Pros & Cons of Living in Florence, Italy

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

florence italy

When people see my photos and videos that I post on social media, they always say "Wow, what a beautiful life you have there" or "You are so lucky." I mean, they are not wrong. I do believe I have a beautiful life here and I really feel lucky just to be here. But is it for everyone? For me, no. It's not for everyone. I think that considering where you come from is a huge factor in measuring whether living in Italy is for you or not. I come from a third world country, the Philippines, and my answer will definitely be different from other people that is coming from a first world country, what kind of life you want to have, if you want to focus on your career, or you just want to have a peaceful life. So take note of this! :) I've been living here in Florence for 2 1/2 years now, and I have to say it's not all "La dolce vita." So I've listed down the pros and cons of living here in Florence, Italy. Let's start with the cons first!


1. Bureaucracy. For me, it's a nightmare! From asking questions to the questura, conversion of "permesso di soggiorno," to waiting for the processing to be finished. It takes ages here to deal with the documents at the questura! My number one stress of me living here in Italy comes from this! XD So you need to have a lot of determination and patience to do this one. Hiring a lawyer(if you want to convert your permit to stay) makes everything so much easier. It may cost you, but it will make your life better!

2. Jobs. Okay, I'll just talk about the pre-pandemic times. Is it hard to look for a job? I personally think it's a matter of preference. If  you are not choosy and you are okay with doing anything(literally anything), I think you will find a job. But if you have a specific job that you really want to have, then it's going to be a challenge. Having connections and knowing the language will definitely be needed for this. 

3. Language. If you want to live here, you must learn how to speak the language for your life to be easier. Not everybody knows how to speak English(especially if you are working). And if they do, like in a group and you're the only one who don't speak Italian, they will not speak in English just for you. There might be one or two people who will talk to you, but most of the time they don't. So better learn some Italian! :) Anyway, it's also a must to learn the language of the place if you're going to live there! :)

4. The average salary per month is 1000-1300 euros. For most people, this one is really low that's why I added this to the cons. But if I compare it to where I come from(the Philippines average salary is really low), it's okay for me. When I did my first part-time job, I was able to save so much because I only spent for myself, I was very frugal, always on a budget, I stayed in a small cheap apartment with another housemate, and I only spend on important things. The salary for me is okay considering I am still young and don't have a family to support. Plus I also do a lot of side hustles. So it really depends on where you come from and your lifestyle.

5. Making local Italian friends, called "fiorentini", is a challenge. Most of my friends are foreigners or Italians from other cities. I know only a few Fiorentini. Hopefully one day I will have one that I can have a good friendship! :)


1. You are living in Florence! It's beautiful here! Italy is beautiful

2. Florence is very central. You can go to Venice in 2 hours by train, or to Rome in 2 hours by train. If you want to go to the beach, visit a winery, have a hike up on the mountain, it's an hour, or even less than an hour, drive away. 

3. Florence is a walkable city. You can go to point A to point B in 30 minutes by foot! 

4. Full of art, music, and history everywhere!

5. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are affordable, plus they are high quality too!

6.  Italy, in general, is very dog friendly. You can bring your dog to almost every establishment!

7. Health care is free for everyone. Even if you are visiting here and you had an accident, the hospital will treat you.

8. Strong expat community. Most of my friends here are foreigners! 

9. Aperitivo time! For every drink, you will have small snacks/bites. You can even have a small meal/dinner, which is called Apericena, in some pubs/lounge bars. 

10. Florence(maybe Italy) is a young city. It's so easy to feel young here. I am not saying I am old, but I see a lot of older people feel this way. I think it's the people that you meet or maybe the place itself. 

florence italy
Photo shot on my birthday last year

Living in Italy is a beautiful disaster. You need to surpass the hardships first(dealing with bureaucracy) for maybe the first 2 years, and then things will get better. It's not perfect, but it's perfect for me! I love living here and I am happy to call Florence my home. :)

See my video: What it's like living in Florence, Italy

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