Hello everyone! I am planning to move to Italy next fall and I have SO many questions! For now, I will just ask two though. :-)
My biggest question is about WHERE I should think about living. Cost of living is a very big factor for me - affordable housing and general expenses is extremely important as ESL teachers do not get paid extraordinarily well (unfortunately). The second factor is, I do not want to live in a big, big city. I prefer smaller cities. And I love the ocean, so I am hoping for somewhere near the coast. So, does anyone have any suggestions for me?
My second question is - is it difficult to find living accommodations with a dog? I will be bringing my dog with me who is just about 10 kgs., a poodle mix and well behaved. I am worried about finding an apartment to live in that will allow dogs. Do I need to worry or are dogs common?
I appreciate anyone taking the time to reply! Thank you!
The R/Italy subreddit on Reddit could give you a wider range of answers, if you wold like to try. Posting this question under the 'Italian' tag can also get more visibility from Italian users.
Dog should not be a problem, but it depends on the specific housing situation. :)
Congratulations on moving to Italy, it's a beautiful place :). Your main question revolves around cost of living and that's a great question because Italy has an extremely diverse cost of living. If you want to avoid the big cities, that rules out Milan, Rome and Naples. Milan is somewhat expensive so it would not fit your criteria at all, while Rome and Naples are very big and somewhat chaotic.
In the North there are a lot of lovely medium to small towns which are beautiful to live in (Verona, Lecco, Como, Padova, Brescia) and have manageable costs. Beware of Bologna (that's my home town) because although it's beautiful it's also one of the most expensive cities in the country, comparable to Milan but one quarter of the size. The advantage of living in the North is that local government and services generally work.
Central Italy has Tuscany which is another great place to live. Aside from Firenze, which is not a huge city but can be very bustling with tourist activity, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo are all beautiful places to live in.
The South is full of beautiful cities and the cost of living is really low, even in the larger ones, but you will need to cope with a quite uneven quality of services at all levels which might make life complicated if you don't speak Italian.
About pets, they are relatively common but you do have to ask in advance, some landlords will refuse you if you have a pet.