Italy News / Living / Milan & Lombardy

Best Places to Live in Italy: The 2019 Quality of Life Index

For those who are thinking about moving to Italy, Milan is the place to be. This is according to Il Sole 24’s annual Quality of Life Index

For the first time in the 20 years that Il Sole 24 has been conducting the Quality of Life Index, Milan has taken the top spot. It moved up seven spots from last year.

Bolzano, Aosta, Belluno, and Trento round out the top five, as has been typical of the past several years. Belluno placed first in the rankings for 2017-18.

Bologna placed at #7, up seven spots from last year. Roma and Firenze came in at 21 and 22, respectively.

While Milan earned the top overall ranking for the best place to live in Italy this year, it did not rank first for all of the livability factors. Il Sole 24 publishes each of these lists, giving readers the chance to look up a variety of factors that matter to them. For example, Trieste ranked #1 for its startup culture; Mantova #1 for its urban ecosystem; and Massa-Carrara #1 for number of bookstores per 100,000 inhabitants. 

Aerial view of Milan / photo via Il Sole 24 Ore

Here’s the Top 25 for 2018-19 (full list, with ranking factors, here):

  1. Milan
  2. Bolzano
  3. Aosta
  4. Belluno
  5. Trento
  6. Trieste
  7. Bologna
  8. Pordenone
  9. Treviso
  10. Gorizia
  11. Ravenna
  12. Lecco
  13. Verona
  14. Sondrio
  15. Modena
  16. Bergamo
  17. Vicenza
  18. Reggio Emilia
  19. Mantova
  20. Rimini
  21. Roma
  22. Firenze
  23. Monza e Brianza
  24. Udine
  25. Forlì-Cesena
Photo of Belluno, Veneto, winner of the Italy Quality of Life Index for 2017-18.
Photo via Il Sole 24

Each year, the Italian paper Il Sole 24 releases a ranking of 110 Italian cities according to a number of factors including artistic patrimony, public transportation, availability and affordability of fresh food, crime, housing prices, youth unemployment, and more.

I first wrote about the index for an Italy Roundtable post after getting letters from several readers, especially aspiring retirees, asking me where in Italy is the best place to move.



  • stellalucentellc
    30 August 2019 at 4:27 am

    Interesting that the northern Italian towns make the list. For me, the best “quality of life” I’ve had when visiting Italy was when visiting cousins – in a town so small in Abruzzo that it is not even on the map, and in my hometown of Ragusa.

    • Melanie Renzulli
      30 August 2019 at 6:55 am

      I don’t doubt that the quality of life can be great in places beyond this list. But I appreciate the fact that this list looks at all of these factors, like services and amenities, and helps people make a decision on where to live — or what can be improved upon in their own cities. Thanks for your insight!


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