In the height of summer, when it is difficult to fix your mind on something more important than a well-earned vacation (preferably in a warm country on the seashore), you can come up with a bold idea to move for a permanent residence to sunnier climes.

It is precisely for those purposes, today we will consider two of the most beautiful countries of the Mediterranean – Spain and Italy – heavenly places not only for recreation, but also for life, while each of them has its own distinctive features.

According to the portal, Spain is among the top 10 most popular destinations for immigration, the number of migrants here is 6,842,202 people or 14.63% from the total population of the country. Italy is a state of Southern Europe, where 6,386,998 migrants currently live, or 22.57% from the total amount of inhabitants, which makes it possible to take the 11th line of this rating – right behind Spain.

Both countries are washed by waves of the warm Mediterranean Sea, both are attractive in terms of tourism, both offer excellent local food – so what to choose for yourself? Below, we will try to analyze the main aspects of life in Spain and Italy, and you can give preference to one of them.
Here we go!

Spain vs Italy: Pros and Cons


Spain is a sunny, hospitable country where, in addition to beaches, there are beautiful national parks with a wide variety of natural landscapes.
Spaniards just love holidays and carnivals, and therefore it is simply impossible to get bored here, even in a non-tourist season.

The gastronomy of Spain is famous all over the world: jamon, olives and olive oil, tuna and sardines, churros and turron, paella, fine wines – you can list endlessly, but it’s better to just try it all.

Add here a high level of medicine, a low crime rate, a reverent attitude towards children – this is what Spain looks like today.

  • Low cost (by European standards) of foodstuffs, daily commodities and services;
  • Wholesome Mediterranean climate, pure air, especially on the coastal part of Spain;
  • A great variety of well-maintained beaches – many of them are awarded with the Blue Flag thanks to their high quality.
  • Many delicious, healthy and fine dishes of the traditional food;
  • Decent health care: in 2021, Spain took 6th place in the relevant world rating, according to data from;
  • Tolerance and respect to all nationalities and a touching concern for children.
  • Free school education from the age of 3, even for foreign children. If the student does not speak Spanish, he will be provided with free lessons of this language at his college;
  • Rich natural and urban landscapes, for example: well-maintained beaches of the Costa Blanca, the national parks of Asturias, Cantabria, Castile and Leon, the elegant architecture of Barcelona, the high-rise buildings of Benidorm, the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia and much more;
  • Colorful local festivals and carnivals;
  • Visa-free regime for residents of Spain is provided with all EU countries, and the presence of a Spanish passport allows you to visit 173 countries without the need to obtain any visa;
  • High level of security at any time of the day.


  • Red tape in government offices. To get necessary certificates or documents can take weeks, months and even years (the expectation for obtaining citizenship, for example) in Spain;
  • High tax rates (19-45% for individuals) and harsh penalties for having concealed income;
  • High unemployment: FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast report expect the unemployment rate to average 14.4% in 2022 and 13.5% in 2023;
  • The average wage is not the highest one in Europe: in 2022, the minimum salary in Spain is €7.82 per hour. For full-time employees that work 40 hours a month, income is €1,166.7 per month paid over 12 months or €1,000 per month paid over 14 payments (2 extra payments are made in July and December). That accords to the amount of €14,000 per year.


Italy is a rich and beautiful country that is famous for its resorts, ancient architecture, passion for food and love to native language. It’s a pleasure to relax in Italy: you can spend time on magnificent beaches, admire the sights – and there are many here, and taste the legendary Italian food.

At the same time, it can be quite difficult to work and live in Italy, if you have no passive income. The Italian economy is currently going through its bad times, the unemployment rate is quite high, as the prices of food, education, and property are.


