Where to Buy Income Property in Italy: University Towns

| January 13, 2015

Perugia town centre

Your Dream Property in Italy: Making the Leap

The dream of a beautiful property in the Italy countryside, or in one of its bustling cultural cities, or on the edge of one of its awe-inspiring coastlines, is a dream that many shares.

Sometimes that inspirational thought, however, seems to fade as we are brought back to reality by the realistic aspects that hinder that wonderful dream. For those who don’t want to move away from the security of their own homes and countries, it is often easy to diminish the bright glow of the dream of an Italian home. For others, however, the excuse to not follow the idea may be less stubborn, and much more manageable.

As a matter of fact, when it comes down to the investment required to purchase your property in Italy, it is vital to remember that simply buying the house doesn’t mean that you have completely lost your ability to benefit from the purchase. You will always maintain the ability to rent-out your property in Italy.

There are many advantages of investing in a housing solution in one of Italy’s charming cities and towns.

The Strategic Investor

Whether you want to make a passive income from your Italian home when you’re not there, or until you permanently move to the ‘boot-shaped’ peninsula, there is money to be made by utilising your property to its fullest degree. Our goal here at Gate-away.com is to bring to light the sometimes-hidden information that savvy investors may lack due to the small details gathered through cultural and locational knowledge. If we were to tell you that some areas of the Bel Paese bring in more rental income than others, would it influence the strategy you use to purchase your property in Italy?

Location, Location, Location

Then, if you’re also thinking to buy an income property, there are 3 main options to choose from:
art cities
– coastal towns
commercial and university cities


With a large amount of crucial information needed before investing in any section, this article will focus on the secrets behind the latter locations. University cities, in particular, present a unique dynamic through the type of renting you can do, and this comes in the form of student rental contracts.

The academic year in Italy is from September/October until June/July. Students who can’t get a place on their university’s residence (that means the majority of them) will need to look elsewhere to stay and your home could be where they end up. With a renting limit of 6-36 months, it could prove to be a profitable way to rent out your house.

The Opportunity

As well as the influx of students from abroad, there will always be Italian students moving up a year and starting university. In Milan, for instance, approximately 175,000 students make the switch every year, and they need a place to live.

Your chance of renting to one of these students is even doubled if the city you choose is also a commercial hub with many working people (e.g. Milan, Rome, Perugia, Bologna, etc.). Even with current prices being lower than they were, big cities in Italy are the most expensive; Milan, Venice and Rome rank at the top. Real estates for sale in these areas are also among the most expensive for home in Italy. Although the high prices may deter some investors, the income potential is at its highest.

How much money can you make?

According to the latest studies, renting out a single bedroom of your property in Milan can bring in about €450, and a bedroom with two beds can fetch about €640 for a double bedroom is usually for 2 students so that they will pay €320 each per month – which is approximately 25% higher than the national average. Prices go even higher as you near to the old town centre that houses the universities. There, you can earn about €600.


Prices in Venice are quite similar to those in Milan but there is a lot of opportunity just off the island of Venice, in Mestre in particular, where Venice university students (as well as tourists) look for a room. Prices are lower here but the convenient location and low-budget properties may make an investment worthwhile. In fact here you can spend less than €200,000 for a 100 m² renovated property in good condition and well positioned.

Like Venice and Milan, also Rome is quite profitable with about €400 for a single bedroom and €600 for a double (€300 + €300). Prices are even higher in central Rome, which is followed closely by Florence.

In Turin or Padova, which also boasts prestigious and historical universities, a single room can go for about €320.

However, generally speaking, the further south you go, the lower the rent. A single bed in Pavia or Bologna (central Italy), a well-known university hub, is about €300 for a room. It is about €200/250 in Ancona (Marche) and Perugia (Umbria). Perugia, which also hosts a very famous university for foreigners, you can buy for example a 65 m² apartment in the town centre for €160,000.

For €150 you can rent out a room in Macerata, a lovely and liveable town set in the rolling hils of Le Marche region; €170 in Naples, and always under €200 in Sicily.

With big, expensive cities bringing in the most rent, the choice of where you want to buy (and profit from) your dream home in Italy is up to you. So start searching now!

4 thoughts on “Where to Buy Income Property in Italy: University Towns

  1. bob richard

    Look for rental income property including 3bed 2 bath for us max budget 150000 euros

  2. Dianna M Yakobson

    Hello, What Bolzano real estate property investment? Thanks!

    1. Gate-away.com

      Hi Dianna,

      Also the town of Bolzano has its university, so it could be a good investment too. You should also consider that Bolzano is a well famous conference centre and many tourists visit the town each year especially thanks to its marvellous landscape.

      All the best,

      the Gate-away.com team


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