While Rome is not necessarily a cheap city to live in, it is less expensive than many of Europe’s other capital cities, such as Paris or London. Expats moving to Rome will encounter a generally stable economy. This means prices tend not to fluctuate dramatically from one year to the next.

In 2023, Rome was ranked 59th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey. This indicates that while Rome is pricier than cities such as Edinburgh and Melbourne, it's much, much cheaper than major business hubs such as Hong Kong and New York City.

Cost of accommodation in Rome

Like in any city, accommodation in Rome can take up a large part of an expat's monthly budget. Housing prices vary a lot depending on where one chooses to stay. Naturally, the closer one lives to the city centre, the more expensive accommodation will get.

Expats should be aware that rent does not always include utilities like electricity. It would be wise to ask about this before signing a contract. Also, note that property owners will often insist on being paid monthly and in cash, although bank payments are the best and safest option.

Cost of transport in Rome

The price of fuel is rather high in Rome. Fortunately, European and Italian cars tend to be smaller, which makes them more fuel-efficient. Parking in Rome can be quite expensive, too.

Public transport in Rome is cheap, extensive and user-friendly, making public transport the preferred method of transport in the city.

Cost of education in Rome

Public education in Italy is free from primary school to university, though there is an enrolment tax that becomes mandatory from the age of 16. This enrolment tax is merely a once-off fee that is paid at the start of the school year when children are enrolled in school.

The cost of going to a private school varies. Some private schools are supported by the state, which makes them affordable. International schools, the option many expats choose, are known to be costly. Some are all-inclusive, but the vast majority don't include additional costs for uniforms, bus services, school lunches or excursions, so these are extras expat parents must budget for. 

Cost of groceries in Rome

One of the best things about living as an expat in Italy is getting to enjoy all the incredible Italian food. Expats will find buying local produce much cheaper than buying imported foods. Prices in Rome are slightly cheaper than what one would pay in Western cities such as New York City or Toronto. Coffee, wine and fresh bread are top of the list of products that are cheaper in Rome.

Cost of clothing in Rome

Italy is famous for its designer clothing and shoes. There are many outlets and flagship stores that sell designer items for cheaper than one would find in other countries. Electronics tend to be pricier in Rome, expats can circumvent this by buying them elsewhere in Italy or bringing them from their home countries. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Rome

The lifestyle in Rome is diverse and lively. Eating out is a central part of entertainment in Rome while shopping will also feature highly on the list, but both these activities can be costly when done regularly. Expats who enjoy a night out will also not lack options, but the bars, cafés and clubs in the popular tourist areas will be slightly pricier than in areas frequented by tourists. 

Similar to nightlife, the restaurants in tourist areas will be costlier than those located in other areas. Expats will be spoilt for choice, with many restaurants offering authentic Italian cuisine. The best part about eating out in Rome is the portion sizes, which often make up for the seemingly high prices. 

Cost of healthcare in Rome

The national health service in Italy provides universal coverage to citizens and residents, with public healthcare largely free of charge. Most expats employed in Italy will qualify for the local government healthcare network by being a resident. Though costs in the public health sector will vary based on several factors, expats report costs as reasonable. Many centres offer private treatment, but these tend to be rather expensive.

Cost of living in Rome chart

Prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The table below is based on average prices in Rome for September 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,300

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,100

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 714

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

EUR 3.45

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.66

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.41

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.75

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 10.46

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)


Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 70

Big Mac meal

EUR 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.14


EUR 1.51

Bottle of beer (local)



Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

EUR 13.27

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 28

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

EUR 224


Taxi rate/km

EUR 1.30

City-centre public transport fare

EUR 1.50

Gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.81