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Best Places to Retire in Italy for Expats 2024

best places to retire in italy

Retirement is a significant milestone in life, often marked by a desire for relaxation, adventure, and a change of scenery. Italy has long been a dream destination for retirees seeking an idyllic lifestyle in the heart of Europe. The country offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences, making it an ideal destination to embark on a new chapter of life. 

In this guide, we will delve into the enchanting world of retiring in Italy, exploring its diverse regions, lifestyle offerings, legal considerations, and practicalities. We’ll discuss the cost of living, healthcare options, legal requirements, and the vibrant array of activities and experiences awaiting retirees in every corner of the country. Let’s dive in!

Where to Retire in Italy Cheap

Retirement often comes with financial considerations, and finding an affordable place to retire in Italy can be a priority for many. While Italy is known for its luxurious lifestyle and high-end destinations, there are also plenty of budget-friendly options for retirees looking to make the most of their savings.

Abruzzo: Hidden Gem of the South

  • Abruzzo, located in southern Italy, offers a lower cost of living compared to more touristy regions.
  • Charming medieval villages nestled in the Apennine Mountains provide affordable housing options.
  • Experience the area’s natural beauty, from national parks to pristine beaches, without the hefty price tags of other coastal destinations.

Retire in Sicily: Affordable Island Living

  • Sicily boasts a rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes at a fraction of the cost of mainland Italy.
  • Cities like Palermo and Catania offer affordable housing options and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Explore historic sites, beautiful beaches, and vibrant markets without straining your retirement budget.

Puglia: Rustic Charm and Affordable Living

  • Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot, offers a laid-back lifestyle and affordable cost of living.
  • Quaint villages with traditional stone houses provide affordable housing options, particularly in the countryside.
  • Enjoy the region’s picturesque coastline, olive groves, and historic towns without the high prices of more touristy regions.

Expat Retirement Communities in Italy

Retirement communities offer retirees the opportunity to enjoy a supportive and enriching environment surrounded by like-minded individuals, while also providing access to various amenities and services tailored to their needs. In Italy, retirement communities are becoming increasingly popular among both expats and locals, offering a range of options from independent living to assisted care.

Independent Living Communities

  • Independent living communities suit active seniors seeking maintenance-free, social environments for their vibrant lifestyles.
  • These communities provide amenities like fitness centers, pools, social clubs, and activities to keep residents active and engaged.
  • Residents in independent living communities enjoy pursuing interests while having access to support services and assistance if needed.

Assisted Living Facilities

  • Assisted living offers support with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal prep for seniors needing extra care.
  • These facilities offer a safe and secure environment where residents can receive personalized care and support from trained staff members.
  • Assisted living offers amenities like accommodations, dining, housekeeping, transportation, and activities to enhance residents’ quality of life.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

  • Continuing care retirement communities provide various levels of care, enabling residents to age in place as their needs evolve.
  • These communities offer on-site amenities like dining, fitness programs, social activities, and healthcare services to enhance residents’ lives.
  • CCRC residents enjoy peace of mind with future healthcare needs addressed within the community, enabling full enjoyment of retirement.

Expat-Friendly Retirement Communities

  • Expat-friendly retirement communities welcome international retirees, fostering a supportive environment for diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • They provide language help, cultural events, and links to local expat groups to aid residents in adjusting to Italian life.
  • They might assist with legalities like residency permits, healthcare enrollment, and tax planning, catering to expatriates’ needs comprehensively.

Co-Housing and Intentional Communities

  • Residents in co-housing and intentional communities share spaces and resources, balancing collaboration with independence and privacy.
  • They foster community, social ties, and mutual aid, with residents often involved in decision-making and communal activities together.
  • Retirees seeking sustainability and social engagement may find co-housing and intentional communities appealing, with shared meals and activities.

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Best Places to Live in Italy for Retirees

Venice, Veneto: Romantic Canals and Timeless Beauty

  • Venice, famed for its canals and history, offers expat retirees a unique and enchanting lifestyle with artistic heritage.
  • Expats explore narrow alleys, ride gondolas on the Grand Canal, and visit landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Rialto Bridge.
  • Venice, popular yet tranquil, offers expat retirees charming neighborhoods, cultural events, and top-notch dining amid picturesque surroundings.

Sorrento, Campania: Coastal Bliss and Mediterranean Charm

  • Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast in Campania, combines coastal bliss, Mediterranean charm, and Italian hospitality for expat retirees.
  • Expats enjoy sunbathing on beaches, hiking scenic trails, and savoring fresh seafood and limoncello with Bay of Naples views.
  • Sorrento’s mild climate, leisurely pace, and nearby cultural gems like Pompeii offer expat retirees an idyllic place to retire.

