Italy

  Italy  

La dolce vita means “the sweet life” and life gets no sweeter than in sunny Italy

Italy has a staggering amount to offer travelers...and residents. Romantic cities, timeless hill towns, snowy mountains, idyllic islands, vineyard-covered countryside, and a rivetingly beautiful coastline. Plus, outside the major cities, homes start at a mere $50,000—or less.

Expats in Italy say they love not only the art, culture, impressive architecture, world-renowned food, and easy access to the rest of Europe, but also the slower pace of life and the culture that prioritizes family and friends over work and to-do lists.

This is the very definition of the sweet life. It’s about surrounding yourself with people you love, taking the time to enjoy even the simplest things—a delicate zucchini blossom, a well-made cup of coffee, the feeling of sand between your toes—and prioritizing the important things in life.

A Slower, Simpler Italian Way of Life

Retirees report that this cultural attitude means the pace of life is slower in Italy, especially outside the main cities. They talk about long coffee breaks with Italian friends and passeggiata (strolls) through the town in the evening. One couple says that they no longer have alarm clocks in their home. Another couple adds that happiness just seems more important to the Italians.

A Surprisingly Affordable Lifestyle

These same expats report that their simpler lives in Italy come with a lower price tag than they would have expected.

In lesser-known, beautiful countryside Le Marche, one couple says their expenses are 80% cheaper than their previous life in New York. In sunny southern Calabria, another expat says a cup of coffee costs just 90 cents, a multi-course meal runs about $34 per person, and health insurance for the entire year is covered by about $230. And in Umbria—Tuscany’s pretty neighbor—one of our correspondents spent less than $2,000 in living expenses per month.

The Italian Visas That Make a Move to Italy Possible

Life in Italy sounds pretty nice…so the next question most people have is: can I do it? Is it legally and logistically possible to make the move?

And the answer is yes.

Italy offers a variety of visas for non-Italians who would like to live in the country. The one most retirees apply for is the elective residence visa, which is designed for retirees and other people who do not need to take a job in Italy. For this, you’ll need proof of financial means, a rental agreement or deed in Italy, and proof of medical insurance that covers you there. They key to this visa is proving that you don’t need to work.

And if you have Italian ancestry, you may be in even better shape. If you have a parent, grandparent, or even great-grandparent born in Italy, you may be eligible for dual citizenship.

In other words, if you’re been dreaming about a move to Italy, your dream just might be more possible than you ever imagined.

 
 

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Fast Facts About Italy

Italy-FF
  • Population: 61,482,297
  • Capital City: Rome
  • Climate: Predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
  • Time Zone: GMT+1
  • Language: Italian
  • Country Code: 39
  • Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea

Archives

Italy: The Owner's Manual 2011

Italy: The Owner’s Manual 2011

Wondering if you can afford to retire in Italy? Well, you can.
Although the popular areas of Rome, Florence, and Milan are admittedly expensive, not all regions are as unaffordable as you might expect.
In rural areas and small towns, plenty of homes are available for less than $100,000. Often a lot less…
Italy: The Owner’s Manual will provide you with all the information you will need to turn your dreams of moving overseas into reality.

Revealed: How to Fare Well in Tuscany

Revealed: How to Fare Well in Tuscany

Go light on breakfast. Avoid the van selling roast pork. Spurn the gelateria with pistachio ice cream. Otherwise your bella figura may expand into a gran’ figura, because Tuscany’s cultural feast comes with toothsome temptations at every turn.

Good Food, Cheap Travel—Rome Without the Crowds

Good Food, Cheap Travel—Rome Without the Crowds

A crispness in the air promises Mediterranean winter is on its way. Trees have turned gold, the Tiber is wreathed in early morning mist, and buying cones of hot, roasted chestnuts doesn’t seem a crazy thing to do. Under winter’s pale blue skies, Italy’s capital is back in the keeping of its inhabitants. Back to its ravishing best.

Sicily: A Top Retirement Haven For One IL Reader

Sicily: A Top Retirement Haven For One IL Reader

We wanted hot summers. A more Mediterranean lifestyle, where things are open later and families go out often. A place that felt real and alive, with its own character. We wanted to be townies again, but not in a city. We wanted the sea…

The Travel Press Talks: August issue 2010

The Travel Press Talks: August issue 2010

Stay in a castle, lounge by the Mediterranean, or lose yourself in a renaissance portrait… There may never be a better time to take the European grand tour of your dreams. Refresh your fantasies of indulgent trips: breakfast in Paris…and romance in Rome… Financial troubles across the continent have seen the euro fall to historic lows, and that means cheaper travel.

