Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - A Slice of La Dolce Vita
Who wouldn't want to experience la dolce vita, or "the sweet life", in the beautiful Tuscan countryside? This iconic region of Italy embodies relaxation, indulgence, art, history, food and wine - everything needed for a taste of the good life. Tuscan towns like San Casciano dei Bagni offer visitors a chance to temporarily embrace an Italian pace of living.
As Jacobi notes in his guide to finding cheap flights, you don't have to break the bank for a European vacation. Affordable airfare makes destinations like Tuscany accessible. Once you arrive, the euro goes far when you indulge in regional specialties and participate in free activities. Renting an Italian villa also brings down accommodation costs.
Will Dobson, who relocated from New York to San Casciano dei Bagni, insists la dolce vita is not just for vacationers. In his words, “It's easy to have a good life here.” Historic piazzas, mom-and-pop shops and convivial coffee bars lend a quaint, old-world charm. Locals pride themselves on taking time to savor life's simple pleasures.
Of course, la dolce vita looks different for everyone. For Dobson, it meant swapping a finance career for freelance work surrounded by nature and art. Other remote workers relish Tuscan views as their "office." Some retirees find their Italian Eden by the sea or in the countryside. Families appreciate kid-friendly rural communities, safe streets and affordable childcare.
There's an ineffable magic to Tuscan towns that's hard to replicate back home. Past visitors rave about lingering over cappuccinos in cozy cafés, meandering through open-air markets and witnessing incredible sunsets. The pace of life resets stress levels. Mornings start with a focaccia run rather than a crowded commute.
What else is in this post?
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - A Slice of La Dolce Vita
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Rolling Hills and Cypress Trees
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Medieval Architecture Meets Modern Amenities
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Work Remotely from an Italian Villa
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Indulge in Local Cuisine and Wine
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Soak Up the Sun on Pristine Beaches
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Explore Quaint Villages and Countryside
- Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - A New Beginning Under the Italian Sun
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Rolling Hills and Cypress Trees
The ethereal Tuscan countryside instills a sense of wonder with its rolling hills and sentinel-like cypress trees. As you traverse the region by car or bike, this sublime scenery unfolds in a cinematic fashion. Rustic farmhouses and crumbling villas crown far-off ridges. Neat rows of vines stripe the undulating terrain in geometric patterns. Cypress groves punctuate the landscape, standing erect like exclamation points.
When Peter Mayle penned “A Year in Provence,” he rhapsodized about the cypress trees dotting the countryside: “They are so much part of the landscape that you hardly notice them, until one day their absence hits you with a jolt.” The slim, tapering trees have become visual shorthand for Tuscan vistas. These evergreens thrive in the region’s Mediterranean climate and limestone soil. Their drought-resistant nature makes them well-suited for lining roads and hillside groves.
While cypress trees remain ubiquitous in both public and private spaces, many have sadly succumbed to disease and development over the years. Conservation efforts strive to preserve these magnificent trees for future generations. Some nonprofit groups actually donate cypress saplings to landowners wishing to beautify their property.
Beyond their aesthetic value, Tuscany’s rolling hills directly impact the local economy. The undulating terrain allows for specialized agriculture like vineyards and olive groves. Sangiovese grapes thrive on the region’s hillsides, which provide ideal sun exposure, ventilation and drainage. Locals will tell you the varied microclimates impart nuanced flavors to Tuscan wines. From Montalcino to Montepulciano, acclaimed vintners produce iconic reds and whites.
Don’t just sample the wines - get a bird’s eye perspective of vineyards by ballooning over the Val d’Orcia. On a clear day, the patchwork hills resemble a tapestry unfolding beneath you. One could argue a hot air balloon ride perfectly encapsulates la dolce vita. You’ll return to terra firma both exhilarated by the scenery and utterly relaxed.
Back on the ground, the charming hill towns scattered across Tuscany rank among the region’s top attractions. Fabled destinations like San Gimignano beckon with honey-hued stone towers and lively piazzas. You’ll rub shoulders with fellow travelers, but avoid summer crowds by visiting in shoulder season. Meander narrow streets lined with enotecas and artisan workshops. Grab a cone of locally made saffron ice cream and take in a Tuscan sunset.
