Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Retire in Puglia Guide 2024
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Puglia, Italy

Retire in Puglia Guide

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Italian For A While
Italian For A While

Summary: Retire in Puglia with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Puglia. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.

Puglia, is a hidden gem that has become a popular destination for international retirees. Known for its stunning coastline, charming villages, and rich history, Puglia offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure. The region's low cost of living, excellent healthcare, and warm climate make it an attractive option for retirees. However, like any foreign country, it also presents its own set of challenges, such as language barriers and cultural differences.

Cost of Living

One of the main attractions of retiring in Puglia is the affordable cost of living. Compared to other parts of Italy and Europe, Puglia offers a high quality of life at a fraction of the cost. Housing, groceries, and dining out are all significantly cheaper, allowing retirees to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.


Puglia boasts a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The region enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal location for those who love outdoor activities. The mild winters also mean that retirees can enjoy a year-round active lifestyle.


Italy's healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world, and Puglia is no exception. The region is home to several top-rated hospitals and clinics, ensuring that retirees have access to high-quality medical care. Many doctors and medical staff speak English, making it easier for international retirees to communicate their health needs.

Public Healthcare System

Italy's public healthcare system, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), is available to all residents, including international retirees. However, many retirees opt for private health insurance to supplement the public healthcare, as it offers shorter waiting times and access to a wider range of specialists.

Residency Options for Retirees

Italy offers several residency options for international retirees. The Elective Residence Visa is a popular choice, as it allows retirees to live in Italy without the need for employment. This visa requires proof of sufficient income to support oneself without working, such as a pension or investment income.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Puglia offers a wealth of recreational activities for retirees. The region is home to numerous national parks, such as the Gargano National Park, offering opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and exploring the local flora and fauna. The stunning coastline also provides ample opportunities for swimming, sailing, and fishing.


Puglia is a food lover's paradise, with a plethora of restaurants serving up local delicacies. Some popular choices include Osteria del Tempo Perso in Ostuni, known for its traditional Puglian cuisine, and Trattoria Nonna Tetti in Lecce, famous for its homemade pasta.

Learning the Language

While many locals speak English, learning Italian can greatly enhance your experience in Puglia. There are several language schools in the region, such as the Istituto Italiano in Lecce, which offers Italian language courses for all levels.

Local Culture

The locals in Puglia are known for their warmth and hospitality. They are welcoming to foreigners and are always willing to share their culture and traditions. The region is also home to numerous festivals and events throughout the year, providing retirees with ample opportunities to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Meeting People and Volunteering

Meeting new people and making friends is easy in Puglia. There are several expat groups and clubs where retirees can meet like-minded individuals. Volunteering is also a great way to get involved in the community. Organizations such as the Italian Red Cross and Caritas are always looking for volunteers.


Retirees in Puglia have a wide range of housing options to choose from. Whether you prefer a quaint village house, a modern apartment in the city, or a country villa, you'll find something to suit your taste and budget. Many retirees choose to live in the charming towns of Lecce, Ostuni, or Trani, which offer a mix of urban conveniences and rural charm.


Getting around in Puglia is relatively easy, even without a car. The region has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trains, and ferries. Many towns and cities are also highly walkable, making it easy to get around on foot or by bicycle.

Retiring in Puglia, Italy, offers a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. With its affordable cost of living, excellent healthcare, and warm climate, it's no wonder that more and more retirees are choosing to call this charming region home.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Italian For A While
Italian For A While

Italian For A While
Italian For A While

Puglia, Italy

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

Contribute to Italy Network Contribute
Help others in Italy by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Italy.

Italian For A While
Italian For A While

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides