Why and where to retire in Italy: a guide to the cities and regions with the best quality of life

Retire in Italy: a guide to finding the perfect place and securing your dream Italian home

Do people move to Italy for the sun and wine and gelato? And are Italian regions and cities alike in terms of quality of life? Certainly not. But, as the data on hand shows, Italy is one of the best places to live in. This guide to relocating and retiring in Italy aims to provide you with the information, advice, and insight you need to select your preferred area, and, when the time comes, find your house in Italy.

People who retire in Italy live longer and better

Let’s examine a country list drafted by the Financial Group, a leading wealth management company, revealing an impressive fact. Italy beats all other European countries in a factor that is unquestionably significant in the eyes of future retirees, life expectancy. The Blacktower index assesses life expectancy in Italy at 83.34 years, the lengthiest among all other European countries! Also, the study discloses that there are more over 65s in Italy than anywhere else in Europe: foreigners who retire in Italy will easily meet many people of a similar age group, make friends, and be happier.

The Italian lifestyle and longevity

Experts have long agreed that the Italian lifestyle favors longer, happier lives. The Mediterranean diet, functional exercise, mostly wholesome daily life, and low-stress attitude towards work generally embraced by Italians, alongside the inclusion of the elderly, are all factors that promote longevity and long-term health. This, it appears, is especially true in Sardinia. Italy’s second-largest island houses an exceptional Blue Zone, one of the five areas in the world where people live the longest and are in generally good physical conditions well into old age.

Retire in Sardinia and enjoy many healthy golden years

A thought-provoking article published by NBC News Better reveals enlightening firsthand data about the Blue Zones by interviewing the person who discovered them, researcher Dan Buettner. When he started studying the concept of the Blue Zone back in 2004, Buettner immediately noted that Sardinia stood out among all the others: the island’s Blue Zone housed as many male centenarians as female ones. In most other places in the world, the ratio is 1 to 5. That is food for thought.

Why relocate or retire in Sardinia

Now, if I were a male foreign national looking to retire in Italy I would certainly start focusing on Sardinia… Jokes aside, choosing to retire in Sardinia could be your best bet in 2022. Boasting dozens of spectacular powdery white beaches, charming towns, and a fabulously pristine inland countryside, it is a wonderful island rich in tradition, art, and history. Plus, two of the island’s cities rank in the top 5 best places for the elderly to live in Italy. I’ll go into detail later, read on to find out more!

Retiring in Sicily, Italy

Talking about islands, Sicily, Italy’s largest one, is among the destinations most coveted by foreigners looking to buy real estate and relocate. Quintessentially Mediterranean in its vivid colors and intensity, it is a world unto its own. In Sicily, cities and villages shelter Baroque grandeur and Arabic architecture, stunning volcanos lead to secluded beaches, and earnest locals smile to welcome you. Such powerful beauty and heartfelt friendliness make for a laid-back atmosphere that can easily bewitch you. Everything seems simple, in Sicily, and “problemi con ce ne sono”, i.e. “no problem whatsoever!” is the most common reply to any request.

Buying property in Sicily

Falling in love with Sicily is easy, but buying a house is not. For one thing, most real estate agents only operate locally, making it hard for a foreigner (and even a non-Sicilian Italian national) to comprehensively view the best options in the different provinces, cities, and areas. Also, not all local real estate agents speak good English, and “lost in translation” issues are quite frequent.

Retiring in Sicily: all you need to know to find and buy your dream home

How to get by? First and foremost, by checking out current prices for real estate in Sicily, and comparing the different cities and areas. You can find detailed information and recently published data on the above link. Second, I strongly suggest employing a company that can provide professional English-speaking Italy-based assistance, and possibly one that can offer all-around service. I would suggest a team that comprises real estate agents, developers, surveyors, architects, accountants, lawyers, and property managers, to have all the English-speaking pro support you need in one. As of today, IRECOM is one of the leading real estate companies in Italy.

Retiring in Puglia, Italy

Another Southern Italian region that holds great appeal for retirees is Apulia. Its whitewashed villages, olive tree groves, beaches, and Baroque cities provide a splendid backdrop to a leisurely lifestyle laced with seafood, ancient traditions, and lively folk music. Over the last ten years, many movie stars and celebrities have bought beautiful homes in Apulia, too. This has certainly added allure for many of those who were thinking of retiring in Apulia, Italy, and there are interesting investment opportunities available as regards real estate too.

How to find and buy the home you need to retire in Apulia

For dedicated assistance, I again suggest contacting an Italian company that can provide you with the straight-to-point insight you need as well as on-site support at all times: IRECOM operates proficiently throughout the whole of Italy, and they speak good English (which definitely helps!)

