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Genoa, Italy

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 02, 2023

Summary: People describe Genoa, Italy as a vibrant and beautiful city with a rich history and culture. Expats love the city's stunning architecture, its delicious cuisine, and its friendly locals. The weather in Genoa is mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $800 to $1,000 per month, while a two bedroom apartment is around $1,200 to $1,500 per month. The approximate population of Genoa is 600,000.

What do I need to know about living in Genoa?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Genoa, they said:

"Before retiring in Genoa, it is important to familiarize yourself with the area and ensure that the lifestyle is suitable for you. Research the local climate, healthcare services, housing options and cost of living, accessibility of public transport and leisure activities. Learn about the city’s cultural offerings and determine the availability of banking and investment options. Plan for the necessary visas and permits required for residency and explore retirement funding options such as pensions, Social Security and investments. Ultimately, consider the needs and wants that you have in retirement and if Genoa is the right place for you," explained one expat living in Genoa.

"Lots of hills. Lots of rain in the winter. bitter cold. Head south for the winter," said another expat in Genoa.

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What do I need to know before moving to Genoa?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Genoa, they said:

"Before moving to Genoa you should know that it is a large port city in Northern Italy located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Liguria region. The city is renowned for its historical sites, art, culture and cuisine. The official language is Italian but the local language, Genoese, is spoken in the city and in some other areas of Liguria. The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, wet summers. Genoa has excellent public transportation options and a vibrant nightlife, making it a great place to live. Crime is fairly low, making it a safe city to live in. Finally, the city is affordable compared to other places in Italy and the cost of living is very reasonable," remarked another expat in Genoa.

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How do I find a place to live in Genoa?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"You can find rental options by searching online on rental websites and by looking in local newspapers. Additionally, you can contact local real estate agents to inquire about available rental properties in Genoa. Additionally, you can search Facebook groups, join expat forums, or use an apartment search service to find an apartment to rent. If possible, you may also want to visit local neighborhoods and check “For Rent” signs in windows or contact landlords directly," added another person living in Genoa.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Genoa?

"Most expat homes and apartments in Genoa are typically large, ranging from fully-furnished apartments to spacious villas. The qualities of the apartments tend to vary, with many apartments offering modern amenities such as air conditioning, washing machines, and high-speed internet. There are also a variety of sizes available, ranging from studio apartments to luxury villas. Many of these apartments come with typical Italian features, such as terracotta tiles and high ceilings. Most expat homes and apartments are located close to the city center, allowing for easy access to shopping, restaurants and attractions," remarked another in Genoa.

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What is the average cost of housing in Genoa?

If you are thinking about moving to Genoa, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Genoa varies depending on the area and type of the property. Generally, apartments and houses start from around €700 per month up to €1,500 per month or higher for more luxurious properties," explained one expat living in Genoa.

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How do I meet people in Genoa?

When we asked people living in Genoa about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Meeting people in Genoa can be quite easy since there are many activities, events, and places where people come together. Some popular spots where you might meet people in Genoa include local parks and the waterfront. There are also popular restaurants and bars that offer regular events for people to meet, such as live music, comedy events, open mic nights, and especially during the summer months when outdoor events are held in the city. Additionally, getting involved in the local community is also a great way to meet people, as there are many clubs and organizations that offer activities like sports and community groups for people to get together and socialize," explained one expat living in Genoa.

"Thursday night Aperitivo in Inglese. You can find them on Facebook. Internations (Genova branch). There is also Hiking in Ingese," said another expat in Genoa.

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What should I bring when moving to Genoa?

People living in Genoa were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothing for all seasons, a laptop, toiletries, cooking items, cleaning supplies, bedding, towels, furniture, decorations, personal documents, camera, phone charger and accessories, first aid kit, bicycles, plants, books, board games, tools, hangers for closet," explained one expat.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Genoa?

We asked expats in Genoa what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are several banks in Genoa where you can set up a bank account, including Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Intesa Sanpaolo, and UBI Banca. Each of these banks offer different types of accounts and services, so it is important to do some research to determine which type of account is best for your needs. Additionally, many of the major international banks have branches in Genoa, so you may be able to open an account with them as well," said another expat in Genoa.

