Rome is a spectacular metropolitan city that’s home to more than 1/2 million Expatriate residents. Rome is an exciting place to live that’s bursting with modern boutiques, top end restaurants and has a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with their own unique characteristics.
Rome is home to some of the world’s most important artworks, galleries and ancient historical monuments but it’s also a major international travel, business, fashion and financial hub. In fact, there’s few other places where you can find such a remarkable overlap between the ancient past and the best of the present!
Millions of tourists visit the Eternal City each year to marvel at its beauty, elegant grandeur and amazing cultural history. However, if you’re considering a relocation to Rome it can be all too easy to get swept up in the romance of the city without taking into account the practical considerations that also need to be kept in mind before you move.
Rome’s Job Market.
Despite being an economic powerhouse, the job market in Rome is surprisingly depressed. With an unemployment rate of over 10%, it’s not always easy to find a job in many sectors, particularly for Expats. This is partly because of the language barrier but it’s also because employers can be quite nepotistic in Italy which means as a foreigner you might be at a disadvantage.
This means that if you’re hoping to find a job on arrival it could be an uphill battle. Of course, as an Expat, there are certain sectors that you have a major advantage in over the local Italians. For example, teaching English or working in tourism are both ideal sectors for Expats because employers are actively seeking foreign native English speakers to fill roles. Other sectors that favor foreign professionals include media and communications, particularly international companies, as well as the high tech industries and IT in general.
Ideally, you should try to have a job arranged and confirmed before you take the plunge and relocate to Rome. This will not only give you peace of mind as you settle into your new life but it will also help with applying for your Residency Permits and Visa.
One option that an increasing number of Expats are choosing to do is to work remotely. This means that even after you’ve moved you can continue to work remotely without having to worry about the move impacting your income.
If you need a little help finding an English speaking job in Rome then English Jobs Italy is a good place to start your search.
The Cost Of Living In Rome.
As the capital of Italy, a major tourist destination and a popular city for relocating Expats, the cost of living in Rome is fairly steep. Everything from food to rent, transport to utilities are all higher than in most other parts of the country. However, when you compare the cost of living to a city like New York or London it’s actually quite reasonable!
Of course, there are ways that you can significantly reduce your regular outgoings by eating in non-touristy restaurants, living in the suburbs, cooking at home and taking public transport instead of owning a car.
The average salary per month in Rome is around 1250-1500 Euros per month, which is lower than other major European capitals. On the other hand, you can get a coffee for around 1.50 Euro, a beer for under 5 Euros and a good meal in a small restaurant for 20 Euros; all of which is much cheaper than other European capitals.
The Property Market In Rome.
Despite sharp falls over the last decade, property prices in Rome are still quite expensive, certainly compared to the rest of Italy. The average property price in Rome, as of 2021, is just under 3300 Euros per square meter. However, properties in prime city center locations are far more expensive, with a property beside the Colosseum coming in at around 10,000 Euros per square meter!
This means that if you’re planning to buy a property in Rome you should be prepared to face a competitive market with relatively high prices although if you buy property in the suburbs you can still get some good bargains.
Rent in the city varies widely depending on the neighborhood you’re living in but the average for a one bedroom apartment is about 700-1000 Euros per month. On top of the rent the monthly utilities will be approximately 150 Euros per month.
If you decide to buy a property in Rome you should work with an estate agent or property lawyer. This is because there are quite complicated tax and regulatory processes which must be completed before the sale can go through. Trying to navigate this maze of bureaucracy on your own is a recipe for disaster and could even land you in legal trouble!
The Best Neighborhoods In Rome.
Every neighborhood in Rome has its own distinct characteristics and has all the amenities, shops, schools and restaurants that you could need within striking distance. Some neighborhoods, particularly city center locations, are extremely expensive while the suburbs and outer districts are far cheaper.
As an Expat living in Rome it might be tempting to live in a touristy part of town but in the long run you’ll have a much higher quality of life if you choose to base yourself in a more suburban part of the city.
