

Is Florence, Italy, a good place to live?

Yes, living in Florence is great because of its beautiful architecture, museums, and art galleries. The entire city has an artistic vibe, whether it's the simple street art or the masterpiece in the Palazzo Vecchio. The city is also compact and very walkable for strolls to admire the breathtaking views. 

What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Florence, Italy as an expat?

Best depends on your lifestyle. Each neighborhood has something unique to offer expats, such as nightlife, restaurants, shopping, art galleries, museums, parks, and historic sites. The best neighborhoods near the historic center are Oltrarno, San Marco, and Santa Croce. Outside the city center, check out Via Bolengese, Campo di Marte, and Novoli.

What is a good salary in Florence Italy?

The average salary in Florence is $1,600 USD/month (net after taxes). An example of annual salary averages for professional jobs requiring a degree:

  • IT MANAGER $41,000

Is Florence, Italy, cheap to live in?

I wouldn't call Florence cheap. Rent and housing costs are high, especially near the historical center, where an average one-bedroom apartment is $800-$900. However, you can save money living in Florence by avoiding restaurants and cooking at home. You can easily find local and seasonal foods that are affordable and delicious at local markets.


I have traveled to over 40 countries to give you the best ways to save, invest, and live overseas for less cost than in the US. After five years of traveling, my list of places to live keeps getting longer. To give you more information on the best places to live abroad, I partner with experts from the expat community.

You want insider information from people with feet in the street? I only work with expats with real-life experience living in countries you want to know about. Together you get updated info on the best neighborhoods, detailed Cost of Living examples, money-saving advice, and recommendations on the local places to eat, drink, and see.

Are you a travel blogger with information you can share on living in another country? Contact me and let's talk about collaborating on a guest post. 


Simona is a Montrealer living in Italy who traded in her double-double for espresso – and hasn’t looked back since. A Communications Specialist and blogger at Backpackers in the World – a global community of backpackers – she loves writing travel guides to help you make the most out of your next trip.

About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive . [view press...]

  • Enjoyed this article very much…So well organized! I’m 71 and in the process of going for my dual Italian citizenship! Why not? Will be exploring your site a lot more as I hone in on possible places to live, even if just for awhile. Narrowing it down to a couple of places in Italy and Valencia, Spain. I need to get low protein foods and I think I’d be OK in either place…

    • Hi Gloria,

      You are making a great move in getting a second citizenship. I’m a big believer in having options, and being able to jump to a different country provides a high level of flexibility.

      I think you will be happy living in either country. While I don’t practice a low protein lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet is high on vegetables, omega-3 oils, and fish and low on red meats. I think you’ll still be in foodie heaven in Spain or Italy.

      Let me know if you have any questions.



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