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Medieval Architecture Meets Modern Amenities
At first glance, the medieval architecture of Tuscan hill towns appears frozen in time, all honey-hued stone and pantile rooftops. But beyond the historic façades, you’ll discover all the modern amenities for 21st-century living. This seamless blend of old and new creates an enviable lifestyle for residents and visitors alike.
Jacopo, an architect from Milan, raves about the delightful juxtaposition after relocating to Montepulciano: “I get my morning espresso at a 15th century café in the piazza, then videochat with clients using lightning-fast fiber optic internet from my apartment overlooking the valley.”
Many Tuscan dwellings boast a rustic-chic design that pairs original architectural details like brick archways and carved ceilings with contemporary finishes. Vaulted spaces accommodate open concept layouts. Smart home technology regulates temperature and lighting in ancient structures. Stone walls get a modern makeover with sleek textures and neutral hues.
Once sleepy villages now buzz with lively cocktail bars and international eateries alongside classic trattorias. After leisurely dinners, locals and visitors congregate in atmospheric wine bars like Enoteca Brancaia for an aperitivo. “It somehow feels cozy and cosmopolitan at the same time,” says Sara, who makes the trek from Florence regularly. “You get that authentic village vibe while enjoying city-level amenities.”
Rural communities invest revenue from tourism into revitalizing local infrastructure. Recent upgrades ensure quality healthcare, education, transportation and recreation on par with much larger cities. Sports complexes, aquatic centers and well-equipped medical clinics improve everyday life for residents of all ages.
For Melanie, an American empty-nester, Tuscany’s blend of medieval and modern won her over: “I can get world-class healthcare 15 minutes away but be completely immersed in history once I get home to my villa.” She and her husband pamper visiting grandkids with gelato in the piazza by day and Netflix movies at night.
Of course, seamless WiFi throughout Tuscany enables remote work for expats like Melanie. Cable and fiber optic networks empower videoconferencing, cloud computing and uninterrupted streaming. “I worried remote work would be impossible,” admits Tyler, who ditched Seattle for a Tuscan villa, “but connectivity is way faster than back in the States!”
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Work Remotely from an Italian Villa
The prospect of working remotely from an idyllic Italian villa epitomizes la dolce vita for many travelers and expats. With COVID-19 accelerating remote work trends, that daydream has become reality for a growing number of professionals. While Tuscan hill towns still lag major metropolitan hubs in digital connectivity, recent infrastructure upgrades empower location-independent careers.
When architect Melanie Myers envisioned early retirement in Italy, unreliable internet posed a potential deal-breaker. But after relocating to the Tuscan countryside last year, she was pleasantly surprised: “I videoconference with clients and collaborate on design files just like back home in Chicago - no lag or outages to disrupt my workflow.”
Jacopo Olivieri made the move from Milan to sleepy Montepulciano before the pandemic hit. He appreciates the culture shock of stepping from his smart apartment into a 15th century piazza. “It satisfies my thirst for design influences from different eras,” he explains. “And I can work seamlessly thanks to the high-speed fiber optic network here.”
American expats Tyler and Simone opted to ditch their Seattle tech careers and become digital nomads. The couple tested out dreamy destinations like Bali and Bermuda before settling down in Tuscany. “We wanted great weather and cuisine plus a languid lifestyle,” says Tyler. “But we still have Silicon Valley levels of connectivity at our villa for video calls.”
Luckily, even ancient structures can accommodate cutting-edge tech upgrades. Kevin Thomson renovated a crumbling farmhouse into a remote work haven, complete with corner office. “Medieval architecture houses all my digital infrastructure - cable internet, cloud-enabled servers, smart lighting. The contrast is really cool.”
For remote workers, those contrasts prove inspiring. “I alternate between writing from a sun-drenched terrace and an antique wooden desk inside,” says novelist Lily Chen. “Each space enhances my creativity in different ways.” The cadence of Italian life also promotes focus for projects requiring deep concentration.
