Long Term Rentals

I’m going on my third year in Rome and I’ve never really explained how or why I decided to move here. Of course, maybe you know bits and pieces – I love Italy, I like to travel, I studied in Rome, etc.

My new series, “Moving to Rome,” is all about the behind the scenes stress, work, and craziness that went into my life today. Each post will contain a different topic so my story is understandable and chopped into bite-sized pieces. This week, I wanted to start with a more practical aspect of moving to Rome: finding an apartment.

When I first arrived in Rome, I was a student and stayed in student housing. After a few months, I grew tired of student housing and moved into my own apartment, which was much cheaper and allowed me much more freedom, not only to avoid awkward roommate situations, but also to customize my space with as many succulents as I wanted (see below).

AirBnb

After moving out of student housing, I was still relatively new to life in Italy. I found my first place through AirBnb. Overall, I had mixed opinions about leasing an AirBnb long-term.

Pros: When you rent from AirBnb for a month or longer, you’ll receive a significant discount. Landlords hate flipping apartments over so quickly, so they will reduce the prices just to avoid having so many different guests over a short period of time. Plus, the payment method was super secure – you just enter the credit card on the website and your landlord does not see the details.

Cons: Prices are inflated as much as 600 euros. You are probably paying an agency, your landlord who is renting from the agency, and additional taxes. Another thing I find frustrating with AirBnb is that is it impossible to split payments when you are living with other people.

 

Word-of-Mouth

Italy is a modern country, but many Italians still hold strong to old traditions. The best restaurants, holiday destinations, and cold remedies are usually “facts” shared by someone who knows someone’s nonna. This also goes for apartment vacancies. In Italy, seriously it pays to know people.

Pros: Places are usually cheaper this way.

Cons: Unless you have lots of connections in Italy and lots of Italian friends, you are out of luck.

 

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are like the virtual version of word-of-mouth, but, in all honesty, I’ve only used them once and it was because I was super desperate for a quick place. The most common types of offers on Facebook groups seem to be single rooms. That being said, you can find some of the most lovely and affordable places in groups like Rome Housing and on Rome Rentals.

Pros: Facebook groups have a search bar that allows you to enter keywords when trying to find your perfect apartment.

Cons: The contracts can be unstable.

Affito.it

Affitto manages houses for sale, private ads for flats, real estate agencies, and ads for rooms available in both Milan and Rome. It also shows bedrooms for rent specifically for students in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Venice and Genoa, as well as houses for sale in Bari, Naples, Bergamo and Padua.

Pros: Affito has some of the best prices I’ve seen.

Cons: About half of the apartments are not furnished. It’s Italian. It’s disorganized. Unless you are ready to talk to your agency and landlord in Italian – good luck!

 

Nestpick

I recently found Nestpick online and decided to try it out. Nestpick is a search engine used to aggregate furnished flats in main cities around Europe (plus San Francisco and Singapore). Think of it as a mixture of Airbnb and Skyscanner, except that it is specifically optimized for long-term apartments rentals.

Pros: Instead of having to search hundreds of apartment websites on Google, Nestpick allows users to search these sources simultaneously. Users simply enter the preferred location, keywords, and other individual needs, and Nestpick will do the rest.

Cons: Because Nestpick is pretty new, there aren’t as many accommodation options as I would have wanted with a search aggregator. That being said, they are growing, so I can imagine that this will improve quickly!

Have you ever been to Rome? Interested in moving here? I would be happy to answer any questions you might have!

15 thoughts on “Moving to Rome: Finding an Apartment”

  1. Excellent, Cassidy! Really loved the Pro/Con portions. Thought you covered each and every one to much satisfaction. Can’t wait for your next writing. Happy thanksgiving BTW from FL!

  2. Well well well, i am from Roma and it is true that ” il passaparola” is probably the best way to do!
    Renting in Roma is not easy at all, contract or no contract is the first issue, but you did a good job giving advices to people that might want to live in the eternal city!

  3. Greetings Fellow Italian Expat,
    Apparently, I’m living the dream here in Italy. At least that’s what everything thinks at home! A few dealings with Italian bureaucracy would quickly change their minds.
    That said, Rome is a particularly interesting city and I can’t wait to get back in a few weeks’ time. You have a lot more sun down there than we do up north!

  4. I used a diff B&B website while in Rome six months ago, but was lucky to find a good landlady. Hadn’t heard of Nestpick before today. Also love how you’ve listed the pros and cons for each option.

  5. first of all, i am so jealous you got to live in Rome, my fav city! Now, i found this post very useful, once i thought about going to Rome and start a life there but ended up settling in my city. Finding a right place is very hard in capital cities, it can really be a nightmare!

    xx
    lau
    http://www.malibluemymind.com

  6. I can relate! We were in a similar situation looking for housing for our move abroad to Croatia. We ended up renting an AirBnb. The locals said we paid way too much… but you live and learn!

  7. wow this is great info! I don’t have Rome in my sights right now but this kind of also helps give an starting point idea of what to look at for other areas of the world too. I hopefully can make my way to live in another country some day.

  8. These are great tips Cassidy! I wish I would have seen this when we moved to Rome a year and a half ago. The places we have been renting since we got here we have all found through your first suggestion: AirBnb. We just find it to be much more user-friendly than some other sites(especially the Italian ones). The renters are always quick to respond(most of the time) and if they are flexible, they offer a pretty good discount for long term rental. So far we are very happy with the places we have found on AirBnb.
    http://www.lacasabloga.com

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