Living in Italy

AliM

New User
Joined
13 April 2019
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4
We are considering moving to Italy, now we have retired, with my 2 horses. We are thinking of Liguria, where my husband's family is from, or Piedmont which I like. I would want to keep my horses at home but have noticed that most people with horses keep them at livery. I am wondering why and if it is due to the need for extra security issues in Italy. In Scotland my horses live out and come in at night in the winter. I also would like to know how much land would be required. I do not compete and like to hack out 3 or 4 times a week and I would want to live in an area with places and people to ride with. Maybe this would be very difficult to achieve in Italy. Any advice would be welcome.
 

joosie

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24 June 2009
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921
Location
Normandy, France
I will start by stating the bleeding obvious so apologies in advance, but you might want to wait until Brexit has been sorted out before you make any serious plans to retire to Europe. You may not even be allowed :p I have a British friend in Italy who, despite having lived there for over 40 years, running two businesses there, being married to an Italian for 30 years, having her children there, speaking fluent Italian etc etc, has had to jump through a million and one hoops to get full citizenship and ensure her future rights to live in the country.

That said.
I groomed in Italy for 2 years. What a beautiful country, and the people, food etc are top notch! My primary base was in Emilia Romagna, right next to both of your potential regions.
Like a lot of European countries, yes it is more common for horses to be kept on yards than at home. Nothing to do with security, it's just the culture. Full livery is the norm - DIY yards aren't really a thing there.
Turnout is in general a lot more restricted than what you are probably used to. Finding decent grazing is really difficult in some areas. The prevailing culture is to stable with periods of turnout, individual turnout is the norm and most turnout is in dirt / earth paddocks or corrals. Living out 24/7 is quite unusual. Be prepared to use a lot of hay.
Horse management is more or less dictated by the climate. In the north the winters are long and cold and the summers are long, hot, and very humid. ((I used to get up at 4am to hack my horse out and then get all my morning yard work done by 7am. I'd do my riding and teaching between 8 and 11am - after that it was too hot to ride, so we'd close until 5pm and then stay open til late.)) In the summer you will want to be able to bring your horses inside during the day if at all possible, not just for the heat/humidity but also for the flies (Italy's horseflies are particularly horrendous!)
I don't know about the property market in the areas you're looking, but I suspect you will pay a premium for equestrian facilities if you're desperate to keep your horses at home. You won't get as much for your money as you would in France for example.
Hacking in general is pretty good. Very few restrictions on where you can ride, and in agricultural areas many farmers leave an untouched strip of land around the edge of their fields so the public can use them without damaging their crops. Casual hacking like we're used to in the UK isn't a massive part of riding culture in Italy, but there is a big thing about trail / long-distance riding and lots of places do organised rides.
 
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Surbie

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27 July 2017
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774
This is mostly to echo Joosie's points about the temperature changes, the biting insects plus I would also second the point about Italian bureaucracy. It's slow and painful. Haven't kept horses in Italy, but my ex was also from Emilia Romagna and it's a stunning piece of the world. Loved the people, the food and the landscape, even if horses appeared to be missing from it in our corner.
 

AliM

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Joined
13 April 2019
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4
Many thanks for your reply - you have given me lots to think about. You have highlighted many issues which I have also had concerns about and hoped were perhaps not as bad as I had been thinking. We are both italian citizens and have italian passports. However Brexit may still be an issue. Good to hear about the hacking. My husband has ruled out Emilia Romagna as he thinks it is too humid. Liguria is hilly and can sometimes be a bit wet and I know Piemonte is cold in winter. We already have family in France and probably it is easier to get a property suitable for horses. Thank you again for taking the time to reply.
 
Joined
4 July 2019
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2
Hi,
My family has a house in the Monferrato area of Piemonte, and we think it is a great horse riding country. We ride out on dirt roads and in fine weather often stay out all day--riding to other villages for lunch or visiting other stables. As opposed to Langhe or other areas at a higher altitude, Monferrato has long, low hills and a nice microclimate.
 

Fairynuff

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Joined
31 March 2004
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4,986
Location
italy
Hi,
My family has a house in the Monferrato area of Piemonte, and we think it is a great horse riding country. We ride out on dirt roads and in fine weather often stay out all day--riding to other villages for lunch or visiting other stables. As opposed to Langhe or other areas at a higher altitude, Monferrato has long, low hills and a nice microclimate.
I live in Ovada (Alessandria) :)
 

asmp

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Joined
13 March 2010
Messages
1,825
A few years ago my horse went to a TREC competition with my daughter in northern Italy. The whole team (horses) were vaccinated against West Nile virus - just something to think about.
 
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