Life Is Better In Turin- Affordable Cost Of Living in Italy For $1000 Per Person

07/04

MINUTE READING TIME

Are you curious about the cost of living in Italy? I am an Australian expat currently living in Turin, Italy. I arrived in Italy in May 2019, and after doing some travel around the country, I settled in Turin in October 2019. I've been living in this beautiful Northern Italian city for almost a year and a half. 

I initially moved to Italy for a working holiday as I wanted to experience a cultural change and learn more about food and wine. After finishing the wine harvest in October 2019 in Piedmont, I decided to try settling in the city for six months. I was interested in visiting Turin as I'd previously seen how beautiful it was on a Jamie Oliver cooking program!

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QUICK SUMMARY

  • Monthly budget in Turin= ~$1,000 per Person <jump to budget details>.
  • A mid-range budget, but high quality of live with an active social life and frequent meals out
  • Quality healthcare and long-term visa potential

A week into my new adventure, I met my now partner and found work teaching English; things fell into place when I moved here! A few months later, when the global pandemic began, I decided to stay in Italy rather than go back to Australia to avoid being separated from my boyfriend. So while I initially came here for a working holiday, I've stayed for love.

If you're interested in following my adventures, you can check out my blog Livguine. Read on to find out about my personal experiences on the cost of living in Turin.

Italy uses the Euro (EUR). At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is 1 US Dollar = .83 EUR or 1 EUR is equal to $1.20. 

Expat Living in Turin

Turin is a sophisticated, elegant city that was the first capital of Italy and home to Savoy's Royal family once upon a time. When I first moved, my walk to work saw me stroll past the royal palace every day with views of the alps behind me. I'm constantly in awe of my surroundings as you just don't see these things living in Australia.

The pandemic has changed my daily routine and lifestyle as restaurants have to close by 6 pm and many other places (gyms, museums, language schools) are also closed. Pre-lockdown, I used to walk for at least three hours a day to different local high schools and private language schools to teach English. After work, I would head to cafes for tea or coffee, having a spritz at aperitivo hour, and having dinner out at least once a week.

Italy during the pandemic

With the current restrictions, I spend most of my time in our cozy apartment, working from the couch and indoors. With libraries recently reopened, we have started into a new habit of booking an appointment in the morning to work from there for a welcome change of scenery!

We order takeaway for dinner about once a week, much to my Italian boyfriend's unease as takeaway has never been part of the culture before lockdowns. I go to a semi-private Pilates class twice a week, and we try to get out for long walks on the weekend as there aren't many other activities open yet.

We see my boyfriend's Italian family about once a week for dinner at our apartment and occasionally see friends when possible with the restrictions. My partner has a car, so we don't currently use any public transport as a precautionary measure against the pandemic. 

What Is The Cost Of Living In Italy?


$2000- Cost of Living in TURIN ITALY Details [HIDE]

Total Monthly Expense$2,016
COST PER MONTH
Rent- Furnished 2-bedroom apartment city center, near a park. 663
Housekeeping Services 3-hours 1 times per week-
Water/Sewer/Management/Electricity48
High Speed Internet48
Cable TVINCLUDED
Cell Phone- 50 GB Internet Per Month X 2 phones72
Total Housing Expense832
Home Cooked Meals410
Takeaway Food145
Total Food Expense555
Museum 2 tickets once per Month36
Budget Night Out- Aperitivo 2 people once per Month24
Pilates semi-private class twice a week169
Big Box Gym (Weights and Group Classes)36
Total Entertainment266
Gas/Petrol36
Uber/Taxi 2 times per Week
Total Transportation Expense37
Travel Health Insurance50
Health Care Expense50
60 minute massage 1 time per month48
Pet Expenses (kitten)96
Personal Care (Shampoo, etc.) & Household Items (Soap, etc.)96
Beautician Services for waxing/hair removal35
Total Personal Care and Misc Expense276
Exchange Rate to $1 USD to EUR (European Union Euro)0.83

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Living Costs in Italy- Olivia shares her monthly budget as a couple. Most cost of living breakdowns on Nomadic FIRE are calculated for a single person. When comparing this cost of living guide to others on Nomadic FIRE, keep in mind their monthly budget is for two people. 

How do costs in Italy compare to the United States?

