12 Best Places to Live in Italy in 2024

by Flora
This post may have affiliate links, where I receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Italy isn’t just a country; it embodies a unique lifestyle and soulful state. From the sun-kissed Amalfi Coast to Tuscany’s lush vineyards, and bustling cities like Rome and Milan, Italy offers a diverse mix of lifestyles and landscapes. With its rich array of regions, finding the ideal Italian home is thrilling and daunting. This guide aims to ease that journey, spotlighting Italy’s best living spots.

Having extensively explored Italy, I can attest to its remarkable diversity and charm. You’ll find everything from Rome’s ancient ruins to Chianti’s peaceful vineyards, Milan’s fashion avenues, and Sardinia’s tranquil beaches. Italy caters to all, whether your heart lies in historic splendor, culinary arts, or the lively streets of cities like Florence and Naples.

So, where should you start? The perfect place varies for each person. Some may seek seaside living, others look for cities with top-notch education, while for many, affordability is key.

This exploration into Italy’s finest cities and regions suits your priorities. With a deep understanding of Italy’s varied appeal, I offer guidance on the best living choices. This list, formed from extensive research, discussions with locals, and financial considerations, caters to various lifestyles and budgets. Let’s embark on discovering la dolce vita!

The best places to live in Italy right now

The Best Places to Live in Italy     

Ready to dive into the coolest places to live in Italy? Nestled in the heart of Southern Europe, Italy has a spot for every lifestyle. Keep scrolling to discover the best places this charming country has in store.

On the hunt for the best places in Italy to live? Whatever your plans may be, Italy has a locale that can cater to your needs.

  • Best for tranquility and nature: Abruzzo
  • Best for food scene: Bologna
  • Best for alpine charm: Bolzano
  • Best for Renaissance art: Florence
  • Best for fashion and design: Milan
  • Best for mix of cultures: Northern Italy
  • Best for Mediterranean lifestyle: Olbia
  • Best for history and architecture: Rome
  • Best for island life: Sardinia
  • Best for traditional Tuscany: Siena
  • Best for lakeside living: Stresa
  • Best for wine connoisseurs: Tuscany

Here are the must-see locations in Italy you’ll want to put on your list:

1. Abruzzo

Imagine waking up to the sight of the majestic Gran Sasso and Maiella mountain ranges. That’s what life is like in Abruzzo, a region that offers an unbeatable blend of natural beauty and rich history. Outdoor enthusiasts will find their paradise here, with hiking, skiing, and even beach activities along the Adriatic coast. The region is also a great place to live in Italy for its affordability.

Local markets brim with fresh produce, and the culinary scene is a delightful mix of traditional Italian and unique Abruzzese flavors. Job opportunities are diverse, spanning from tourism and agriculture to manufacturing sectors. The healthcare system is robust, and the local communities are welcoming, making it a well-rounded choice for anyone settling in Italy.

Abruzzo blends modern comforts with authentic Italian charm, offering tranquility away from tourist crowds.
Abruzzo blends modern comforts with authentic Italian charm, offering tranquility away from tourist crowds.

Abruzzo strikes the perfect balance between modern amenities and a laid-back lifestyle, offering a slice of authentic Italy away from the tourist crowds. It’s a place where you can truly live “la dolce vita.”

2. Bologna

Step into a world where gastronomic delights meet architectural grandeur. Bologna, often dubbed the culinary capital of Italy, is a feast for the senses. From the iconic towers and historic markets to the aroma of freshly made pasta wafting through the air, this city offers an unparalleled Italian experience.

What sets Bologna apart is its thriving academic scene, home to the world’s oldest university. This lends the city a youthful energy, making it one of the best cities to live in Italy for both students and professionals. Job opportunities are abundant, especially in education, healthcare, and the automotive industry—think names like Ducati and Lamborghini.

Bologna's blend of tradition and contemporary charm guarantees endless activities, offering an unparalleled quality of life.
Bologna’s blend of tradition and contemporary charm guarantees endless activities, offering an unparalleled quality of life.

