Imagine you decide to move to Italy, one of the most important questions is which part to move to? How could you choose where to live in Italy? Our entire country is famous for its beauty, the food, the dolce vita and the fashion. But if you have no relatives to seek out and no family history to determine location or a job place to reach, then the choice is wide open. Many people ask us how to decide where is the best Italian place to live. It depends on many factors.
Where to live in Italy?
Scenery is one factor to consider. Do you want the Alps, the Apennines or the Dolomites out of your window? Do you prefer gentle hills or are you more of a forests person? Maybe your dream is to open your balcony windows and gaze out across the blue sea! There are so many other things to take into account.
Probably, the more developed north offers better chances of work, the centre offers plenty of infrastructure and a larger community of English-speaking expats. After all, the south offers fresher air, almost guaranteed sunshine and plenty of space in which to relax. And a staggering growth.
We tried to help you to decide where to live in Italy. Our experience in a post. We will highlight strong points splitting Italy in 3 geographical areas: the north, the centre, the south.
Where to live in Italy: northern regions
The regions of the north of Italy are Aosta Valley, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto.
In the far north of Italy you will find: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige that are close to the Alps and Dolomite mountains. Spectacular scenery, clean air, if you like snow remember that here the skiing is world class. Aosta Valley is close to Switzerland and France and it is bilingual. Liguria and Piedmont border onto France, so in the far west of northern Italy there is a stronger french influence.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia – that borders onto Slovenia – has other influences too.If you are looking for a classic Italian lifestyle don’t forget that In Trentino-Alto Adige, which was once a part of Austria, many of the inhabitants would actually rather not be Italian…
The land becomes flatter if you go down the lower parts of Piedmont, Lombardy and the Veneto. Winters are often foggy and the climate can be very hot and humid, but close to the Po valley the wine is excellent!!!
Lake Garda and Lake Como in Lombardy are extremely popular places to live, for those who can afford it this area is a very beautiful place to live. In fact many VIPs decided to buy a villa here. Venice is priceless, but there are many pleasant towns elsewhere in the Veneto that are more affordable. If you are looking for Italian culture, the proximity of Verona, Padua and Venice must be compelling!
Turin (Piedmont), Milan (Lombard) and Bologna (Emilia-Romagna) are major European cities. You will find plenty of work, of people and as many museums, restaurants and nightlife as you would ever need.
The region of Emilia-Romagna is large with a very varied landscape. It stretches from the beaches of Rimini in the east almost across the whole width of Italy. Emilia-Romagna is near the countryside, the mountains, the seaside and the famous centers in the north. A really good compromise.
Liguria has a border with France in the west, close to the elegant resort of San Remo. It is only a few miles from the luxurious principality of Monaco. The spectacular hillsides of Cinque Terre are here. A narrow region, that more or less follows the coast round the top at Genoa and down to the exclusive resort of Portofino. In La Spezia, the English poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley chose to live. Let’s discover the amazing landscape of Cinque Terre in our customized tour.
Read also: Cinque terre – More than just five lands
Where to live in Italy: central regions
The regions of the center of the Italian country are Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria.
The central regions are the most appealing place to live in Italy. If you want to know where to live in Italy keep in mind that foreigners love central Italy!
The central Apennines mountains and coastal plains of Marche and Abruzzo. The lush vegetation of the countryside of Umbria and Tuscany. The heterogeneity of Lazio. Rome, Florence and Siena!
Tuscany represents the classic image of Italy with the green rolling hills and cypress tree-lined roads in ‘Chiantishire’. There are so many other interesting places, lovely areas. In particular, the Garfagnana area (near to Lucca) will give you a strong sense of history and culture. This area features spectacular sceneries with its mountains, dramatic hilltop towns, fresh air.
Another varied, interesting area is the Maremma. Stretching from south of Pisa to just north of Rome, it includes coastal towns, hilltop medieval Tuscan towns and verdant farmland with many country houses. Many wealthy romans have their holiday homes in the southern part of the Maremma.
Umbria his situated in the centre of the country and is bordered by Marche, Tuscany, Lazio and Abruzzo. The green heart of Italy, Umbria is one of the most authentic regions of Italian peninsula.
Abruzzo is one of the lesser known regions of Italy. Worth a visit with its beautiful natural park. Lazio also has a great deal to offer with Rome (the capital city of Italy) at the centre, hills to the north, mountains to the east, the coast to the west and a fertile plain to the south.
Among English expats Marche has become an extremely popular place to live. The Sibillini mountains in the west are among the highest in Italy, providing a dramatic backdrop to the many attractive, hilltop villages and popular seaside resorts on the coast.
Read also: Rome VS Florence: which is better?
Where to live in Italy: southern regions
The regions of the south of Italy are: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily.
The charm of Capri, Taormina, the Costa Smeralda in the Sardinia island, Maratea and Tropea. The sea. Beautiful Mediterranean cities like Naples, Palermo, the Amalfi Coast and the Salento area. Sicily and Siracusa, Catania, Taormina. Matera and its sassi.
Campania is home to the multifaceted city of Naples. It is dominated by the mount Vesuvius, an active somma-stratovolcano and is full of art. You can breath it in the air. People are friendly and food fantastic. The islands of Capri, Ischia and the little Procida are lovely places to live but were ‘discovered’ some time ago!
Molise is a quiet small region on the eastern side of Italy and it is full of nature.
Basilicata is the least populated region of Italy and there are many areas of stunning beauty. Great views and scenery, including Monte Pollino national park. The town of Maratea on the western side is very very nice, and faces the sea. Matera, near the Ionian coast is another interesting tourist destination. The Sassi of Matera are ancient cave dwellings and represent the historic centre of the city of Matera.
Puglia is mainly flat, extremely hot in the summer and produces a great deal of fruit, olive oil and good wines. The region has become very popular among the British. The Ionian coast of the region is a favorite holiday destination for Italian people.
Calabria has a very spectacular and wild coastline. And also four mountain ranges. Calabria is the toe of the boot in southern Italy
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It is also a popular place for British expats, they love especially the eastern side around Taormina on the coast, and further inland near the Mount Etna. Palermo has an attractive city centre reminding of Arabian old presence. The northern towns (Cefalu, Castellamare, Erice) are really attractive but the southern coast is wild and adventurous, offering less (or more, it depend on you!). Siracusa, Ragusa, Modica and Noto are amazing, just need to live them.
Plenty of white sand beaches, Sardinia is Italian Caribbean and a very popular holiday destination. The ‘Costa Smeralda’ is worldwide renown but extremely expensive. Most of the population lives around Cagliari on the south coast and there are some very nice villages in the hills behind. Alghero and Sassari are worth visiting.