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Retiring in Italy: The 7 Best Places to Retire in Italy

By Betsy Burlingame

Summary: Italy's villages and cities appeal to retirees for many different reasons - the beautiful beaches, breathtaking countryside, amazing food, wonderful nightlife, bustling town markets and welcoming people. In this article, we cover several of our readers' favorite places.

Retiring in Italy - The 7 Best Places to Retire in Italy

Italy's villages and cities appeal to retirees for many different reasons - the beautiful beaches, breathtaking countryside, amazing food, wonderful nightlife, bustling town markets and welcoming people. In this article, we cover several of our readers' favorite places, but one of our members offered the best advice, "in over 20 years of travel to Italy from the Alps to the Aeolian Islands/Sicily, the place you want to call home should sing to you. If that hasn't happened yet, you need to remain flexible by renting an apartment that you can use as a base to explore. When I first visited Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi, I was sure THAT was where I wanted to live. When I fist visited Tuscany and its hilltop towns, surely THAT was it. Then it was the lakes region that became THAT place. As I journeyed further, I realized that all of Italy attracts me in some way; but calling a place 'home' becomes a filter. That's different from being a vacationer or traveller. I wanted the place to sing to me, to welcome me. For me that is Puglia and particularly the town and environs of Matina Franca. This has been a personal journey, the conclusion from which I determined where my new home would be -- not necessarily your your choice. Your question about places in central Italy brought to mind another one of those places I thought might have been simpatico -- Viterbo. What a brooding, spectacularly medieval town this is. The architecture, the fountains! Use your home filter and your special place in Italy will sing to you too!"

Retiring in Cianciana, Sicily

Sicily, Italy "My husband and I have just bought a retirement home in Cianciana, Sicily. It is tucked nicely into the mountains of Agrigento (not the city). The housing prices are probably the best in Italy - at least I haven't seen any cheaper - and so you can get more for your dollar or euro here. The town is clean, it has a nice, friendly ambiance, and they like foreigners! There is an English speaking doctor in town, and an English speaking dentist with a very good reputation. There is also a helipad to fly someone with a more serious problem to Agrigento or Palermo if necessary. There are two lovely outdoor pools and Eraclea Minoa, a beautiful unspoiled beach, is just 30 minutes away. The closest airport is Palermo. There is a bus to take you to and from - about a 2 hour bus ride. Trapani is a little farther - no bus but a lovely peaceful drive. Ribera, 15 minutes away, has one of the best markets in Sicily outside Palermo - it is a bit of a western Sicily secret! The old part of the town where IMHO the best choice of houses lay, is up on a hill giving almost every home a beautiful view of the village and the mountains beyond. AND there is a British-Sicilian realtor and a British contractor in town, both very reliable and I am speaking from personal experience here. I can't praise Cianciana enough. I just love it there," exclaimed a retiree in Cianciana.

Retiring in Soverato, Italy

Another retiree divulged, "some people are going to hate me for doing this because there are places in Italy that still haven't been ruined by Americans. But I would urge you to check out Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro, It's a sleepy little beach town on the east coast of Calabria. It's about an hour away from the Lamezia Terme airport. And it's paradise; a cool little community surrounded by lidos i.e. beach resorts. None of the fanfare you get in better known places like Capri and Taormina, and only the occasional German and French tourist. If you want to speak to someone in the town, I would direct you to Teresa Procopio, one of the owners of L'Ulivo, which is the town's biggest hotel. Her family also owns a lido, a beach resort. If you go to the beach resort, don't let her do what she does to me. Don't let her serve you a three course lunch with wine and give you a check for five euros; tell her you want to pay for the full value of the meal."

Retiring in The Western Riviera

Western Riviera, Italy In our article, 5 Great Places to Retire in Western Europe, we highlight The Western Riviera. One expat advised, "the Western Riviera is a great place to live. It is 35 miles from the Nice, France airport and the city of Nice; it is 15 miles from Monte Carlo, 60 miles from Cannes, 96 miles from Genoa. The Spring, Summer and Fall are wonderful and the winters are much milder than the rest of northern Italy. The train service ia exceptional and the autostrada is relatively close to all towns along the seacoast. My advice would be to live in Ospedaletti, Bordighera, Vallecrosia, or anywhere along the coast."

