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Where to live

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raffelim123
  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

codybrandy
  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 settle...be 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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Imodica
  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.
ouritalianjourney.com

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

Imodica
  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.

ouritalianjourney.com

Lanonnade5
  6/24/2021 17:06 EST

Hello CodyBrandy, Thanks for all the good info. If I may ask, which hill town in Liguria are you in? We are also very interested in Liguria and will be there for just one week to get a feel for the area. We’ve visited Cinque Terre a few years back on holiday but never stayed anywhere else.

codybrandy
  6/25/2021 03:32 EST

There are many many hill villages in the Val di Vara (Vara River runs thru) which is just inland from Levanto (beginning of the 5Terre). Carro is a small pretty town with 5 tiny frazione, a terrific young mayor (he orchestrated our Covid shots right here in town), a helipad for emergencies, a popular bar/cafe, a good restaurant and is only 10+min. from the Autostrada to get to the big cities. 1+hour from Pisa airport to the south or 1+hour from Genoa airport to the north. So even tho we are rural we can be on the highway in minutes. If you come to visit there are tons of quite nice AirB&B all over...2-3 in Carro alone...it would give you a feel of staying in the country but getting to the beach or city within 20mins. Where ever you stay find a place with a good outside patio..the local pastime in the evenings. Good Luck.

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