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Expat Exchange - 8 Incredible Hidden Gems in Italy
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Sirolo in Italy's Le Marche Region


8 Incredible Hidden Gems in Italy

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Where should you move in Italy? 8 hidden gems in different regions of Italy from Chiavari on the Ligurian Coast to Locorotondo in Puglia to La Morra in the Barolo region of Piedmont.

With thousands of picturesque towns, cities and villages along the sea and inland, it's difficult for people heading to Italy to decide where to move. In this article, we highlight 8 hidden gems in different regions of Italy from Chiavari on the Ligurian Coast to Locorotondo in Puglia to La Morra in the Barolo region of Piedmont.

  1. Chiavari
  2. La Morra
  3. Locorotondo
  4. Tropea
  5. Pineto
  6. Sirolo
  7. Barga
  8. Passignano sul Trasimeno

1. Chiavari

Population: 27,000
Region: Liguria

Chiavari Italy

"Chiavari is one of my favorite places and the surrounding villages both on the coast and inland are terrific," said one member in Italy. With a population of approximately 27,000, this charming fishing town on the Ligurian Coast (aka The Italian Riviera) is about 35 minutes south of Genoa and just south of Rapallo. If you are checking out Chiavari, we recommend dining at Ostaia Ca' da gurpe on the terrace overlooking the water.

2. La Morra

Population: 3,000
Region: Barolo, Piedmont

La Morra Italy

Located within the Barolo growing region of Piedmont, parts of this town were recently acknowledged as UNESCO world heritage sites. With a population of less than 3,000, La Morra is the epitome of wine country. If you're checking out La Morra and spending the night, Corte Gondina Boutique Hotel is like something out of the movies.

3. Locorotondo

Population: 14,000
Region: Puglia

Locorotondo Italy

Locorotondo is an inland city in Italy's Puglia region and is about 25 minutes from the Adriatic. "We live in Locorotondo, one of Italy's most beautiful hilltop towns. For us the plusses (not in any order of priority) are: The natural beauty of the surrounding area; friendliness of the towns-folk; wonderful weekly market; fabulous cuisine; proximity to east and west coast coves and beaches; the choice of two international airports both within an hour's drive; cycling and walking trails....I could go on and on," wrote one expat.

4. Tropea

Population: 6,000
Region: Calabria

Tropea Italy

With a population of 6,000, Tropea is located in Calabria, which is the toe of Italy's boot and one of Italy's best kept secrets. "One of the best place to enjoy and live in Italy, is for sure Calabria. The best and clean sea in Europe, typical food done by local farmers, low costs of the life, sunny place all the year around, and more and more. All the facilities is in place. Direct flight from London in Lamezia Terme airport. All what you want you can have," wrote one member. If you're checking out Tropea, you take a boat tour with Sea Sports in Tropea and go snorkeling in the clear blue water.

5. Pineto

Population: 14,500
Region: Abruzzo

Pineto Italy

Pineto in Italy's Abruzzo region is located north of the resort town in Pescara. "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 retired 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... 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 member.

6. Sirolo

Population: 4,000
Region: Le Marche

Sirolo Italy

Sirolo in Italy's Le Marche region is known for its beautiful beaches. It has a population of approximately 4,000 and is located just south of Ancona (20-25 minute drivec). "Le Marche is a region on the Adriatic coast. It is very tranquil and is said to encapsulate all of Italy in one place. It has beautiful wide, sandy beaches, hills with grape vines, sunflowers and olive trees. A very mild climate. Beautiful place to live. It is also very well connected so good if you plan on travelling. The cost of houses is also very reasonable and there are many villas in need of renovation," wrote one member. If you're in Le Marche and feeling adventurous, there are ferry services from Ancona to Zadar and Split, Croatia.

7. Barga

Population: 10,000
Region: Garfagnana, Tuscany

Barga Italy

"Barga is a wonderful town with quite a few ex-pats and there are so many hidden treasures in the Garfagnana region... forests, a beautiful cave system with tours, rivers and lakes, terme (hot baths) in Bagni di Lucca and on and on," wrote one member in Italy. With a population of nearly 10,000, Barga is located in Tuscany's Garfagnana area. From Barga, it's a 2 hour drive to Florence and 2.5 hours to Bologna.

8. Passignano sul Trasimeno

Population: 6,000
Region: Umbria

Chiavari Italy

This charming town of approximately 6,000 residents on Lake Trasimeno in Italy's Umbria region is a beauty. "We were in Perugia in an AirB&B. We noticed a poster for a concert on Isola Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno. We went, and were charmed with Passignano sul Trasimeno. We found an apartment and moved," wrote another expat in Italy. If you live in Passignano sul Trasimeno, you'll appreciate that it's a 50 minute drive to Perugia, 1.5 hours to Florence and 2.25 hours to Rome.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Sirolo in Italy's Le Marche Region

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