Italy is not known as a low-cost country. As a whole, the cost of living in Italy and the United States are not drastically different. But there are several ways to get your dollar to go further. Milan, Rome, and Florence are the three most expensive locations in Italy. If you are a retiree or digital nomad who doesn't need the higher salary of an expensive city, you have lots of affordable choices.   

Is Turin, Italy expensive?

We don't have a frivolous lifestyle, but expat life in Italy is about good food and quality wine, so we spend money on a little bit of luxury and for having a car. Our average cost for two people is around 1400 to 1600 Euros per month ($1676 - $1916USD).

Let's compare a US city (Portland) to an Italian City (Turin).

The Top 4 essential costs in the US are housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average costs in larger cities.

The lower cost of living in Turin could save you almost $23,000 per year. Now look closer at the standard of living a $2,000 budget buys you.

Expenses for two people

US-

Portland

IT-

Turin

HOUSING

$1,054

$832

FOOD

$573

$555

TRANSPORTATION

$1,060

$37

HEALTHCARE

$706

$50

Total Average Per Month

$3,393

$1,474

Save 43% on Major Monthly Expenses

Is Milan or Turin better?

Geoarbitrage Opportunity - Work in Milan? Turin is a less expensive city. Salaries are generally better in Milan, but the quality of life is more affordable in Turin. The sweet spot is if you can earn an income in Milan, but use the one-hour train commute to enjoy the lower cost of living in Turin.

What Kind of Lifestyle Can I Afford On $2000 Per Month?

Piazza San Carlo has been a popular meeting point for Torinese since it was built in the 17th century

Is Turin a good place to live?

A 'day in the life' of a Torinese

If fresh food markets, delicious espresso, homemade pasta, and mountain alps are to your liking, you could have them all in Italy. Start your morning at the local bar as Italians do with a cappuccino or espresso over a delicious sweet pastry. After a caffeine boost, it's time to do your fresh food shopping at one of the many local markets in town. Today, you're off to Porta Palazzo- the biggest open-air market in Europe!

 INSIDER TIP : Farm-to-Table Italian-style- Navigate the crowds, hustle, and bustle like a local expert and make a beeline to the back of the Porta Palazzo market where the local farmers sell their produce. Everything sold here is km 0, meaning everything is grown locally in the region, and you'll only find in-season produce. 

Porta Palazzo- From Mon to Fri  morning and all-day Sat. You can buy fruit and vegetables direct from producers from the Piedmont countryside.

When your basket is full, hop on one of the city's charming old trams to drop everything off at home. You won't rest long, though, as it's time to meet friends for lunch at the best bakery in town, 'Perino Vesco' for a slice of focaccia.

After lunch, how about a spot of culture? Turin has excellent museums, including the cinema museum (as the birthplace of the Italian film industry), the Egyptian museum, Pietro Micca museum (a resistance fighter against the French), and of course the royal palace. Go for a walk afterward along the river Po, up to the Monte dei Cappuccini church for one of the best views in town, looking over the main piazza and towards the Alps.

You'll be thirsty after all that walking, so stop for a cup of Bicerin (a local drink made from coffee, chocolate, and cream) or a tea at one of the many beautiful cafes in town. After a little rest at home, you can't help but indulge in a spritz or the classic glass of vermouth at aperitivo hour with your partner or friends.

Keep the night going with a late dinner at one of the excellent restaurants in town and indulge in local Piemontese delicacies. If restaurants are still closed, no fret. Pickup takeaway to enjoy in the comfort of your apartment.

Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the largest square in Turin, is located in the historic heart of the city.

The Royal Palace of Turin, former home to the Royal Family of Savoy, earned UNESCO status in 1997.

How Much Are Housing Costs in Turin?

Housing Costs

$832

My partner and I live in a fully furnished two-bedroom apartment near the Parco D'Ora and San Donato neighborhood. It's a small apartment inside a condominium and only ten years old, so very new for Italy. It's a bit of a concrete jungle here, but there is a nice big courtyard in the middle of the condominium with two playgrounds for children and some greenery. We have an excellent price on our accommodation as we are renting through my partner's family friends and pay €550EUR or $658USD a month before utilities. Our utilities (gas, heating, electricity) are very affordable at €40EUR or $47.91USD a month.

 INSIDER TIP : You will likely need to put a deposit on an apartment of one months' rent and give three to six months' notice before leaving to get the money back. Plan your cash flow and savings properly to not be taken by surprise. 

