So you want to retire to Italy? Are you sure? I mean, you may have spent many week’s holiday enjoying the Italian countryside or coast and beaches, but how do you know what it will really be like to live in Italy day in day out once you come to retire? After all, the practicalities of residing in a country can be very different to simply holidaying there because you get bogged down in everything from bureaucracy to language when you’re a full time resident, and you can find it’s actually harder settling in than you thought.
So, if you really do have your heart set on living in Italy when you retire, there are practical steps that you need to take so that you are fully prepared to move to live abroad. In this article we’ll discuss how you can prepare to retire in Italy and make the transition overseas as smooth as possible.
The very first step is actually a very enjoyable one! You need to take a number of reconnaissance trips and visit a number of varied regions of the nation so that you can decide for sure where abouts in Italy you want to live. So you’ve holidaying in Tuscany and are dead set on retiring to a farmhouse overlooking the rolling Tuscan countryside? But have you ever even visited Calabria for example? Or even Umbria? Italy is a stunning nation of dramatic geographic and social contrasts. You may find you feel more at home in the cooler north or you may be drawn to the warmer climate in the south. You may find you can relate more to the people in large towns and cities, or you may find you feel much more at home living near a village community.
You should not take it upon yourself to decide up front and instantly where in Italy you want to live. Rather you should take several extended leisure breaks at different times of the year in different parts of the country. You need to get a feel for what Italy is like out of tourist season and also in the depths of winter – because even the warmest parts of the country can get very cold and bleak in January. Are you prepared to cope with this?
These trips will not only help you decide whether retirement in Italy is right for you, they will help you focus in on which parts of the country suit you and your retirement requirements best - and what’s more, they will help you get a feel for the sort of property you ultimately want to buy. You will probably quickly realise that despite the fabulous climate Italy enjoys for most of the year, you will actually need more than just an open fireplace to keep you warm in the winter for example. What’s more, you’ll learn how well you can get by living in Italy with your level of Italian.
You can use the time exploring the nation to practice what you have learned already – and you can even use the time to sign up for intensive language courses as well perhaps and combine langauge learning with exploration of Italy. When you’re back in Blighty you can continue the good work while you get all your affairs in order ready for your relocation and either sign up for a correspondence course or try and find a local college or school where they offer Italian courses. The more Italian you know before you go, the easier your relocation to Italy will be.
The main point about preparing to retire in Italy is that you need to know what you’re getting yourself into! I.e., be sure about the location, be sure about the property type you want, be sure about your Italian language skills and be certain that you really can love living in Italy in retirement because it is a big move to make and not one you should enter in to lightly!