Italy is a beautiful country to visit and also one that beckons those wishing to retire. From north to south, there are countless beautiful places to retire in the country. There are invariably many questions that arise regarding regulations and requirements, not the least of which are Social Security benefits.
Americans retiring abroad continue to receive Social Security benefits while residing in Italy. This applies to U.S. citizens and even those who are citizens of Italy. In order to retire to Italy, a foreign citizen must comply with a number of requirements. You must apply for an elective residence visa and have an income of at least 31,000 euros per year for an individual and 38,000 euros for a married couple. Under the elective visa, you cannot work in Italy, but you may purchase property. It takes anywhere from three to six months to obtain the visa. It takes far longer to obtain Italian citizenship. You should discuss all of the conditions with a financial adviser and attorney.
One region that seems to grab the attention of many is Tuscany. It is a difficult job to try to pick the ten most beautiful Tuscan locations for retirement and any such list is a bit subjective, but we feel confident that those who are considering such a move will be pleased with our suggestions.
AREZZO is nestled on top of a hill. This small city was once one of the most important towns of the Etruscans and became a trading post in Tuscany. There is a lot that still remains from its medieval days, including many churches and monuments which give visitors an opportunity to get a glimpse of the walled city’s history. It is also famous for its annual Joust of the Saracens Festival.
BARGA is the most important hilltop town in Garfagnana, the area set in northwestern Tuscany’s Province of Lucca. It is famous for its marvelous and varied landscape that offers hundreds of outdoor activities. Those who love the outdoors will marvel at its beauty while exploring the territory and its surroundings. It is also on the list of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy for its historical and artistic importance.
ANGHIARI is set on a spur of rocks near the eastern edge of Tuscany, bordering Umbria. It is one of the most well-preserved medieval villages in the region. Anghiari’s town center dates to the 11th century and greatly expanded three hundred years later. Its layout today is still very much the same, with the churches, streets and palazzos that have withstood the test of time.
CHIANTI Although the last location mentioned in our list, Chianti is by no means last. This wine region is considered by many to be the most stunning area of Tuscany. It covers Siena and Florence, as well as all of the land in between. We may be hedging our bet by including such a large area as Chianti, but when it comes to the beauty of Tuscany, we want to ensure that you will delight in exploring all of the places on this list.
LUCCA is small medieval town located near the Ligurian Sea, where you can breathe in the fresh air and escape the bustle of other parts of Tuscany. One of its most unique features is the 30 foot-wide walls that surround the city. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman colony in 180 BC, which accounts for its rectangular street plan. There is much to see, from Duomo San Martino, which houses the “Last Supper” by Tintoretto to the Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto and the Palazzo Pfanner, with its Baroque gardens. Lucca, quite simply is a beautiful location to relax and sip life like a glass of wine.
SAN GIMIGNANO is easy to spot from a distance and is simply breathtaking once you enter its walls. Medieval ramparts rise from the surrounding rolling hills of vineyards, providing unforgettable views. Many of its fortified towers date from the 11th century and were a display of a family’s wealth and power. An important resting point for pilgrims during the Middle Ages, today it is a magical spot to relax with a glorious landscape and a relaxed pace.
MONTEPULCIANO is a medieval town that boasts ancient churches, elegant palaces, charming squares and great scenery, especially those in the Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia valleys. Also, the town has been attracting connoisseurs from other countries for its delicious wine, including Vino Nobile, which is one of the best in the region.
SIENA is located in the heart of the Tuscan region. Siena is ideal for those who treasure the history and culture of Tuscany. Here, you will have the opportunity to take a step back into the Middle Ages, with its medieval horse-racing tradition of the Palio and the marvelously well-preserved historic center.
FLORENCE The capital city of Tuscany, Florence has been described as a colossal outdoor museum. The cradle of the Renaissance, Florence’s massive collection of art and architectural gems have been an inspiration for countless visitors and residents alike. Words alone cannot begin to describe the beauty of Florence.
MONTERIGGIONI is located only a few miles from Siena and is one of the most impressive walled Medieval towns in Tuscany. It started its life as a castle and developed into a fortified village, perfectly rounded to suit the hill on which it has stood since the beginning of 1200. Today, the centuries-old towers that ring in the town can still be seen for miles. In the Middle Ages they so impressed Dante Alighieri that in his Divine Comedy he compared them to “horrific giants.”