Trento is a small town, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find a place to live. The high amount of students drives up demand. The geography of the area also means that there is limited space. Most people also want to live in the center which is an even smaller area. Erasmus students are not eligible to use the student accommodation in San Bartolomeo or Meyer, and for them especially it is difficult to find housing for just one semester. I want to share some resources, as well as give some general advice on what I have found works (or heard from friends).
Here are the best resources for finding an apartment:
- Idealista – this is a great site. It’s originally a Spanish site, but also active in Italy. It’s probably the most popular site in the area. Landlords can list their properties here, and you can contact them for free. Set the filter for rent “Affito”. You can select “appartmenti” if you are looking for a whole flat or “stanze” if you just want a room. Enter Trento (Comune) for the city of Trento.
- Subito – This is a general classified ads website used in Italy. It’s honestly not super active in this area. Sometimes though you can find better deals here. Also, it seems like more private people post their flats here whereas lots of realtors use idealista. Set the category to “Immobili” and look for either “Appartamenti” or “Camere” if you are willing to share a room.
- Facebook – A lot of the rooms and apartments are found through Facebook. There are several groups that are especially very active in the months leading up to a new semester. The main groups are AAA Appartamenti studenti Trento, AFFITTI TRENTO – Cerco/Offro AFFITTO x Casa/Appartamento/Camera/Stanza, and AFFITTO STUDENTI TRENTO
- Instant booking sites – There are a few sites where you can book a room instantly, without having to go look at it. These are usually more expensive and sell out well before the semester begins so if you go this route start early. I have had friends who used HousingAnywhere successfully. Another I have heard of but can’t vouch for is SpotAHome. You can also check AirBnB for long-term rentals.
- Realtors – I know in other parts of Europe or in bigger cities NOBODY uses realtors anymore. Why bother when anyone can post their apartment and in a matter of hours or even minutes find someone to rent to? In Trento though surprisingly there are a lot of real estate agencies and a lot of people rent through them. They generally don’t speak English and they don’t answer messages or email, you usually need to call. I found it was best to just go to their office and ask directly. I found my flat in the end through a realtor, it hadn’t even been listed yet! Two recommendations for helpful realtors who speak good English are Elena from SoluzioneCasa and Maurizio from CestariSuardi. Another one to recommend is SoloAfitti since they only focus on renting apartments and not also selling apartments/houses. I would watch out for Phosporo, several people have had bad experiences with them.
- Private dorms – in addition to the publicly funded student dorms in Meyer and San Bartolomeo there are a few privately run stundent dorm companies in Trento. I don’t know anyone who lives here so I can’t vouch for them but a few to look at are Homes for Students (they have some wild parties apparently too), NEST, Stanza Semplice, Rezidencia 2.0, and PHO.ROOM.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Expect to pay at least 350 Euro per month, even for shared rooms. Realistically I would budget 450 Euro per month, but you can expect to find a private room in a shared apartment with this money. Student flats are generally all-inclusive. You don’t need to budget extra for monthly expenses like WiFi or electricity. Usually, apartments for students are furnished.
- Flats in Trento are old. Lots of them haven’t been renovated for decades. Don’t expect to find very modern or nice apartments here.
- Some landlords will list their apartments specifically for students. This means your contract is a limited time, and it is not possible to register in the apartment. Unfortunately, most of the time they are still looking for someone to rent the flat for at least a year.
- Because so many flats are rented for minimum periods of one year, it may be worth it to try to convince the landlord you intend to stay long term such as if you are doing a full degree here. That way you will be eligible to take a long-term contract. Usually, you can cancel these with three months’ notice.
- Watch out for real estate agencies with high fees. Some of the realtors in the area specialize in student apartments and they charge all kinds of bullshit service fees, activation fees, etc. You should expect to have to pay fees though if you rent through a realtor. Sometimes also realtors place fake ads for apartments that don’t exist or have already been rented and they will then try to show you another apartment when you contact them.
- Consider getting an apartment outside of the center. Areas like Povo are great if you study at the Povo or Mesiano campuses and are a lot cheaper. Trento Nord is also a very cheap area, though pretty ugly. San Pio is another area where lots of students live because it’s close to the center but a little easier to find something.
- Beware of scams. It’s a small town but there are still scammers. In general, if something seems too good to be true it probably is. When I was looking for apartments I found two scammers who listed their apartments on Subito. After contacting them they said they were out of town and that I wouldn’t be able to look at the apartment. They said I should book it through Airbnb. The link they sent was not to AirBnB, but they had cloned the AirBnB website very closely so you couldn’t tell at first glance!
- If you have a second non-EU nationality and you are an Erasmus student apply to the student dorms with this other nationality. Usually, the dorms are the cheapest option and definitely the easiest way to get an apartment.