A short walk away from the Parco D'Ora area is the much more elegant San Donato neighborhood. This area is 'classic' Italy to me as it's filled with beautiful old buildings, cafes, bars, and restaurants. I recommend our neighborhood if you have children or want to be close to the city but not living directly in the city center. The most popular area for students and expat families is in San Salvario, a cool, happening neighborhood. You can find great ethnic food here, shared workspaces for digital nomads, and are a short walk from the city center. One-bedroom apartment (~480 square feet/45 square meters) rents in San Salvario start from €350-€400EUR or $420-$480USD.

 INSIDER TIP : Renting in Turin- When we were house hunting, I found some helpful Facebook groups, including:

Facebook Marketplace was also great for finding housing opportunities. For Italy-specific real estate sites, check out

For finding shared or private housing in Italy, my recommendations are the Facebook groups 

View from our apartment

What Is The Average Food Budget In Turin?


Food Costs

$555

Fresh produce is very affordable, especially if you shop at one of the many markets in town. We shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat/fish, and deli items in Porta Palazzo. The market always has great deals. We generally spend €60EUR or $71.86USD a week, which is enough for three meals a day for two people. On top of this, we also might spend €10EUR or $11.98USD at the supermarket for other pantry items. We don't have any dietary requirements that affect our budget, and as a lover of cooking, we don't get takeaway more than once a week.

An abundance of cheap fresh foods is one of benefits of living in Turin

Eating out in Turin

The classic takeaway in Italy is a pizza. It's a deliciously economical option from as low as €8EUR or $9.58USD for the most basic topping. We usually spend €25EUR or $29.94USD on two big takeaway pizzas enough for two people. Another popular takeaway we order is Chinese food which can often be a little more expensive at around €35EUR or $41.92USD for three starters and two mains. Japanese is always the most expensive and depending on what you order for two people we often spend €45EUR or $53.89.

Pizza- A classic Italian dish. A slice to grab as a snack is ~$2, while a whole pie for dinner is $15.  

How Much Should I Budget For Entertainment?

Aperitivo in Italy is more about lifestyle than drinking. It's a moment of the day between 7-9 pm to relax and bond with friends.

Entertainment and Sports

$266

With pandemic restrictions, our entertainment budget is relatively light these days, with most things closed (including gyms). 

  • Semi-Private Pilates Class $21- I attend a semi-private Pilates class twice a week for €18EUR or $21.56USD per class. 
  • Local Gym $36- My partner goes to the local gym when it's open (closed since October 2020), which costs him €30EUR or $35.93USD a month. 
  • Canoe Club Membership $276- A typical sporting activity that is popular in Torino is canoeing along the River Po. The Canoe Club Torino offers a yearly membership at €230EUR/$276USD per person, per year.
  • Museum Tickets $36 (2-person)- With museums recently reopened, we go once a month, and tickets cost around €30EUR for a couple or $36USD. 
  • Cocktail Night Out $6- We also like to go for aperitivo once a week (more in the summertime). Italians generally aren't big drinkers in my experience, so it's quite affordable to have an evening out for aperitivo. Spritz is roughly €5EUR or $6USD, and a bottle of wine to share can sometimes be even cheaper.
  • Pottery Class $36 (2-person)-- An activity that we would like to try together is pottery classes which are €30EUR as a couple of $36USD.

 INSIDER TIP : Social life advice for expats living in Turin

Having lived in the city for over a year, my advice for people looking to move to Italy are:

  • Join some Facebook groups to connect with other expats: I recommend Expats in Italy, English Speakers in Turin, and Turin Girl Gone International.
  • Search hashtags for expats in Turin on Instagram. I've made a few friends that way!
Join a local sports class to connect with locals or try using dating apps if you're interested in dating a local.

What Does Transportation Cost?

Turin has an extensive public transportation network. These include trains, buses, trams and the subway (metropolitana). Unlimited weekly passes are $21.

Transportation

$37

My partner has a car, so we either walk or use the car to move around town. The average price of gas/liter here is €1.50EUR or $1.80USD. The Turin city center and inner suburbs are very walkable with good sidewalks for safe walking.

The outer suburbs are a little further away, so it's a lot more convenient to take transport to reach them. Turin has a metro, trams, and bus services and is well connected. The price of a daily ticket is € 4,00EUR or $4.81USD.

