Retire in Italy
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Retirees share their experiences living in Italy. What are the challenges and rewards of retiring in Italy?
What is it like to retire in Italy?
"We are connected to ex-pats in near towns. We live in a quiet hill town which is a beach resort in the summer with music and activies. There are religious and cultural festivals and film and music festivals. We work an olive/fruit grove, go to the beach and hike in the mountains. I also volunteer and participate in local archeology work and we enjoy food preparation and preservation. We are within 2 hours of Rome and 1 hour of Naples by train giving unlimited activities," remarked another retiree in Minturno.
What advice do overseas retirees have for others considering retiring abroad?
"Retiring abroad is not an option that should be taken lightly. It is very easy with internet and phone services to keep in contact with family, but if being an hour away from family and friends is a necessity for you, don't do this. If you have relatives or are eligible for citizenship, the processes can be much easier. Be prepared for some long processes, some confusion and some frustration, but at the end of the day, this is a very very good life," said another retiree in living in Minturno, Italy.
What are the most challenging aspects of retiring in Italy?
"Passing the driver's license test; learning Italian," commented one retiree living in Minturno, Italy.
What are the most rewarding aspects of retiring in Italy?
"Being separate from US politics, art, history, time to read and travel, beautiful vistas," said another retiree in Minturno.
What are healthcare services like in Italy?
We asked retirees if they have access to good medical care in Italy. They wrote:
"$387/year/couple will buy into the medical program for the EU. That provides ER services, most doctor visits and discounts on medication and supplies. We can walk to our hospital and have found an English speaking GP and excellent dentist in the next town. We can also take the train to Rome for exceptional specialists. I paid (insurance reimbursed) 150 euro for lab work which would have been well over 1000 in the states," remarked another retiree in Minturno.
How do I meet people in Italy?
When we asked people living in Italy about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"There are dozens of them - I live close to Florence, so you have theirs, as well. I've made friends who are artists, musicians, businesspeople, retirees...you name it. So I recommend that each person, couple or family explore. Newspapers are abundant, social media even more so. And people drop by all the time. The only way you don't find out what's going on is if you lock yourself inside a building with no internet," remarked another retiree in Fiesole.
"Internations is a good way to meet some international ex-pats, though the majority are Italian and the organization charges a lot and offers little if you are not a paying member. If you are a woman there is also an international organization, IWF, where you can meet other women," said a retiree who moved to Bologna, Italy.
What is life like in Italy?
When we asked people living in Italy what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Good living, socializing, arts and festivals. Good wine town. The true "secret" of Italy is the connections people have with each other. It's also a good way to learn the language...fast," added another person in Fiesole.
"Locals are very private and seem to work and socialise amongst themselves with little desire to interact with expats. There aren't many social meeting places (piazzas, bars, or other) to meet up and in the evenings after 7 or 8pm the city is very, very quiet. During the day the many sports clubs are teeming with locals and tennis courts, rowing clubhouses and pools in other villages are always full. As for expats, they generally come from neighbouring villages to meet at the lakefront for aperativos or dinner. There are two distinct groups (expats/ locals) who have very different lifestyles it seems," remarked another retiree in Angera.
What do I need to know before retiring in Italy?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Italy, they said:
"I found the Milanese reserved, but after a while when they see you want to really integrate yourself in their society, they became really friendly. As far as shopkeepers and medical personnel, they are super. Although I spend most of my time in Suditalia, I really love Milano," added another person in Italy.
"Just come and look around. I never, ever tell someone that "this is the place" for you. I've lived all over Italy and have dozens of "favorite" places to live, work or visit," remarked another retiree in Fiesole.
About the Author
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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