There are some places on the planet that we dream of moving to in retirement, and Italy tops many lists of hoped-for retirement locales. This often comes with visions of drinking espresso in piazzas, strolling through art museums, and gazing over crystal blue waters on the Amalfi Coast some of the major reasons to retire to Italy.
Reasons to Retire to Italy
So is it time to take action in making your retirement dream a reality? It just might be! We’ve compiled a list of five reasons why your dream to retire to Italy should become a reality.
If you’re a history buff, there are few places on earth you could retire to that will keep you exploring like Italy. From world-famous art museums to ancient ruins, historical sites can be found in every corner of the country. Whether you’re into art history, natural history, or political history, Italy will keep you entertained and educated.
Italy boasts 58 UNESCO world heritage sites, including the ruins of Pompeii, the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa (which features the famous leaning tower), the lagoons of Venice, and the city of Verona. Art history enthusiasts will want to visit the Uffizi in Florence, which includes famed works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci, the Academy of Florence Art Gallery, which houses the original David statue, and the Vatican Museum which offers the world-famous Sistine Chapel for viewing.
A casual stroll around Rome brings visitors views of ancient ruins of the Circus Maximus as well as the famous Colosseum. Every city in Italy has a unique history, of which the locals are proud.
There’s a reason that Italian cuisine is some of the most beloved in the world. Known for its handmade pasta and fresh, seasonal produce, Italian food has something for every palate. Not only is the food delicious, but it also is known for its heart-healthy elements. The standard Italian diet has been made popular, known to health enthusiasts as ‘the Mediterranean diet’, focusing on whole grains, seafood, olive oil, and beans.
Italian locals know that their local cuisine is much more than pizza and spaghetti – Italian cooking often features fresh produce like tomato, zucchini, and many herbs, beans, fish, local meats, antioxidant-rich wines, and fresh cheeses.
There aren’t many places where the local cuisine is also heart-healthy and great for those who are health conscious. Retirees will find they have the freedom to sample and enjoy local cuisine while sustaining their heart health.
The Italian lifestyle is legendary, and for good reason. When one thinks of Italian living, it often brings thoughts of leisurely days sipping espresso and lively dinner parties going late into the night. The rumors’ are true – Italians certainly know how to enjoy the pace of life while also being experts in celebrating and enjoying ‘la dolce vita.’
Life in Italy can be frustrating for those from faster-paced cultures, as it can seem painfully slow – it may seem that people aren’t in a hurry to do anything. That can mean that when you need work done – whether your electricity is out or you need a plumber – it takes longer than it might in the US or UK. It can also mean that package delivery takes longer than some other places. However, while the leisurely pace can seem to have downsides, it can also give you the stress-free life you’re seeking in retirement. In fact, Italy has become a big hot spot for Americans and Canadians wanting to retire in Europe!
The flip side of the leisurely pace of life is the celebratory feel that Italians carry. If you walk through a piazza late at night, you’ll hear raucous laughter and singing as the locals down yet another glass of wine. For those retiring abroad, it’s important to find friends and local community, and Italians are great at welcoming in newcomers.
If you are looking for opportunities to stay active in retirement, Italy has no shortage of ways for you to remain physically active. If hiking is your thing, you might try the Sentiero degli Dei at the Amalfi Coast, the Selvaggio Blu trail in Sardinia, the Alta Via della Valmalenco in Lombardy, or one of the best-known areas, the Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites.
In addition to the amazing hiking, there are copious water sports available, including scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, and swimming. With 4700 miles of coastline, Italy has no shortage of places available for runs on the beach or water sports. Retirees who enjoy the water will have no limit of activities available to them.
People who enjoy winter sports will also find plenty to do in Italy. The Alps offer some of the most scenic skiing in the world, along with snowshoeing and snowboarding.
Italy has some of the best healthcare in the world. According to the World Health Organization, Italy boasts one of the world’s best ratios of doctors to the general population, having 80.13 doctors per 10,000 residents (Source), and spends over 9% of its annual GDP on health care. (Source) Retirees who are concerned with healthcare needs can feel confident that retiring to Italy will allow them access to the care they need.