Interesting facts & tips if you want to move to the beautiful Italian island
Dedicating quality time to ourselves in a more relaxed way, represents the positive aspect of these challenging times. And maybe one of the few!
Many of us have understood how important it is to slow down our rhythms and devote ourselves to the simple things in life: the food, reading a book, walking in nature, living by the sea.
Italy is synonymous with all these simple but fundamental aspects.
A recent study has identified some areas of Italy where to live in close contact with nature. We are not just talking about pensioners looking for economic places with the best weather.
A growing number of young people – in fact – have begun to reassess a quieter life away from the hustle and bustle of the city to give a different future to themselves and their children.
In fact, many young people decide to get away from the city stress and perhaps move to a small town in southern Italy. Working from home taking a restorative walk by the sea while eating a gelato.
Sounds pretty good, isn’t it?
What are the best areas to move to Italy?
Among the many places of Italy where to establish your own buen retiro we focus in our region, Sardinia.
In recent years it has aroused a growing interest among those who want to radically change their lives. Both Italians coming from the big mainland cities and foreigners, ask us about the best places where to move to Sardinia.
The aspects to consider before moving to Sardinia
What you need to know if you want to relocate to Sardinia
The first aspect to be considered by order of importance is that Sardinia is an island. It seems obvious to say this, but the insularity problem is quite evident, specially, for people accustomed to the efficiency of public transports and easy travels.
Insularity is particularly evident during the winter months, when airlines drastically reduce their routes to very few daily connections.
Those who live in Sardinia are used to making long stops at the airport especially to reach international destinations. Rome and Milan are the guaranteed connections all year round while the rest of the flights are seasonal. Generally more routes are added from March and from then traveling becomes relatively easier.
The ferries regularly active also during the winter period are with the Italy’s mainland to Genoa, Civitavecchia, Livorno. Barcelona-Porto Torres route remains active all year.
Our suggestion before moving to Sardinia is to bring your own car or rent one (at least for the first times).
- The bureaucracy
In Sardinia – as well as in the rest of Italy – you have to arm you with patience. Most of public offices are often managed very superficially and stifled by bureaucracy.
It happens to wait in line for hours just to be told when you finally get to the counter that you need eight photocopies or the office is wrong, the computer has broken or the only attendant who can handle your application is on vacation…
But none of this is an impediment, indeed as we have said it fortifies the character, a fundamental characteristic of sardinian. They wait patiently and never complain. Unfortunately this the result of an Italian system to which we have become accustomed over the years.
Despite this, Sardinians are generally relaxed and love to live in their island that would never change with any other place in the world.
- The weather
One of the most positive aspects for those who decide moving to Sardinia: the good weather. In Sardinia the sun is always shining. That’s right, it’s sunny even when it’s cloudy or raining. Even in the middle of winter in January and February the climate is often mild with temperatures around 20 ° .
The wettest periods are those of November and December but even with the storms and rain, Sardinia has a particular, wild and romantic charm!
The best season is from March to October with pleasant temperatures. In the summer from June to September temperatures rise considerably around 30° with peaks even above 35°.
The heat is attenuated by the sea breeze in the seaside resorts. In mountain areas, on the other hand, the heat peaks are very intense but are usually concentrated between late July and mid-August.
What is the best time to go to Sardinia?
The cost of living
Sardinia has a reputation for being considered an expensive destination. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cost of living is lower than any other region in Italy.
Those who consider Sardinia an expensive destination refer to peak summer periods where the tourists season reach its peak and there is a considerable increase in prices.
Moving to Sardinia also has its economic advantages
Let’s see some examples
Renting an annual home: costs
Annual rental prices vary by area and city. In coastal resorts prices are higher.
Please note: finding a long-term rental in the most touristic places could be quite difficult because owners prefer short-term and vacation rentals
Average renting for a one double bedroom apartment is around 400-500€ per month.
In the inner villages the cost drops to around 300€ per month
Private facilities to rent in Sardinia for short periods
Groceries & supermarket
Supermarket prices are in line with the rest of Italy and even cheaper prices for fresh and local produce. 1kg of pasta ranges from 0.80€, a pack of biscuits, 1.40€, a liter of milk: 0.80€.