Tuscany For $46,000, or Less

Tuscany For $46,000, or Less

Perched on a wall, scoffing a mint-and hazelnut ice cream, I’m watching an Italian mountain rescue collie go through his paces. No spectator fee for this local dog show. It’s happening on a grassy square outside Barga’s medieval walls.

Tuscany for $46k or Less

Tuscany for $46k or Less

Perched on a wall, scoffing a mint-and-hazelnut ice cream, I’m watching an Italian mountain rescue collie go through his paces.

Feel Younger, Live Longer: The World’s Healthiest Places to Live

Feel Younger, Live Longer: The World’s Healthiest Places to Live

Optimism and purpose, a low stress level, a natural diet and an active lifestyle…experts say those factors are three times as important as your genetic makeup when it comes to enjoying a long and healthy life. Luckily, it’s easy to embrace those elements when you’re living in a place where they come naturally. And they do in our top picks for the world’s healthiest places to live.

IL’s Weekly Wrap-Up Video: Property Bargains in Tuscany...the World’s Most Beautiful Women...Tips for Doing Business in Panama...and More

IL’s Weekly Wrap-Up Video: Property Bargains in Tuscany…the World’s Most Beautiful Women…Tips for Doing Business in Panama…and More

See the video below for Dan Prescher’s weekly wrap-up of the IL postcards. In these postcards, published for the week (May 3 to 7), you’ll learn about where to find the real property bargains in Tuscany. We travel back to Colombia to give you an update on this country. Jessica Ramesch offers business tips for Panama and also (via video footage) tells us about Panama’s Pensionado Program…and more.

Tuscany Property in Bagni di Lucca

Tuscany Property in Bagni di Lucca

Above the grand villas with their lichen-covered statuary and wisteria blossom, little villages cling to the hillsides. When their lights come on at dusk, it’s like a myriad stars twinkling away. One small house up there—stone-built, chestnut-beamed and habitable—is on the market for $72,600.

Harvest Time in Sicily

Harvest Time in Sicily

Dreaming of olive oil…extra virgin, tangy, and picked by your hands? Every fall in Cianciana, the air is thick with the perfume of freshly pressed Sicilian olive oil.

Globetrotter

Globetrotter

Discover the easiest way to get to Latin America and learn about Thai Airways unique program that focuses on Asia’s world famous pilgrimage sites

2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated

2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated

Every January, we rank and rate 194 countries to come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.

Five New Retirement Havens We’re Scouting in 2010

Five New Retirement Havens We’re Scouting in 2010

We survey 194 countries in our annual Quality of Life Index. How do we decide which of them should be on your radar screen for retirement? With an eye firmly on places where your dollars are likely to stretch, we send a scout to take a look.

2010 Quality of Life Index By the Staff of International Living

2010 Quality of Life Index By the Staff of International Living

Every January, we rank and rate 194 countries to come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.

Confetti—Not Just for Weddings

Confetti—Not Just for Weddings

Around 260 pounds of confetti were consumed at Lucrezia Borgia’s wedding banquet in 1487. But guests weren’t eating bits of colored paper.

The Travel Press Talks: September 2009

The Travel Press Talks: September 2009

Stop press: South America’s next eco-hotspot—hiding the world’s largest section of unprotected rainforest—is Suriname.

World News

World News

IL’s monthly dose of world news…

Pomme D’Or Restaurants

As a Lifetime Society member, you’ve put yourself in a long-term position to take advantage of these restaurants around the world. Read on to find them, with our compliments.

Don’t Ignore the Happiness Factor

Don’t Ignore the Happiness Factor

Wherever vines grow, life is usually pleasant. So no surprise that France heads IL’s latest Quality of Life Index. A first-class health care system…a culture that isn’t based on inane celebrity worship…food that’s fit to eat.

Brush up on your artistic talents

Brush up on your artistic talents

Dedalo Arte is a group of artists based in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia, near Pienza and the

15th-century former Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena (set for the film The English

Patient and now run as tourist accommodation).

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