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What is the best way to go about finding a furnished apartment in a small to mid-sized southern Italian town? We are looking for a place for only about 2-3 months (and then repeat the process in another part of the country, and so on) so we dont want a "vacation apartment" (too expensive) and it might be hard to get a "long-term" rental for such a relatively short period of time. Which of these options would be best:

(a) look online at sites like immobilliare.it
(b) contact real estate agencies in the area
(c) just show up and ask around (is this even a viable option at all?)

Bear in mind that we dont speak any Italian!

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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What is the best way to go about finding a furnished apartment in a small to mid-sized southern Italian town? We are looking for a place for only about 2-3 months (and then repeat the process in another part of the country, and so on) so we dont want a "vacation apartment" (too expensive) and it might be hard to get a "long-term" rental for such a relatively short period of time. Which of these options would be best:

(a) look online at sites like immobilliare.it
(b) contact real estate agencies in the area
(c) just show up and ask around (is this even a viable option at all?)

Bear in mind that we dont speak any Italian!

Thanks for any suggestions.
Ciao,

I have had the best results from using on line sites. We also had fabulous help from an agency in Puglia, unfortunately none of the apartments they showed us worked out, but there were apartments that were otherwise unadvertised that they knew about and so I think if you are able to find an agent you can work with you are very apt to find what you think is a fair price. They were fairly patient with our level of Italian, we speak it and I understand nearly everything, but its still a challenge for Italians to deal with English speakers. I think less English is understood in the Italian small towns of the south as compared to the medium and large towns from Rome northward.

Recently we tried just showing up in Calabria and asking around and discovered a very reduced price on a small flat which we moved into a month ago.

If you are not in Italy its good to look through the rental sites and then speak with the agency that is advertising a flat that interests you to make arrangements. If you can get to your chosen town you have the opportunity to view the rentals ahead of time. Otherwise you will be sending a deposit and then paying the agency fee, rent and a damage deposit when you arrive.

Its funny, but the rentals we took unseen from the web sites were in better shape than the one we actually walked through! For example, there was no hot water in the kitchen or for the laundry machine, nor was there any heating, which we only discovered after we had moved in. But the ones we were not able to view (because we were still in North America the first time and in North Italy for the other so the agency was our only communication) we got radiant heating and all other things worked great, like lights, stove, oven etc. We pay less for the one we have now, but it isnt really quite liveable. We have a lot of promises from the owner to make things right, but from my experience that is not going to be a reality. Its better to make sure the flat has everything you need before you even look at it and be wary if some things you ask are glossed over, or answered indirectly, usually that means its not ok.

All in all my advice is use the sites and rent through a reputable agency unless you are seriously finding the rents unaffordable, then you might try squatting if you find it really unaffordable!;)

Buona aventura!
 
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