The city’s public transportation is efficient, and its central location makes it a convenient base for exploring the rest of Italy. With a rich cultural calendar that includes music festivals, art exhibitions, and food events, Bologna ensures you’ll never run out of things to do or see. It’s the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, offering a quality of life that’s hard to beat.

3. Bolzano

Picture a place where Italian flair meets German efficiency. Welcome to Bolzano, a city that offers a unique blend of cultures. Surrounded by the breathtaking Dolomite Mountains, this city is a haven for outdoor adventurers and culture vultures. Ski in the winter, hike in the summer and indulge in local wines and cheeses year-round.

Bolzano is not just a scenic wonder; it’s also the best place to live in Italy for its high quality of life. The healthcare system is top-notch, and the city is one of the safest in Italy. Job opportunities are plentiful, especially in tourism, agriculture, and renewable energy sectors.

Bolzano's vibrant cultural calendar, from music festivals to art exhibitions, keeps residents entertained.
Bolzano’s vibrant cultural calendar, from music festivals to art exhibitions, keeps residents entertained.

Public transport is efficient, and the city is small enough to explore by bike or on foot. Local markets offer fresh produce, and the city actively engages in sustainability efforts. With a rich calendar of cultural events, from music festivals to art exhibitions, Bolzano keeps its residents engaged and entertained. It’s a city that offers the best of both worlds, making it a compelling choice for those looking to make Italy their home.

4. Florence

Art lovers, rejoice! Florence is your canvas, a city where every corner is a masterpiece. From the Uffizi Gallery to the iconic Ponte Vecchio, Florence is a living museum. The city is a magnet for creatives, historians, and anyone with an appreciation for the finer things in life.

Florence is also a hub for fashion and design, offering many job opportunities in these sectors. The city’s central location makes it an ideal base for exploring Tuscany and the rest of Italy. With an efficient public transport system and a range of housing options, it’s one of the best areas to live in Italy.

Florence enriches the soul, making it a top choice for those seeking a vibrant, cultured lifestyle in Italy.
Florence enriches the soul, making it a top choice for those seeking a vibrant, cultured lifestyle in Italy.

The culinary scene is a gastronomic adventure, featuring everything from traditional Tuscan dishes to modern fusion cuisine. Local markets offer fresh produce, and the city’s sustainability efforts are commendable. Florence is not just a city; it’s an experience that enriches the soul, making it a top choice for those seeking a vibrant yet cultured lifestyle in Italy.

5. Milan

Step into Milan, and you’re stepping into the future. This bustling metropolis is Italy’s financial and fashion capital, a city where skyscrapers and historic landmarks coexist harmoniously. Milan is a hub for innovation, making it a magnet for young professionals and entrepreneurs.

The city is well-connected by an efficient public transport system, and the Milan Malpensa Airport offers flights to numerous international destinations. Job opportunities are abundant, particularly in finance, technology, and, of course, fashion. Milan is a top city in Italy to live for those who thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Milan perfectly balances work and play, catering to varied tastes and budgets, offering a dynamic and fulfilling lifestyle for residents.
Milan perfectly balances work and play, catering to varied tastes and budgets, offering a dynamic and fulfilling lifestyle for residents.

Culturally, Milan has much to offer. From the iconic La Scala opera house to contemporary art galleries, the city is a cultural melting pot. The food scene is diverse, featuring everything from traditional Italian fare to international cuisines. With a range of housing options from stylish apartments to historic homes, Milan caters to varied tastes and budgets. It’s a city that perfectly balances work and play, offering a lifestyle as dynamic as it is fulfilling.

6. Northern Italy

From the snowy peaks of the Alps to the romantic canals of Venice, Northern Italy is a diverse region that offers a bit of everything. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with skiing, hiking, and sailing among the many activities you can indulge in. The region is also a hub for industries like fashion, automotive, and technology, offering many job opportunities.

