For members


Homeowners claim €9 billion from Italy’s building ‘superbonus’

Italy has approved investments of over nine billion euros so far for works related to making energy efficiency upgrades and reducing seismic risk, new figures show.

Billions have been claimed under Italy's building 'superbonus'.
Billions have been claimed under Italy's building 'superbonus'. Photo by Gianluca Carenza on Unsplash

Italy launched the ‘superbonus 110‘ in May 2020 to restart a sluggish economy following the impacts of the pandemic, offering homeowners a tax deduction of up to 110 percent on renovation expenses.

Interest in the scheme has been high, with many property owners now facing delays and sometimes abandoning projects due to builder shortages and the complex bureaucracy required to access the scheme.

READ ALSO: Italy’s building bonus: Can you really claim back the cost of renovating property?

Critics have asked whether the superbonus has achieved its objectives of upgrading Italian property standards and boosting the construction sector.

But new figures from Italy’s energy and development agency, ENEA, updated to the end of October 2021, show that investments in the superbonus are considerable.

Such government-funded building projects related to energy efficiency and anti-seismic interventions have amounted to more than 9.7 billion euros to date.

The findings reveal that on a national level, some 57,664 claims have been filed to access the superbonus and that over 6.7 billion euros have already been claimed for completed renovation works.

The 3 billion euros of difference are assigned for ongoing renovation works which have not yet been completed.

The regions filing for the superbonus the most include Lombardy in first place, claiming 1.5 billion euros of investment, followed by Veneto, Lazio and Campania.

Figures show that the demand for the superbonus continues to rise, as ENEA recorded an increase of 24.8 percent in claims filed between September and October.

Photo: Mattia Bericchia on Unsplash

Overall, some 69 percent of projects have been finished out of the total works started under this building incentive.

Data are also broken down for works on condominiums, single-family buildings, and independent building units.


Condominiums accounted for almost 50 percent of the economic value of the scheme, with a total investment of almost 4.8 billion euros in this type of building.

Single-family homes accounted for the highest number of requests, with 29,369 claims filed so far worth a total of almost 3.1 billion euros.

Former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who initially introduced the scheme, claimed that ENEA’s figures show “growth, work and environmental sustainability”, adding that the superbonus must be extended as “it is not time to slow down the restart of the country”.

Time is running out for owners of single family homes to access the superbonus, however.

The Italian government announced its raft of budget measures for 2022 at the end of October, including extensions to tax breaks for home renovations.

EXPLAINED: What changes in Italy’s new budget?

The superbonus scheme has been extended for condominiums until 2023, but for many homeowners hoping to claim it for their single family homes, deadlines are approaching.

The bonus is set to continue for the whole of 2022 for single family units, but with a serious caveat: you’re only eligible if it’s your first home and you have an ISEE (the social-economic indicator of household wealth) of 25,000 euros maximum.

From January 1st to June 30th 2022 it will not be necessary to comply with the ISEE limit.

If you don’t fall into this category, however, the deadline of June 30th 2022 remains.

That means there are potentially just 8 months to complete all building works as so far there has been no mention of being able to finish a project on a single family home already started after this date.

For condominiums benefitting from the 110 percent deductions until 2023, the bonus will then drop in stages – to 70 percent for 2024 and 65 percent for 2025.

Other building bonuses have also been rolled on but some have been slashed in terms of the amount available to claim, meaning budgets could change considerably for those planning to carry out works in 2022.

Are you using Italy’s superbonus to renovate your property? Please get in touch or leave a comment below to tell us about your experience.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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For members


How to avoid huge ‘roaming’ phone bills while visiting Italy

If you're visiting Italy from outside the EU you risk running up a huge phone bill in roaming charges - but there are ways to keep your internet access while avoiding being hit by extra charges.

How to avoid huge ‘roaming’ phone bills while visiting Italy

Travelling without access to the internet is almost impossible these days. We use our phones for mapping applications, contacting the Airbnb, even scanning the QR code for the restaurant menu.

If you’re lucky enough to have a phone registered in an EU country then you don’t need to worry, thanks to the EU’s cap on charges for people travelling, but people visiting from non-EU countries – which of course now includes the UK – need to be careful with their phone use abroad.

First things first, if you are looking to avoid roaming charges, be sure to go into your settings and turn off “data roaming.” Do it right before your plane lands or your train arrives – you don’t want to risk the phone company in your home country starting the clock on ‘one day of roaming fees’ without knowing it.

READ ALSO: Ten ways to save money on your trip to Italy this summer

But these days travelling without internet access can be difficult and annoying, especially as a growing number of tourist attractions require booking in advance online, while restaurants often display their menus on a QR code.

So here are some techniques to keep the bills low.

Check your phone company’s roaming plan

Before leaving home, check to see what your phone plan offers for pre-paid roaming deals.

