Unfortunately, cheap housing does not really exist in Rome – at least not if you want to live close to the city center. The average room costs from €400.00 – €550.00, but it’s in a shared apartment with others and without a private bathroom.
We suggest if you are looking for a room and are not in Rome yet, try looking for a short-term rental prior to arriving. That way you have somewhere to stay and enough of time to find a more permanent place once you are here and can look in person.
Where can you find a short-term rental? Try Airbnb to be safe. Write the host on Airbnb before booking and ask for a deal on short term rentals. Let them know you are moving to Rome and looking for a short-term to longer-term option if possible. And make sure you ask for a discount. You are not a traveler!
We offer our members a special Airbnb credit: https://www.airbnb.com/c/pdigregorio2?s=8
Make sure you ask about which bills are included and which are not. Electricity is not included for a reason. Expats usually (especially from North America) do NOT realize how expensive it is to take a shower or leave the A/C or heat on while not home. Your electricity bill in Europe can make your wallet lighter in no time. If you are paying for your own electricity, look at the meter and find out how to call it in before each billing cycle. This will help when you are moving out, so that you’re not stuck paying more than you have to – or someone else’s bill. Even when you try to save electricity by shutting things off while not home, bills can still be pricey. A few helpful tips: Do your laundry on express cycle which is about a 40 to 60-minute wash. Wash after 7pm and on Sunday all day, rates are cheaper at this time.
Rent is usually paid in cash. Ask before you move in if you can take up residency. Most homeowners are not willing to do this for renters because they are not paying their taxes. Which doesn’t surprise us.
Doorman? If you can find housing with a doorman that would be ideal to ensure you will get your packages ad mail. However, not every building has one. Did you know most eBay and Amazon sellers refuse to ship to Italy? Why? Because packages are forever getting “lost”
You might see rooms being advertised that are: “close to FAO”, “well connected” and “steps from the Metro” but please, please use Google Maps to check the address. And if you really want to confirm the source, search the person’s email as well. There are many scams out there so beware. Remember do a google search on the email, their name, and the address. This isn’t guaranteed to protect you but it does help. And if you do find a room, negotiate the price. Most Italians think that Expats can afford to pay more.
If you do want to find housing near FAO, try these locations that are relatively close. San Giovanni, Piazza Tuscolo, Re di Roma, Colosseo, Labicana, Trastevere, Testaccio, and Piramide.
If you are looking for cheap housing but not too far from the center, try Pigneto which has become a trendy place to hang out. There is also San Lorenzo which is well known for its university students and artists district.