Northern Italy is well-connected by an extensive rail and road network, making it easy to explore the surrounding regions and countries. The quality of life is high, with excellent healthcare and education systems. It’s one of the best Italy towns to live in, especially for those who want a mix of natural beauty and urban sophistication.

Northern Italy, a diverse haven, caters to outdoor enthusiasts with skiing, hiking, and sailing among the myriad activities available.
Northern Italy, a diverse haven, caters to outdoor enthusiasts with skiing, hiking, and sailing among the myriad activities available.

The culinary scene is as diverse as the landscape, featuring Alpine, Mediterranean, and Venetian influences. Sustainability is a big focus here, with many towns investing in renewable energy and waste management. Whether it’s the bustling cities or the tranquil countryside, Northern Italy offers a lifestyle that’s both enriching and exhilarating.

7. Olbia

Uncover a slice of heaven in Olbia, a charming city on the northeast coast of Sardinia. Known for its stunning beaches and azure waters, Olbia is more than just a summer getaway. The city is a hub for the yachting community and offers a range of water sports, from sailing to scuba diving.

Job opportunities are primarily in tourism, but the fishing and agriculture sectors are also significant. The city’s port is one of the busiest in Italy, making it a critical economic center. Olbia stands out as a good place to live in Italy, especially for those who love the sea.

Discover a heavenly corner in Olbia, a charming city nestled on Sardinia's northeast coast.
Discover a heavenly corner in Olbia, a charming city nestled on Sardinia’s northeast coast.

The local cuisine is a delightful mix of seafood and traditional Sardinian dishes. Fresh produce is readily available in local markets, and the city’s sustainability efforts are commendable. Public transport is efficient, and the Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport provides easy access to mainland Italy and other European destinations. With its blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, Olbia offers a lifestyle that’s both relaxed and invigorating.

8. Rome

History comes alive in Rome, where ancient ruins like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum coexist with modern boutiques and cafes. The city is a living museum, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Rome is a hub for international diplomacy, home to numerous embassies and international organizations.

The job market is diverse, with opportunities in tourism, fashion, and technology. Rome’s central location and well-connected airports make it an ideal base for exploring Italy and beyond. Public transport is efficient, and the city offers a range of housing options, from historic apartments to modern condos. Rome is undoubtedly the best Italy city to live in, especially for those who appreciate history and culture.

Rome's rich history, cultural vibrancy, modern amenities, and diverse lifestyle make it one of Italy's best places to live.
Rome’s rich history, cultural vibrancy, modern amenities, and diverse lifestyle make it one of Italy’s best places to live.

The culinary scene is a gastronomic adventure, featuring everything from traditional Roman dishes to international cuisine. The city is also a fashion capital, offering a range of shopping options from luxury boutiques to local markets. With its rich history, modern amenities, and vibrant culture, Rome offers a lifestyle that’s as diverse as it is enriching.

9. Sardinia

Discover the allure of island life in Sardinia, a Mediterranean gem known for its crystal-clear waters and rugged landscapes. The island is a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like snorkeling, hiking, and sailing. Sardinia is also rich in history, with ancient ruins and traditional festivals that glimpse its diverse cultural heritage.

The island’s economy is primarily tourism-based, but agriculture and fishing are also significant sectors. Sardinia is well-connected by ferries to mainland Italy and other Mediterranean destinations. With its high quality of life and low crime rate, it’s one of the best towns to live in Italy for those seeking a peaceful yet vibrant lifestyle.

Sardinia, with its natural beauty, culture, and amenities, is among Italy's best cities
Sardinia, with its natural beauty, culture, and amenities, is among Italy’s best cities

Local markets offer fresh produce, and the island actively pursues sustainability efforts, focusing on waste management and renewable energy. The culinary scene is a delightful mix of seafood and traditional Sardinian dishes. With its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern amenities, Sardinia is one of the best Italy cities that offers an idyllic setting for a fulfilling life.