Uber isn't an option here, so you either need to take a Taxi or use the ride-sharing service Blah Blah Car. A popular way of quickly getting around is the Lime Electric Scooter services. They cost €1EUR/$1.20USD to unlock the scooter and then €0.15EUR/$0.18USD per minute.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Turin, the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy, is roughly a one-hour train ride (tickets start at $10) from Italy's second-largest city, Milan.

Turin is a fantastic home base for your European travels. The city has an international airport. Low-cost airlines Wizz, Blue, and Ryanair, can get you cheap flights to Italy's major cities and several international destinations for less than $20.

Flight Connections Map- Data Source

Other Miscellaneous Costs


Other Essential Living Costs

Other essential monthly costs not already covered:

  • Pets $95-  We have a kitten which costs us about €80EUR/$96.31 a month for his expenses.
  • Home Internet $48-  Fast speed internet connection at home which is €40EUR/$48.10USD a month.
  • Haircuts $25 - $35- Haircuts for men in Turin average €20EUR/$24.05USD. Women's hair services start around €30EUR/$36.07USD.
  • Spa Services $35-  Beautician services for waxing/hair removal cost me roughly €29EUR/$34.87USD a month.
  • Cell Phone Plan $72-  Mobile phone plans for two people through Vodafone that combined costs €60EUR/month or $72.15USD

Optional Expenses

  • Housekeeper $10 per hour-  Another service that might seem a luxury to some expats is having a cleaner or maid. It is very common for families to employ a cleaner that comes twice a week as it's very affordable at around €8EUR/$9.62 an hour.
  • Spa Services $50-  Massage: Costs €40EUR/$48.10USD for an hour. Manicure: Costs €28EUR/$33.67USD

Important Information about Moving to Italy


How Much Are Health Care costs In Italy?

Healthcare

$50

 EDITOR'S NOTE :Health Care Benefits-  the cost shown above is a placeholder for Travel Health Insurance. For residents and citizens, Italy provides free medical care through their national health insurance. Expats will need their own private medical insurance. My travel medical insurance costs $50 per month and covers me anywhere in the world outside of the US.

Italy provides a universal healthcare system for all Italian residents, regardless of nationality. However, retirees under the Elective Resident Visa must first have expat health insurance meeting the following minimum requirements:

Coverage of medical expenses including (prescription drugs, in-patient care, emergency services, and doctor visits)

Limits: 30,000 Euro per person per year

Territory: eligible in all European Union countries

Duration: one year

Will My Home Country Health Insurance Cover Me?

Most likely no. Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. To get protection while living abroad, there are two options:

  • Travel Health Insurance- This will cover you for unexpected medical issues while overseas. However, the coverage requires you maintain insurance in the United States or your respective home country. I pay roughly $50 per month for complete coverage with no deductible.
  • Expat Medical Insurance- If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the "normal" insurance you are familiar with to from home. Coverage is built for people who live in a country versus traveling. While more expensive than Travel Medical Insurance, premiums are still cheaper than the US. 

 INSIDER TIP : Healthcare & Health Insurance Tips for Expats (Australia-Only)- Australians have access to Italy's National health care for free for the first six months during this visa under a reciprocal agreement between both countries. For the remaining period, Australians need to have private health insurance offered with most travel insurance policies at various costs depending on your coverage level.

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 accountant for details.

What Is Not Included In The Monthly Budget?

Expat Taxes

If you stay longer than 183 days, many countries will consider you a tax resident. Being an expat may help you save money on your taxes. Talk to a tax professional to see how tax residency applies to you. I partnered with a firm specializing in expat taxes to secure a special deal for Nomadic FIRE readers.


Use the promotion code "Nomadic25Consultation" for $25 off a tax consultation to get you started. 


Even better, use their experts prepare your tax return, the entire consultation is FREE.

Moving Costs

Between customs, freight, packing costs, and ground transportation, figuring out how to move your stuff overseas can become complicated.  Partner with a certified international moving expert to ensure competitive rates and no hidden fees. 

What Are The Visa Requirements For Italy?

Italy is one of the few EU countries with a reasonably priced "Retirement Visa" Option

Italy does not require a Visa for US citizens visiting for up to 90 out of 180 days. Italy is in the Schengen agreement. 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 Tuscany, Pisa, Rome, Florence, or any other Italian cities.

