The Most Affordable Cities In Italy For Students

Students in Italy

Italian universities are among the best in Europe and are a popular choice for students from all over the world who want to study abroad. With an amazing culture, superb cuisine and so much to see and do, Italy offers students a fantastic quality of life.

Of course, for many students, one of the main considerations will be the cost of living whilst studying in Italy. Some Italian cities, such as Rome and Florence, are relatively expensive which can make it completely unaffordable for many students. However, there are numerous Italian cities where the cost of living is very low compared to almost anywhere else in the Western world. In the cheaper Italian cities, a student can live very comfortably for as little as 1500 Euros per month, including rent, food, utilities, and all of the other basic essentials.

So to help you decide where to study, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable university cities in Italy.


Situated on the beautiful Sicilian coastline, the city of Catania sits at the base of Mount Etna with spectacular views of the Ionian Sea. The city’s architecture includes magnificent Baroque buildings and the historic Piazza del Duomo is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has a fun nightlife, with lots of bars and clubs to meet up with friends, and a unique culinary heritage, with lots of delicious seafood on the menu.

Catania has a big student population who study at the University of Catania. The university was founded in the 15th Century and offers a good range of courses in a wide selection of fields. The cost of living in Catania is much cheaper than the Italian national average, making it a great place to study.

As a rough guideline, a student can easily live for less than 750 Euros per month, not including rent. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages at around 470 Euros per month while you can rent a one-bedroom apartment outside the center for around 350 Euros per month.

The monthly cost of basic utilities for a student in Catania should cost less than 200 Euros per month, averaging at 185 Euros per month for electricity, water, garbage collection and heating or cooling. Internet bills for a month average at 27 Euros and you can get a mobile phone contract for 15 Euros per month.

All of these costs compare very favorably to the Italian national averages which makes Catania an extremely affordable city for students studying abroad. What’s more, during your free time you’ll be able to explore the lovely beaches, local cafes, restaurants and attractions of the city with your new friends.


Located in central Italy, Perugia is a lively student city with a large population of foreign students. In fact, Perugia is home to the University for Foreigners, or ‘Stranieri di Perugia’ in Italian. The university was specifically established in 1925 in order to teach foreign students about all aspects of Italian culture and the Italian language.

Perugia is a great city to live in and is famous for its Medieval architecture, including the impressive city walls, the Priori Palace and the Gothic cathedral that showcases spectacular Renaissance frescoes and paintings. The city has a thriving student scene with plenty to do on the weekends and an impressive nightlife to dive into.

The cost of living in Perugia is well below the national average. A student can live for around 770 Euros per month, not including rent. The cost of renting a single-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around 380 Euros per month and a single-bedroom apartment outside of the city center costs just 270 Euros on average.

Basic monthly utilities, including electricity, water, garbage collection and heating, average at 172 Euros. The cost per month for the internet is 30 Euros and a mobile phone plan starts at 15 Euros. Overall, this makes Perugia a wonderful city for students living on a budget during their time at university.


L’Aquila is the capital of both the Province of L’Aquila and the Abruzzo region, in central Italy. The city has a population of 70,000 people and has great access to nearby urban centers, such as Rome which is just over 110 km to the West of L’Aquila. The cost of living in L’Aquila is very competitive and the city offers a superb quality of life with an active nightlife scene and lots of major attractions in the surrounding areas.

The main university in the city is the University of L’Aquila. The university has 7 departments, 69 study programs, and almost 20,000 enrolled students. The university is an excellent choice for international students who want to study a first or second level degree program in Italy.

The cost of monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in L’Aquila city center averages at 333 Euros per month whereas a single-bedroom apartment in the outskirts averages 255 Euros per month. However, if you want to really keep your expenses down, you can find a single-bedroom apartment outside of the city for as little as 160 Euros per month.

Basic utilities in L’Aquila cost 151 Euros per month for electricity, heating, water and garbage collection. A secure internet connection will cost around 22 Euros per month while a mobile phone plan averages at 15 Euros per month. When taken as a whole, this makes L’Aquila one of the most affordable student cities in Italy.


Located on the Southwestern coast of Italy, Naples is the capital of Campania and the third largest city in the country. Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe and boasts a thriving cultural scene, an extremely lively nightlife and a very affordable cost of living, especially when compared to other cities of a similar size.

Naples is home to 7 universities that offer a wide range of courses for overseas students. Among the city’s universities, the Federico II University of Naples and the Suor Orsola Benincasa University rank highly in the national league tables, although all of the city’s universities offer top-quality courses for overseas students.

A student in Naples can live on a budget of about 775 Euros per month, excluding rent. The cost of renting a single-bedroom apartment in the city center averages 653 Euros per month. Prices outside the city center are even more affordable, with the average single-bedroom apartment costing 409 Euros per month. However, a single-bedroom apartment outside of the city can sometimes cost as little as 250 Euros per month.

If you do decide to live outside the large city, you’ll need to take into account the cost of transport. A monthly travel pass costs 35 Euros a month, which is great value if you’re traveling to and from university each day.

Utility bills in Naples for electricity, water, and garbage collections, average 189 Euros per month. You can get a monthly internet contract in Naples for less than 30 Euros and a mobile phone plan for 15 Euros per month.

Naples is one of the top university cities in Italy, and Europe, for students on a relatively tight budget. Not only can you benefit from world-class educational opportunities but you can immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of the city while enjoying some of the best year-round weather on the continent.


Bari is a beautiful seaside city on the Adriatic Coast of Puglia, in Southern Italy. A popular holiday resort among local Italians, the city has an ancient heritage that includes Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Bari’s historic center is a maze of winding streets that are full of lovely cafes, bars and independent boutique stores and shopping districts.

There are two universities in Bari, the University of Bari Aldo Moro and the Polytechnic University of Bari. Between the two institutions, there’s a good range of courses, many of which are suitable for international students. The quality of life is superb and the student population is friendly and thriving in the seaside resort. With long sandy beaches, nightclubs and bars, Bari is almost the ideal student city.

The cost of living in Bari is surprisingly low considering how much the city has to offer its residents. The average cost of a city center single-bedroom apartment is 737 Euros per month while a single-bedroom apartment outside of the center ranges from 400 Euros to 500 Euros per month.

The cost for basic utilities, including electricity, water, heating and garbage collection, averages at 178 Euros per month. You can get an internet contract for 27 Euros per month and a mobile phone plan for 15 Euros per month.

On balance, Bari is one of the most attractive university cities in Italy for international students. The cost of living is far lower than in the major cities and the quality of life beside the beach is really hard to beat.

Italy Has Affordable Cities For Students.

The affordability of a city is a crucial consideration when selecting a university in Italy. Of course, your primary concern will be to establish whether the local universities offer the type of course that you want to study but the cost of living and the quality of life is definitely the second most important consideration to take into account.

Italy’s major cities, such as Rome and Milan, can often be completely unaffordable for many international students. Fortunately, many of Italy’s finest universities are situated in cities that are very affordable for overseas students. So whether you want the metropolitan excitement of Naples or a beachside experience in Bari, some of the top university cities in Italy are extremely affordable for students, even if you’re on a tight budget.

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