Meat from the butcher (local) ranges from 8€ per kg for pork, 25€ per kg veal. Fresh fish at the market ranges from 8-10€ per kilo for fresh cod, 20€ per kilo for sea bass.
Restaurants and Bars
The average price for a meal in a good quality restaurant including a first and dessert is 15€-20€ per person. 2.50€ – 3€ is the price of a bottle of beer at the bar. A traditional breakfast with coffee and croissant costs around 2.50€
Fruits and Vegetables
You can buy fruit and vegetables sold by local producers. The cost – given the high quality of the products – is really cheap. 1 kg of oranges, 1€, tomatoes, zucchini 1.50€.
The lifestyle in Sardinia
Life in Sardinia is simple. Locals spend their free time between outdoor activities that include beach walks, horseback riding, mountain trekking, chatting with friends, BBQs in the garden.
Thanks to the mild climate and the many activities, the choice of moving to Sardinia became very popular with many sportsmen and enthusiasts. You can dedicate yourself to surfing, horseback riding, running, yoga, mountain biking, kayaking.
The time to spend in front of the TV is almost never considered in Sardinia, even in the winter months.
In the largest cities such as Cagliari, Olbia, Sassari, Nuoro, cultural events, concerts are organized. There are many traditional events full of suggestions in which the whole population actively participates.
Among the most significant events: the Sartiglia of Oristano, the Feast of Sant’Efisio, the Sardinian Cavalcade, the Sagra del Redentore.
The reception of Sardinians
Sardinians are introverted but loyal persons. Hospitable and direct, they love to make the guest feel comfortable and put a lot of effort to make feel everyone welcome.
Moving to Sardinia: the best places
Let’s see which areas are among the most favorable to rent or buy a house in Sardinia
Where to move to Alghero
In recent years several people have moved their residence to Alghero – the northern Sardinia town – because it represents the perfect combination of nature and the comfort of the city.
In the city you live among the beauties of the Natural Park of Porto Conte, the beaches and the charm of the old town. Well connected by the Alghero-Fertilia airport and the port of Porto Torres has easy access from several european cities.
The best neighborhoods and areas where to move in Alghero
Among the best neighborhoods where you can find affordable accommodation are those of Pietraia (where you can take advantage of a tax-free regulation for buying or opening a business).
Caragol: new residential hub just minutes from the city center. The central areas of Via xx Settembre have higher costs for real estate but a good compromise is located in the Pivarada district, a few steps from the old town and the beach of San Giovanni.
If you prefer to live surrounded by greenery: in the areas of Carrabuffas and Mamuntanas you can buy or rent beautiful villas mostly with swimming pools.
The nearby hamlets of Fertilia and Maristella have attracted several foreign investors for the beauty of their surroundings. Some villas that need renovations are on the market and offer independence and tranquility.
Moving to Arzachena
Arzachena is a small town in the province of Olbia, just few minutes from the famous Costa Smeralda. It is also the most populous village of Gallura with its 13 thousand inhabitants.
Incredible landscapes, with low and sandy areas and granite sculptures. There are many archaeological sites to visit, where you can spend beautiful sunny Sundays, visiting natural mountain areas as well as the beautiful coasts.
Often chosen as an alternative to more expensive and renowned places on the Costa Smeralda, Arzachena represents the center of this region and it is growing year after year becoming a dynamic and economically interesting town.
It is also one of the first Vermentino wine producers in Gallura, combining the excellence of the agri-food sector with those of tourism, the driving force behind its economy.
It has been chosen as the basis for moving to Sardinia by many foreigners (currently there are over 1400 foreign citizens) who currently represent 10% of the population.
Being quite small you have the choice of living in the village or in the outskirts deciding to buy a stazzo to renovate (the Gallura typical old stables).
The price of the Stazzi has increased in recent years precisely because of their charm and attractiveness in tourists. You can find farmhouses surrounded by greenery, olive groves and Mediterranean scrub where you can create your own refuge just minutes from the Caribbean beaches of the Costa Smeralda.
Moving to Cagliari
The largest city in Sardinia with its more than 150 thousand inhabitants represents the only sardinian metropolitan city. It is a very charming and welcoming town with its historic neighborhoods, the belvedere, the squares.
The beauty of Cagliari also lies in its huge and varied territory with a myriad of natural parks, beaches, hills and the beautiful Molentargius pond one of the most important wetlands in Europe.
