5 Best places to find cheap houses for sale in Italy

Besides its beautiful cities and towns, charming lifestyle, and incredible culture, Italy is one of the best places for expats to move because of its low cost of living and affordable real estate prices

When compared to the United States and northern European countries, everyday necessities like food, healthcare, homes and apartments are well within reach even on a low budget.

With that in mind, we want to introduce you to some lesser-known amazing places in Italy that are great to live in and are affordable for buying property. 

Best places to find cheap houses for sale in Italy

1. Terni, Umbria

The average home price in Terni is just $196,000 for a house and around $80,000 to buy a two-bedroom apartment. Renting apartments in this city is even cheaper, with the average monthly rent around $500. If you’re looking to move to this city, you’ll easily find updated, modern homes and apartments in a wide price range.

While every small town loves to boast of their cute “Etruscan” town center, Terni is proud to be an ugly city. So proud, a huge metal structure, what looks to be an industrial-sized engine, is a centerpiece to their central train station, a post-modern steel titan-like sculpture that summarizes the heart of Terni.

A town in the beautiful region of Umbria, just across the border from Lazio, the town’s nickname is “Steel City,” as it remains an industrial hub for the center of Italy. It is exactly this penchant for industry that leads many people who live in the city to be down to earth and friendly.

But don’t let this city’s nickname fool you; the area around the town is full of some of the most beautiful hikes in the Umbria and Lazio region. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, there are hikes around the spectacular Lago di Piediluco, where you can stop for lunch or coffee at one of the amazing cafes, and more off-the-beaten-path trails, too.

You can also take trips to Marmore Falls, the largest man-made waterfalls in the world, made all the way back in 271 B.C. This is a relatively easy hike, around one mile there and back, that will take you through lush landscapes.

What’s even better about the location is it’s around an hour train ride to the center of Rome, and the city’s main train station is fairly well connected. And with a population of around 110,000 people, you’ll find plenty of things to do without feeling like you’re cramped in a big city.

Another seemingly clashing aspect of this city is Terni’s second nickname, “the city of lovers.” But it isn’t the landscapes and amazing steel you’ll find in this city that makes it romantic, but it’s actually the birthplace of St. Valentine. As the patron saint of the city, you can visit the city’s basilica that houses St. Valentine’s remains.

2. Reggio Calabria, Calabria

On average, a large 2,000-square-foot home in Reggio Calabria will cost $180,000, a great price for an amazing city. At about $90 per square foot, an apartment in Reggio Calabria sells for just $70,000 or less. 

A town resting between the Aspromonte mountain and the Strait of Messina, or the “toe” of Italy, Reggio Calabria is known for many things, and its stunning natural beauty is one of them. As one of the biggest cities in the area (around 180,000 people) along with its rich cultural heritage, you’ll never run out of things to do. 

Museums, long strolls along the modern waterfront or the historic center, plus visits to theaters, castles, and churches are just some of the things you can fill up weekends with. Plus, there are incredible beaches, amazing restaurants and street food (this is a big theme of cities in Italy), and tons of nightlife.

All of these amazing features are exemplified by the incredibly low cost of housing in the city. On top of this, food, dining, healthcare, and other necessities are incredibly affordable, too.

But there are a few things you should know before choosing to live in a city like this. The winters are warm and the summers are hot. Really hot. And a lot of places don’t have air conditioning.

Also, the region of Calabria is generally pretty poor, and that applies to people in this city, too. Many people have trouble finding work, so if you’re moving there and plan on getting a job, this may not be the best place for you.

However, the people are incredibly down-to-earth, and once you get comfortable, learn the dialect of Italian they speak there, and soak up the natural beauty, you’ll find you’ll want to spend the rest of your life here.

3. Perugia, Umbria

Another Umbrian town (one of the cheapest regions in Italy!) Perugia has a ton to offer. Though this university town is pricier than other cities on the list, with the average home costing around $238,000, it makes up for it with the incredible amount of things you can find to do in the area. 

Apartments in Perugia are even more affordable. Typically for around $100,000 you can purchase a one or even two-bedroom apartment. Renting in Perugia is more common, especially for students, with average monthly rents around $700. 

