Believe it or not, Italy is a rather affordable place to live and this is certainly true about some of the more remote or rural regions. More importantly, the best places to live in Italy are most often accompanied by sublime food, friendly faces and stunning scenery. What’s more, the weather in this part of the world is nothing short of glorious and the same can be said about the standard of living.
But where exactly should you settle and what are the best places to live in Italy?
Well, it really depends on whether you want the city life or something quieter and after that, you should find that most options are blessed with the same “La Dolce Vita”. That being said, not every city or destination is created equal and in the following list, we take a look at some of the very best places to live in Italy:
Let’s start with the obvious and take a quick glimpse at why the capital is one of the best places to live in Italy. While the cost of living and accommodation is certainly higher than the countryside, most people should be able to afford life on the outskirts of Rome. That is to say, aside from the tourist areas, all of these costs are relatively normal and much lower than the city center.
For example, the public transport system is far from expensive and supermarkets are just the same as almost anywhere in Western Europe. When it comes to schools, you will be spoiled for choice and in terms of learning the local language, there are tutors and learning centers at every turn.
At the same time, that’s not to say this cost of living is what makes Rome such a great place to live in Italy. After all, Rome is home to the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Novona, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. As if that’s not enough, you will also find many of the most famous galleries, museums, landmarks and works of art in the world. For this reason, you might choose Rome for convenience but the truth is, the cost of living is one of many more reasons that make this one of the most exciting places to live in Italy.
One of the last unspoiled regions in Italy, Abruzzo lies to the east of Rome on an especially long stretch of coastline with dramatic mountains nearby. For the most part, this region is best known for producing a variety of olive oil and wine, and the colored houses that seem to be huddled together on the mountainside.
Although busy during the summer months, the beaches at Abruzzo are stunning and attract just as many locals as tourists during this time. What’s more, there are stunning landscapes in every direction and eagles, bears and wolves are also known to inhabit the area. Meanwhile, dramatic mountains give the town a very quiet ambiance and the snow-capped peaks can make the town feel like a million miles from he busy city.
As for the town itself, Abruzzo is dotted with well-preserved medieval neighborhoods, towns and beautiful churches. With clean air and clear skies, this is also an especially conscious region in terms of the environment. When it comes to property, you should also find that the standard is excellent and with the average house price at $75k, this is certainly an affordable alternative to Rome.
In many ways, Abruzzo seems to have been forgotten by the rest of the world but make no mistake, this is one of the best places to live in Italy and not somewhere you should forget to include on your shortlist.
Tuscany is almost like a microcosm of Italy and a great place to live for this who wish to escape the rat race. You will find stunning beaches, along with rugged cliffs on the coastline and some wonderful open landscapes on the interior. In fact, Tuscany is like ‘Classic Italy” and the slow pace of life in this part of the world is truly symbolic of the infamous “Sweet Life” for which the country is known.
Those who qualify for Italian citizenship by marriage or descent will be pleased to know there is a large expat community in Tuscany which makes it particular easy for new arrivals to get settled. Needless to say, these expats favor some areas more than others but either way, it’s nice to have somewhere to go for a taste of home or some native conversation.
At the same time, this is not really what makes Tuscany one of the best places to live in Italy. You see, there are exciting attractions here and popular cities such as Florence and Pisa but most of Tuscany features just as many points of interest without the busy crowds.
For example, many of the surrounding towns or villages consist of churches, museums, galleries and colorful architecture from both the Renaissance and Medieval era. Featuring beautiful warm weather and very little rain, this is also an especially bright spot at the heart of the Mediterranean.
Tuscany also makes a lot of financial sense, for the region has an excellent road and transport system, great schools and all the usual amenities you could expect to find. As if that’s not enough, rent is extremely low in many rural towns in Tuscany and it’s not uncommon to find one bed apartment for less than $500 per month.
As you may know, the north of Italy is one of the most affordable options for relocation due to the low cost of accommodation and living in general. That being said, this is an incredibly large region dominated by mountains, cities and idyllic towns.
It’s true, Turin, Milan and Bologna are all exciting cities but outside of these urban areas, regions like Emilia-Romagna offer a very different alternative. In other words, you will find either quiet countryside or coastline in this particular region and more than a few beautiful towns in which to settle. Cinque Terre, Lake Como and Lake Garda are just a few of the many stunning places to visit in the area and when it comes to traditional Italian lifestyle, the north is where you can find it.
Either way, the cost of living in Northern Italy is much lower than the south and when you consider the proximity of many famous cities, you are never really isolated. What’s more, the same standard of schooling, infrastructure and facilities exists in the north, and to be honest, the rural population in Italy can often seem a lot more friendly and welcoming than anywhere else.
Sardinia is probably best known for the white-powdered sands and azure waters. Located to the north of mainland, this is also one of the more remote places to live in Italy and an obvious option for those who want to experience island life. In fact, there is more than 2,000km of coastline in Sardinia and most of this consists of beaches, coves and endless swimming opportunities!
As you might expect, this is also one of the most laid-back places to live in Italy and possibly even more laid-back than most rural areas on the mainland. With this in mind, you can expect a slow and quiet “village life” with the occasional busy tourist town or beach or attraction. There is also clear air in every pocket of the island and the locals have a reputation for their hospitality.
At the same time, convenience is one of the best things about living in Sardinia and everything you need is literally on the front doorstep. Even if you do not have access to a vehicle, getting around is easy and the amenities etc are always within walking distance. As for the cost of living in Sardinia, this is also much lower than mainland Italy and rent, groceries and basic needs are all very affordable.
Moving to Italy is an exciting experience and one that will bring you face to face with incredible history, stunning landscapes and amazing food. However, choosing exactly where to go is really about preference and whether you favor the city, the countryside of the coast, there is always an affordable place to live in Italy.
This page was last updated by Jason LoPresti