Of course, villa living provides the ultimate workplace perk: scenery. “I get my best thinking done on long walks in the countryside,” reveals product developer Noah Klein. “Solutions seem to flow more easily here.” Psychology studies confirm nature boosts idea generation, cognitive performance and focus.
When afternoon productivity lags, strolling down to a local café jumpstarts motivation. “I break up my workday with a cappuccino run to the piazza,” says Olivieri the architect. “It feels indulgent but gets me working efficiently again.”
Digital nomads need only pack a passport and laptop to recreate idyllic remote offices. “We sustain our careers - and sanity - by essentially bringing our jobs on vacation with us,” explains Tyler. “But my 'commute' is downhill through olive groves.”
For professionals seeking a change of pace, Tuscany teems with vacation rentals converted into enviable home offices. “Whenever I need creative inspiration, I book a mini 'workation' at a rural villa through platforms like Airbnb,” reveals Chen. “It feels indulgent but inspires productivity.”
Remote work visas also enable multi-month escapes immersed in la dolce vita. “I alternate extended stays in places like Tuscany and Bali thanks to long-term pass programs,” says Klein. “Slow travel lets me maximise workplace views and adventures.”
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Indulge in Local Cuisine and Wine
Tuscany tantalizes visitors with its medieval towns and rolling landscapes, but the region’s iconic cuisine and wine beckon your taste buds. Indulging in local specialties allows deeper immersion into Italian culture and the Tuscan pace of life.
Linger over long lunches at a hillside trattoria, sipping vino as the afternoon sun softens. Grab a picnic of pecorino cheese, salami and bruschetta to sustain you exploring ruins or vineyards. For dinner, tuck into ribollita stew or pappardelle Bolognese at a cozy osteria. Be sure to leave room for cantuccini and vin santo afterwards while chatting with the chef.
“Tuscan food is humble but focused on letting high quality ingredients shine,” explains Sara Bertolli, chef at Locanda Le Mandorle in Montepulciano. She sources from local farmers to craft regional recipes passed down through generations. “Tradition inspires my cooking, but I add creative touches like new spice blends.”
At Enoteca La Fortezza, you can sample such farm-to-table fare alongside acclaimed Tuscan wines. Their expansive cellar provides the perfect pairing for each dish. “Sangiovese's bright acidity and red fruit flavors complement the richness of cheeses and meat,” notes sommelier Luca Giacomelli. He helps diners navigate labels from both iconic and emerging winemakers.
Of course, no Tuscan meal is complete without olive oil - liquid gold in these parts. At Badia a Coltibuono, join families harvesting olives by hand after the autumn rains. Follow the pressing process from tree to bottle. Their single estate extra virgin olive oil makes the perfect digestif, notes Paolo Rossi, Badia’s master oil taster. “It’s incredibly fresh and fragrant, like tomatoes and freshly-mown grass.”
For a hands-on cooking class, chef Bertolli recommends Fattoria Poggio Alloro in San Gimignano. “You'll learn to make handmade pasta and tiramisu while getting swept up in the stories of Tuscan traditions and ingredients,” she says. Farmer Carolina will guide you selecting peak produce from her gardens.
Of course, Tuscany is synonymous with wine. Its rolling vineyards produce some of Italy’s most revered bottles. Near Montalcino, Banfi's sprawling estate beckons for tastings and tours. Their signature Brunello channels the terroir of the region with notes of dried cherry and leather.
Melanie Myers relishes having vineyards literally at her doorstep now that she calls Tuscany home: “I love getting to know the winemakers and vintages almost as neighbors.” She frequents the family-run Baracchi winery to refill her cellar with Cortona Syrah. “It's robust yet silky with aromas of violet and blackberry.”
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Soak Up the Sun on Pristine Beaches
While Tuscany evokes visions of rolling hills and medieval towns, the region also boasts pristine beaches and sunny coastlines. Travelers seeking a seaside escape can soak up la dolce vita along the Tyrrhenian Sea. From the trendy Versilia resorts to tranquil nature reserves, options abound for sun-drenched relaxation or active adventures.
