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Ultimate Guide: Top 7 Best Places to Live in Italy for Everyone

Dreaming of living in Italy? You're not alone. Italy's charm, from its ancient streets to its rolling vineyards, captures hearts worldwide. But with so many stunning places to choose from, deciding where to call home can be a bit overwhelming.

Tobi Miles
April 5, 2024
Ultimate Guide: Top 7 Best Places to Live in Italy for Everyone

Whether you're after the bustling city life or a quiet countryside retreat, Italy offers a taste of both worlds. We've got the scoop on the best places to live in this beautiful country. So, grab your espresso, and let's dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Italy offers a diverse range of living environments catering to retirees, young adults, families, and those seeking the best weather or wanting to avoid crowds, with each area providing unique benefits and characteristics.
  • For retirees, cities like Lucca and small towns like Orvieto offer a rich historical ambiance and a slower pace of life, while coastal areas like Lerici in Liguria provide serene lifestyles with mild weather.
  • Young adults can find vibrant city life and opportunities in Milan and Bologna or enjoy beach living and affordable costs in places like Cagliari, Sardinia, and Ostuni, Puglia.
  • Families looking for a safe and engaging environment can consider Verona for its fairy-tale setting and excellent schools, Arezzo for its friendly community, or coastal towns like Tropea in Calabria for safe beaches and family-oriented festivals.
  • Those prioritizing weather will find Naples and the Amalfi Coast ideal for mild winters and sunny skies, Sorrento for consistently pleasant weather, and Sanremo in Liguria for its enjoyable microclimate.
  • For avoiding tourist crowds while still immersing in authentic Italian culture and enjoying breathtaking views, Perugia, Matera, and small towns like Castelluccio offer perfect retreats.
  • Coastal living along the Mediterranean in Italy provides retirees, young adults, and families diverse options like the scenic Lerici, vibrant Ostuni, family-friendly Tropea, and secluded Cefalù, each with its unique attractions and community vibes.

Exploring Italian Cities

When you're eyeing Italy as your next home, the sheer variety of cities to choose from can be both exciting and a bit daunting. Each city boasts its own unique charm, offering a smorgasbord of experiences depending on what you're looking for. Whether you're retiring, moving with your family, or just starting out on your own, Italy has a place that'll feel just right.

For Retirees

If you're looking for a place to enjoy your golden years, consider the serene beauty of Lucca. Nestled within ancient walls, its slow-paced life and rich historical ambiance make it ideal for those looking to soak up Italy's historical charm without the rush.

  • Rome might seem an unlikely choice due to its bustling nature, but its history, art, and vibrant expat community offer a stimulating environment for retirees who prefer a more dynamic setting.

For Young Adults

Young adults seeking excitement and opportunities will find Milan to be a perfect fit. Known as Italy's fashion and business hub, it's the place to be for starting a career, and socializing in trendy spots.

  • Conversely, Bologna, with its prestigious universities and rich student life, provides a lively yet less expensive alternative, bustling with cafés, bars, and plenty of cultural activities.

For Families

Verona offers a fairy-tale setting with its rich history, safe streets, and excellent schools, making it an ideal place for families. The city is compact enough to navigate easily but big enough to provide everything your family might need.

  • Families seeking coastal living should consider Trieste, where the blend of Italian, Austrian, and Slovenian cultures creates a unique environment for raising worldly and open-minded children.

For Best Weather

If you're after sunny skies and mild winters, Naples and the Amalfi Coast beckon. You'll enjoy breathtaking views and temperate climates year-round, perfect for those who dread winter's chill.

Avoiding Crowds

Perugia, in the heart of Umbria, offers an escape from tourists while immersing you in authentic Italian culture. Its hilltop setting provides stunning views, and the slower pace of life is perfect for those looking to settle down away from the hustle and bustle.

Embracing La Dolce Vita in Small Towns

When you're dreaming of Italy, it's not just the bustling cities like Rome and Milan that should catch your eye. The real heart of Italy beats in its smaller towns, where life moves at a slower pace, and you're never too far from an exquisite view or a delicious meal. If you're thinking about making the move or just curious about what's out there, here's your go-to list for embracing the sweet life, La Dolce Vita, in Italy's charming small towns.

For Retirees: Orvieto

  • Nestled in the heart of Umbria, Orvieto sits perched on a rock cliff, offering stunning views of the Italian countryside.
  • The pace of life here is slow, ideal for those looking to relax in their golden years.
  • Orvieto is renowned for its white wines and vibrant food scene, perfect for the retiree who appreciates good food and drink.

Young Adults: Lecce

  • Lecce is often referred to as the "Florence of the South" because of its beautiful baroque architecture.
  • It's a hub for young people, thanks to the University of Salento drawing students and young professionals.
  • With its lively bars and vibrant street life, you'll never be bored.

For Families: Arezzo

  • Arezzo offers a safe, friendly environment for families looking to lay down roots in Italy.
  • The city hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, providing endless entertainment for both kids and adults.
  • Its schools are highly regarded, making it a wise choice for those with education in mind.

Best Weather: Sorrento

  • Looking for sunshine? Sorrento's your spot, with mild winters and warm, sunny summers.
  • It's the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, so breathtaking views and beaches are just a short trip away.
  • The town itself is vibrant with shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore.

Avoiding Crowds: Matera

  • Matera, known for its ancient cave dwellings, is off the beaten path, offering a break from the tourist crowds.
  • It's one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, providing a deep sense of history and tranquility.
  • The town has a growing cultural scene, with art galleries, theaters, and festivals.
  • Famous for its annual Battle of

Escaping to Italian Countryside

When you're dreaming of a life wrapped in Italian countryside charm, each town offers its unique blend of culture, history, and nature. Whether you're a retiree, a young adult, a family, or just someone looking for the perfect climate or festival, Italy has something special for you. Here's your ultimate guide to making the Italian countryside your home.

