A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – meaning before we had kids – my wife and I spent 10 wonderful days in the tiny Italian village of Rada di Chianti. We didn’t do a whole lot more than take in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, sip amazing wine and eat great meals. But that time in Rada remains one of our favorite memories.
Imagining spending your retirement in such a beautiful corner of Italy. Too expensive, you guess? In Tuscany, perhaps. But not in the Abruzzo region. One way to stretch your retirement resources is to move to an area with a low cost of living. That’s one reason so many “Floridians” and “North Carolinians” are really New Yorkers and New Jerseyites. American retirees with a sense of adventure are increasingly going offshore — to countries and regions that offer a full life at a modest cost. Abruzzo is a perfect example.
Located near both the mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Abruzzo offers magnificent scenery and tons of outdoor activities, ranging from snow skiing to beach walking. Modern highways give you easy access to Rome, which in turn puts all of Europe within range via cheap Ryanair flights.
Once a backwater, Abruzzo has been on the economic rise for the past couple of decades. But make no mistake; this is still a rural region, not a tourist destination. So, while the touristy amenities might be lacking, Abruzzo can offer a very authentic rustic Italian lifestyle at a very low price.
How low? A couple can live comfortably in one of Abruzzo’s many small towns for about $1,400 a month, rent included. Prefer to own? A charmingly dilapidated vintage house can be had for around $5,500. Want to truly live the Abruzzo life? Consider buying a small farm and growing your own food.
Because Abruzzo is such a rural, non-touristy area, you really must speak Italian if you plan to make a life in the region. So factor in the cost of Rosetta Stone when planning your relocation.