Udine Named Top City in Italy For Quality of Life

| Wed, 12/06/2023 - 14:00
Rooftops of Udine

The 34th edition of Il Sole 24 Ore’s yearly Quality of Life Index, published earlier this week, crowned Udine the top city in Italy.

It’s the first time the city has earned the distinction since the report’s inception in 1990.

Located in the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and home to just over 100,000 residents, Udine is known for its Tiepolo frescoes, Venetian villas and 16th-century castle, an icon of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. But its lifestyle clout is based on more than art and cultural offerings: Udine’s win is partly due to a growing agri-based economy, as well as exceptional infrastructure and social capital. 

The city is home to a large hospital, a well-regarded university with over 15,000 students, an efficient court system and advanced welfare services for the elderly and children. It holds the Italian record for number of gyms, swimming pools and wellness centers. Additionally, Il Sole 24 Ore cited “a good number of women in positions of responsibility and authority.” (Concretely, the city council is made up of 50% women and 50% men, and women represent 80% of the local Chamber of Commerce.)

Udine’s center-left mayor, Alberto De Toni, in office since April 2023, pointed out that the job market is also healthy, with an employment rate well above the national average. “We are an area that has a proud history and that wants to have a future,” De Toni said.

Other findings

Canal in Udine
Canal in the historic center of Udine / Photo: PHLD Luca via Shutterstock

Researchers analyzed all 107 Italian provinces, applying 90 statistical indicators across six categories — all of which were weighed equally. Udine not only outpaced the competition for overall quality of life, but also came in first place for women’s quality of life, and eighth place for children’s quality of life. The city’s low incidence of fires, computer crimes, car thefts, and failing businesses helped it earn fourth place in the “justice and safety” category.

Other cities landing in top spots are second-place Bologna (the 2022 winner); Trento (third); Aosta (fourth); Bergamo, which was this year’s Capital of Culture alongside Brescia (fifth); Florence (sixth); Modena (seventh); Milan (eighth, and the only city in the top ten whose precise ranking didn’t budge from last year); Monza and Brianza (tied for ninth), and Verona (tenth).