10. Siena

Step back in time as you wander through the cobblestone streets of Siena, a city that has preserved its medieval charm. Famous for its stunning cathedral and the Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s most fabulous medieval squares, Siena offers a unique living experience. The city is also known for the Palio, a historic horse race that occurs twice a year and is a spectacle not to be missed.

Siena’s economy is diverse, focusing on tourism, agriculture, and traditional crafts. The city is well-connected by public transport, and its central location in Tuscany makes it a convenient base for exploring the region. With its high-quality healthcare and education systems, Siena is a nice city to live in Italy for both families and singles.

Siena is among Italy's attractive residential locales, offering the best of both worlds for a desirable living experience.
Siena is among Italy’s attractive residential locales, offering the best of both worlds for a desirable living experience.

The culinary scene in Siena is a gastronomic delight, featuring traditional Tuscan dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The city is also known for its wine, particularly the famous Chianti. With its blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, Siena offers a lifestyle that’s both enriching and comfortable. Truly, Siena stands out as one of the nice parts of Italy where you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

11. Stresa

Imagine waking up to the serene views of Lake Maggiore, surrounded by lush gardens and elegant villas. Stresa, a small town in the Piedmont region, offers just that. Known for its scenic beauty and luxurious resorts, Stresa is a haven for those seeking a tranquil lifestyle.

The town’s economy is primarily tourism-based, but agriculture and local crafts also contribute. Stresa is well-connected by train and boat, making it easy to explore the surrounding areas and even venture into Switzerland. With its high standard of living and excellent healthcare facilities, Stresa is undoubtedly the coolest place to live in Italy.

Stresa beckons those desiring a serene lifestyle.
Stresa beckons those desiring a serene lifestyle.

The culinary scene blends Italian and Swiss influences, featuring fresh fish from the lake and locally sourced produce. The town is also known for its music festivals, particularly the Stresa Festival, which attracts international artists. Whether it’s the natural beauty or the cultural richness, Stresa offers a lifestyle that’s both luxurious and laid-back.

12. Tuscany

Picture rolling hills dotted with vineyards, historic towns, and sunflower fields stretching as far as the eye can see. Welcome to Tuscany, a region that feels like a dream brought to life. It’s a paradise for wine lovers, home to some of the world’s most renowned vineyards.

The region offers a diverse job market, with opportunities in tourism, agriculture, and wine production. Tuscany is well-connected by an extensive road network, and its central location makes it a convenient base for exploring Italy. With its high standard of living and excellent healthcare system, Tuscany is among the good places to live in Italy for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Tuscany provides an enriching and comfortable lifestyle, making it ideal place to live in Italy.
Tuscany provides an enriching and comfortable lifestyle, making it ideal place to live in Italy.

Culinary delights await at every corner, featuring traditional Tuscan dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The region is known for its artisan crafts, particularly ceramics and leather goods. With its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern amenities, Tuscany offers a lifestyle that’s both enriching and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Places to Live in Italy                               

Looking to expand your knowledge about the best places to live in Italy? Here are some common questions I get a lot about the best Italy places to live in.

What are the best places to live in Italy?

The “best” place to live in Italy can vary greatly depending on individual preferences, lifestyle, and needs. Here are some top contenders based on different criteria:

  • For Families: Bolzano is known for its high quality of life, excellent healthcare, and good schools.
  • For Young Professionals: Milan offers numerous job opportunities, especially in fashion, design, and finance.
  • For Retirees: Tuscany offers a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful landscapes, and a warm climate.
  • For Students: Bologna is home to the world’s oldest university and offers a vibrant student life.
  • For Beach Lovers: Sardinia offers stunning beaches and a relaxed lifestyle.
  • For Outdoor Enthusiasts: Abruzzo offers a mix of beach and mountain activities.
  • For History Buffs: Rome offers a rich history and a large expat community.
  • For Foodies: Bologna is considered the food capital of Italy, offering a range of culinary delights.
  • For those seeking a Balanced Lifestyle: Florence offers a mix of history, art, and modern amenities.

Where do most foreigners live in Italy?

