Why Retire to Italy?
Retiring to Italy offers an extraordinary quality of life that is hard to find elsewhere. The country’s rich artistic and cultural heritage, historic architecture, and world-class cuisine make it a top choice for retirees seeking a serene yet vibrant lifestyle. The pace of life in Italy is generally more relaxed, allowing you to enjoy leisurely days exploring picturesque towns, local markets, and scenic landscapes.

Another major advantage is the cost of living, which is generally much lower in many regions when compared to the USA and the UK. This means your retirement savings can stretch further, affording you more comfort. Italy also boasts excellent healthcare services and an overall temperate climate, making it a pleasant solution throughout the year.

Where to Move?
When deciding where to retire in Italy, consider exploring towns that participate in the special 7% flat tax regime for foreign retirees. This incentive allows you to benefit from a reduced, 7% tax rate on your worldwide income (not only your pension) for up to 10 years. It is available to individuals who have not been residents of Italy for at least five years prior to their move.

One of the most important requirements for benefiting from this regime is receiving a pension from abroad; the pension can either be issued by a private or public institution. You do not need to be an Italian citizen to qualify for the 7% Flat Tax Regime. In addition, you must establish residency in Italy to be eligible for the incentive.

Keep in mind these other specific criteria:

  • Residency Requirement: You must establish residency in an Italian municipality located in Southern Italy. Eligible regions include Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Apulia, Sardinia, and Sicily.
  • Municipality Population: The chosen municipality must have a population of no more than 20,000 people. It is advisable to verify population data using the Annual Municipal Statistical Survey provided by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) for updated numbers.
  • Residency Duration: You must not have resided in Italy for five years prior to applying for the incentive.

Towns such as Città Sant’Angelo (Province of Pescara), Sulmona (Province of Aquila), Vietri Sul Mare (Province of Salerno), and Amatrice (Province of Rieti) are just some of the many designated municipalities offering this tax benefit. These locations provide the charm and authenticity of traditional Italian living while also offering the added advantage of significant tax savings.

How Do I Relocate Full-Time to Italy?
If you hold dual Italian citizenship, you have the freedom to live in Italy without any restrictions. However, if you are a citizen of a non-EU country such as the USA or the UK, you will need to obtain a long-term visa to stay in Italy for more than 90 days.

The most common choice for retirees is the Elective Residency Visa. This visa is designed for individuals who have a stable income from pensions, investments, or other financial means and wish to reside in Italy permanently without working there. To qualify, you must demonstrate a sufficient and stable passive income that meets the requirements set by Italian authorities. You also need to own or rent a home in Italy.

Purchase a Home in Italy
Foreign citizens can purchase a property in Italy even prior to establishing residency if there is an international treaty between Italy and the country of origin of the purchaser that permits a condition of reciprocity. In other words, a non-resident foreigner can purchase a property in Italy only if an Italian citizen can purchase a property in the foreigner’s country.

U.S. citizens are free to purchase homes in Italy even prior to relocating.

Most foreign pensioners decide to purchase a home in the areas in central and southern Italy that allow them to qualify for the special 7% tax regime.


Italian Real Estate Lawyers can assist you in finding your perfect home in Italy and navigating the immigration process. Whether you are looking to start your property search right away, or you have some inquiries regarding relocation, the Elective Residency Visa, or the special tax regime for pensioners we are here to help. Contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com!