The northeast corner of the country, bound on the north by the Dolomites, on the south by the Apennines, and on the east by the Adriatic Sea, has produced some of Italy’s most prosperous cities, which enjoy a very high standard of living. Emilia-Romagna, traditionally the wealthiest regions in Italy, and the Veneto, once upon a time among the poorest, have little in common historically or culturally, but foreigners will find a similar style of life in these two regions today. Both are composed of comfortable, medium-sized cities boasting world-class universities and hospitals, with fertile farms and vineyards surrounding them.
Verona, for example, is small and picturesque, a fitting setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which may be a reason that many foreign couples, especially from Britain, have begun to call it home. Expatriates have also flocked to Bassano del Grappa and other northern towns, especially since the provinces of Treviso and Vicenza house important military installations. Some of the country’s choicest rural living is found there, most notably in the vineyards that produce the grapes used in Prosecco, Italy’s answer to Champagne.
Emilia-Romagna’s wealth shows up in its homegrown luxuries. Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini cars are from here, as are a number of their owners. If you choose to live in EmiliaRomagna, the greatest hardship you’re likely to face is picking the city itself. Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, and Parma are all very comfortable places to live, with blossoming industry and a transportation infrastructure that is second to none. Each can lay credible claims to the finest cuisine in the country. Those with discerning taste and a penchant for epicurean pleasures need look no further than Emilia-Romagna.
THE NORTHEAST: EMILIA-ROMAGNA AND VENETO MAP Photo Gallery