Where to retire in Calabria?


I have recently been interested in Italy for retirement. I hear that Calabria has very beautiful terrain and beaches. The problem I am having is Calabria is huge and can't really decide where to invest. I do want a beach view, mountain or hill side view, I want mostly flat land but some slope is fine. I am looking into older homes not new or modern. My necessities will be internet, electricity, hot running water, gas and a sewer line. I do not want to live in the middle of no where. I want to be close to mid sized towns to say the least. That will include markets, shopping, etc. I do not have a lot of money so I cannot purchase something very expensive. Thank you for your help and time.

Hi Shant21!

Welcome to Expat.com :)


Thank you Armand.

Anyone willing to give me some information?



Did you find any useful information from anywhere?  Are you still looking?



Could you please lower your caps lock when posting. On any forum, posting in uppercase is considered rude and is the same as shouting at someone.
Thank you.

Hi. I'm a retired American living in Crotone, Calabria. I can easily live here on my social security. Cost of housing is low. Food is amazing and the wine even better. It's very pretty and located right on the Ionic sea. About 65k people, and everyone walks. So it's easy to get around if you live in town. However, very, very few speak English. If you want more information my email is:  ***

How did you decide on Calabria? My husband and I are thinking about living in Italy for a year but not sure where.

Hello. I chose Calabria because that's where my partner is from originally. We were looking for an inexpensive place to live, but on the beach, which is what we have in Crotone. Also, he wanted to go back to a more relaxed way of life where the food and wine are fantastic. These are the reasons. We looked in more northern areas, such as Sorrento, but the cost of living was much higher. Southern Italy is a tough transition, because it's such a very different way of life. Most people in the southern part of Italy do not speak English. Happy to answer any questions.

Thanks.  We don't speak Italian and thought southern Italy would be a tourist draw necessitating more English.  We're just starting our process so your insight is very helpful.

Hi, I was born and raised in Pizzo Calabro . I suggest you looking at this area given that the hills finish right at the sea so a possibility to get an affordable  place in the hills overlooking the sea and the easiness of transportation ( Lamezia International Airport is few km away and the area is located on the main rail line from Rome to Reggio an  important consideration as Calabria as other southern regions suffer from lack of good and timely transportation). I agree with the other replier from Crotone (an area I am very familiar with) that there is very little english spoken here possibly except in Tropea which is a well know European beach resort area. Still don't expect the person working at a store to speak english. In regards to food,no matter where you go to Italy food is excellent and it varies by region. Wine on the other hand is impacted by weather and soil. Given its location, good Calabrian wines are not as plentiful as in the regions north of Calabria (don't get me wrong I have drank very good Calabrian wines but given their prices I could have gotten some excellent  wines from the North) .  Given the current recession and the favorable $ to euro rates, it is an excellent time to look for a place. In this area, I know there are realtors who speak english and deals with foreigners something to consider if buying something.
In my case, I have still family in Calabria so it would be easy getting a place there. But, i also like to travel and the issue with transportation in Calabria is an issue. I am looking north in the Marche and Abruzzi areas.  I hope this helps

Thank you.  My husband's family came from Calabria and mine came from Troia.  Traveling w/o a car is a big concern for us.  I hadn't thought about checking transportation in various areas.

I am currently in Verona and one of the reasons for choosing this city was the easiness of transportation. I can easily catch a train to everywhere in Italy and it has an airport. And, if I need to rent a car, there are many places to do so. I lived in Chicago for 18 years so I enjoy urban life. However, I don't enjoy the traffic and  car noises in a city such as Rome. I am not sure where in the US you live but that is another consideration you may want to look into.

Thanks,  we live in northern VA. Just outside DC.  So avoiding traffic is a concern.   So in moving from Chicago, I'm guessing the weather was not a concern.  Did you buy or rent?  We are planning on staying one year so buying is not for us.  Is it difficult to find furnished housing?  Is the cost of living affordable?  We don't speak Italian yet and don't expect to learn enough before we get there.  Do you see that as a problem?  Why did you decide to move to Italy?  We really appreciate the info we've been getting.  Thanks.

