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Hello all, my wife and I are very new to this forum and we were hoping to get some help from the members of this community.

We are a young couple (age: 30) currently living in London, working for international companies. With both our roles going fully remote, we are seriously considering moving to Italy to enjoy the warmer climate, the great food, and the slower pace of living (London can be very intense). The dilemma we have is where do we start in terms of location?

This will be a big step for us as we don't have any friends / family living in Italy, however we absolutely love the country - we have been multiple times (visited from the very north of the country to the very south and the islands).

We would love to live somewhere in the lovely Italian countryside but ideally still be within reachable distance (around an hour or so, driving or train) of a bustling city which offers great restaurants, bars, theatre / cinema etc.

Our hobbies include trekking and hiking (we also have a dog so we love a good walk), anything related to wine (our holidays are always centred around wine, hence why we have been to italy so many time) and trying out different restaurants.... It feels like we want the best of both worlds - we want a countryside life, but without losing the full benefits that a city can offer us... Is that impossible?

We have looked at Milan so far but we're finding the houses too expensive for what you get in terms of space, facilities etc. It just doesn't compare to what we currently have in the outskirts of London.

Thank you all in advance, we are glued to our laptops waiting for your suggestions :)
 

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Assuming that you are both British, the first consideration may be what visa you may be able to qualify for. You'll be considered to be working in whatever country you are physically located in while doing the work you're paid for, no matter where your employer is located or where or how you're being paid. There are a number of ways to do this, while still registering with and making the necessary payments for Italian social insurances and taxes, but first you need a visa that will permit you to work while living in Italy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We are EU citizens so that is not an issue. Our employers have a presence in Italy so it's just a matter of moving country of residence with our employer :) thank you for your message and insight. Any suggestions on location?
 

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By remote I assume you need a net connection? How demanding? Many/Most small villages the best you'll often see is 20Mb/s DSL. The same in country homes. Most of the larger areas are up to at least 100Mb/s fibre to the curb. If you need higher than that you need to look at larger towns. If it matters for work you need to factor that into your house search.

Next thing with the ZTLs you can't really drive into the vast majority of cities. The best you can do is drive to a parking lot on the outskirts and then hopefully taking a train or bus.

In general that means you'll want some place with good transit links. The larger the town the better the transit.

Don't underestimate the hassle of getting into the centre if that's something you are interested in.

You've than got two types of places. Active towns . Prices are fairly similar all over. The other are the many dying towns here you'll often find many homes for sale if you're willing to renovate. But understand the issues with these dying towns. Limited work options mean most of the younger people are moving out. Some can see the population explode during the summer months and then become literal ghost towns during the winter. All that means you'll be driving for everything.

Italy is relatively narrow. That means most of the country is less than an hour drive from mountains or the sea. I don't think finding what you're looking for is impossible but understand you're buying for life. Those country homes aren't easy to resell.
 

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warmer climate, slower pace of life and great food - so why Milan? the climate is not great, cold and wet in the winter, hot and sticky in the summer, and certainly not a slow pace of life. Obviously everything depends what you want and how much you have to spend. And does your bustling city need to be a tourist destination like Florence or Rome, or do you want a more Italian city which will need you to learn/speak Italian. You have a huge choice, as Im sure you are aware. But if by bustling city you're looking for a place with 1 million plus population, then you very quickly get a short shortlist.
 

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You mention the expense of Milan, so have some concern/thoughts about money.... Sounds like you would have no problem affording it, but you may want to check out just how much tax you would be paying. This site here reckons you would pay an extra 7k on 150k income. It has been hinted already you could go almost anywhere in Italy for what you are after, but the weather can be anything but warm at times. We had 2m of snow on at least 2 occasions...
 

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I would suggest somewhere like Lucca. Here it is not too hot during the summer, but not freezing in the winter. You are also near the mountains of the Garfagnana for walks etc, and close to the coast.
 

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I have a wonderful house and property near Anghiari a five minute drive from town and I could barely buy a doghouse on the US West Coast for what it would sell for. Houses over 99% of the area of Italy are incredibly cheap compared to West Coast US, or indeed Greater London. Obviously if you want to live near Milan, Florence, Rome etc. that won't hold true but that's an incredibly small part of Italy to worry over, just avoid those few places. Shop around and you'll be very pleasantly surprised coming from London.
 

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Obviously if you want to live near Milan, Florence, Rome etc. that won't hold true
Depends on what you mean by "close". You'd be surprised how cheap homes are in metro Rome.

What's expensive in Rome are the AirBnB neighborhoods in the centre. The sort of rundown places the owner in normal times could rent out for €150+ a night. Similar places outside the centre might have a monthly long term rent of €300-400 .

The nice places in the centre are even more expensive.
 

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In your position I'd probably do something slightly different, because I feel that if my existence was living in the countryside with an occasional visit to a big city an hour away then I'd not really "belong" anywhere, to any community on a day-to-day basis. Instead I'd probably live in or very near (i.e. within cycling distance of) a town or small city, like Lucca as another poster suggested. Italy has many gorgeous places like this.
 
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