Most foreigners in Italy tend to gravitate towards larger cities and tourist destinations for various reasons, including job opportunities, better healthcare, and a more international community. Here are some of the places where you’ll find a higher concentration of expatriates:

  • Rome: As the capital city, Rome has a large expat community. It’s a hub for international organizations, embassies, and multinational companies.
  • Milan: Known as the financial and fashion capital of Italy, Milan attracts professionals from around the world.
  • Florence: Popular among students and artists, Florence has a significant expat community.
  • Bologna: Home to the world’s oldest university, Bologna has a vibrant student population, including many foreigners.
  • Naples: While not as popular as Rome or Milan, Naples has a growing expat community, particularly among those interested in the rich history and culture of the area.
  • Tuscany: Cities like Florence and Siena in Tuscany are popular among retirees and those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
  • Venice: Though living in Venice can be expensive, it does attract several expats, particularly those involved in the arts.
  • Sicily and Sardinia: These islands are becoming increasingly popular among expats, especially those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle and beautiful beaches.
  • Liguria: The coastal region, particularly around Genoa, attracts many foreign residents, many of whom are retirees.
  • The Lakes Region: Places like Lake Como and Lake Garda are popular among wealthy expats, including several celebrities.

What is the most livable city in Italy?

The concept of “livability” can vary from person to person, depending on individual needs and preferences. However, based on factors like quality of life, healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and public services, some cities in Italy often rank high in terms of livability:

  • Bolzano: Often cited as one of the best places to live in Italy, Bolzano offers a high standard of living, excellent public services, and a multicultural environment. It’s located in a beautiful setting near the Dolomites and offers a mix of Italian and German culture.
  • Milan: As the financial and fashion capital, Milan offers numerous job opportunities and has an efficient public transport system. It’s a bustling city with a lot to offer in terms of culture, though the cost of living can be high.
  • Florence: Known for its art and history, Florence is one of the best places to move in Italy which offers a high quality of life with excellent healthcare and education systems. It’s also a bit smaller than Rome and Milan, offering a more relaxed pace of life.
  • Bologna: With the world’s oldest university, Bologna is a vibrant and youthful city. It offers excellent public services, including healthcare and public transport.
  • Rome: As the capital, Rome offers many amenities and services, including numerous international schools and a large expat community. However, the cost of living can be high, and the city can be chaotic.
  • Turin: Known for its quality of public services and green spaces, Turin offers a balanced lifestyle. It’s less touristy than cities like Rome and Florence but offers a rich history and vibrant culture.
Italy, abundant in history, culture, and natural beauty, provides a range of living experiences for diverse lifestyles.
Italy, abundant in history, culture, and natural beauty, provides a range of living experiences for diverse lifestyles.

What is the safest place in Italy to live?

Safety is a top concern for many people when choosing a place to live, and Italy generally has a lower crime rate than other European countries. However, safety can vary from region to region and even within cities. Here are some places in Italy that are often cited as being particularly safe:

  • Bolzano: Located in the South Tyrol region, Bolzano is often cited as one of the safest cities in Italy. It has a low crime rate and a high standard of living.
  • Trento: Like Bolzano, Trento in the Trentino-Alto Adige region is known for its low crime rates and high quality of life.
  • Aosta: This small city in the Aosta Valley is not only charming but also has a very low crime rate.
  • Siena: Known for its medieval streets and stunning cathedral, Siena also boasts low crime rates.
  • Orvieto: This Umbrian town offers not only spectacular views but also a safe environment, partly because it’s a smaller community with less crime.
  • Lucca: Located in Tuscany, Lucca is a smaller city that offers a safe and relaxed environment.
  • Ragusa: Located in Sicily, Ragusa is known for its low crime rate compared to other larger Sicilian cities.
  • Cagliari: The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari is generally considered safe, especially in the residential and tourist areas.

What is the cleanest city in Italy?