  • Comfortable climate for living. Clean air and water. This is a unique place where mountains and the sea are combined. Living in such an area makes you feel better, you get sick less;
  • In Italy, life expectancy is one of the largest in the world – 83.86 years;
  • Very famous and delicious food. Italy is famous for its exquisite restaurants and the best chefs in the world. Italians put their passion in cooking. They are genuine gourmets, follow clear rules and eat right on schedule;
  • Italy is the birthplace of very famous and delicious white and red wines, as well as other alcoholic beverages, for example: Martini, Limoncello, Campari, Amaretto, various liqueurs and beers;
  • This is a country of recreation: many good resorts, spa centers and parks can be easily found in every corner;
  • Life in Italy is quite measured, there is almost no rush, rudeness, rudeness and negativity;
  • Italians have modern and, most importantly, free medicine;
  • There are many sights and cultural monuments in Italy, many of them belong to UNESCO cultural heritage;
  • Italy is the birthplace of many world-renowned brands. Italians have good taste for clothes, and incredibly talented designers, who are appreciated all over the world.
  • The most famous brands are Prada, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Dolce&Gabanna, Versace, Intimissimi, Tezenis, Calzedonia, etc.;
  • Italy is a sports country. Here you can see a lot of people who play sports and take walks daily. There is a very small percentage of people suffering from obesity in the country;
  • There are perfect roads in Italy and this country is the birthplace of really cool cars, for example: Ducati, Bugatti, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini;
    Italy is unbelievably romantic. Here, it’s that easy to fall in love with… well, at least beautiful landscapes.


  • The standard of living in Italy is undoubtedly decent, but lower than in other developed European countries, such as Great Britain, Norway, Germany and Sweden, for example;
  • The same can be said about salaries in Italy. In the ranking of the busiest taxpayers, Italians are in fifth position, after Germans, Hungarians, Austrians and Belgians;
  • When immigrating to Italy, it is necessary to speak Italian. Few people will understand your English here. The percentage of Italians who can make a conversation in English is rarely as high as 34%;
  • The cost of living in Italy is quite high. Sometimes having a cup of coffee at one of the central squares of a tourist city is comparable to the cost of a bottle of good wine that will be sold to you in the south of Italy;
  • Italy has a fairly high crime rate, especially in tourist resorts;
  • It is difficult to find a qualified job in Italy. However, the unemployment rate has been declining since the adoption of the Jobs Act in 2015, and it currently stands at 8.1%;
  • In Italy, as in Spain, bureaucracy is thriving;
    Property in Italy is quite expensive, the same can be said about renting, although choosing one of the not too tourist places like Potenza or Ancona for buying a house, as well as moving away from megacities, it will not be difficult to find a favorable offer.

Spain vs Italy: Cost of Living

  • Regarding to data from the portal, as for July, 2022:
  • Consumer Prices in Italy are 22.60% higher than in Spain (without rent)
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Italy are 15.94% higher than in Spain
  • Rent Prices in Italy are 0.52% lower than in Spain
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant11.50 €15.00 €+30.43 %
Meal for 2 Persons, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course50.00 €60.00 €+20.00 %
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)8.00 €8.00 €0.00 %
Local Beer (0.5 l)2.50 €5.00 €+100.00 %
Imported Beer (0.33 l)3.00 €4.00 €+33.33 %
Cappuccino1.68 €1.45 €-13.56 %
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 l)1.80 €2.19 €+21.58 %
Water (0.33 l)1.21 €1.07 €-12.03 %


Milk, (1 l)0.81 €1.16 €+44.33 %
White Bread, (500g)1.02 €1.61 €+57.49 %
Rice (white), (1kg)1.17 €1.96 €+66.72 %
Eggs, (12 pcs)2.02 €2.83 €+39.80 %
Local Cheese, (1kg)10.15 €12.36 €+21.85 %
Chicken Fillets, (1kg)6.23 €8.68 €+39.33 %
Beef Round, (1kg)10.47 €14.86 €+41.95 %
Apples, (1kg)1.78 €1.87 €+4.99 %
Banana, (1kg)1.62 €1.63 €+0.67 %
Oranges, (1kg)1.46 €1.82 €+24.60 %
Tomato, (1kg)1.70 €2.34 €+38.11 %
Potato, (1kg)1.18 €1.27 €+7.85 %
Onion, (1kg)1.27 €1.30 €+1.85 %
Lettuce, (1 head)0.95 €1.06 €+11.79 %
Water, (1.5 l)0.64 €0.41 €-35.89 %
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)5.00 €5.00 €0.00 %
Local Be0.90 €1.39 €+54.63 %
Imported Beer (0.33 l)1.55 €1.91 €+23.09 %
Cigarettes (Marlboro), 20 Pack5.00 €5.70 €+14.00 %


One-way Ticket (Local Transport)1.40 €1.50 €+7.14 %
Monthly Pass40.00 €35.00 €-12.50 %
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)3.50 €5.00 €+42.86 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.10 €1.28 €+16.36 %
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)20.02 €27.00 €+34.83 %
Gasoline (1 l)1.62 €2.14 €+32.23 %
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 (or Equivalent New Car)21,000.00 €23,350.00 €+11.19 %
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6 (or Equivalent New Car)21,940.26 €25,090.13 €+14.36 %