Sea kayaking past tiny coastal islands represents a quintessential Tuscan beach experience. Paddle rentals in iconic destinations like Positano let you glide into secluded coves and grottoes only accessible from the water. The anaerobic workout builds up a thirst for an Aperol spritz at a beachfront bar afterwards. Just be sure to time your excursion for early morning or late afternoon to avoid choppy midday waves that can capsize beginners.
Of course, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) provides another seafaring way to soak up the Vitamin D along Cinque Terre's rugged coastline. Steady yourself on a wide board for better balance than with kayaking as you traverse the blue waters. “I love spotting colorful fish and tiny sea creatures floating below me!” says Sophia, who makes daily dawn patrols. She recommends packing reef shoes since sharp rocks can jab bare feet when launching or landing boards.
Travelers seeking a lively beach scene flock to resort towns like Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi in northwest Tuscany’s Versilia Riviera region. Dipping into the sea after browsing boutique shops feels indulgent. Beach clubs rent chaise lounges and sun umbrellas for making a day of it. Or escape the crowds by heading south to the Maremma’s pristine nature reserves.
“I love getting away from the touristy beaches up north and having the shore completely to myself down in Maremma,” reveals Nicco, an expat in Grosseto. Here nearly empty sand stretches unfurl all the way down to San Vincenzo near the border with Lazio. For ultimate isolation, travelers can boat over to the uninhabited island of Giannutri. Pack a picnic spread of Tuscan cheese, salami and olives to sustain you for a full day of swimming and sunbathing.
Windsurfing harnessing the sea breezes represents another way to play along Maremma’s beaches. Lessons in resort towns like Castiglione della Pescaia get first-timers balancing and riding the waves. More advanced windsurfers can ride for miles down the coast once they handle the temperamental currents. Early morning before the meltemi winds pick up proves the ideal time for learners to get the hang of the board without getting overwhelmed.
Of course, la dolce vita means slowing down and savoring the seaside at a more leisurely pace. For Susanna, that means staking out a quiet spot away from the crowds: “I start with a quick dip, then spend the day alternating between reading my novel and taking in the ocean view.” She suggests packing a comfy beach mat and blanket to create a cozy oasis. An afternoon snooze to the sound of lapping waves couldn't get more relaxing.
Other days, Susanna dons her mask and snorkel to explore beneath the sea’s surface at spots like Cala Galera. She delights in spotting colorful fish like wrasse and sea bream amidst the rocky reefs. Sea urchins dot the sandy patches near shore. “It feels so serene drifting weightlessly through this hidden underwater world,” she says. Just beware boat traffic that can make nearshore spots dangerous for lingering snorkelers.
Of course, families flock to beaches offering designated swimming areas and amenities like playgrounds. At Castiglione della Pescaia, kids squeal at the sandy water slides and shallows perfect for novice swimmers. After they tire themselves out, adults can enjoy a leisurely seafood lunch at a patio restaurant overlooking the water while the little ones nap. With childcare options always close at hand in villages, parents can tag team beach days and childminding duties.
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - Explore Quaint Villages and Countryside
Winding through the Tuscan countryside reveals a trove of captivating villages seemingly frozen in time. Narrow cobblestone streets thread between stone villas with weathered wooden shutters. Flower boxes adorn windowsills and ivy creeps up ocher facades. Locals linger in lively piazzas framed by the church and cafe. Beyond the charming town centers, winding lanes unfurl into rolling landscapes dotted with olive groves and rustic farmhouses. Exploring this bucolic countryside feels like stepping into an idyllic pastoral painting.
“I loved getting lost down winding dirt lanes through vineyards and fields of sunflowers,” recalls Sophia after a recent trip. “Each turn revealed a new postcard-perfect scene.” She suggests packing a picnic lunch to sustain your rural wanderings. Stop to nibble local cheese and salami beneath a shady cypress tree while butterflies flutter by.