For Brits, if you have a phone plan with Three for example, you can ask about their “Go Roam” plan for add-on allowance. You can choose to pay monthly or as you go. Vodafone offers eight day and 15 day passes that are available for £1 a day.

For Americans, T-Mobile offers you to add an “international pass” which will charge you $5 per day. Verizon and AT&T’s roaming plans will charge you $10 per day. For AT&T, you are automatically opted into this as soon as your phone tries to access data abroad.

READ ALSO: Seven things to do in Italy in summer 2022

These all allow you to retain your normal phone number and plan.

Beware that these prices are only available if you sign up in advance, otherwise you will likely be facing a much bigger bill for using mobile data in Italy. 

Buy a pre-paid SIM card

However, if you are travelling for a longer period of time it might work out cheaper to turn off your phone data and buy a pre-paid SIM card in Italy.

In order to get a pre-paid SIM card, you will need your passport or proof of identity (drivers’ licences do not count).

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: Why now’s the best time to discover Italy’s secret lakes and mountains

Keep in mind that you will not be able to use your normal phone number with the new SIM card in, but will be able to access your internet enabled messaging services, like WhatsApp, Facebook and iMessage. Your phone will need to be ‘unlocked’ (ask your carrier about whether yours is) in order to put a new SIM card in.

Here are some of the plans you can choose from:


WindTre, the result of a 2020 merger between the Italian company Wind and the UK network provider Three, currently offers a “Tourist Pass” SIM card for foreign nationals. For €24.99 (it’s sneakily marketed as €14.99, but read the small print and you’ll see you need to fork out an additional €10), you’ll have access to 20GB of data for up to 30 days.

The offer includes 100 minutes of calls within Italy plus an additional 100 minutes to 55 foreign countries listed on the WindTre website. Up to 13.7GB can be used for roaming within the EU. The card is automatically deactivated after 30 days, so there’s no need to worry about surprise charges after you return from your holiday. To get this SIM card, you can go into any WindTre store and request it.

A tourist protects herself from the sun with a paper umbrella as she walks at Piazza di Spagna near the Spanish Steps in Rome.
A tourist protects herself from the sun with a paper umbrella as she walks at Piazza di Spagna near the Spanish Steps in Rome.


Vodafone has had better deals in the past, but lately appears to have downgraded its plan for tourists, now called “Vodafone Holiday” (formerly “Dolce Vita”), to a paltry 2GB for €30. You get a total of 300 minutes of calls and 300 texts to Italian numbers or to your home country; EU roaming costs €3 per day.

Existing Vodafone customers can access the offer by paying €19 – the charge will be made to your Vodafone SIM within 72 hours of activating the deal. 

READ ALSO: MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

The Vodafone Holiday offer automatically renews every four weeks for €29 – in order to cancel you’ll need to call a toll-free number. The Vodafone website says that the €30 includes the first renewal, suggesting the payment will cover the first four weeks plus an additional four after that, but you’ll want to double check before buying. You’ll need to go to a store in person to get the card.


TIM is one of Italy’s longest-standing and most well-established network providers, having been founded in 1994 following a merger between several state-owned companies.

The “Tim Tourist” SIM card costs €20 for 15GB of data and 200 minutes of calls within Italy and to 58 foreign countries, and promises “no surprises” when it comes to charges.

You can use the full 15GB when roaming within the EU at no extra charge, and in the EU can use your minutes to call Italian numbers. The deal is non-renewable, so at the end of the 30 days you won’t be charged any additional fees.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?

To access the offer, you can either buy it directly from a TIM store in Italy, or pre-order using an online form and pay with your bank card. Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive a PIN which you should be able to present at any TIM store on arrival in Italy (along with your ID) to collect your pre-paid card. The card won’t be activated until you pick it up.


Iliad is the newest and one of the most competitive of the four major phone companies operating in Italy, and currently has an offer of 120GBP of €9.99 a month. For this reason, some travel blogs recommend Iliad as the best choice for foreigners – but unfortunately all of their plans appear to require an Italian tax ID, which rules it out as an option for tourists.


Though buying a pre-paid SIM card is a very useful option for visitors spending a decent amount of time in Italy, as mentioned above, there’s a significant different difference between buying a one-time pre-paid SIM versus a monthly plan that auto-renews.

Make sure you know which one you’re signing up for, and that if you choose a plan that will continue charging you after your vacation has ended, you remember to cancel it.

UK contracts

If you have a UK-registered mobile phone, check your plan carefully before travelling. Before Brexit, Brits benefited from the EU cap on roaming charges, but this no longer applies.

Some phone companies have announced the return of roaming charges, while others have not, or only apply roaming charges only on certain contracts.

In short, check before you set off and don’t assume that because you have never been charged extra before, you won’t be this time.