Why did I decide on Italy? I was born and raised here and always yearned to return. I am definitely an American when it comes to business and how things should be done (and I don’t even look Italian from my complexion), but ,from a cultural and food/wine point of view, I am very much Italian.
From you questions, I assume that your travel to south of   Italy has been minimal. The south is a beautiful section of Italy. It is not as buildup as and its economy is not at par with the rest of the country, a situation  which  has attracted some northern Italian and other Europeans especially Russians to buy and built  there in the past 10 yeras. Train and bus transportation (I think due to its economy) is not as widespread and timely as in the northern part and English is not widely spoken outside of hotels/restaurants. Given the latter, my suggestion would be to decide on another section of Italy.
I think you said you want to be by the sea. So, following are some of my suggestions (which may be slighter more costly than a Calabrian location)  by keeping in mind that in a small city you may have more cultural things to do, better access to  transportation, English and stores. But, it could appear chaotic (but not crazy as in the south) from a traffic standpoint:
1)    Look in Liguria around the city of La Spezia ( it’s close to the famous although extremely crowded by tourists Cinque Terre)
2)    Look at the southern part of Tuscany in Grosseto . I stayed a week last year in this region in Porto S. Stefano , a beautiful little town well known by Italians and English people but not too many Americans.
3)    Look at the Marche/ Abruzzi area. I actually visited Porto S. Giorgio this past weekend. Nice  area but too sleepy for me in the offseason.

There a lot more places but I think too many may become confusing. There are not issues in finding a furnished apartment ( It will be more difficult getting wi-fi but welcome to Italy). But, I suggest asking yourself what are your priorities before you decide on a location. Is it the cultural and other events  or is it, transportation ( I am assuming you will be using the apartment is a central location to visit other areas of Italy). You will find excellent food and wines throughout  Italy so not a consideration as far as I am concerned. Also, the weather is similar to yours although this year similar to the US has been extremely cold. Remember it is sunny Italy.
Look at the following site for apartments although it is in Italian : http://immobiliare.mitula.it/ .
Lastly , I guess you know that you will need a visa in order to remain in Italy more than 90 days.
Hopefully, this helps and, if you have more questions, send me your e-mail in a message on this site as I sometime overlook the blog. I need to get back to the US as I was just wintering here, my 90 days are coming to an end and I have an elderly mom to take care.
Ciao e buona fortuna, nico

Hi Eileen,
Just read your post. Thanks for all the info! Why do you consider southern Italy to be a tough transition?


Thank you! This has been extremely helpful!
I would love to pick your brain more if you have time - my email is***

Where/when are you coming to the States?

Grazie mille!

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ok thank you!

I'm living here my husband is from calabria is one of the best part of italy. I my self in love with this place, People are so nice and friendly, food are soo good and if you love baech, mountain, nature than is the right place to be. However if you are not familiar with the places it can be confusing
Try to check city like Tropea, Reggio calabria, catanzaro Lido, etc. 
Good luck and hopely you will find the right City soon.

I am considering the same but only for 6 months and am willing to rent a small cottage that allows dogs. I'm semi-retired and will be visiting March 14th tthough the  March 29, 2019.
I am hoping to spend my second week looking for a place and am very interested in a walkable community near the beach.
Keep me posted and if you are in Italy the same time, maybe we can look together.
I just want an easier lifestyle to enjoy learning about Italy, meetingnlocal people and maybe take some cooking classes and invite my new friends to a meal.

Sincerely, Liz

How I can visiting and living in Calabria?
I want to inform that I'm from Morocco.

Look at groups in Facebook to ask this questions. From what I read in their posts , there are people in Calabria but they are spread out so not sure if you will find any regular meetings. There are few groups   of English speaking  people of which I was a member that met regularly . But most are located in the northern in larger tourist cities (Milano, Verona, etc) , while one in the Marche. Now as a resident of Piemonte, no such groups exists here . Maybe you can find one or two people near your location to meet periodically.  Buona Fortuna

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