Best places to live in Italy

February 22 2022

Amazing food, friendly faces, incredible scenery and gorgeous weather – what more could you want from your new home?

Italy is a very popular destination for British expats, but choosing where to live may be a little difficult. There is so much to choose from, from the exciting cities of Rome, Milan and Venice, to the sand and sea of places like Sardinia and Sorrento. So, to make that decision that little bit a little easier, we have shortlisted eight of our favourite Italian destinations.

1. Rome

As one of the most captivating cities in the world, you won’t be surprised to see Rome at the top of our list. This city is rich in history and culture, with an incredible number of galleries and statues – you are essentially moving into an art and culture museum!  The city is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world, for example the Fontana di Trevi and the Collesseum, so there is plenty to keep you occupied!

Here, you will also be well and truly spoilt for choice when it comes to food! Not only are the streets lined with stunning, local Italian restaurants, providing the best food in the whole of the country, but the supermarkets are known to sell extremely fresh and organic fruit and veg – yum!

If you are looking for work in Italy, then Rome is the best place to be. The city is home to the largest working expat population in the whole of the country and your ability to speak English will certainly work to your advantage, when it comes to securing a job.

Life in Rome is very laid back and the Italian people are known to be very friendly and welcoming, which is always a major benefit when moving abroad.

2. Florence

Ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes, Florence is a great place to live if you are looking for an art, culture and history hub. Fun fact – it is actually one our Director’s favourite cities in the world!

Florence is very popular with as it combines a youthful, international atmosphere, with the traditional culture and incredible history of the Florentines. It is a great place to live, as there is plenty to explore after working hours and on the weekends, such as the infamous Florence Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) or the Ponte Vecchio – one of the most striking of Florence’s many bridges.

The weather is a comfortable mix of subtropical and Mediterranean, so they are no stranger to a little rain from time to time.

Florence isn’t as big as other Italian cities but it has  everything you need. Getting from place to place is easy – the Italians usually travel by bike or by traditional Italian vespa (Italian brand of scooter), so make sure to invest in one of these and then you’ll really be living the Italian dream!

3. Tuscany

If you wish to escape the exciting city life, Tuscany is the perfect place for you. Home to stunning beaches which run alongside the most incredible cliffs and coastline, Tuscany is often referred to as ‘Classic Italy.’   

This region of Italy is rich in Renaissance culture and art. If you are the more artistic type, then one of Tuscany’s many ‘art towns’ (such as Pisa, Arezzo, and Siena) might be the perfect place for you! There are also many charming medieval hamlets and villages in Tuscany, bursting in historical legacy, with countless churches, abbeys, castles, palaces, museums, art galleries, and fortifications.

Like Rome, life in Tuscany is fairly slow paced. There is also a large expat community there, which makes it particularly easy for new arrivals to get settled in. These expats tend to favour certain areas of Tuscany over others, but needless to say, it is always nice to have somewhere to go with a taste of home and some recognisable conversation!  

4. Sardinia

Sardinia offers expats the ultimate island experience, with 2,000 km of white-powdered sands and the clearest waters in Italy – what more could you dream of? Here, you can find a range of sandy and rocky beaches, as well as impressive cliffs and shaded coves. 

This is a popular place for expats as there is so much to do. Foodies and wine enthusiasts come from far and wide, to enjoy Sardinia’s famous culinary culture and award-winning vineyards. There are also many international festivals that take place here every year. These celebrate everything from photography to music and theatre, so there is an event for everyone.

If you are looking for a home rich in history and culture, the Sardinia could be the place for you. Home to over 10,000 historical sites and landmarks, dating back to the Nuragic civilisation, there is plenty to be explored. As Sardinia is an island, many of it’s unique traditions have remained the same over many centuries and are still celebrated to this day.

As you would expect, Sardinia offers a slow and quiet ‘village lifestyle’, but gets busier during the summer as it is a popular tourist town with many attractions. If the slow, tranquil way of live is for you then make sure to check out Sardinia!  

5. Milan

This diverse and lively city is often referred to as the fashion capital of the world. For those who are looking for an exciting urban lifestyle, Milan offers great prospects with entertainment all year round. Home to over 17,000 local restaurants, you are in the perfect location to try  authentic, Italian cuisine. There are also many shopping opportunities, especially in the fashion retailers and plenty of sightseeing to do, with many museums and art galleries ready to be explored. 

This city is also very well connected, with great high speed rail connections, flights and motorways to the rest of the world and other major Italian destinations. Only 45 minutes from Lake Como and Lake Garda, a stones throw away from the coastline and not far from the Alps, there is plenty to explore and do around Milan.

Milan is a little more fast paced than the likes of Rome and Florence, so if you are looking for the real deal when it comes to the hustle and bustle of city life, then this sounds like the perfect home for you.  

6. Turin

If you are keen to explore your new home culturally and historically, then this city may be the place for you. Turin is home to some of the most intricate architecture in Italy and is most famous for its many palaces, piazzos, opera houses and galleries. If you are looking to move to Italy to further your education, then there is no better place to do this than Turin. The city It is home to some of the most, world-class universities, so you may face a difficult decision when choosing which one to attend! 

Unlike the other destinations covered in the article, Turin offers a more continental climate. Due to it’s location, you can expect cool temperatures but less rain than the cost. Fog is also common in both the autumn and winter, something Brits are used to!

The city has around 850.000 inhabitants and 14% of these are expats. It’s popular due to its booming tech and innovation industry, so you can be reassured that there will be a taste of home somewhere in Turin. 

7. Brescia

Home to many financial services, Brescia is known to be an exciting, industrial hub. Professionals come from all over the world to Brescia and northern Italy, to join InterNations (a leading network for expats.) InterNations helps expats establish trustworthy business relationships with others in similar industries, so there is a great sense of community. If you are looking for a job in production and manufacturing, then this is the perfect place for you. Many companies here are involved in machine tools production, vehicle engineering and the manufacturing of Beretta firearms. 

If you are a bit of an adventurer, then you’ll benefit from the city being well connected both internationally and nationally. From Brescia, it can take you just one hour to travel to Verona and less than three hours to get to Venice. This city also has a great feel to it, with the beautiful promenade of local shops, boutiques, clubs, bars and cafes being the hub of the city.   

Due to its great job and social opportunities, many expats now call Bresica home which is great for expats who are new to the city.  

8. Liguria

Being a Brit, we are used to mild weathers, rain and cloudy skies so sometimes moving somewhere with scorching sun and hot temperatures can just be too much, right? But not to worry, Italy has something for everyone. Liguria is one of the five European destinations with great weather throughout the year and is known to remain fairly mild. Surrounded by a wall of mountains in the north and the sea in the south, Liguria has its own microclimate and is home to the most incredible scenery.  

Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera and is a stunning coast line which stretches from Tuscany to the French border. The unique structure of this region, with the hills right by the sea, makes it very popular with outdoor lovers. There are endless opportunities for hiking here, with long paths surrounded by incredible nature and the most amazing views, looking over the sea.

Many expats move to Liguria as it is close to the French border, so travel connections are great and pretty reliable. Genoa is a bit of a hub for expats so be sure to take this into consideration when deciding where in Liguria you are going to live!  

If you are thinking of moving to Italy and one of these destinations has taken your fancy, then get in contact with us today to find out how we can help.

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