Healthcare in Italy

Whether you choose an island or southern or northern region on mainland Italy, the olive oil, red wine, and local fare will certainly work wonders for your health. But, a savvy prospective retiree will want to be aware of what healthcare is like in Italy. Albeit not perfect, the Italian healthcare system is considered among the best in the world both in terms of quality health services and equality of access: it automatically covers all Italian citizens and legally resident foreigners. The WHO ranks Italy’s NHS second-best in the world, doctors are very well-prepared, emergency medical care is free of charge and specialized treatment is generally much less expensive than elsewhere in Europe. This is another excellent reason to relocate to or retire in Italy.

Quality of life: top 5 places to live in Italy

Whilst all regions and cities in Italy have their singular allure, some offer a higher quality of life, better services, and overall more pleasant everyday life. Knowing which these are and why is the key to picking the right place, and, hopefully, living happily ever after in Italy! Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy’s leading financial publication, yearly carries out a carefully drafted survey on the quality of life in Italian cities, provinces, and regions, divided by generational indexes.

Quality of life in Italy: the parameters

The parameters used for the evaluation are provided by certified sources (Istat, Miur, Centro Studi Tagliacarne, Iqvia), and are extremely diverse ranging from schools with in-house cafeterias for children to e-commerce businesses for the young people age group.

Top 5 cities and towns in Italy for children, young and elderly people

So here we go!

The best cities for children between 0 and 10 years old to live in are:

  1. Aosta, capital of the namesake region
  2. Arezzo, Tuscany
  3. Siena, Tuscany
  4. Florence, Tuscany
  5. Udine, Friuli

The best cities for young people (between 18 and 35) are:

  1. Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna
  2. Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna
  3. Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna
  4. Vercelli, Piedmont
  5. Cremona, Lombardy

The best cities for the elderly are:

  1. Cagliari, Sardinia
  2. Bolzano, Trentino Alto-Adige
  3. Trento, Trentino Alto-Adige
  4. Rome, Lazio
  5. Nuoro, Sardinia

Sardinia for retirees, Emilia-Romagna for young remote workers

As anticipated, and supported by the data above, Sardinia appears to be a fabulous retirement destination. The younger crowd, both students and those looking to work remotely from a nice Italian city, will be better off focusing on Emilia-Romagna.

Why relocate to Emilia-Romagna if you’re between 18 and 35?

Because the food is nothing short of amazing and you’re bound to have a lot of fun!

Birthplace of several Italian wonders – ranging from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati to parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and one of the world’s most prestigious universities (in Bologna) – Emilia-Romagna is also home to the most exciting beach and disco scene in Italy. No wonder a lot of digital nomads have picked this region, out of all areas in Europe, to live and work!

How to choose your house in Emilia-Romagna

The above-quoted Sole 24 Ore survey proves the point: 3 out of 5 best places to live in Italy for young people are in Emilia-Romagna. Moreover, Bologna, the region’s capital, and other Emilian cities are just as attractive and offer a vast range of houses, flats, and studios for sale. Again, having full information and access to the latest data on prices per square meter for the different cities and provinces is vital. Find out how much houses cost in different neighborhoods, in Piacenza, and near the fab Rimini beaches.

Why foreigners are in love with Italy

Sunshine, exceptional wine, friendly welcoming locals, world-class art, and gorgeous scenery. Not to mention the enjoyable lifestyle, and the many pretty Italian towns selling cheap houses. Endowed with an incredibly rich cultural heritage, generally mild climate, and a gloriously diverse natural environment, Italy has been attracting and captivating people from all over the world for centuries.

Best countries to retire in Europe: Italy reaches the top

While it comes as no surprise that globetrotters and vacationers flock to Italy by the thousands, it is interesting to note that over the last few years il Belpaese has been luring more and more families and singles desirous to relocate. Also, a vast number of those looking for an ideal retirement destination choose to retire in Sicily, Sardinia, or elsewhere in Italy. Forbes recently listed Italy among the “Top Five European Countries To Retire In 2022”, basing its evidence, among other indexes, on the comprehensive retirement directory published by the Blacktower Financial Group, in which Italy ranks fifth among all European countries to retire in, and on Expat Financial’s Top 5.

Do people move to Italy for the vistas, cuisine, and pleasant lifestyle?

As appealing as Tuscany or Sicily’s beautiful landscapes and delicious traditional cuisine can be, they can hardly be good enough reasons to move there for good. Choosing where to relocate to or retire, and buying property in a foreign country, are momentous decisions, and as such need to be pondered keeping a variety of factors in mind. Precisely the factors that the above-quoted studies take into account.

About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of https://hammburg.com/. For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]