Best places to live in Italy: Top 5 cities

Italian cities with the highest quality of life

The well-known business newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” has been studying the quality of life in Italian cities and provinces every year since 1991.

The study’s 90 indicators are grouped into six macro categories: Prosperity & Consumption, Economy & Employment, Justice & Security, Demographic Development, Environment & Services, and Culture & Leisure. In this article we cover the best places to live in Italy according to the 2022 data. 

Best places to live in Italy

These are the top five Italian cities with the highest quality of life in 2022:

1. Bologna

The fifth time on the winner’s podium, the capital of Emilia-Romagna scores in many respects, especially in education, healthcare and innovation. One of Europe’s top universities is located here. And with a population of about 390,000, Bologna is definitely a (small) big city with corresponding cultural and recreational offerings, but without the chaos of the metropolises of Rome and Milan. The only minus point: in terms of safety, Bologna only occupies one of the lower ranks, even though it has caught up somewhat in this regard over the past year.

2. Bolzano

South Tyrol’s beautiful capital regularly occupies one of the first places, thanks to top marks in pretty much all categories. In addition, there is the tremendous recreational appeal due to its geographic location. Overall, as in previous years, the provinces of the Trentino-Alto Adige region are among the top performers in terms of quality of life.

3. & 4. Florence and Siena

Undisputedly two of the most beautiful cities in the world. But also in terms of quality of life, Florence and Siena stand out.

To the surprise of many, Florence has clearly made up ground recently. Since 2003, the city had no longer occupied one of the top ranks. Together with Pisa (10th place), Florence and Siena make Tuscany a particularly interesting region for people looking to buy real estate. Florence occupies first place for culture and leisure, and sixth place for its environment, while Siena ranks fourth and second, respectively. Florence fares worst in the area of security and crime prevention. Siena does much better here, but is further behind in the economy and employment category.

5. Trento

The largest city in the Trentino-Alto Adige region impresses with its enormous recreational value. And not only thanks to the Dolomites right on its doorstep. There is a particularly rich range of sports opportunities here, as well as a strong presence of start-up companies so that Trento ranks second nationally in this category behind the economic metropolis of Milan.


Although these are considered some of the best places to live in Italy, the country’s rich heritage, magnificent buildings, cities steeped in history and regions with landscapes are as sublime as they are varied. One could say there is no ‘bad’ place to live n Italy.

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