When you land in Florence, one of the biggest challenges is finding a nice, affordable place to live. There are two reasons for this. 1. Tourism 2. Frugal grandmas and the “economic miracle.” Number one needs no explanation.
In the 1960s, Italy shifted dramatically and quickly from being relatively poor with a small powerful elite to having a booming middle class. They called it the “economic miracle.” Sensible, frugal women at the time invested the sudden increased wealth in property, buying and eventually paying off the apartments that weren’t already in the hands of the ancient aristocracy. Today’s youth and middle-aged face a dumpy economy, with monthly salaries in the €1000 to €2000 range, which is much like the range of rents for a decent apartment. For many, this problematic math works out only because they pay no rent as they inherited apartments from their frugal grandmas. I’m sure the grandfathers were involved too but I always hear how everyone is either living in or renting out la casa della nonna [grandma’s house].
If you’re moving to Florence from abroad, we strongly suggest renting a temporary place so you can look in person. Contact us for some suggested short-term rentals. If grandma’s house is nice and comfortable, not mosquito-infested, light-starved, or plop in the midst of choking throng of tourists, her grandchild often lives there rent free. All too often, otherwise it goes to the tourists and students.
Mary Gray wrote a column turned book on the woes and triumphs of renting in Florence.
Italian sites with housing listings
Facebook groups for housing
Casa Vendo Affitto Firenze (more rooms posted than apartments)
Tell us what you need
To avoid getting fleeced or ending up in grandma’s not-so-great apartment, it’s good to have a hand. Give us details on exactly what you’re looking for in housing in Florence, whether to rent short-term, long-term, medium-term or to buy, and we’ll hook you up with someone to help you. Send us a WhatsApp message or fill in the form below.
For expats, international students, and anyone who needs to send money between currencies and countries, like if you have a U.S. bank account and need to pay your rent in euros, Transferwise is far and away the best option. Use this link to get your first transfer free.
If you have an apartment available, tell us all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org (photos, location, type of contract, price) or fill out this form.