Turin, Piedmont: Sophistication and Alpine Beauty

  • Turin, Piedmont’s capital, with elegant architecture, refined cuisine, and proximity to the Alps, attracts expat retirees.
  • Expats explore historic palaces, top museums like the Egyptian Museum, scenic parks, with excellent transportation and healthcare in Turin.
  • Turin’s cosmopolitan vibe, cultural scene, and outdoor activities create a sophisticated yet relaxed lifestyle for expat retirees.

Best Places for Expats to Retire in Italy

best places to retire in italy

Italy’s rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and renowned cuisine make it an attractive destination for expats looking to retire abroad. Whether you’re drawn to historic cities, tranquil countryside, or picturesque coastal towns, Italy offers a diverse range of options for expat retirees.

Florence, Tuscany: Cultural Capital of Italy

  • Florence, Tuscany’s capital, captivates expat retirees with its art, history, and architecture, making it an irresistible destination.
  • Expats explore museums, landmarks like the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, and charming neighborhoods teeming with cafes, boutiques, and markets.
  • Florence, with its mild climate, scenic countryside, and top-notch healthcare, ensures expat retirees a quality lifestyle blending culture and relaxation.

Rome, Lazio: Eternal Charm and Modern Convenience

  • Rome, the Eternal City, blends rich history, vibrant culture, and modern amenities, making it perfect for expat retirees.
  • Expats delve into ancient ruins, Renaissance art, and lively piazzas, with top-notch transportation, schools, and healthcare in Rome.
  • Rome’s diverse expat community and vibrant social scene allow retirees to connect globally while experiencing authentic Italian living.

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna: Gastronomic Delights and Academic Excellence

  • Bologna, Emilia-Romagna’s capital, entices expat retirees with its culinary heritage, esteemed university, and exceptional quality of life.
  • Expats can explore medieval architecture, vibrant markets, and world-class restaurants serving local delicacies such as tortellini and mortadella.
  • Bologna’s preserved historic center, efficient transport, and vibrant culture provide expat retirees a dynamic and welcoming environment to settle.

Best Places to Retire in Northern Italy

Northern Italy is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and cosmopolitan cities, making it an enticing region for retirees seeking a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. From vibrant metropolises to tranquil lakeside towns, Northern Italy offers a diverse range of retirement destinations to suit every lifestyle.

Milan: Urban Elegance and Cultural Riches

  • Milan, the fashion and financial capital of Italy, offers retirees a dynamic blend of urban sophistication and cultural riches.
  • Retirees can discover top museums, iconic architecture like the Duomo and La Scala, plus lively neighborhoods with cafes and galleries.
  • Milan’s efficient transportation, healthcare, and international community offer retirees a cosmopolitan lifestyle at Northern Italy’s heart.

Lake Como: Serenity Amidst Alpine Splendor

  • Lake Como, hugged by the Alps, captivates with its scenery, quaint towns, and opulent villas.
  • Retirees relish lakeside walks, boat trips to Bellagio and Varenna, and outdoor pursuits like hiking, sailing, and golfing.
  • Lake Como, with its mild climate and proximity to major cities like Milan, provides retirees a serene and idyllic setting.

Bergamo: Historic Charm and Scenic Surroundings

  • Bergamo, in Lombardy, charms with medieval architecture, an old town, and panoramic countryside views.
  • Retirees explore historic landmarks like the Città Alta, Piazza Vecchia, and Venetian walls, and enjoy outdoor activities nearby.
  • Bergamo, with its rich heritage, relaxed vibe, and proximity to Milan, provides retirees a peaceful Northern Italian retirement.

Best Places to Retire in Southern Italy

best places to retire in italy

Southern Italy is known for its warm climate, stunning coastlines, and rich cultural heritage, making it an appealing region for retirees seeking a relaxed and authentic Mediterranean lifestyle. From historic cities to charming coastal towns, Southern Italy offers a diverse range of retirement destinations with plenty of sunshine, delicious cuisine, and laid-back charm.

Amalfi Coast: Coastal Splendor and Mediterranean Bliss

  • The Amalfi Coast, with its dramatic cliffs and colorful villages, is a retiree’s paradise for coastal living.
  • Retirees can enjoy sun-soaked beaches, explore towns like Positano and Ravello, and savor fresh seafood and limoncello by the sea.
  • The Amalfi Coast’s mild climate, stunning scenery, and relaxed pace make it a perfect retirement destination in Southern Italy.