Cleanliness can be a significant factor when choosing a place to live, and Italy has several cities known for their cleanliness, green initiatives, and well-maintained public spaces. Here are some of the cleanest Italy’s best cities to live:

  • Bolzano: Often cited as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in Italy, Bolzano has excellent waste management systems and a focus on sustainable living.
  • Trento: Like Bolzano, Trento has clean streets, excellent waste management, and green initiatives. The place is one of the most livable cities in Italy.
  • Trieste: Located near the Slovenian border, Trieste is another city known for its cleanliness and well-maintained public spaces.
  • Verona: Famous for its Roman history and the story of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is also known for its clean streets and well-maintained parks.
  • Parma: Known for its food, Parma is also recognized for its cleanliness and has received awards for its environmental initiatives.
  • Padua: Located in the Veneto region, Padua is known for its well-maintained public gardens and clean streets.
  • Turin: This city has made significant strides in improving air quality and has several green spaces and parks.
  • Florence: While it’s a busy tourist destination, Florence is also known for its clean streets, especially in the residential areas.
  • Lucca: This Tuscan city is not only charming but also well-maintained, with clean streets and public spaces, which makes it the best city to live in Italy.

Where do the rich live in Italy?

In Italy, the wealthy often reside in areas known for their exclusivity, luxury amenities, and scenic beauty. Here are the top cities in Italy to live in where you’re likely to find affluent communities:

  • Milan: Particularly in neighborhoods like Brera, Quadrilatero della Moda, and San Siro, you’ll find luxury apartments and villas. Milan is the financial and fashion capital of Italy, attracting wealthy individuals involved in these industries.
  • Rome: Areas like Parioli, Aventino, and Trastevere have luxurious homes and are popular among the wealthy.
  • Lake Como: This stunning lake in Lombardy is a playground for the rich and famous, offering luxurious villas with breathtaking views.
  • Portofino: Located on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is a small but exclusive fishing village that attracts wealthy individuals looking for a scenic and luxurious place to live.
  • Capri: This island off the coast of Naples is a hotspot for the rich, especially during the summer months. Many would recommend this place.
  • Florence: Areas like Oltrarno and Fiesole offer luxury living with stunning views of the city and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
  • Venice: While Venice is a tourist hotspot, there are exclusive areas like San Marco and Dorsoduro where the wealthy reside.
  • Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda: Known for its stunning beaches and luxury resorts, this area is a favorite among wealthy Italians and international jet-setters. So if you are considering where to live in Italy, Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda is the place to be.
  • Chianti: This region in Tuscany is famous for its wine but also offers luxurious countryside estates.
  • Taormina, Sicily: This town offers stunning views of the sea and Mount Etna and is known for its luxury properties.
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo: Located in the Dolomites, this ski resort area is popular among wealthy Italians.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Live in Italy

Italy, rich in history, culture, and unmatched natural beauty, presents a variety of living experiences to suit different lifestyles. Milan, a vibrant fashion hub, contrasts with Lake Como’s serene shores, offering choices both diverse and alluring. Whether attracted to Florence’s artistic alleys, Rome’s historical splendor, or Portofino’s luxury, Italy caters to every preference.

In Italy, the possibilities for the best living spots are boundless. You might enjoy espresso in Siena’s cozy cafés, delve into Rome’s ancient ruins, or sail Sardinia’s pristine waters. Each place uniquely combines lifestyle, culture, and opportunities.

Prioritizing safety, cleanliness, and quality of life, cities like Bolzano and Trento rank highly. Alternatively, the elite often flock to exclusive spots like Costa Smeralda in Sardinia or Lake Como’s picturesque views. With such variety, determining Italy’s ideal living area hinges on personal tastes, needs, and lifestyle.

Ultimately, the “best” place varies based on personal preferences, necessities, and aspirations. However, Italy’s exceptional quality of life stands out, attracting those seeking to relocate or find their piece of paradise. So, get ready, as La Dolce Vita is waiting for you!

The best places to live in Italy for all types of travelers
Like this article on the best places to live in Italy? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment