Italian government approves new Covid-19 financial aid package

Italy's government said on Monday it had approved a new stimulus package to shore up businesses affected by the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Italian government approves new Covid-19 financial aid package
Closed shops in Turin, Piedmont. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The aid package, the fourth since the pandemic gripped the country in March, is worth €8 billion and delays tax deadlines as well as offering up to €1,000 for workers in badly hit sectors like tourism.

Small businesses that have suffered a significant loss in turnover can push back certain tax payments until the end of April 2021, as can shops, restaurants and hotels forced to close because of restrictions in Italy's 'red' or 'orange' risk zones.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy's tier system?

What's more, the so-called 'fourth relief decree' (decreto ristori quater) allows the government to exempt badly hit businesses from paying part or all of their tax and social security payments, though the details have not yet been decided.

Companies and individuals who were due to file tax returns or make payments by Monday, November 30th, will instead have until December 10th.

The package also offers a €1,000 lump sum to workers in tourism, the arts and leisure, and €800 for people working in sport, after cinemas, theatres, museums, gyms and pools were ordered closed nationwide and travel strictly limited.

Seasonal workers, door-to-door salespeople, temps and others doing precarious work will also be eligible for the payout, which follows similar emergency bonuses earlier this year.  

Other measures in the decree include setting aside funds for the conventions sector and a boosted police presence to ensure anti-coronavirus measures are respected.


Italy's punishing lockdown of all its 60 million residents brought its first Covid-19 outbreak under control but, as in other countries, the number of cases has risen sharply in recent months.

Rome has sought to avoid another lockdown after the first crippled the economy, focusing instead on regional restrictions alongside a nationwide night-time curfew.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was set to meet with the heads of the country's 20 regions later on Monday to work out Italy's plan for the holidays, with health experts warning too much Christmas cheer would spark a third wave.

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Where in Italy are house prices rising fastest?

Property values are expected to continue rising overall in Italy in 2023, but the situation looks much better in some cities than others. Here's how average prices compare.

Where in Italy are house prices rising fastest?

Until 2020 Italy’s real estate market had long suffered stagnation, weighed down by a large number of old, neglected properties which were proving difficult to sell.

But the pandemic turned Italy’s property market on its head, leading to the first increase in house prices for years at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

This trend has held up since, and industry experts cautiously predict further price growth in 2023 – albeit more modest than previously hoped.

Factors putting the brakes on growth include the soaring cost of living eroding households’ purchasing power, rising mortgage interest rates, the soaring cost of building materials, and a shrinking economy.

REVEALED: Where in Europe have house prices and rent costs increased the most?

Mortgages are also expected to become more difficult to obtain in 2023, meaning fewer people able to make a purchase.

But despite the gloomy picture overall, the outlook varies significantly around the country and some cities are expected to see a significant rise in prices this year.

Milan remains by far the most expensive major Italian city for a property purchase, but prices are rising faster elsewhere. Photo by Ron Dylewski on Unsplash

A recent report from Idealista Insights, the property search portal’s research team, looked at changes in the average prices per square metre in property listings in Italy’s biggest cities.

In 2022, the price per square metre “generally increased throughout the country, with ‘exclusive’ neighbourhoods becoming even more inaccessible to the average buyer,” the report found.

But, while bigger northern cities saw rising prices across the board, most southern cities were struggling with “stagnation”, it said.

Based on Idealista’s data, here are the ten most expensive cities to buy property in Italy, in order of the rate at which prices are rising.

  1. Genoa: the Ligurian capital is Italy’s tenth-most expensive city to live in – but prices here are rising faster than anywhere else on average, according to Idealista. An increase of 4.5 percent is forecast for Genoa in 2023, meaning the price per square metre will go from 1,602 to 1,674 euros.
  2. Bologna: Bologna records the second-highest price increase in Italy compared to 2022. The citywide average price per square metre will rise by an estimated 3.9 percent, reaching 3,419 euros.
  3. Verona: in seventh place we find the city of Romeo and Juliet, where the increase in prices is substantial, equal to 3.2 percent. The average cost will rise by around 80 euros per square metre, going from 2,483 to 2,563 euros per square metre.
  4. Milan: Italy’s economic capital will easily remain the most expensive city for property purchases, with prices set to rise by 2.9 percent compared to 2022. The average price per square metre is expected to exceed 5,300 euros, 150 more than now, with significant price variation between city districts.
  5. Bari: The capital of Puglia in the south-east is set to record an price increase of 2.8 percent, with the citywide average price per square metre going from 1,909 euros to 1,962 – making it the ninth most expensive Italian city in which to buy property and the only southern city to record a significant increase. 
  6. Turin: The northwestern city can expect an overall price increase of 1.5 percent, equal to around 30 euros more per square metre for a final price of 1,979 euros on average. 
  7. Florence: The Tuscan capital still has the second-highest prices, and can expect an average price increase of 1.4 percent, with the cost per square metre to rise from 4,128 to 4,184 euros .
  8. Rome: The capital may have some highly sought-after and expensive districts, but overall average prices will remain at around 3,336 euros, up slightly from 3,360 in 2022. This is equal to an increase of just 0.76 percent.
  9. Venice: La Serenissima remains the fifth-most expensive city to buy property again this year as the average price will remain almost unchanged with a reduction of -0.3 percent, meaning the cost per square metre will be around 3,090 euros.
  10. Naples: The southern capital is set to go against the trend, with a -1.5 percent drop in house prices expected. This means the average price per square metre will go from 2,737 to 2,696 euros, a difference of 41 euros.