Calabria: Affordable Beach Retirement

  • Calabria, located in the southern tip of Italy, boasts some of the country’s most affordable beachfront property, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking coastal living on a budget.
  • Retirees can enjoy miles of sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, and charming seaside towns such as Tropea and Scilla, all while soaking up the region’s warm climate and relaxed atmosphere.
  • Calabria’s affordability, cuisine, and community make it an idyllic retirement spot in Southern Italy.

Sardinia: Pristine Beaches and Tranquil Island Living

  • Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, is known for its stunning beaches, rugged coastline, and rich cultural heritage, making it an ideal retirement destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Retirees can explore natural wonders such as the Costa Smeralda, the Gola Su Gorropu gorge, and the Nuragic archaeological sites scattered throughout the island.
  • With its laid-back lifestyle, healthy Mediterranean cuisine, and strong sense of tradition, Sardinia offers retirees a peaceful and rejuvenating retirement experience in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Retire in Italy With the Elective Residence Visa

If you’re dreaming of retiring in Italy without working there, the national type “D” visa, also known as an Italy Retirement Visa, might just be your ticket. This visa is perfect for retirees who can prove they have enough money to live comfortably in Italy. It’s basically Italy’s version of a “Wealth Visa.”

Here’s the deal: not only can you (the main applicant) live in Italy, but your spouse and dependent children can join you on a family visa. You’ll just need to show that you’ve got the funds to support them too.

With this visa, you can travel around Italy and other European cities like Paris, Barcelona, or Lisbon without any issues, thanks to the freedom to travel in the Schengen area. And guess what? You don’t even need to invest money in Italy or open an Italian bank account to apply for this visa.

Eligibility Requirements for the Italy Retirement Visa

The main thing is to prove that you can financially support yourself in Italy. It’s a good idea to work with a savvy immigration lawyer because each Italian Consulate may have different ways of checking whether you’ve got enough dough.

Make sure your paperwork is in order. Some documents might need to be certified and translated into Italian by a pro. Don’t sweat it, though—we’re here to help guide you through this and even sort out health insurance that meets Italian standards.
We recommend to consult with an experienced Elective Residence Visa legal expert in Italy who can help you figure out if you qualify, get your documents in order, and handle the visa application process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Italy’s rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and renowned cuisine make it a popular destination for retirees seeking a blend of history, natural beauty, and culinary delights. The country’s mild climate, relaxed pace of life, and strong sense of community also contribute to its appeal.

What are some of the best places to retire in Italy?

Italy offers a diverse range of retirement destinations, including historic cities like Florence and Rome, picturesque coastal towns like Sorrento and Amalfi, and tranquil countryside regions like Tuscany and Umbria. Each destination has its own unique charm and lifestyle offerings.

What is the cost of living like in Italy for retirees?

The cost of living in Italy can vary depending on the region and lifestyle choices. Generally, major cities and tourist destinations tend to have higher living costs, while rural areas and smaller towns may offer a more affordable lifestyle. Retirees should consider factors such as housing, healthcare, transportation, and daily expenses when budgeting for retirement in Italy.

Italy offers a wealth of activities and cultural experiences for retirees to enjoy, including exploring historic landmarks, museums, and art galleries, attending cultural events and festivals, sampling regional cuisine and wine, and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and gardening.

How can expat retirees integrate into Italian society and communities?

Expatriate retirees can integrate into Italian society and communities by learning the language, participating in local events and activities, volunteering, joining social clubs and organizations, and building relationships with neighbors and fellow residents. Engaging with the local culture and embracing the Italian way of life can help expats feel at home in Italy.

Lexidy provides comprehensive legal services to retirees planning to relocate to Italy, including assistance with visa and residency applications, property purchases, tax planning, healthcare enrollment, estate planning, and other legal and administrative matters. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping retirees navigate the complexities of retiring in Italy and ensuring a smooth transition to their new life in the country.


Retiring in Italy isn’t just about finding a place to live; it’s about embracing a way of life that celebrates history, culture, and community. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant cultural scene of Florence, the laid-back lifestyle of Puglia, or the breathtaking landscapes of Sicily, Italy offers something for everyone.

At Lexidy, we understand that retiring in Italy is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Our team of legal experts in Italy is here to assist you every step of the way, from navigating the legal and administrative requirements to providing personalized advice and support tailored to your needs.

Ready to get started? Simply fill in the form below and one of our legal eagles will be in touch to kick start your journey to Italy.

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