One of the requirements for our visa is "sufficient funds". The problem is the Italian consulates won't tell you up front what amounts to "sufficient funds". We don't fit the usual profile for people moving to Italy under an extended stay visa; most people are retired and have some type of monthly retirement income. Being 40-something, this is not us, but instead we will be using specific funds (i.e., savings) to live on.
I have called both the consular agent in Albuquerque and the consulate in Los Angeles and the standard answer is along the lines that it will be determined when we submit our application. Other web sites discussing moving to Italy, including Expats in Italy, don't give specifics on how much money other people have had to show to get a visa approval. Do we need $100,000, $200,000, $500,000...or more? It seems that if you ask six people what they needed for their visa approval you will get six different answers.
After having been to Italy several times and knowing people who live in Italy, we feel we have a realistic idea of what we will need for monthly expenditures in Italy. We don't live an extravagant lifestyle, and in Italy we are looking for the simple pleasures the country has to offer, not a Tuscan villa with a pool under the sun. We are confident that our basic necessities will cost less over-all in Italy than in the US.
We were fortunate that the sale of our house was far more than we anticipated and we will have more in funds than we thought we would need. Contrary to what some in our family may have feared, we are not accessing any of our funds set aside for "retirement".
We have been blessed by generous family over the years and a decent paying career; besides The Lord knows what we need and has always provided more than enough.