Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Il Sole 24 Ore has published its 2012 Quality of Life in Italy survey and has pronounced Bolzano the best of Italy's current 107 provinces to live in.  The provinces were ranked  according to 36 criteria in six categories which were:  standard of living; business and work; environment, services and health;  population;  public order; free time.

"In Bolzano you can breathe in an air of well-being, verging on opulence", said the journalist sent to the province. The province also has low unemployment , at 3.3% as compared to a national average of 9% and a low rate of crimes such as burglary and car theft. The tourist industry is thriving, too.

This is not the first time Bolzano has come top of the list, now in its 23rd edition, as it was ranked number one in 1995, 2001 and 2010.  Its citizens must be particularly pleased with themselves this time, as their province has toppled Bologna from its number one position and can lord it over Siena, which is ranked second.  

According to the survey, the top ten provinces for quality of life are:

1.  Bolzano
2.  Siena
3.  Trento
4.  Rimini
5.  Trieste
6. Parma
7. Belluno
8. Ravenna
9. Aosta
10. Bologna

Bologna, as you see, has dropped dramatically in the rankings whilst Milan is ranked 17th and Rome 21st.  Poor old Taranto comes last.

The Sicilian provinces are ranked as follows:

81. Ragusa 
87. Enna 
88. Siracusa 
90. Catania 
94. Messina 
95. Agrigento 
99. Palermo 
103. Trapani 
105. Caltanissetta 

Messina has dropped five places in the table, mainly because it fared badly in the business and work category. It had actually gained points in the standard of living category.

Ragusa has high unemployment at 9% and pensions are lower than the national average. On the other hand, house prices are also lower and, of course, the area has a lovely climate.  It fares well in tourism, too but there are too many crimes such as car theft, pickpocketing and extortion. The birth rate is ten babies per 1,000 inhabitants annually, as compared with a national average of 9.6.  I am happy to report that the number of bookshops in proportion to the population in the province is higher than the national average and that clinches it for me. So before you all rush to relocate to Bolzano, consider Ragusa!

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