View Full Version : Europe's Most Idyllic Places To Live

February 7th, 2010, 12:59 PM
I was not aware, but Forbes Magazine lists their 10 most idyllic places to live in Europe. (I love that word, "idyllic").

I almost feel guilty giving this survey anymore publicity, but it turns out that Lucca makes the number 2 spot (the Greek island of Patmos is number 1).

I'm also happy to see that the nearby town of Pietrasanta makes the number 4 spot.

Fortunately there are still a couple of other towns in the immediate area that do not get much press but IMHO are Lucca and Pietrasanta's equals ...but I shall remain silent.

The list according to Forbes:

1 - Patmos Greece / 2 - Lucca Italy/ 3 - Saignon, Provence France/ 4 - Pietrasanta, Italy / 5 - Lake Bled, Slovenia/ 6 - Hvar, Croatia / 7 - Ditchling, West Sussex / 8 - Montreux, Switzerland / 9 - Bruges, Belgium / 10 - Lindau, Germany


Europe's Most Idyllic Places To Live
If you want to be in your own unspoiled world, move to one of these picturesque spots.

Last year, the rising dollar meant European property was becoming more affordable. But even now that the globe is fully in recession, Europe's most idyllic locations have yet to lose any of their charm.

Fortunately, that hasn't led to high prices absolutely everywhere. While many tranquil spots in Europe remain pricey (think Tuscany), others like the Greek island of Patmos have remained somewhat easier on the wallet.

What Patmos--a tiny island in the Aegean Sea--doesn't have in terms of expense it makes up for in religious history. Also known as the Holy Greek Island of Patmos (it's where St. John is thought to have written the Book of Revelation), the island is home to more than 50 churches. But it has its origins in Greek mythology: The legend goes that Zeus allowed Patmos to rise up from the ocean, and humans are thought to have settled there as far back as 2000 B.C.

Patmos also offers peace and quiet, with a population of just under 3,000 and space of 13 square miles--and it isn't teeming with tourists. The only means of transport to and from there is a ferry boat from the neighboring islands of Samos or Kos, yet visitors who know of the place return time and time again.

"Patmos' saving grace is that it has no airport," says Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. "It is quiet, traditional and removed but not primitive. That and a beautiful interior and great beaches draws a very sophisticated crowd."

Behind the Numbers

To create our list of the most idyllic places to live in Europe, we asked a panel of experts in the fields of travel and relocation to choose their five favorite simple, unspoiled and near-heavenly locations to take up residence. Many of them will seem unfamiliar because they have yet to be pounced on by hurried, mass-market tourism.

Following Patmos at a close second on our list is Lucca, a medieval city within a city in the region of Tuscany, central Italy. It has "all the Tuscan charm of its neighbors Pisa and Tuscany but without the crowds," says Gillian Pearsall, marketing manager at Intrepid Travel. Tour busses are not the norm here: It's "blissfully cut off by its perfectly preserved Renaissance walls," says Schultz.

"This is a quiet, though classy town, with lawyers and housewives peddling the narrow cobblestone streets past thousand-year-old churches and made-in-Italy fashion boutiques," she says, adding that you can visit the outdoor antiques market every month to furnish your Tuscan farmhouse. The larger city of Florence is just 45 miles to the east; both the beach and skiing in Abetone are about an hour away, in opposite directions. Foreigners who buy into the area tend to be professionals from Britain or other parts of Europe, and some of the most sought-after properties are within the walls of the medieval city.


And they describe Pietrasanta cosė:

"This very sophisticated, yet low-key town has world-class art galleries and a big arts community," according to Amber Medkiff, travel director of agency Travcoa. "It has great shopping, markets and excellent Ligurian food--pesto and focaccia to die for. Pietrasanta is very close to Forte Dei Marmi, "the Hamptons of Italy," and also is near Florence, Genoa and Lucca.


The panel:

Our Experts:

Charles Smith, U.K. manager of Sotheby's International

Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die

Lucy White, editor of European titles for Rough Guides

Gillian Pearsall, marketing manager at Intrepid Travel

Several experts at County Homesearch

Amber Medkiff, Travcoa Travel director

The full article: http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/03/europe-most-idyllic-places-lifestyle-real-estate.html


February 11th, 2010, 11:15 AM
Interesting. That's where I'm from. Funny how during all my teenage years I was longing to get out of there and into the US :p

February 12th, 2010, 09:13 AM
When you're young, you have different goals.

February 12th, 2010, 03:47 PM
Check out this link saying why France is the best place in the world to live. (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/02/11/france.quality.life/index.html?hpt=T2) Also, check out the comments from some Americans.

February 12th, 2010, 04:05 PM
If I could not live in Italy, I would live in France. It is the only other country that attracts me for it's art of living. And then there is NYC, for me, I guess with France it would be tied for second. Eastern Europe is attactive too ...but I have no time to explore right now.

February 18th, 2010, 08:02 PM
These towns may be all very nice, but I would have no desire to live for long periods of time there. Luca is an odd choice as I was not impressed at all when I visited. I preferred the views offered by the hill towns and I found Lucca a little run-down 5 years ago. Then again, perhaps I prefer places that mix modernity with history. Lucca didn't do it for me.

February 19th, 2010, 04:00 AM
Oh absolutely. I think in today's world there will be plenty of people who will consider scenes like these as looking "run down":


February 19th, 2010, 07:48 AM
I thought Luca lived on the second floor.

I guess you never saw here before.......