Italy is an incredibly popular holiday destination, there is no denying that. Most tourists, however, never make it beyond the “holy trinity” of Rome, Florence and Venice. After Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun, more people were checking out Tuscan and Umbrian hilltowns, and now even Le Marche is experiencing an influx of expat-wannabes. And even with all the people who flood into Italy every year, either to visit or stay, there are still vast areas of the country which rarely see anyone but locals.
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The Valtellina Valley in northern Italy is described by the Lonely Planet guides as one of the country’s ‘least attractive Alpine regions’. But Italy is such a beautiful country that its less attractive parts can still be stunning. It is a bit like the Miss World contenders who do not reach the final but are still traffic-stoppers.
While certainly there are areas of Italy which would be harder to live in as an expat, I think being two hours away from Milan by train would help immensely… Y’know, for when you’d need an Armani fix.