Nestled in a city full of rich historical architecture, culture, and museums is a layer of vibrant nightlife. Restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, and more are littered throughout the city, so if you enjoy going out  in the evenings you’ll have plenty to do.

On top of this, Perugia is known as a university town. All year round, you’ll find events, festivals, live music, and ongoing art exhibits throughout the city. As an average-sized town of about 170,000 people, you may be surprised at how bustling the city is even during slower seasons.  Additionally, as a university town, it may be easier to get a job in the city as an expat compared to other cities on this list.

With all of these positives come negatives, of course. For one, it’s one of the more expensive towns on our list, and things like going out to eat are pricier than others on this list (though compared to other countries, it’s still very cheap).

Also, in peak travel season and event days, the town is often full of tourists and overcrowded. You’ll find it more difficult to get reservations at restaurants, and getting around town will be much more inconvenient. Also, as a town of tons of expats and young university students, you won’t exactly get the true “Italian” experience depending on who you get friends with.

4. Catania, Sicily

On the Sicilian coast opposite of Calabria, Catania is another beautiful and highly unique city. With an average price of Catania homes around $246,000, you’ll be living a life of Sicilian paradise at affordable costs. You’ll also find plenty of apartments in Catania for under $100,000, while renting will set you back about $700 per month

Sitting at the active volcano of Mt. Etna, the city’s natural beauty and location made it a perfect port town for ancient Greeks and Italians. Now, with over 300,000 inhabitants, Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily.

With the ancient ruins, its location on the sea, and central location, Catania is a great place to live. Daily activities like fishing, going to the beach, or simply enjoying an espresso at a quaint piazza are an arm’s length away. On top of this, you’ll really get the Italian experience here, with a slow pace of life, distinct dialect, and welcoming personalities.

If you’re moving Catania and plan on working, it’ll be best if you have a job lined up before you move. Like Reggio Calabria, Catania is pretty poor, so finding work may be a challenge. A major need for the area is in healthcare, but you have to pass an Italian language test in order to get a position.

However, if you do have a job lined up, the cost of living in general is really low. Nightlife, restaurants, street food, and cafes, you’ll find incredible food and drinks at insanely low prices. 

Like Reggio Calabria, too, is the Mediterranean weather you’ll have to deal with, too. Though the summers get hot, the rest of the year is rather comfortable. So if you’re looking for a place to live without a large winter coat, this is a great choice.

5. Alessandria, Piedmont

As the northernmost town on our list, Alessandria is about an hour’s train ride around the bigger cities of Milan, Genoa, and Turin. Despite these towns being some of the most expensive in the country, Alessandria offers cheap houses for sale in Italy that are harder to find in Northern Italy. 

Surprisingly, Alessandria is the 11th cheapest city in Italy, with homes averaging around $178,000. When compared to Milan, where homes cost an average more than $400,000, it may shock you to find the town is under two hours by train away. Additionally, an apartment in Alessandria is as cheap as $70,000, while renting in Alessandria is on average $500

Though this may be pretty far away to commute on a daily basis, other bigger towns like Genoa and Turin are much closer and offer plenty of job opportunites for expats. Alessandria gives you an amazing option if you’re working in these towns, and with a population of under 100,000, it’s a nice, quiet place to soak up Italian culture.

Plus, the region is full of amazing outdoor activities. Ski resorts, beautiful biking and hiking paths, and wineries are all over the region of Piedmont, so you’ll never run out of things to do in this city and the area surrounding it.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian city without rich culinary culture and incredible historical significance. There are plenty of amazing restaurants, cafes, and bars in town, though the nightlife is lacking compared to other areas.

One downside to the area, though, is the weather isn’t the greatest all year around. Piedmont, in general, can get foggy, cloudy, wet, and really cold in the winter, leading to several days of dreary weather. Plus, if you’re moving here to live a digital nomad lifestyle, high-speed internet may be hard to find.

The post 5 Best places to find cheap houses for sale in Italy appeared first on My Dolce Casa.

Compare listings