How To Rent Or Buy Real Estate In Italian (Words & Phrases)

  • Giulietta Giordano
    Written byGiulietta Giordano
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How To Rent Or Buy Real Estate In Italian (Words & Phrases)

When you decide to go live in Italy, the first task you’ll face is finding a place to live.

Finding and making a home in Italy can be daunting, and it certainly isn’t always easy… but knowing the right vocabulary to navigate the market is definitely the first step you want to take even before looking at pretty pictures of villas by the sea or central apartments with great views (I know you’ve done that!).

In this guide, I’ll guide you through some Italian words and sentences for renting or buying a property in Italy.**

Learn them, and you will avoid misunderstandings with landlords or agencies and probably even get a better deal!

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Essential vocabulary for house-hunting in Italy

First of all, if you’re looking for a place to live, you need to know the term casa. Guess what, it means “house”. 😊

It can be used, as in English, for all kind of things.

You can go a casa (“to go home”), or be looking for a casa, when you’re looking for a place to live. Then, you can specify if you’re intending to buy a villa or a studio apartment… whichever type you go with, it will still be your casa!

TIP: In Italian, unlike in Spanish, we pronounce an ‘S’ between two vowels (a-e-i-o-u) as a soft Z sound. As in the English word “zebra”. (Yes, the word risotto has that sound too)

If you enter the Italian house market, you also must know the term immobile, which in this context doesn’t mean “immobile” as in motionless, but means real estate/property.

An agenzia immobiliare, therefore, is a real estate agent.

You can contact an agenzia immobiliare both for renting or buying any kind of property in Italy.

Ieri sono andata ad un’agenzia immobiliare in centro a Milano che mi ha consigliato Giacomo.

Yesterday I went to an estate agent in central Milan that Giacomo recommended.

Stai pensando di acquistare un immobile?

Are you thinking of buying a property?

I’ll go over some basic vocab that will make your house hunt a lot easier!

Do you know what kind of space you’re looking for? I’m sure you do! But… do you know how to say it in Italian?

Let’s look at the must-know terms you need if you’re looking to rent or buying an apartment in Italy.

I’ll add some example sentences for every term, so that you can also learn how to use them in context.

Type of apartment / house

Monolocale – Studio apartment

Sto cercando un monolocale a Brescia, magari vicino all’università.

I'm looking for a studio apartment in Brescia, maybe close to the university.

Bilocale – Two-room flat

Careful, this isn’t a two-bedroom flat.

It is two rooms, which means that there usually is an open plan livingroom/kitchen and one bedroom. (The bathroom is usually not counted).

Ho visto che ci sono molti bilocali disponibili in centro.

I saw there are a lot of two-room apartments in the centre.

Trilocale – Three-room apartments

So, you got it… Locale here means “room”, and the prefix indicates how many rooms you’ll have!

Ho due figli, quindi ho bisogno almeno di un trilocale.

I have children, so I need at least a three-room apartment.

TIP: Sometimes, you might also see the word vani, which in this context is a synonym to locali, meaning it indicates how many rooms there are in an apartment or house.

Questo appartamento ha 4 vani: la cucina, il soggiorno, una camera da letto e uno studio.

This apartment has 4 rooms: the kitchen, the living room, a bedroom and a study.

Villa - House/villa

Questa è la villa dei miei sogni!

This is the villa of my dreams!

Villetta a schiera - terraced house

Giorgio ha acquistato una villetta a schiera vicino a Firenze.

Giorgio bought a terraced house near Firenze.

Condominio - Apartment buildingn / flat complex

Lucia è andata a vedere un appartamento in un condominio qui vicino.

Lucia went to see an apartment in a building near here.

Rooms inside the casa

Now that you’ve learned how to describe what kind of apartment you’re looking for, let’s have a look at how to describe the spaces inside your future Italian home!

Camera da letto – Bedroom

Quante camere da letto ci sono?

How many bedrooms are there?

Camera matrimoniale – Master bedroom

Prendi tu la camera matrimoniale, per me è troppo grande.

You can stay in the master bedroom, it’s too big for me.

Bagno – Bathroom

Ci sono due bagni, uno su ogni piano.

There are two bathrooms, one on each floor.

Cucina – Kitchen

La cucina non è molto grande, ma è ben arredata.

The klitchen is not very big, but it is well equipped.

Cucina abitabile – Kitchen and dining room

Si tratta di una cucina abitabile?

Is it a big kitchen? (Usually with the space for a table)

Soggiorno – Living room

Il soggiorno è al piano di sopra.

The living room is upstairs.

Sala da pranzo – Dining room

La sala da pranzo è stata convertita in una camera da letto.

The dining room was converted to a bedroom.

Mansarda – Attic

La mansarda è perfetta da usare come sgabuzzino.

The attic is perfect to use as a closet.

Outside the casa

A house doesn’t end with its walls, let’s look at some extras you can get if you want to find the perfect living space in Italy.

Giardino – Garden

Questa casa ha il giardino?

Does the house have a garden?

Terrazza/Balcone – Terrace or Balcony

Ci sono due balconi.

There are two balconies.

Ripostiglio/Sgabuzzino – Closet

Questo è un piccolo ripostiglio.

This is a broom closet.

Cantina – Cellar

Nella tua casa c’è una cantina?

Is there a cellar at your house?

Garage (well, this is self-explanatory… Remember to pronounce it the French way though!)

Sto cercando una casa con garage.

I'm looking for a house with a garage.

More useful vocab for finding Italian real estate

Here’s a small list of some useful terms you want to learn if you are looking to rent or buy a house in Italy.

Trust me, they will make your life easier when looking at online ads or talking to an agente immobiliare (real estate agent).

ItalianoEnglish
RistrutturatoRenovated
Arredato / Non arredatoFurnished / Unfurnished
In vendita / VendesiFor sale
In affitto / AffittasiFor rent
PrivatoFor rent / for sale directly by the owner (private)
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Must-know phrases for a successful house hunt

Sure, it is great to know all the words, but during an apartment hunt is also essential to know how to talk to the owner or the agent directly, and know how to ask the right questions.

Here are some you cannot miss:

ItalianoEnglish
Che tipo di contratto è?What kind of contract is it?
La casa è arredata?Is the house furnished?
Il prezzo è trattabile?Is the price negotiable?
Quanto devo pagare all’agenzia?What is the agency fee?
Ci sono spese condominiali?Are there any condo fees?
Chi paga le bollette?Who is responsible for paying the bills?

Finding a place to live in Italy is a lot easier if you’re equipped with some Italian

So there you go.

I hope this little guide on the essential Italian words and phrases you need for renting or buying property in Italy was useful… and that it will help you find what you’re looking for!

To cover more on this topic, see these Italian resources.

In bocca al lupo!


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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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