When you hear Italians complain about the cost of living, you might groan to yourself that life is tough all over. But when you consider that most annual salaries in Italy are well under ‚2,000 a month after taxes, you start to realize that in order for that kind of dough to feed a household here, it would take the miracle of five loaves and two fish. For simplicity’s sake, let’s look at the numbers for a single person renting an average apartment of 60 square meters in the capital. Rent: the average rent in the center of Rome is about ‚20 per square meter, which would put this apartment at about ‚1,200 per month. Electricity: Definitely varies according to usage, but an average of ‚50 a month is a conservative bet. Television: The yearly tax to support the state broadcaster is ‚110 (for whomever bought the television) and, depending on the sort of package, satellite TV will be about ‚30 per month. Public transportation: A single bus ticket is ‚1.50, and a monthly pass is ‚40. Internet and Telephone: About ‚40 per month. Natural Gas: about ‚30 per month. Water: about ‚20 a month. Groceries: This is also hugely variable, but you won’t be eating very well on less than ‚200 per month. Total: ‚1,610 Homeowner costs, of course, greatly depend on the type of mortgage and the buying price of the home, but those who plan to own an apartment in the city should also budget at least ‚1,000 per year on condominium fees and ‚300 per year on trash collection. It’s a good thing coffee’s cheap: only ‚1.20 for an espresso at the local bar.