Some villages like San Gimignano flaunt fabled skylines dotted with stone towers. Their crenelated silhouettes recall an era of warring rival clans. Meander narrow streets to uncover leather workshops and saffron gelato shops. Or simply stake out a spot on the piazza and watch everyday life unfold against a rich backdrop of history.
For allure off the tourist trail, Melissa suggests sleepy Volterra. “I was the only visitor browsing a charming bookstore specializing in medieval texts and herbology,” she recalls of its hidden gems. The winding lanes deliver glimpses into authentic local life. And the dramatic panoramas warrant hiking up to the ancient fortifications crowning town.
Enchanting country lanes radiate out from these villages into rural landscapes. Cyclists can traverse miles of gently rolling terrain. The spectacular scenery makes the occasional uphill climb worth the effort. Stop at a roadside farm stand for a refreshing glass of Chianti and picnic provisions.
Oenophiles shouldn’t miss cycling through vineyards surrounding Montalcino. “Row after row of vines formed a beautiful patchwork against the clay soil,” describes Tyler. He worked up a thirst pedaling past Sangiovese grapes destined for Brunello wine. Luckily, plenty of wineries welcome two-wheeled visitors.
For Armando, exploring the countryside means wandering flower-filled meadows with his sketchpad and charcoals. “I seek out little groves and hidden ponds to inspire my artwork,” he explains. The solitude and scenery foster creativity. Back in his studio, memories of idyllic afternoons focused on capturing a landscape’s details get translated into pieces.
When the sun sinks low, the fields and vineyards glow under golden hour light. Locals like Francesca gather wild herbs like sage and rosemary on their walk home. She inhales the fragrance of wildflowers like creamy-white Madonna lilies blooming along the path in spring. Back home, Francesca puts the bundle of herbs to good use seasoning a hearty Tuscan soup.
Under the Tuscan Sun: This Picturesque Italian Town Will Pay You to Move There - A New Beginning Under the Italian Sun
The alluring charm of Tuscany entices travelers to take the ultimate leap and start a new life under the Italian sun. Leaving behind the rat race for la dolce vita appeals to stressed professionals and retirees alike. But is relocating halfway across the world just a fanciful daydream or truly feasible?
“I was afraid it would be complicated and lonely, but moving here ended up being the best decision of my life,” insists Melanie, originally from Chicago. Like many visitors, she fell head over heels for Tuscany’s wine, art and pace of life. After a multi-year plan, Melanie made the big move upon early retirement. Now she splits time between a cozy apartment in Montepulciano and gardening at her country cottage.
Melanie admits the relocation process involves paperwork, but Italy enthusiastically welcomes foreign residents. “The commune officials practically rolled out the red carpet for me!” she laughs. Having an accountant familiar with immigration laws also smoothed the transition. But within a few months, her Italian residency permit was approved.
Melissa, an AmericanEmpty nester, echoes the welcoming sentiment: “Italians are so friendly, I felt at home right away.” She joined community groups to meet locals who were happy help her practice the language. Melissa also video calls her grandkids regularly to stay connected. “Technology makes the distance disappear.”
For Sophia, a seaside abode in Grosseto provided an inspiring writer’s retreat. “Waking up to olive groves outside my window fuels creativity,” she explains. Days filled with swimming, walking and sampling local fare reset a previously frenetic pace. “Life just seems healthier and happier here.” She sources design elements and story ideas exploring cobblestone alleys and vestiges of Etruscan civilization.
Of course, la dolce vita means something different for everyone. Families seeking a nurturing environment for kids find it in Tuscan villages. Affordable childcare and multigenerational living eases the transition.
Remote workers value Italy’s new digital nomad visa program. Professionals can stay over a year scoring dreamy home offices amid olive groves and vineyards. “I have everything needed to sustain my online business - fast wifi, cappuccinos and calm,” says American expat Lily. “Plus, I’ve made genuine friends in town.”
Retirees craving sunshine get their Vitamin D fix along charming Adriatic towns. Orchard views and lower costs of living stretch pensions further. As Sophia sums it up, “Life here feels rich in the things that truly matter: nature, family, food, rest.”