Italy Expat Forum

Where to live

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7/11/2020 02:26 EST

Hello !we are a couple nearing retirement and are considering Italy as an option. We are looking for a large Anglo community, cultural events and beautiful countryside to explore. Preferably near the sea or a lake. Where would you recommend? Thank you

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7/11/2020 08:43 EST

Welcome, We bought a home 10yrs ago in Liguria and moved in 6 yrs ago to be full time residents.
We love Liguria...we are in the hills but only 15-20 min to the sea and the 5Terre. So luckily the rush of tourism doesn't bother us and we can go to all the special sights after tourist season. There are many Feste, market days and out here in the hills rafting and canoeing and hiking and biking are the biggest sports.
I think for lakes you need to go farther into the interior. Maybe nearer the Garfagnana (above Lucca) which is also spectacular in it's own way...check out Barga (lots of Brits for some reason)
Health services here are excellent, my husband had surgery in the brand new Rapallo Hospital for of course only 0 Euro.
The doctor also came to our house and called an ambulance= 0 Euro
The weather couldn't be better..we came from Boston, Ma which is either HOT or COLD...not here. Today, in July it's very sunny (c.81) with a great cool breeze. August will be warmer and we head to the UK. And in winter: NO snow and not that much rain either. I understand there is skiing in the alps just north (Aosta/Courmayeur) and also to the east in ZumZeri.
We have our big shopping areas of LaSpezia to the south and Chiavari to the north
Bureaucracy will be crazy no matter where you patient and things will/might get done.
Will you be buying? If I might suggest rent for at least a yr first to get to know the area and find the right place to land permanently. I hear of so many folks moving far south and then wanting to move elsewhere. Places take years ! to sell, so choose wisely. We were lucky in that we had been to Italy so many times and had family in Liguria and knew that was where we wanted to be....but we still made many mistakes in remodeling that could have been avoided had we researched (and word of mouth) better contractors.
Best of Luck to you.

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7/25/2020 17:26 EST

We are also looking to choose a town and funny you mention Chiavari. We have been many times to Italy and really love Umbria. When we return to italy next year, we decided to try Chiavari as we both miss the water. Viareggio is a possibiliity too. This way we try it for our 6-8 months and if we love it, we know what so many of the other towns are about.

What are your thoughts of Viareggio? Don't think its as charming as Chiavari.

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7/25/2020 17:30 EST

Not sure what happened- hope this doesn't post twice.

Funny you mention Chiavari. We visited for a day and loved it. Viareggio too although I don't think as charming as Chiavari. Your thoughts?

When we come next year, we always stay inland and have been to many, many towns. We are thinking about Chiavari for our 6-8 months to see if we really do want to be by the sea. Then the search will begin for a long term rental - Umbria or Liguria.

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