The best cities in Italy for expats in 2024(updated)

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The best cities in Italy for expats in 2024(updated)

Italy is one of the most popular European countries among expats. It has many historical and cultural attractions, picturesque small towns, beautiful beaches, and world-famous cuisine. Find out more about the top 7 cities in Italy with the highest quality of life 2024

Use the Guide for any country in the world for a comfortable and safe trip
Use the Guide for any country in the world for a comfortable and safe trip
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Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, which attracts about 100,000 migrants every year. Most of the citizens of Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Syria and Afghanistan go to the country. You can also quite often meet representatives of EU member states here.


This fantastic place is famous for its many historical and cultural attractions, beautiful small towns, wonderful beaches, high mountains and world-famous cuisine. Italy also offers a fantastic quality of life. Which region to choose for moving in Italy? Check out our list of the best places in Italy.




To plan an interesting and safe trip to Italy, use the guides from Visit World. These documents contain basic advice on visa applications, border crossings, employment, citizenship, and much more. 




Top 7 Italian cities with the highest quality of life 2024


For the 33rd year in a row, Il Sole 24 Ore publishes its quality of life rating. For the assessment, experts use 90 factors, which can be combined into six categories: business and work, demographics and society, environment and services, level of safety, income and cost of living, as well as available entertainment. Based on the analysis, they create a ranking of the best places. The list of leaders is further.


1st place - Bologna


Bologna is a city in the north of Italy, which is famous for its historical architecture, cultural heritage and excellent cuisine. The University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities in the world, is located here. Bologna is also recognized as the culinary capital of Italy, the city is known for its pasta, cured meats and cheese.

Bologna has good transport links and is the center of the automotive and engineering industries. In the quality of life ranking, the city received the best points for the following indicators - income level and ease of doing business, safety, health care and demographics.


Expats in Bologna


Bologna is a medium-sized city, so there are not as many expats living here as in Milan or Rome. The basis of the foreign population is made up of students.


Quality of life


Bologna is known for its high quality of life. The city offers a balance of historic charm and modern conveniences. It is famous for its restaurants, many of which are awarded Michelin stars. Bologna is also a cyclist-friendly city with many cycle paths. Bologna is surrounded by beautiful countryside, there are also many parks and green spaces.


Cost of living


The cost of living in Bologna is relatively lower compared to other cities in the country. Rental prices can vary by area, but are generally more affordable than in Rome, Milan or Florence. You can rent an apartment for 900-1000 euros per month. The cost of food is also lower than in other cities. As for public transport, the vast majority of the local population use bicycles.


Security


Bologna is a safe city with a low level of violent crime. However, as in any city, petty crimes such as pickpocketing can be found here.


2nd place – Bolzano


Bolzano is a multicultural Italian city, which is the capital of the province of South Tyrol. It is known for its picturesque location in the Italian Alps, a well-preserved historic center with Gothic architecture and a unique combination of Italian and Austrian cultures. The city's attractions include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Castle of Marecchio and the South Tyrolean Archaeological Museum, home to the famous Ezi Iceman.


Expats in Bolzano


Thanks to a developed economy and excellent living conditions, the population of Bolzano has been growing steadily for the past 70 years. The city is bilingual, the official languages here are Italian and German, which is why a large percentage of the German-speaking population lives in the city - Austrians and Germans.


Quality of life


Bolzano offers a high quality of life in a picturesque location surrounded by mountains and a pleasant climate. Bolzano is known for its excellent healthcare system, quality education and has good transport links with the train station and the nearest airports.


Cost of living


Bolzano is known to be one of the most expensive cities in Italy, especially when it comes to housing. The average cost of renting an apartment here is more than 1,300 euros per month.


Security


Bolzano is a safe city with a low crime rate.


3rd place – Florence


The pearl of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence looks like an open-air museum. There is a lot to see here - the iconic Piazza del Duomo, the centuries-old Ponte Vecchio, the romantic Arno River and countless museums. The city is also home to many world-renowned art galleries and museums, including the Uffizi Gallery. Today it is the main tourist point of Italy, as well as its economic center.


Expats in Florence


Florence is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world. The city has a population of approximately 380,000, with about 14% of the population being foreigners, so there is a high level of English proficiency.


