Best Places to Retire in Italy
Many people will find the country of Italy an extremely pleasant place to retire. There are beautiful coastal areas, amazing cities like Rome and Florence, towns in the mountains, and charming areas like Tuscany where you can live in an old village or villa in the countryside. The food is among the world's best, the wine is excellent, and the people know how to live simply and well.
Residency. If you are a citizen in the EU becoming a legal resident will be easy. In most cases you need to apply and provide proof that you can support yourself, a current passport, photos, and (sometimes) with a medical certificate. You can probably get a visa for 90 days, but staying longer can be a problem for non-EU citizens.
Crime and Security. This is what the gov.UK says about crime in Italy: "Crime levels are generally low but there are higher levels of petty crime (particularly bag snatching and pick-pocketing) in the big city centres. This often involves co-ordinated gangs including minors. Targets are often hassled and jostled to distract them, while other members of the gang go into action.Crime levels are generally low but there are higher levels of petty crime (particularly bag snatching and pick-pocketing) in the big city centres. This often involves co-ordinated gangs including minors. Targets are often hassled and jostled to distract them, while other members of the gang go into action." There are always reports about the prevalence of the Mafia in Italy.
Taxes. If you live in Italy for more than 183 days you are required to pay taxes on your worldwide income. The tax rates start at 23% for income up to 26,000 Euros and goes to 43% on income more than 100,000.
Medical. US Medicare is not honored in Italy. However medical care is excellent in most parts of the country and relatively inexpensive. There are reports that some of the state run hospitals in the southern part of the country are not as good. Citizens of many EU countries might be covered, but almost everyone should have some kind of medical insurance. Visitors to the country have the right to receive emergency care.
Cost of Living. The numbeo.com price comparison (CPI plus rent) shows Italy with an index of 46, vs. the U.S. with 57 and UK at 60. The Local Purchasing Power Index shows 106 for Italy vs. 120 for the UK and 139 for the U.S. (the higher these numbers the more expensive)
Best Places to Live. See the list of the Italian cities we have reviewed in the top right hand column. For reasons of atmosphere plus famiiarity many retirees prefer to live in small towns popular with expats. Cities have plenty of attractions and living options, although they will generally be more expensive. Cities and towns for which we have reviews are listed on the right sde of this page.
Pluses and Minuses. Italy can be a cheaper alternative than the UK and France. Some expats report a fair amount of culture shock - particularly with dealing with the bureaucracy, finding a place to live, getting a telephone, etc. The weather is warmer than most of Europe. There are any number of places to live where expats will feel comfortable. The economy has been on a rough ride with very high levels of unemployment, particularly among the young.
Weather. The Mediterranean climate is generally mild except in the northern and mountainous areas of the country.