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The Italian towns with the best (and worst) quality of life

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The Italian towns with the best (and worst) quality of life
Milan topped the qualty of life ranking again this year. Photo: DepositPhotos"

Find out where your favourite Italian town or city ranked in the 2019 quality of living index.


If you're planning to relocate to Italy in hopes of enjoying the famous Italian lifestyle, you'll have to think carefully about which part of the country you choose. As with so many things in Italy, regions, towns and cities vary greatly when it comes to the quality of life.

Giving us a picture of the best and worst places to live in the country, Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Monday released the 2019 edition of its annual quality of life survey.

Readers' views: Is Italy really one of the worst countries to move to?

The northern city of Milan topped the list for the second consecutive year, with the study awarding it the best overall quality of life ranking overall.

A market in Rome, which ranked 18th overall. Photo: AFP

Milan has long been a favourite among Italy's international residents, as it's seen as a business and cultural hub with good employment opportunities. However, a separate study earlier this month ranked Milan, along with Rome, among the "worst" cities in the world for foreigners to live in.

The capital, Rome, was ranked the 18th best place to live in Italy, while Venice came ninth.

According to the Il Sole 24 Ore study, the worst place to live in Italy is the town of Caltanissetta, in central Sicily, which came last for the fourth time in the history of the ranking.


The rankings are based on criteria including the strength of the economy, environmental factors and leisure activities.

For this year's special 30th anniversary edition, the total number of indicators used to measure “quality of life” was increased from 48 to 90.

Of course, not everyone is looking for the same things when choosing a place to live. so the stufy has also broken down its findings into six different macro categories, awarding top spots to different towns for the following criteria:

Wealth and consumption: Aosta, Milan, Trieste, Parma and Turin

Environment and public services: Trento, Trieste, Bolzano; Nuoro and Milan.

Justice and security: Oristano, Treviso, Aosta, Bellino and Pordenone.

Business and Work: Milan, Trieste, Bolzano, Bologna and Rimini.

Demographics and Society: Bolzano, Brescia, Lodi, Monza and Brianza, Verona.

Culture and Leisure: Rimini, Trieste, Milan, Venice, Aosta.

Lake Como was ranked as the 40th best place to live in Italy. Photo: Depositphotos

In all macro categories, the top spots are notably dominated by northern Italian towns.

Milan aside, many of the best places to live in Italy were found to be medium-to-large towns and cities, and the majority are found in northern or central Italy.

As in previous years, there's a marked north-south divide in the results, with many southern towns and cities scoring relatively poorly overall.

The bottom ten was populated exclusively by southern towns: Catania, Palermo, Isernia, Messina, Trapani, Agrigento, Vibo Valentia, Enna, Foggia, Crotone, and Caltanissetta.

Naples moved up 13 places to rank 81st, while Bari placed 67th, up from 77th place last year.

The top 50 Italian towns and cities to live in:

  1. Milan

  2. Bolzano

  3. Trento

  4. Aosta

  5. Trieste

  6. Monza and Brianza

  7. Verona

  8. Treviso

  9. Venice

  10. Parma

  11. Vicenza

  12. Brescia

  13. Pordenone

  14. Bologna

  15. Florence

  16. Udine

  17. Rimini

  18. Rome

  19. Modena

  20. Cagliari

  21. Cuneo

  22. Reggio Emilia

  23. Padua

  24. Cremona

  25. Forlì-Cesena

  26. Ascoli Piceno

  27. Prato

  28. Bergamo

  29. Varese

  30. Lecco

  31. Ancona

  32. Macerata

  33. Turin

  34. Gorizia

  35. Siena

  36. Lodi

  37. Perugia

  38. Novara

  39. Ravenna

  40. Como

  41. Pisa

  42. Arezzo

  43. Pescara

  44. Piacenza

  45. Genoa

  46. Sondrio

  47. Livorno

  48. Mantova

  49. La Spezia

  50. Fermo


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Anonymous 2022/09/13 18:35
I wonder why Perugia is so low on the list? In fact Umbria is hardly ever mentioned in expat considerations for settlement in Italy, and yet it is indeed called “the green heart of Italy,” mostly bucolic incredibly beautiful landscapes and almost no industrial pollution industries. The only land-locked province, situated 200 miles north of Rome in a beautiful valley surrounded on both sides by the Appenines, Umbria is generally “off the tourist beat” and catering more to religious tourism due to it being the homeland of St. Francis. Which is why we are about to move to our restored medieval tower home 8 miles north of the jewel of a medieval town of Assisi. And the food! This is the heart of tartuffi country!

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