For Retirees

  • Todi, Umbria: Imagine living in a place that feels like a timeless painting. Todi is peaceful, offering stunning views. The slow pace of life here is perfect for those looking to unwind.
  • Pienza, Tuscany: Known for its pecorino cheese, Pienza is a historic town with breathtaking landscapes. The community is welcoming, making it easier for retirees to settle in.

For Young Adults

  • Bologna, Emilia-Romagna: If you're after a vibrant city with a strong community vibe, excellent food, and lively nightlife, Bologna is your go-to. Plus, it's home to the oldest university in the world!
  • Cagliari, Sardinia: For beach lovers, Cagliari offers beautiful sandy shores, an active nightlife, and affordable living, making it a magnet for young adults.

For Families

  • Lucca, Tuscany: Encircled by Renaissance walls, Lucca is safe, serene, and packed with activities for kids. It boasts quality schools and plenty of green spaces.
  • Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia: With its family-friendly festivals and proximity to the Dolomites and Venice, Pordenone offers a balanced lifestyle with endless entertainment options.

Considering Weather

  • Sorrento, Campania: For sun-seekers, Sorrento presents sunny weather nearly year-round. It's also a gateway to the Amalfi Coast.
  • Aosta, Aosta Valley: Prefer cooler weather? Aosta is nestled in the Alps, perfect for those who love snowy winters and mild summers.

Avoiding Crowds

  • Matera, Basilicata: A tranquil escape that’s off the typical tourist path. Matera offers stunning historical sights without the crowds.
  • Castelluccio, Umbria: A small village famous for its flowering fields. It's ideal for nature lovers seeking solitude.
  • **Vi

Coastal Living by the Mediterranean

Dreaming about waking up to the sound of the sea? Italy's coastline along the Mediterranean offers some truly stunning spots where you can plant your roots or find your next adventure. Whether you're retiring, a buzzing young adult, have a family, or just looking for a change, there's a coastal town with your name on it.

For Retirees: Lerici, Liguria

Lerici is a jewel for retirees. With its calm waters and scenic beauty, this spot offers a serene lifestyle. It's got:

  • Mild weather year-round
  • Low-key community vibes
  • Health services tailored for seniors

For Young Adults: Ostuni, Puglia

Craving a mix of nightlife, history, and beach life? Check out Ostuni. Known as the White City, it's perfect for young adults. Highlights include:

  • Buzzing bars and clubs
  • Affordable living compared to other coastal areas
  • Proximity to some of the best beaches in Italy

For Families: Tropea, Calabria

Looking for a family-friendly coast? Tropea's got what you need:

  • Safe beaches with clear, shallow water
  • Family-oriented festivals and events
  • Affordable housing and a welcoming expat community

Best Weather: Sanremo, Liguria

If you're chasing the sun, Sanremo, with its microclimate, promises mild winters and sunny summers. Plus, it's less crowded than the more famous Italian Riviera spots.

Avoiding Crowds: Cefalù, Sicily

Hate the hustle and bustle? Cefalù offers:

  • Secluded beaches
  • A small-town feel with all the necessary amenities
  • Less tourist traffic even in peak season

Festivals and Cultural Activities: Viareggio, Tuscany

Love getting involved? Viareggio’s renowned for:

  • Its annual carnival, one of Italy's biggest and best
  • A vibrant arts scene
  • Delicious seafood festivals

Low Cost of Living: Scalea, Calabria

Your budget can go further in Scalea. Here's why:

  • Housing and living costs are significantly lower than in Northern Italy
  • The community is growing, attracting more amenities and services
  • Lively


So there you have it—your guide to some of the best places to live in Italy, each offering its unique charm and lifestyle. Whether you're dreaming of retiring by the calm waters of Lerici, diving into the vibrant nightlife of Ostuni, or raising a family in the welcoming arms of Tropea, Italy has a spot that feels like home. And let's not forget the allure of Sanremo's perfect weather, Cefalù's quiet beaches, Viareggio's lively festivals, and Scalea's affordability. It's clear Italy isn't just a country to visit; it's a place to live, love, and grow. So why not start planning your move to one of these Italian paradises? Your perfect Italian home awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Italian coastal town is best for retirees?

Lerici in Liguria is highly recommended for retirees, offering calm waters, picturesque sceneries, and healthcare services tailored to senior citizens.

Where should young adults consider living in Italy for nightlife and beach life?

Ostuni, located in Puglia, stands out as a vibrant destination for young adults looking for a blend of nightlife, historical exploration, and beach activities.

What makes Tropea in Calabria ideal for families?

Tropea is suggested for families due to its safe beaches, clear waters, and an array of family-friendly events and activities tailored for a wholesome family experience.

Which town offers the best weather for residents?

Sanremo in Liguria is known for its ideal climate, featuring mild winters and sunny summers, making it perfect for those who prefer weather-friendly living conditions.

If I want to avoid crowds, where should I consider living?

Cefalù in Sicily is an excellent choice if you're seeking to avoid crowded places, offering secluded beaches and a tranquil environment.

Where can one participate in festivals and cultural activities in Italy?

Viareggio in Tuscany is well-known for its vibrant festivals and rich cultural activities, providing a lively and engaging atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

Which coastal town is known for its affordability?

Scalea in Calabria offers a low cost of living while being part of a growing community, making it an attractive option for those looking for affordability without sacrificing the coastal lifestyle.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 5, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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