Quality of life


Florence offers a high quality of life. Florence's economy is based on tourism, heavy industry and manufacturing. The city is famous for its cuisine, leather goods and high-end fashion. Florence has good transport links, including a large airport and high-speed rail links to other Italian cities. It is also a center of education and research with several international schools, top universities and research institutes.


Cost of living


The cost of living in Florence can be quite high, especially in the historic center of the city, which is one of the most expensive areas in Italy. However, there are also more affordable areas outside the center where housing and other costs are lower.

The average cost of renting a one-room apartment in Florence is 1,400 euros, a studio apartment is 920 euros, and a room can be found for 500 euros.


Security


With a safety index of 70, Florence is slightly safer than Milan. Since tourism is one of the most important sources of income for the city, most of the crimes are also related to it. The city has a high risk of speed crime, such as pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.




4th place - Milan


Milan is a beautiful city in northern Italy, known for its fashion, design, art and architecture. Famous fashion houses such as Prada and Armani are located here, and Milan Fashion Week is also held here.

Milan is the second largest city in Italy, with a population of about 1.4 million people. The city is recognized as one of the four engines of the European economy.


Expats in Milan


Milan is a city of international business. As of 2022, about 277,000 foreigners lived here, almost 20% of the city's total population. Milan has a large English-speaking community, with thousands of British and American expats living here.


Quality of life


Milan provides its residents with a good quality of life. It has earned its stars thanks to a high level of economic development, the adoption of a greener lifestyle, and an ever-increasing cultural and demographic diversity. There are many cultural institutions, restaurants and shops in the city. Milan is famous for its world-class museums and galleries, such as the Pinacoteca Brera. There is also a very lively nightlife here. Milan has good transport links, with three international airports and a high-speed train connecting it to other Italian cities. There are international schools in Milan that offer education in English


Cost of living


Compared to other cities in Italy, Milan has a fairly high cost of living, especially housing. According to HousingAnywhere's apartment rental index, Milan ranks fifth among the most expensive cities in Europe, with an average rental price of €1,800 per apartment.


Security


Milan is generally a safe city with a low rate of violent crime. However, some neighborhoods are more prone to petty crime, such as pickpocketing. Basic safety precautions like being aware of your surroundings and watching your belongings are important.


5th place - Siena


Siena is a small Italian city in Tuscany, known for its historic architecture, medieval cityscape and the famous Palio race, held twice a year in the city's central square. Among the main sights of the city are the Piazza del Campo and the Gothic Siena Cathedral


Expats in Siena


Siena does not have as many expats as some of Italy's larger cities, but the city has a small international community, particularly due to the large number of international students studying at the University of Siena.


Quality of life


Siena is known for its slow pace of life, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities. The city offers a large number of museums, art galleries and historical sites. Siena is also a center of education with one of Italy's oldest universities, the University of Siena.


Cost of living


The city is considered expensive to live in, especially compared to other cities in Italy. The cost of living in Siena is driven by the high demand for housing in the center, especially historic properties.


Security


Siena is generally a safe city, however, petty crime does occasionally occur.


6th place - Rome


Rome is the capital of Italy, which is known for its rich history, ancient ruins and artistic treasures. It is home to numerous world-famous sights, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. The political capital of Italy is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. Rome has something special to offer expats looking for a Mediterranean lifestyle filled with thousands of years of history, fun nightlife, limitless culture as well as economic prospects.


Expats in Rome


With almost 3 million inhabitants, Rome is the third largest city in Europe. 300,000 expats and foreign students live here. The city is home to many international organizations, including the United Nations. Many foreign students study in first-class universities.


Quality of life


Rome has a high quality of life, a rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture and vibrant arts and entertainment. The basis of the city's economy is tourism, the financial sector, technology and construction.

The disadvantages include traffic jams, a large number of tourists and numerous strikes.


Cost of living


And although real estate prices have been falling steadily for the past seven years, living in Rome is undoubtedly expensive: the cost of buying one square meter in the historic district is €7,369. Rents have also increased by almost 13% since 2021, the average cost of renting an apartment is €1,575.


Security


With a safety index of 64, Rome is a fairly safe city, but as with any major city, petty crime does occur. Pickpocketing is a problem in tourist areas and public transport.