Retiring in Pineto, Italy

"We have a place that we rent in the town of Pineto. Which is about 20 minutes drive from Pescara. Pineto is an Italian seaside town that has changed little in the last 30 or so years. It attracts mainly re-tired couples or young families, has beautiful sandy beaches backed by a Pineta. The town is not too large but, hosts many restaurants and shops and all the other usual amenities, a very good gelateria being one of them. There is a also a fantastic selection of restaurants scattered among the hillside villages 5 minutes inland. I have to say we find it a very easy and relaxing holiday. The place has a relaxed feel and I have to say is one of the cleanest places I have ever come across in Italy. There is a large food market most days and a bigger mixed market on Saturdays, I would recommend having a porchetta panini at the Saturday market - delicious. Throughout the main holiday season there are events organised and the main streets are closed for pedestrian only access, so you can enjoy a nice post dinner walk and browse the weekly evening markets. There are also many Festa's in neighbouring towns and villages to enjoy," described one expat in Pineto.

Retiring in Puglia, Italy

Puglia, Italy An expat in Puglia said, "I work and live in Puglia, Monopoli to be exact. The people here are far more friendly than those of the north, but the every day working person here has little interest in conversing with a foreigner. I am surrounded by olive, cherry, and pear trees with a view of the Adriatic. I have come to love it here although it didn't start that way due to my head demanding the convenience I grew accustomed to in the USA." Another expat said, "one person's paradise is not always to another person's taste. The important thing is finding the right place for you. If you love company, nights out and a variety of food the more cosmopolitan cities of Milan or Rome will suit you, if you have children maybe you need to be conveniently situated where there is a good choice of schools and other communities of families not too far out in the sticks! The cost of living varies enormously but here in Puglia you can get a couple of pizzas and red wine for 15 euros. The beaches are free, there is a good blend of tourism and countryside and the locals are very welcoming."

Retiring in Le Marche, Italy

"I visited Le Marche last year to investigate if it would be a good choice to live for a year. I ultimately chose Umbria, but really only because I thought it would take more than a year to "crack" Le Marche. The people were kind, just so surprised that we were there, I thought it would be difficult for our children. But at the time, I thought it would be a great place to retire. The landscape is glorious, the prices are amazing (we considered renting a 5 level, 5 bedroom house within a town with a garden for what we are paying for our apartment in Umbria now), the food was incredible. I suggest a visit," recommended one member.

Retiring in Ponza, Italy

Ponza, Italy "I've spent a lot of time in big Italian cities, and now I'm finding that the small towns would be much better for more retirees. For instance, I love the island of Ponza, which is in the Tyrrhenian Sea, half way between the latitude of Rome and Naples. Real estate prices there might be off the charts, but maybe the port cities of Civitavecchia or Anzio have better deals. So you're not far from Rome, and you might find something near a port city, from where you can get to Ponza by hydrofoil in about an hour," recommended another expat.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Comments about this Article

minturnopat
Jun 24, 2015 12:54

We have retired to Minturno, near Formia, a port for Ponza. This is the southern most town in Lazio. The beach is fantastic. The housing is cheap, the people are friendly. The train to Rome and Naples stops in town. There are local markets but access to large shopping centers if you desire. We are welcomed by the community. No I don't sell real estate, but I can't say enough about our new home to express how happy we are here.

StationsEnd
Jul 9, 2015 20:57

Thank you for the wonderful descriptions of places to retire in Italy. It would be helpful to know the approximate monthly cost to live in these areas.

SusanLopez
Feb 11, 2017 10:14

I have retired in the West Riviera. There are many very inexpensive places to live in Italy but one should consider that the places near big cities or on the ocean are much more expensive. We bought a place here 15 years ago so it was paid for by the time we retired. One should consider access to trains and medical care when deciding location as these will be needed when you get on in years. As you will not be near family you should make arrangements for old age housing later in life. Italy can be a paradise but you must learn Italian if you are to take part in village life. Very few people outside big cities speak English. It's not expensive in small towns and you can still buy an apartment for 50-75,000€ in smaller towns. Rents in rural areas can be 150-300 per month for a two bedroom but utilities are very high and vary based on location. You should also be sure to calculate the cost of travel into your yearly expenses as most people take an annual trip back to the US. Airports are only in the largest cities so if you live further away flying can be a hassle that involves a two hour drive. I've lived here for 10 years now and have to say its the best decision I ever made-but it may not be for everyone.

wdlarue
Mar 8, 2017 17:29

Has anyone retired from the US to Trieste? I am seriously considering doing this in about 4 years and would appreciate any input. Thanks very much.

guest
Nov 3, 2017 13:43

Hey, How can I find out more about the RE? How can I find job if I decide to move before retirement? Thank you

First Published: Jul 22, 2014

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