5 regions in Italy where foreigners can retire in style

Italy is the perfect destination for foreign retirees wishing to live out their golden years abroad.

It’s well known that the country offers a diverse array of gorgeous landscapes, an excellent healthcare system and some of the world’s most lusted after food and wine.

But many foreign retirees struggle to figure out which region is the best fit for their unique circumstances.

To help narrow it down for you, we’ve created a list of five Italian regions where retirees of all walks of life are living like royalty abroad.

1. Lombardy

 

Caption: Lombardy offers a world-class cultural scene and unparalleled natural beauty.

For those who have scrimped and saved throughout their professional lives and want nothing more than to spend their retirement years steeped in luxury, you can do no better than Lombardy.

Home to the global high fashion capital of Milan, as well as playground of the rich and famous Lake Como, this picturesque northern Italian region boasts some of the steepest living costs in the country.

Expats in Lombardy rave about the incredible cultural scene, historical architecture and plethora of luxury shops in Milan, as well as the stunning natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere of Lake Como and the surrounding countryside.

According to global cost of living database Numbeo, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Milan will cost you an average of EUR 15, and a cappuccino will set you back about EUR 1.50. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you about EUR 950 a month, while the same in the outskirts of the city will cost you about EUR 660 on average. Those looking to purchase an apartment can expect to pay between EUR 3,300 and EUR 8,700 per square meter, depending on its proximity to the center.

2. Sicily

 

Sicily offers beautiful beaches and some of Italy’s lowest living costs.

For those wishing to stretch their retirement savings or leave the largest possible inheritance behind, Sicily is an excellent option. This island region in southern Italy truly has it all: world-renowned dining, white-sand beaches and some of the lowest living costs in the country.

Expats in Sicily love the leisurely pace of life on the island, its boisterous food and wine festivals and the spirited locals.

According to Numbeo, a typical local meal at an inexpensive restaurant in the Sicilian capital of Palermo will cost you about EUR 10, while a cappuccino will cost you about EUR 1.50. To rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, you can expect to spend about EUR 390 a month, while the same outside of the city center will cost you an average of EUR 270. To purchase an apartment, you’ll likely spend between EUR 1,280 and EUR 3,050 per square meter, depending how far you are from the center.

Notably, Sicily and Puglia – the region covered directly below – both offer breathtaking beaches and relatively low living costs, so anyone looking to retire on the cheap amid exquisite beaches would do well to consider both options.

3. Puglia

 

Puglia is known for its spectacular beaches and fresh local cuisine.

For those who wish to spend their retirement years lounging on white sand beaches and swimming in turquoise seas, Puglia is the perfect option. This region’s 800-kilometer coastline borders the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and the Gulf of Taranto.

As Puglia often flies under the tourist radar, retirees in the region can look forward to a relatively tranquil experience. Known for its fresh, earthy cuisine and locally produced wine, many travelers opine that Puglia offers some of the best dining in Italy.

In addition to the food, expats in Puglia are thrilled with its low living costs, slow pace of life and, of course, its incredible beaches.

According to Numbeo, an inexpensive local meal in the regional capital of Bari will set you back about EUR 13.50, while a cappuccino will cost you about EUR 1. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment will cost you an average of about EUR 324 in the outskirts of town and about EUR 400 in the center. To purchase an apartment, you can expect to pay between EUR 2,170 and EUR 3,250 per square meter, depending on your proximity to the center.

4. Lazio

 

Rome is a bustling metropolis with a wealth of excellent healthcare options for English speakers.

Retirees with health concerns who don’t speak fluent Italian would do well to consider Lazio in general, and its principal city of Rome in particular. As a whole, Italy’s healthcare system is highly regarded around the world. The World Health Organization ranked Italy second in the world in 2000 in its since discontinued global ranking system.

Rome stands out with respect to having a huge variety of healthcare offerings for English speakers, including in both public and private hospitals. For a list or English-language medical options in Rome and – to a lesser extent – various other Italian cities, click here.  

Expats in the city boast about its legendary dining scene, its vibrant ambience and the fact that it’s steeped in history and culture. It bears noting that Rome is not for those retirees seeking a tranquil, slow-paced lifestyle; it’s ideal for those who thrive in frenetic environments.

According to Numbeo, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Rome will cost you about EUR 15, while a cappuccino will set you back about EUR 1. If you want to live right in the center, you can expect to spend about EUR 975 a month to rent a one-bedroom apartment. By renting in the outskirts of town, you could save an average of EUR 300 a month compared to the center. Apartment prices average between EUR 4,000 and EUR 10,000 per square meter depending on proximity to the center.

5. Tuscany

 

Tuscany offer verdant landscapes and an incredible cultural scene.

Tuscany is any wine lover’s dream come true. Expats are enamored by its rolling green hills, sprawling vineyards and world-class chianti.

But the region offers more than just excellent wine and lovely landscapes. The bustling regional capital of Florence is home to some of the world’s greatest artistic and architectural masterpieces. And the Tuscan coast offers clean beaches with excellent swimming conditions.

This unique combination of culture and natural beauty ensure that retirement in the region never gets dull.

According to Numbeo, a typical meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Florence will cost you about EUR 15, while a cappuccino will cost you about EUR 1.57. Renting a one-bedroom flat in the city center costs an average of EUR 650 a month, while the same beyond the center costs just over EUR 500. To buy property in Florence, you’ll spend an average of between EUR 3,240 and EUR 4,800, depending on your proximity to the center.

Ingrid Burke, International Editor at Tranio.com

About us: Tranio.com is an international real estate broker with a dedicated and independent team of journalists and real estate investment experts. We publish daily news, high quality analysis on foreign realty, expert advice, travel and best destinations tips, etc.