Rome is a very compact city so even if you live in the outskirts you can easily access the center using the extensive public transport system. However, at peak times of the day the trains and buses can be quite overcrowded so you should keep this in mind when choosing where to live!
The Best Family Friendly Neighborhood.
One of the most popular family friendly neighborhoods for Expats in Rome is Monteverde. This beautiful neighborhood is leafy and green and contains Rome’s biggest public park, the Villa Pamphili. Another neighborhood that’s popular with Expats is Vigna Clara which has an international school and is a quiet, safe and welcoming residential part of Rome.
The Trendiest Neighborhood In Rome.
Trastevere is Rome’s trendiest neighborhood and is a hit with students and young professional Expats. There’s an endless selection of bars, nightclubs, art galleries and Bohemian cafes to meet your friends in and during the night you can easily party until the early hours of morning!
The Best Luxury Neighborhoods In Rome.
If you’ve got a large budget then one of the most luxurious neighborhoods for Expats in Rome is Via Appia Antica. In Via Appia Antica you’ll find plenty of gated villas and mansions while the nearby golf course, Olgiata, is a favorite weekend haunt for the wealthiest residents of the city.
Rome’s Most ‘Up And Coming’ Neighborhood.
Testaccio used to be a working class neighborhood that was renowned for its large slaughterhouse! As a consequence property prices were very low. However, the slaughterhouse has been turned into a museum and the area is now popular with young locals and Expat young professionals. If you buy a property in this area you can also expect the prices to continue to rise for several decades as the neighborhood continues to undergo gentrification efforts by the city municipality.
Schools And Education For Expats In Rome.
The education system in Italy is excellent and is free for children over the age of 3. School in Italy is compulsory for children aged 6 and above and is split up into primary school and secondary school.
Many Expats send their children to the local public schools while they are living in Rome although others opt for the private International Schools. Rome has a good selection of International Schools where subjects are taught in English with extra classes that teach Italian and other European languages, including French and Spanish.
Students at the International Schools work towards achieving an International Baccalaureate, a highly regarded qualification throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Fees for the private International Schools vary but usually fall within the range of 10,000-20,000 Euros per year.
Healthcare In Rome.
Anyone who has lived in Rome for more than 3 months is entitled to access free basic health care services through the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). However, the waiting lists for services are famously long and many Expats have stated that the services are well below the standard that they would expect.
Consequently, the vast majority of Expats opt to take out a private health care policy to cover their time in Rome. Your insurance provider will have arrangements in place with local clinics and hospitals so you’ll always be covered while you’re in Rome.
Your Codice Fiscale And Residency Permit.
There’s certain red tape that you have to work through before you can settle down and live in Rome. First and foremost you need to apply for a ‘Codice Fiscale’. This is the Italian social security number and is vital to have so you can set up a bank account, pay taxes, apply for a residency permit and even rent a house.
To get your Codice Fiscale you need to apply through the ‘Agenzia delle Fiscale’ which is the Italian tax office. Alternatively, you can apply for your Codice Fiscale at an Italian consulate in America before you leave. You should always try to apply for your Codice Fiscale as soon as you can because without it you won’t be able to live in Rome.
Before you move to Italy you’ll also need to apply for a Long Stay Visa at the Italian consulate in America. Once you arrive in Italy you should immediately apply for a ‘Permesso di Soggiorno’, which is a Residency Permit.
You need to apply for your Permesso di Soggiorno within 8 days of your arrival in the country at a Poste Italiane. The second part of the application must be made with a local police headquarters. Once you have been accepted you will be entitled to free state healthcare services and be able to get an Italian driving license.
Rome – The Jewel In The Italian Crown.
Expats living in Rome will never get used to their spectacular surroundings and the stunning architecture, magnificence galleries, churches and museums. However, even the day to day life of the city is exciting as you make your way through the bustling streets visiting cafes, bars and family run restaurants.
There’s a great range of neighborhoods to choose from when relocating so you’re bound to find somewhere that perfectly suits your needs. Rome has a tough job market to break into but once you’ve established yourself you’ll soon be thriving in the Eternal City