Considered one of the most livable cities in Italy, Cagliari welcomes you with its elegant palaces and the amazing sunsets on the Devil’s Saddle.
If you are looking for green spaces and tranquility, La Vega district is particularly appreciated by families. The nearby Monte Claro park is a perfect oasis for practicing yoga, relaxing, take a walk with your dog.
In the Villanova district – with its colorful old houses – you can rent an apartment at fairly affordable prices. It’s not very close to the center but you can easily move by bus to reach the beaches and other locations.
Moving out from the center of Cagliari you can opt for the nearby and quieter municipalities of Quartu, Monserrato, Capoterra, Pula where to buy at lower prices.
Where to move to Sulcis
Sulcis is the southwestern part of Sardinia and also includes the islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro. The municipalities of Carbonia, Portoscuso, Teulada, Sant’Anna Arresi and Piscinas are part of this territory.
Considered one of the least economically developed areas, in recent times, it has reached a considerable interest in tourism due to its extraordinary wild territory.
In 2020 the real estate market recorded an increase in the buying and selling of houses and apartments in this area of Sardinia.
In particular, many foreigners, driven by unspoiled nature and global uncertainty, have chosen Sulcis as the perfect place for their quarantine and remote-working.
Carbonia and Iglesias are the largest cities in the area and in which you can buy or rent a house at very interesting prices.
Moving to central Sardinia: 1€ for-sale houses
The inland villages that are experiencing the problem of depopulation – some municipalities have encouraged the sale of houses at the symbolic price of 1€. The phenomenon has been a great success and allowed many foreigners and italians moving to Sardinia.
You are required to renovate the house, in fact they are often historic houses that need maintenance and restoration work. You can also allocate the house for commercial or tourist-receptive use.
The use of sustainable materials, the use of local businesses and the change of residence in the municipality are required. It is also necessary to take out a surety policy.
Each municipality has its own requirements that you can consult on their official website.
Sardinian villages that sell houses for 1€
Montresta (Oristano province)
The historic village of Montresta which currently has just over 450 residents wants to contribute to the repopulation by selling a few number of old houses for 1,00€.
The village in the province of Oristano, in Planargia, offers many attractions. Nestled in a green area where often you can admire the flights of griffins nesting on nearby cliffs.
It is home to several archaeological sites and despite being isolated, in 15 minutes you can reach the lovely village of Bosa with its beaches. It also at just under 1h from Alghero and 75 minutes from Olbia.
Several popular festivals are also celebrated, such as the traditional St. Anthony’s Fire in January or the “Sos Pipiriolos” festival in summer, with tastings of fresh typical pasta.
Nulvi (Sassari province)
The small town with 2000 inhabitants in the historic Anglona region. A small ancient village surrounded by nuragic settlements and numerous churches including the Church of the Assumption of 1600.
An agro-pastoral village that produce cereals, wheat, vegetables, olive trees and fruits. Animals are grown especially for the dairy industry.
Nulvi is the center of a territory still uncontaminated, which during the summer comes alive thanks to the presence of the Green Train line, the tourist route that connects the oldest railway stations in Sardinia.
The beauties of Nulvi have led many people to buy houses for 1€ which in fact have been sold-out very quickly. We advise you to check the official website if new properties are made available.
Ollolai (Nuoro province)
The first village in Sardinia offering the 1€ houses has literally reborn thanks to the success achieved with this initiative.
15 houses for sale at 1€ were immediately sold out and the fame of this small town of 1200 inhabitants crossed the borders of Sardinia, becaming the set of a Dutch TV show Het Italiaanse Dorp: Ollolai.
A reality show in which the dutch citizens were followed in their relocation to Ollolai.
The New York Times, the Daily Mail, CNN enthusiastically reported the sale of the houses for 1€ to Ollolai attracting many professionals from all over the world. The idea of establishing in Sardinia as their new residence for remote-working or opening a tourism related business.
The initiative of 1€ houses in Sardinia for the moment has involved only these few municipalities. Others, however, are considering to put on the market more houses to give a new lifeblood to the island.
The 1€ selling houses has also involved other small villages in Italy such as Taranto (Puglia), Salemi (Sicily), Patrica (Lazio), Vergemoli (Tuscany), Sambuca (Sicily), Lecce in the Marsi (Abruzzo).