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Cost of Living in Lake Como

Understanding the the cost of living in Lake Como helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.
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Category Details
Apartment Rentals
  • 1-bedroom apartment in city center: €600 – €900 per month
  • 1-bedroom apartment outside city center: €450 – €700 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment in city center: €1,000 – €1,800 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment outside city center: €800 – €1,300 per month
Apartment Purchases
  • Price per square meter in city center: €3,000 – €5,000
  • Price per square meter outside city center: €2,000 – €3,500
Transportation
  • One-way local transport ticket: €1.50 – €2.50
  • Monthly local transport pass: €30 – €50
  • Taxi starting tariff: €3 – €5
  • Taxi 1km tariff: €1 – €2
  • Gasoline (1 liter): €1.50 – €1.70
Groceries
  • Milk (1 liter): €1 – €1.50
  • Bread (500g): €1.50 – €2.50
  • Rice (1kg): €1.50 – €2.50
  • Eggs (12): €2 – €3
  • Chicken breasts (1kg): €7 – €10
  • Apples (1kg): €1.50 – €2.50
  • Tomatoes (1kg): €1.50 – €2.50
  • Water (1.5-liter bottle): €0.50 – €1
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter bottle): €1 – €1.50
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): €1.50 – €2.50
Restaurants
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €10 – €20
  • Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: €40 – €70
  • McMeal at McDonald’s: €7 – €9
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter draught): €3 – €5
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): €3 – €5
  • Cappuccino: €1.50 – €2.50
  • Water (0.33-liter bottle): €1 – €1.50
Utilities
  • Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment: €100 – €200 per month
  • Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): €25 – €40 per month
Private School Tuition
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten) tuition: €3,000 – €6,000 per year
  • Elementary school tuition: €6,000 – €12,000 per year
  • Middle school tuition: €8,000 – €15,000 per year
  • High school tuition: €10,000 – €18,000 per year
Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the specific location within Lake Como and the time of year. It’s always a good idea to research and compare prices before making any decisions.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Lake Como

“The cost of living in Lake Como, can be considered moderate to high, depending on the specific area and lifestyle choices. Housing and rental prices can be quite expensive, especially in the more popular and picturesque towns along the lake. However, there are more affordable options in smaller villages and inland areas.Groceries and food prices are generally reasonable, with local markets offering fresh produce at lower costs. Dining out can range from affordable pizzerias and trattorias to more expensive fine dining establishments, depending on one’s preferences.Transportation costs are relatively low, with efficient public transportation options such as buses and ferries connecting various towns around the lake. Owning a car can be more expensive due to fuel prices and parking fees.Utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, are generally affordable, although they may be higher in more remote areas. Health care is of high quality and reasonably priced, thanks to Italy’s public health care system.Overall, the cost of living in Lake Como can vary greatly depending on one’s lifestyle and location preferences, but it is generally considered a beautiful and desirable place to live, despite the potentially higher costs,” said one expat living in Lake Como.

Can I live in Lake Como on $1,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Lake Como for a while now, and I can tell you that it’s possible to live on $1,500 a month, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices. First, you’ll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive areas, like Bellagio and Varenna, are probably out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a place in Lecco or Como, which are more affordable and still offer a good quality of life.You’ll also need to be mindful of your spending on food and entertainment. Eating out at restaurants can be quite expensive, so you’ll want to cook at home as much as possible. Shopping at local markets and buying seasonal produce can help you save money on groceries. When it comes to entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy, like hiking, swimming in the lake, or attending local festivals.Another sacrifice you might have to make is living in a smaller apartment or sharing a place with roommates. This can help you save on rent and utilities, which can be quite expensive in some areas of Lake Como. You might also need to rely on public transportation or a bicycle instead of owning a car, as gas and parking can be pricey.In terms of modern amenities, you should be able to find most of what you’re used to, but you might have to compromise on certain things. For example, you might not have access to the same variety of international products at the grocery store, or you might have to pay more for high-speed internet.Overall, living in Lake Como on $1,500 a month is doable, but you’ll need to be prepared to make some sacrifices and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, being mindful of your spending, and being open to making some compromises, you can enjoy a comfortable life in this beautiful region of Italy,” commented an expat living in Lake Como.

Can I live in Lake Como on $3,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Lake Como for a few years now, and I can tell you that it’s definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices. First, you’ll want to avoid the more expensive neighborhoods like Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio. These areas are beautiful, but they’re also very touristy and the cost of living is much higher.Instead, I’d recommend looking for a place in one of the more affordable neighborhoods like Lecco, Como, or Mandello del Lario. These towns are still on the lake and have a lot to offer, but the cost of living is more reasonable. You can find a decent apartment for around $1,000 a month, which will leave you with $2,000 for other expenses.One of the sacrifices you’ll have to make is that you might not have all the modern amenities you’re used to. Many of the apartments in these towns are in older buildings, so you might not have central heating or air conditioning. You’ll also have to get used to smaller living spaces and possibly sharing a washing machine with other tenants in the building.Another thing to consider is transportation. If you’re used to having a car, you might find it more difficult to get around in Lake Como. Parking can be a challenge, and gas prices are quite high. I’d recommend relying on public transportation, which is pretty good in the area. You can get a monthly pass for around $50, which will cover buses and trains within the region.Eating out can also be expensive, especially in the more touristy areas. To save money, I’d recommend cooking at home as much as possible and shopping at local markets for fresh produce. You can also find some great deals on wine and other groceries at discount supermarkets like Lidl or Eurospin.Overall, living in Lake Como on $3,000 a month is doable, but you’ll have to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. If you’re willing to live in a more affordable neighborhood, cook at home, and rely on public transportation, you can definitely make it work and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Lake Como,” said one expat living in Lake Como.

Can I live in Lake Como on $5,000 a month?

“I’ve been living in Lake Como for a few years now, and I can tell you that it’s definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you’re used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of location and housing options. First, let’s talk about the neighborhoods. If you want to live in the more affordable areas, I’d recommend looking into towns like Lecco, Como, and Varenna. These towns are still beautiful and offer a great quality of life, but they’re not as expensive as some of the more exclusive areas around the lake. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more luxurious lifestyle, you might want to consider towns like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Cernobbio. These areas are known for their stunning villas and upscale atmosphere, but they can be quite pricey.In terms of housing, you’ll probably have to settle for a smaller apartment or a more modest villa if you want to stick to your budget. You can still find some great options with modern amenities, but you might have to compromise on things like outdoor space or a lake view. Additionally, you might have to be more conscious of your utility usage, as electricity and gas can be quite expensive in Italy.Another thing to consider is transportation. Owning a car in Lake Como can be quite expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of gas, insurance, and maintenance. If you’re willing to rely on public transportation, you can save a significant amount of money. The ferry system around the lake is quite efficient, and there are also buses and trains that connect the various towns.Finally, you might have to be more mindful of your spending when it comes to dining out and entertainment. While there are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes in the area, the more upscale establishments can be quite pricey. Similarly, activities like boat rentals and guided tours can add up quickly, so you might have to be more selective about how you spend your leisure time.Overall, it’s definitely possible to live comfortably in Lake Como on $5,000 a month, but you’ll have to be mindful of your spending and make some compromises in terms of housing and location. That being said, the incredible beauty and relaxed lifestyle of the area make it well worth the effort,” commented an expat living in Lake Como.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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