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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

How to find an Apartment in Rome

When studying abroad, or simply traveling for an extended amount of time, finding an apartment to rent may offer a cheaper means of living, compared to staying in an expensive dorm or hotel room.

Finding an apartment in Rome, and more generally in Italy, can be an exciting yet daunting task, given the country's bustling real estate market and unique quirks.

Here are some steps to help you navigate the process and find your perfect Roman abode:

1. Determine Your Budget and Requirements: Before you begin your search, establish a budget that includes rent, utilities, and any additional expenses. Consider factors such as location, size, amenities, and transportation accessibility to narrow down your options.

2. Research Neighborhoods: Rome is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character and charm. Research areas that align with your preferences in terms of ambiance, safety, proximity to amenities, and lifestyle amenities.

3. Use Online Platforms: Explore online real estate platforms such as Idealista,, or Airbnb to browse listings, filter by preferences, and view photos and descriptions of available apartments. These platforms offer a wide range of options, from furnished studios to spacious penthouses.

4. Seek Assistance from Real Estate Agencies: Consider enlisting the services of a reputable real estate agency specializing in rental properties in Rome. An agent can provide personalized assistance, arrange viewings, and offer guidance throughout the rental process. Be prepared to pay a commission fee, typically equivalent to one month's rent.

5. Attend Open Houses and Viewings: Schedule appointments to view apartments that meet your criteria. Pay attention to details such as layout, condition, natural light, noise levels, and proximity to public transportation and amenities. Take notes and ask questions to gather relevant information.

6. Be Prepared for Documentation: When renting an apartment in Rome, be prepared to provide documentation such as proof of identity (passport or ID card), proof of income or financial stability, and references from previous landlords or employers. Landlords may also request a codice fiscale (Italian tax code).

7. Negotiate Rental Terms: Once you've found a suitable apartment, negotiate rental terms with the landlord or real estate agent. This may include rent price, lease duration, included amenities, and any additional conditions or requirements. Ensure that all agreements are documented in writing and thoroughly reviewed before signing.

8. Understand Legal Requirements: Familiarize yourself with Italian rental laws and regulations to ensure a smooth rental experience. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as the landlord's obligations regarding maintenance, repairs, and deposit refunds.

9. Secure the Lease: Once all terms have been agreed upon, sign the lease agreement and pay any required deposits or fees. Ensure that you receive a copy of the signed lease and any related documentation for your records.

10. Arrange for Utilities and Services: Upon moving into your new apartment, arrange for utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet services to be transferred into your name. Familiarize yourself with local waste disposal and recycling procedures, as well as any building regulations or rules.



However, searching for the perfect apartment to rent can be an arduous and, often, confusing process, especially when searching so far from Rome. Here are some points to guide the search:

Free online services


Portaportese is one of the best places to find a lead on an apartment. Here, all searches are Rome specific and can be customized by a variety of personal requirements. Specify the search by picking price ranges, locations and the number of needed rooms. When using this online service, some translating will be involved. The site is low-tech and is strictly available in Italian.


In an effort to conserve time and energy, Nestpick is a suburb option, when needing to compare apartment prices across a variety of free websites. On this website, potential tenants can find individual rooms within an apartment or find entire flats available for rent, wholly in English. Searches can be filtered by the desired arrival dates. Also, the majority of pictures founded on the site were taken by real persons working with partnering firms. This is a great resource that assists in the avoidance of scams and ensures that a picture of the apartment matches its written description.


Popular for students is the worldwide site Airbnb. On this website, leases are offered for long-term stays. However, these leases do not entail meeting typical Italian lease requirements, which are 18 month leases; three-year leases with two-year extensions; or four-year leases with a four-year extension. This option avoids breaking a lease with the landlord. However, if the lease needs to be broken, it’s recommended to notify the landlord three months in advance of the departure date. 

Immobiliare is a free online service that connects tenants with paid real estate agencies. These agencies will travel with clients, in their search for the perfect home in a desirable area at the perfect prices. Private real estate firms provide a truly personal experience, while taking every step with intending renters.


Paid services 

Wanted in Rome 


Since 1985, Wanted in Rome has offered an apartment and property search, in their “Housing” section. Listed properties can range from vacant rental accommodations inside of the city to properties available on the outskirts of town. Hunting renters can view advertisements for landlords searching for new tenants. These posted ads usually entail that an individual room is available in a shared apartment space. Properties that are available to buy are also listed under the housing tab. Again, these listed properties can be found in or out of town. For those visiting Rome on extended holidays, Wanted in Rome offers a register of holiday accommodations.

 Immobilizare Zanni

One agency that can be found on is Immobiliare Zanni Real Estate. Ran by an Italian-American couple, Marco Zanni and Bonnie Rose-Zanni, Zanni Real Estate is a great option for hopeful expatriates looking to leave their native country, in search for a new life. This firm is especially helpful for Americans looking to move to Rome. Originating from Alexandria, Virginia, the couple have been living abroad for more than 25 years. They pride themselves in being experts in relocation and the challenges involved. Immobiliare Zanni Real Estate can be contacted on WhatsApp and WeChat at +39.347.400.9753, as well as through e-mail at

Finding an apartment in Rome may require patience, persistence, and careful consideration, but with thorough research and preparation, you can find the perfect place to call home in the Eternal City. Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)

 Photo: Courtesy of the Grand House

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