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Emilia Romagna

Italy - Emilia Romagna

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna has the city of Bologna for its capital and a population totalling more than 4 million people. This area has undergone a great deal of development and has one of the strongest economies in the country. There is a high quality of life and the area is very popular with tourists. Nearly 9% of the population of the area are expats and one of the reasons that the area is popular is because it has managed to keep its traditions.

The area has good weather all year round, although some inland areas can see low temperatures in winter. Inland areas also have higher rainfall than the coastal areas.

The area of Emilia Romagna is popular with expat retirees as it offers a chance to experience the traditional Italian way of life. There have been many new developments in the region, particularly in coastal areas, and some of these are being marketed towards those who are interested in retirement or a second home. It is also a popular region due to the good climate and is particularly popular with those from colder areas in Northern Europe.

There are opportunities in large cities such as Bologna to purchase existing businesses and these can offer a variety of types of work, from restaurants to services such as hairdressing and building. The coastal areas have opportunities for tourism based businesses such as bars and cafes and there are many properties which are ideal for use as a small hotel.

Emilia Romagna has large numbers of properties which are in need of renovation. As there are many national parks in the region there are severe restrictions on the building of new properties and this has sent prices of existing properties soaring. This has made the ‘rustico’ properties – disused farmhouses – very attractive to expat buyers. Most of these properties are on large parcels of land which also has outbuildings on it, and as an existing structure, permission to convert into living accommodation can be easily obtained, giving the owner the potential for renting out self contained holiday accommodation.

The Ligonchio council (in the National Park) has a number of schemes in place to encourage people to invest in property in the area. One of these is to make renovation properties exempt from local property taxes for a period of five years. The authorities will also give careful consideration to planning applications for extensions and barn conversions. There are plans for similar schemes in other local authorities, so it is worth asking in advance in the area you are planning on moving too and find out how much assistance you can obtain.

There are number of benefits to buying in this region of Italy. There are grants available for those who are planning to restore older properties and the local council taxes are very low when compared with other countries in the EU. The measures that the different local authorities are planning to take should sit well with those who want to run their own tourist based business, as the plans are to encourage more tourists into the area. The benefits could make the area very attractive to those who want to retire to the area too. Those who have families and want to move to a rural property in this part of Italy should be aware that schools will be a short drive away.

The city of Bologna is the capital of the region and has both historic and modern districts. There is a university so there is both reasonably priced accommodation for those who are looking to live in rented accommodation and the opportunity to run a business as a student landlord. Other business opportunities in the area include finding an established business for sale. Property prices vary depending upon the district but it is possible to buy an apartment or a house at a reasonable price. The same applies for the cities of Modena and Ferrara. The cities have good schools, with plenty to choose from, good shopping facilities and leisure amenities. The more residential districts on the outskirts of the cities are quieter areas than the city centres and property prices are usually cheaper.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.