Best 5 Places to Live in Piedmont Italy for English-Speakers

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In the heart of Northern Italy lies the picturesque region of Piedmont, renowned for its stunning and diverse nature, profound historical roots, and unbelievable cuisine. For English-speaking expatriates seeking a slice of Italian life, Piedmont offers a myriad of elegant towns and cities to call home.

From vibrant urban centers for job seekers to tranquil countryside retreats for retirees, My Dolce Casa selected the five best places in Piedmont to live where English-speakers can immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of this region highly-recommended by expats.

Things to look forward to in Piedmont

One of the few landlocked regions of Italy, Piedmont is famous for its lush green hills and beautiful mountains. Though it’s not known for coastlines of sandy beaches and salty seas, the region is just north of Liguria, the “Italian French Riviera,” which is quickly reachable by car.

A budget-friendly location, Piedmont is ranked 14th most expensive region out of 20. Home prices in Piedmont average $258,000, around $128 per square foot, with average apartment prices hovering around $100,000. In general, the area is quite affordable, especially in smaller towns and suburbs. But remember, Piedmont doesn’t have an overwhelmingly expensive city like Rome or Milan jacking up the average home prices.

Renowned for its truffles, cheeses, and cured meats, Piedmontese cuisine offers fresh flavors rooted in traditional recipes passed down through generations. Pairing perfectly with these culinary delights are the region’s world-class wines, including Barolo, Barbaresco, and Barbera, which are produced in its lush vineyards nestled among the rolling hills.

The region’s hilly and mountainous landscape isn’t just great for wines; it’s the perfect setting for many outdoor activities. Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are popular, and the area has access to some of the country’s most popular ski resorts.

The large region also borders Switzerland and France, so it may be a great place to settle if you’re looking to visit the neighboring countries. However, the hills and mountains don’t make it the most accessible region in the country.

Vineyards Piedmont Italy

Downsides to living in Piedmont

Tons of people want to move to Italy for sandy beaches and Mediterranean weather. Unfortunately, Piedmont has neither. As previously mentioned, the region is landlocked, though the southern cities are close to the coast. Additionally, the area does get pretty cold in the winter months and is foggy throughout the year.

Though Piedmont is a cozy region, it may feel a bit disconnected from the rest of Italy. Piedmont may not be the best region for you if you’re into nightlife or big crowds. Plus, you’ll always have to go through Milan by train to connect to other regions or countries throughout Europe.

With transportation in mind, you’ll probably want to get a car, especially if you live in a smaller town. Turin is perhaps the only city in the region where you can get by on foot.

Top places to live in Piedmont Italy

5. Alba

With food, beauty, and friendly people, Alba is a small town of around 31,000 people in the Cuneo province of Piedmont. Its picturesque location, surrounded by hills, vineyards, and villages is perfect for nature lovers and a quiet lifestyle. Additionally, the charming old town center is characterized by its well-preserved medieval towers and cobblestone roads, a lovely place for a Sunday walk.

Alba is Piedmont’s gourmet food capital, particularly known for truffles and chocolates. In fact, Ferrero Rocher and Nutella both originated in this city. You’ll find the White Truffle Fair in October and November, where you can explore tons of certified truffles. The truffles sold here are certified by a monitoring committee, too.

White Truffles

In April, the city hosts the Vinum Wine Festival, featuring exceptional wines from the region and worldwide.

Alba is also decently central in Piedmont, though it may not be the best if you’re only relying on public transportation. By car, the city is two hours to the beachy coast and two hours to the snowy mountains for skiing. However, this time drastically increases if you take the train or bus.

On top of this, the cost of homes in Alba is quite high, typically over $400,000. This is one of the priciest in the area, but probably because the town itself is quite small. The smaller towns around Alba are decently affordable.

4. Bra

Another picturesque town, Bra is nestled in the hills of Roero and Langhe in southern Piedmont. A small, quaint university town surrounded by thriving farms, Bra, like many towns in Italy, is known for its fantastic food.

Bra Piedmont Italy

Despite good food being a trope of Italy, Bra is especially known because it’s where the slow food movement started. The concept believed food should be locally grown, prepared, and eaten with care and appreciation, which is the ethos of Italian eating in general. You’ll find tons of unique and delicious foods at the restaurants around the city, like salsciccia di Bra, a veal sausage.

Bra goes one step further in its appreciation for food, too, because it’s the home of the University of Gastronomic Sciences. The university also brings a livelier, younger atmosphere to the town.