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

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. Interest in learning more? 

Sign up below and get notified when we release our latest post.

Digital Nomad Visa- Expats looking to work remotely can look into a "Freelancer Visa" or self-employment (Lavoro Autonomo) visa. Fair warning, though, I have been told by several immigration experts this is a problematic visa with a high rate of rejection by Consulates. There is even a quota system to restrict options further. If you have passive income, the Elective Residency Visa or retirement visa is a better option.

Working Holiday Visa- (available for Australians, New Zealanders, and Canadians), the cost was €100EUR/$120.25 plus €14.62/$17.58USD payment for a duty stamp on your application. You will also need your bank finances together to prove you have 12 months of living expenses saved (€3500EUR/$4208.66USD).

You can find a list of visa fees here. 

Compare Cost Of Living In Turin

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: Why You Should Try living In Turin, Italy?

I highly recommend living in Turin as an expat if you're interested in living in Italy but want a more laid-back lifestyle off the beaten track and away from the more famous cities like Florence, Milan, and Rome. Living costs are often more affordable, and you have a better chance of connecting with locals when not surrounded by expats.

I think the cost of living in Turin is a lot more affordable than in Australia and England, where I've lived previously. However, the wages are a lot lower too. Still, the best thing for me is the reasonable price of fresh food, one of the joys of an Italian lifestyle!

Resources for Working and Living Abroad

Start Speaking A New Language In 30 days

Pimsleur is the best method I have found to get to "Survival-Level" quickly when learning a new language. With Pimsleur, I can ease the stress of arriving in a new country and start speaking with people in my neighborhood. Ordering food, getting directions, haggling prices, and making friends is 10X easier when you can communicate in the local language.

Achieve better results using Pimsleur's short classes and organic learning methodology vs. the mindless repetition, endless verb conjugations, and tedious memorization of other language courses. 

Transfer Money Internationally

For expats and nomads, Wise offers an International Bank account for your money transfers. It's an easier and cheaper alternative for paying your bills while overseas.

Looking to buy property abroad, Wise has a Large Transfer Rate for even bigger savings. 

An International Mover You Can Trust

Suddath® simplifies overseas moving as a one-stop-shop for all your international moving needs. You will be supported by a professional, dedicated move counselor every step of the way. With an easier international relocation, you’re free to focus more on your new destination, while worrying less about the move.

Request a FREE international moving quote below.

Get Your US Expat Tax Questions Answered

US Expat taxes are the most complex in the world. However, living abroad comes with potential tax advantages, but mistakes are very easy to make. It is no wonder many expats are frustrated. 

Avoid complications, penalties, and fines, Taxes For Expats is here to help.

Protect Your Health While Abroad

Your home health insurance is unlikely to provide coverage for you while overseas. Get premium health insurance designed for expats and digital nomads that protects you anywhere you are in the world, even during a pandemic.

Use A Virtual Mailbox To Keep A Permanent US Address And Receive Important Documents and Packages

Get a US street address you can use while you are overseas. Use a digital mailbox with a REAL physical location to receive mail from USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

A virtual mailbox can receive and forward all your important documents and packages, replace credit cards, maintain state residency, get checks deposited, or file business and tax applications. Prices start at $6. 

Travel Tools and Resources

Skyscanner- My favorite airline search tool to find all the cheapest flights in one place.
Airport Pick-Up Service- Arrive at your destination stress-free with a private car cheaper than most taxis. 

Loctote- My favorite day pack. Secure your belongings while walking around town.

Want more insights on Living Abroad? Sign up below.

EXPAT INSIGHTS

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. 

EXPAT CONTRIBUTION BY: Olivia Windsor

Known as Livguine on Instagram, is an Australian woman living in Piedmont, Italy, with a serious pasta obsession. A home cook with a huge love for the land of la dolce vita, cooking, food, and wine, Olivia has spent her time in Italy learning the language and working on organic farms, wineries, and agriturismi. Now, she lives in Torino, the capital of Piedmont, after traveling there in 2019 for the wine harvest and meeting a local man. Olivia writes a blog called Livguine, where she posts regional Italian recipes and blogs about Italy travel destinations.


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 five years to over 40 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, Huffington Post, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Best Life, CW Network, Dr. Wealth, and others. [view press...]

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