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Will I be able to find a job in Genoa?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Genoa, they reponded:

"Finding a job in Genoa is possible depending on what type of job you are looking for. You may want to consider researching the local job market, networking with people in the area, applying for positions online, and attending local job fairs. Additionally, having a comprehensive CV that highlights your experience and skills may help you to stand out from other applicants," explained one expat.

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What is life like in Genoa?

When we asked people living in Genoa what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in the area is generally pleasant. There is a large community of other expats and local people are friendly and welcoming. The cost of living is not particularly steep and it is easy to find an affordable place to live. The climate is mild and pleasant, and many expats enjoy activities such as hiking, cycling, and beach trips. Whether you want a bustling city lifestyle or a more relaxed rural life, the area has something for everyone. There are plenty of opportunities for work, as well as a wide range of leisure facilities. Healthcare in the area is of high quality and generally affordable. There is excellent transport links with the country's main cities, making it easily accessible. Furthermore, the area offers a great diversity of cultures and experiences, making it a rewarding experience to live here," explained one expat living in Genoa.

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What do expats in Genoa appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Genoa appreciate the city's deep-rooted history, cultural heritage, and architectural treasures, as well as its local cuisine, with its seafood-based dishes, as well as its famous focaccia. They also appreciate Genoa's vibrant nightlife, which is full of lively bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. The salty air, the port, and the picturesque lanes lined with colourful seafood stalls are impressive to those from out of town. In addition, expats can take advantage of beautifully preserved parks, local markets and the numerous cultural attractions in and around the city," replied an expat in Genoa.

"Genova is a beautiful and interesting city. There are always surprises to look at, i.e. statues, frescoes on old buildings when you wander around the somewhat dirty, mysterious alleys. The piazza around the old port is beautiful. There is a great acquarium and some restaurants where you can have dinner or drinks overlooking the yachts and the water. There is a little village called Bocadese which is now incorporated into Genova. It has a small beach where you can swim and looks very traditional. Another small village, Nervi, has a beautiful seacliff walkway with lots of restaurants. Genova is connected by rail with Cinque terre, Santa Margarita Ligure, Pisa, Milan, and Nice, France - all of which make interesting day or overnight trips. We brought our two dogs with us from the United States. Italians love dogs. They are allowed on buses, trains and in many restaurants. People stop on the street to pet and admire the dogs. There are water fountains for dogs everywhere. Italians seem to have a good sense of humor and are very nice, generally. There are many musical events to attend in various parts of Italy. Public transport is very good compared to the U.S. and traveling in a rental car on the highways is not difficult although Italian road designers seem to be obsessed with building tunnels, so you don't really get to see that much from the autostrada," remarked another in Genoa.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Finding a job, learning the local language, navigating an unfamiliar culture and understanding local customs, adjusting to a new lifestyle, finding suitable accommodation, managing finances in a foreign currency, establishing a social network and making friends, dealing with homesickness and missing family and friends, accessing healthcare, dealing with bureaucracy and paperwork, finding reliable transportation, and dealing with culture shock," explained one expat.

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Is there a lot of crime in Genoa?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Crime in Genoa is generally considered to be low, though it is slightly higher than average for Italy. The most common crimes present in Genoa are pickpocketing and other minor theft, however, violent crime is relatively rare. The police in Genoa are generally considered to be effective in prosecuting such offenses," explained one expat living in Genoa.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Genoa accepting of differences?

"Yes, there is a lot of diversity in Genoa. The city has a large population of immigrants from different countries and it is also home to a mix of different cultures, languages, and religions. People in Genoa are welcoming and accepting of differences and make an effort to create an inclusive atmosphere," added another person living in Genoa.

"Very little diversity compared to the large cities in the UK. Small Asian Minority (Chinese) Larger Black community (Ethiopean)," explained one expat living in Genoa.

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What are the schools in Genoa like?

"Genoa has both public and private schools, including preschools, primary and secondary schools. Public schools in Genoa are overseen by the Liguria Region, which provides funding for the schools and ensures educational standards are maintained. Private schools are often managed by religious organizations and may provide more specialized education, such as in the arts or science. Genoa schools offer a variety of educational programs, from traditional lessons to specialized programs like music and foreign language instruction. The city is also home to three universities, which provide students with the opportunity for higher education," commented one expat when asked about in Genoa.

"this school is state-run so the facilities and the standards are low. look for a better alternative- there is another international school in Genova which seems to be quite good," remarked another expat living in Genoa with children attending Deledda International School.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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