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What Things Cost in Calabria

You probably have heard that things are cheap in Italy, and even cheaper in the south. It's true! I thought I'd share with you what things cost in Calabria to live as an expat.




Rent

This will vary, depending on where you live. Francesco and I live in Soverato (yes, he finally moved in). Soverato is located on the Ionian Sea, but it's less touristy (and therefore less expensive) than cities like Tropea.


Our apartment is a two-minute walk from the sea. It's got two bedrooms and one bath. The rooms (other than the kitchen) are spacious. We have three balconies, with small views of the sea.


We pay €450 a month! That will go up this summer when we pay €3,500 for July and August (utilities included).


In Soverato, it's pretty difficult to get a year-round rental for that reason: owners can charge a lot more in the summer. Still, even with the price hike, it averages around €600 a month, so still a great deal!


When I lived in Montepaone, I had a huge four-bedroom, three-level house and I paid €800 a month. It was also steps from the sea.


If you want to live in the mountains, you'll pay even less. Francesco's family rents out a spacious apartment in Davoli for €200 a month.


Utilities

It's funny...the longer I'm here, the more I look at prices from a Calabrian perspective rather than an American one.


For utilities, when we use the air or heater a lot, we pay under €300 for two months. Now, that's pretty on par with what I paid in San Diego, but given the prices here, I bitch about it every time. :)


Food

Food is definitely cheaper here. I'll go to the farmer's market with €5 and come back loaded down with veggies. Obviously what's in season is the cheapest. I often walk around to find the best price on whatever I'm looking for, because it's all gonna be super fresh.


When it comes to food in the supermarket, here are a few examples of what you might pay here in Calabria:


  • Pasta: €0.59-€1 (dried)

  • Pasta: €1.50-3 (fresh)

  • Tomato sauce: €1-2

  • Wine: €1-6 (seriously. and it's good!)

  • Milk (1 liter): €0.80-1

  • Apples: €1.50/kilo

  • Ground meat: €5-7/kilo

  • Bottled water (6 pack of 1.5 liters): €2.30

Dining out is super affordable, too. Certainly, there are fancier restaurants that charge more, but we spend about €15-20 per person when we go out, wine included.


An espresso here is €1 (whereas it's €1.20 up north) and a cappuccino is €2. Take that, Starbucks!

Car

If you're a regular reader, you remember I bought my 2019 Fiat 500 back in September. I paid around €10k for it.


In terms of gas, we're in between the high and low seasons, and gas prices are currently €1.89 per liter, which works out to about $7.15 a gallon. Yes, gas IS more expensive here! But I drive so little, so it's not a hardship.


Car repairs are cheaper here. For example, when I had an older car and it kept overheating, the mechanic replaced the cap on the water tank and it cost me €20!


Healthcare

If you haven't read my post on navigating the healthcare system and are interested, here it is.


I have the free public healthcare, which entitles me to free or discounted services. Here are some examples:


  • Gynecologist visit: €20

  • Endocrinologist visit: €20

  • Bloodwork: €40


And sometimes I pay for private care if I'm in a hurry. Here's what I've paid:


  • Mammogram: €90

  • Ultrasound (any body part): €70

  • MRI: €300

  • Dental cleaning: €30


Other Expenses

Clothes are cheaper here, though often you find a cheaper quality too. I'm still looking for brands that are quality and affordable.


If you have pets, you'll be glad to hear that vet visits are cheaper. I had a vet do a house call (which wasn't typical, but she felt sorry for me as a newcomer without a car) and give Gumbo an injection and I paid €30.


I pay €30 a month for the internet. And, you'll love this. I pay €6 a month for my cell phone service! I have no idea why they charge so much in the U.S.!! For that price, I have unlimited calls and 20 GB of data, which is more than enough.


While the average salary here is low (about €1,300/month), it's more than enough to live a nice life. So if you're coming here with American money, you'll live like a queen!


If you're planning to move to Italy, I hope understanding what things cost in Calabria is useful to you. If you'd like to book a Pick My Brain Consultation to ask me anything and everything about moving to Italy, you can book it here.

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