Retire to Italy: Forbes Magazine Recommends
We were very pleased to read that America’s favourite magazine amongst the wealthy, Forbes, has recommended Le Marche as one of their top recommended destinations to retire to. Famed for its Forbes 400 list of the world’s richest people, together with Forbes 2000 – what it views as the top 2000 global companies, it was a recommendation that many welcomed.
We, of course, have been shouting about the benefits of moving to Le Marche for years. With stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, ski resorts and top-quality Italian life, this relatively undiscovered region of Italy has an old fashioned charm and offers authentic Italian living.
Le Marche is situated in central Italy, surrounded by Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria & Abruzzo, backed by the Sibillini and Apennine mountain ranges on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. Relax at the beach and hike in the mountains within an hour. Covering an area of 9,400 kilometres with 1.5 million inhabitants, there is plenty of space for large houses, rarely any queues (even in the height of summer) and with foreigners making up only 8% of the regions population, an authentic Italian way of life.
As Forbes suggests, state healthcare (as Italy provides) is a huge benefit, particularly to those from countries where healthcare is paid for, and notes that many Americans have retired to the region over the years. Low-interest rates make borrowing to buy a house more attractive than in some countries, and a relatively lower cost of living ensures that retirement funds are stretched as far as possible.
As far as food is concerned, we love the fact that we can only eat foods that are in season. Italy does not permit GM foods to be grown within the country, although it does allow them to be imported. Organic isn’t a term that is used here as most foods are freshly grown and have not been tampered with, so we try to buy from our local fruit and vegetable shops and butchers.
Medieval hilltop towns (borgo) are in abundance, dotted over the rugged terrain as far as the eye can see, with Renaissance art and architecture all around. Visit the World Heritage city and birthplace of Raphael, Urbino for a lesson in dazzling Renaissance history, its famed Palazzo Ducale drawing hundreds of visitors every year. Visit http://www.gallerianazionalemarche.it/en/ for more.
We love Ascoli Piceno, with its grand Piazza del Popolo (perfect for cappuccino and people watching) hosting jousting competitions during the summer with everyone in period costume, while the mighty church in Loreto is a site of Catholic pilgrims who visit the home of the Virgin Mary.
Every town, no matter how small, seems to have an opulent theatre. Hundreds of years old, the gilded boxes and frescoed ceilings witness evening shows and concerts (there are always year-round shows and productions to choose from). Visit Macerata with its outdoor amphitheatre Sferisterio, where its summer Opera festival is held each year, and jazz and accordion festivals are in abundance in the birthplace of the accordion, Castelfidardo.
Day to day life in Le Marche is wonderful, with friendly people who welcomed us into their community with ease (we are never short of lunch and dinner invitations!), and with every town holding its own festivals throughout the year, any retiree concerned about making friends need not worry.
Along the coast, blue flag beach towns such as Pesaro, San Benedetto del Tronto & Grottammare rank amongst our favourites for seafood restaurants and family friendly bathing, while the colourful hilltop town of Numana overlooks the sea. Sirolo offers secluded beaches that can only be accessed by boat, great coastal walks and azure blue waters.
The main autostrada runs from Milan all the way down to the Italy’s heel, running along the coast that ensures a scenic drive. Le Marche’s hilltop towns all link (eventually!) to the highway so getting around is relatively easy. A good rail and bus network also ensures that Rome, Bologna and the South of the country are all within easy reach, ensuring that visits from family and friends who fly in to see you are guaranteed.