Utilities (Monthly)SpainItaly
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage), for 85m2 Apartment121.60 €168.90 €+38.90 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local0.17 €0.16 €-1.00 %
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)36.67 €28.44 €-22.44 %


Sports And LeisureSpainItaly
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult37.47 €46.19 €+23.30 %
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)11.65 €18.91 €+62.34 %
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat8.00 €9.00 €+12.50 %


Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child359.91 €451.02 €+25.31 %
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child7,226.47 €9,577.59 €+32.53 %


Clothing And ShoesSpainItaly
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)72.25 €75.32 €+4.25 %
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, etc.)28.73 €31.90 €+11.03 %
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)68.02 €82.00 €+20.55 %
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes84.64 €107.34 €+26.81 %


Rent Per MonthSpainItaly
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre734.82 €691.43 €-5.90 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre602.89 €532.01 €-11.76 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre1,236.90 €1,329.06 €+7.45 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre930.27 €934.33 €+0.44 %


Buy Apartment PriceSpainItaly
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre3,112.29 €4,128.28 €+32.64 %
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre1,894.67 €2,163.31 €+14.18 %


Salaries And FinancingSpainItaly
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)1,686.97 €1,460.79 €-13.41 %
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate2.281.69-26.17 %

Health Care Comparison Between Spain and Italy

Health CareSpainItaly
Skill and competency of medical staffVery High 81.88High 74.51
Speed in completing examination and reportsHigh 67.93Moderate 55.36
Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatmentVery High 86.63High 78.25
Accuracy and completeness in filling out reportsHigh 77.95High 71.65
Friendliness and courtesy of the staffHigh 76.79High 65.06
Responsiveness (waitings) in medical institutionsModerate 55.01Moderate 43.14
Satisfaction with Cost to youVery High 85.84High 69.17
Convenience of location for you
Very High 84.86
Very High 84.86High 73.90


Health Care System Index:78.0866.69

Crime Rate Comparison Spain vs Italy

Crime RateSpainItaly
Level of crimeLow 32.91Moderate 48.53
Crime increasing in the past 3 yearsHigh 60.29High 64.24
Worries home broken and things stolenLow 32.89Moderate 48.1
Worries being mugged or robbedLow 35.54Moderate 43.82
Worries car stolenLow 26.02Moderate 40.57
Worries things from car stolenLow 37.77Moderate 50.61
Worries attackedLow 29.70Moderate 40.28
Worries being insultedLow 30.30Low 39.18
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religionLow 20.12Low 26.56
Problem people using or dealing drugsModerate 45.42Moderate 55.93
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theftModerate 43.47Moderate 56.47
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robberyLow 28.29Low 38.69
Problem corruption and briberyModerate 50.23High 60.75


Crime Index:35.0546.52
Safety Scale:64.9553.48

Quality of Life Comparison Between Spain and Italy

Quality of LifeSpainItaly
Purchasing Power IndexModerate 76.86Low 57.43
Safety IndexHigh 64.95Moderate 53.47
Health Care IndexHigh 78.08High 66.69
Climate IndexVery High 93.83Very High 91.70
Cost of Living IndexLow 47.76Low 58.57
Property Price to Income RatioLow 7.43Moderate 10.7
Traffic Commute Time IndexLow 29.20Low 33.67
Pollution IndexLow 39.03Moderate 54.51


Quality of Life Index1Very High 172.91Moderate 137.15

So, what can we say after analyzing all the data received? Of course, both countries – Spain and Italy are worthy places to live: excellent climate, high-quality and delicious food, friendly local inhabitants, free school education, high level of medicine and life expectancy…

Now you could say: «Stop! But what’s better, Spain or Italy? Where is it cheaper to live in Spain or Italy? What country is better to live in general?»
Well, the last table «Quality of Life Comparison Between Spain and Italy» showed that the quality of life in Spain by many similar parameters is higher than in Italy.

What is the reason for this?

The thing is that food, housing and utilities are cheaper in Spain by a relatively similar level of wages in both countries. This means that you can afford a little more even with a small salary in Spain.

In addition, the crime rate in Spain is also significantly lower, which means nothing will overshadow your stay or permanent living in this sunny country. However, you’ll always get the last word, and we just can only assist you to choose your dream home on the Mediterranean coast.

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