Bra Piedmont Italy

Homes in Bra average for around $320,000, which is somewhat expensive for the region. However, compared to the bigger cities that it’s close to, these prices are decent.

While life in Bra is charming, you may find limited employment opportunities, especially for non-Italian speakers. On top of that, the slower pace of life in Bra may not be suited for everyone.

3. Alessandria

With a population of around 94,000, Alessandria offers a good balance of quiet, small-town feel with enough people living there to not feel like a ghost town. Though the town is fairly quiet, it still has a sizable city center that offers many events, like the yearly SkabluesJazz Festival in summer.

Alessandria Italy

Smack-dab in the middle of Turin, Milan, and Genoa, Alessandria’s location attracts tons of commuters. Despite the northern area of Italy’s reputation for expense, Alessandria is one of the cheapest cities in the country. Homes average for around $178,000 at just $89 per square foot.

The town center has tons of historical and artistic significance, with grandiose piazzas and palaces found throughout the area. The city was built on a flat plain, which is surrounded by Tortonese and Monferrato hills. The hills offer tons of vineyards, olive trees, and other farms, which produce the fresh ingredients that the cafes, osterias, and markets in the city sell on a seasonal basis.

Alessandria Piedmont Italy

On the downside, though, is the region’s weather. Winters are wet and cold, and the area is generally foggy and cloudy. Plus, you may find it difficult to get around the smaller areas of town, though access to the bigger cities is a train ride away.

But despite this, Alessandria does provide lovely outdoor activities all year round. You’ll find hikes through the hills in spring and summer and skiing in the nearby mountains in the winter.

2. Moncalieri

Twenty minutes south of Turin, Moncalieri is a suburb that is an excellent location for expats settling in Italy with children. The town of just over 57,000 is much quieter and family-friendly on the outskirts of Turin while also close to the international school in Chieri.

Moncalieri Piedmont Italy

Like so many Italian towns, Moncalieri has a rich history of the many settlers that lived there, from the Romans to the Franks. With constant fighting over the strategically important trading bridge over the Po River, the Sabaudo Castle was built, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity Site.

Visitors and locals visit the historical center that the castle overlooks, stroll through the ancient streets, and enjoy the churches, aristocratic buildings, courtyards, and alleyways. The city hosts tons of amazing events, including their own version of Mardi Gras with floats and other spectacles, a jazz festival in the fall, and much more.

Prices in Moncalieri are slightly lower than in Turin, with the average home costing $366,000, around $20,000 less than the bigger city. However, you can find larger homes and much more outdoor space in this town compared to Turin.

Moncalieri is also well connected by train and bus to major cities. Turin is just 20 or so minutes away, and Milan is just over an hour by train or bus. This makes the city a great launching point for anyone looking to travel in the region,

Though the town is great for small families, this may not be the best location for a single person or couples looking for big nightlife. Though Turin is quite close, trains and buses tend to stop running consistently after 11 PM, so you struggle to find a way home.

1. Turin

As the biggest city in the region, Turin is a great town for people looking for a lively city. With over 800,000 people in the city, the town is a perfect balance of big-city events, like live music and busy street markets, without ever feeling overcrowded.

Turin Italy

One significant aspect of the city is it’s surrounded by green space. You can find small parks and larger villas throughout the city, where residents can go to enjoy fresh air, dog walks, or runs. Hikes to Superga Hill are accessible by public transportation, and you can also find swim spots, skiing mountains, and other outdoor activities nearby by car.

Italian culture is very focused on quality over quantity, and Turin food represents this philosophy. At restaurants and local markets, you’ll find fresh, seasonal ingredients from farms just outside of the city. Plus, you can find high-quality food on any budget, whether you’re looking for a Michelin-star restaurant or a pizza by the slice.

Public transportation within the city is great, and it’s easy to get around on foot or by bike. But, if you want to take day trips to other cities or to your outdoor adventures, you’ll probably need access to a car. On top of this, the city feels relatively isolated from the rest of Italy. Though the town center is just an hour’s train ride away from Milan, you’ll have to make it to the big city if you want to go anywhere else.

Turin Italy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering how big the city is, Turin is also one of the most expensive places to live in Piedmont. The average home in Torino will set you back roughly $380,000, while the average rent in Turin for a two-bedroom apartment is $860. But, if you compare it to Milan, where the average home costs over $1 million, Turin is reasonably priced.

This article originally appeared on MyDolceCasa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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