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The world presents a very different reality from country to country. 

Television, cinema, books and news in general can help us understand the differences between the world's various locations, but travelling is the only easy and efficient way of understanding its diversity.

And it can suddenly happen that we realise how profoundly different, interesting and attractive other realities can be, to varying degrees, in relation to our own.

At a certain point in life one can ask oneself if it is time to change the place in which one lives or, at least, to spend some time in other parts of the world.

This question rises from the peculiar sensation that time is unique and will pass and that it is better, where possible, to spend it in the best place available.

It is a question of quality of life or, rather, simply living well.

Cittą del mondo

When a town has a high quality of life, it means the majority of its population can benefit from a series of political, economic and social advantages which let them easily and discreetly develop their own human potential and conduct a relatively serene and satisfying life.

It could be, for example, that a rich and elderly couple decide to establish themselves in the best place on Earth to spend their last years, or another similar situation.

There are various official classifications, on which more information can be by following the links at the bottom of this article.

To define the quality of life in a city or state, it is necessary to observe different aspects and criteria; besides, classifications which take several sectors into account can sometimes have ramifications.

The cities which usually dominate the ranking are those such as the Swiss Zurich and Geneva; Vienna, in Austia; Singapore generally and as far as infrastructure is concerned; Japanese cities such as Tsukuba, Kyoto, Yokohama or Tokyo; Chinese cities such as Hong Kong, the special administrative region of the People's Republic of China; Canadian cities such as Vancouver (often in first place), Toronto and Calgary.

Cities in the USA such as New York, Atlanta and Pittsburgh; cities in New Zealand like Auckland; cities in Australia like Sydney, Melbourne or Perth; and those in France such as Paris often rank highly.

Other cities of note could be Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Berlin in Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark, and London, England.

"The principal function of a city is to transform power into structure, energy into culture, dead elements into living art symbols, and biological reproduction into social creativity" - Lewis Mumford, town planner.

As far as regards the best countries of the world, we can denote the following as coming first according to the various criteria: Norway, Australia, Iceland, Japan, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Sates, Canada, Luxembourg, Belgium.

The standard of living in the United States of America (USA) is perhaps the highest in the world, but since the crisis of 2008 the population has often encountered problems with security and livelihood maintenance.

England ranked highly in the past but has dropped several positions recently: one of the disadvantages is a very high cost of living; what is more you are likely to lead a stressed lifestyle and may often have to remind yourself of the joys in life, while mindfulness of these is very much alive among the populations of South East Asia such as Thailand or South America such as Brasil.

London, however, deserves a particular mention as it is a unique city, and different to almost any city in England.

Amongst the most beautiful cities of the world we can cite Paris, New York, Sydney, London, Rome, Bangkok, Barcellona, San Francisco, Venice, Cape Town, Istanbul, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kathmandu, Prague, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Montreal, Edinubrgh, Hanoi, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Florence, Dublin, Mexico City, Krakow, Toronto, Cairo, Chicago, Madrid, Munich, Athens, Vienna, Marrakech, Perth, Shanghai, Stockholm, Seattle, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Salvador da Bahia, Pechino, Helsinki, Auckland, Manila, Chiang Mai, Zanzibar, Bombay, Siena, Lubiana, Seoul, Taipei, Panama, Berna, Dubai, Hiroshima, Santo Domingo, Miami, Oslo, Detroit, Jakarta, Fez.

New York
New York

Tokyo is a very individual city: if we were to take cities such as San Francisco (USA), Toronto (Canada), Vancouver (Canada), Detroit (USA) or New York (USA) and put their centres together, we would probably have a vague idea of how Tokyo is.

You could actually say that the skyscrapers of New York, for example, are the symbol of the city but are not representative of it, as the skyscraper zone stretches only so far, with the remaining buildings being normal shops or houses with gardens.

Tokyo is truly incredible, as it is almost entirely tall buildings or skyscrapers, streets which cross over each other maybe at the fourth or fifth floor in a knot which the train goes through on the first level, the metro on the second, with two more on top for cars and if you live on the twentieth floor you have cars passing by beneath your window! A stratified society, metro lines plunging below the earth, manmade islands, raised levels, centreless, or with many centres, points where the city becomes denser as if through magnetism or something similar.

Rome is the city of trees, renaissance artworks and antiquity. A volatile city where life and art melt into each other, where the clouds part as soon as the rain finishes to make way for a brilliant sun and sky. Walking through the central zones of the Eternal City will always provoke an aesthetic joy, while in the evening we are spoilt for choice between the popular dishes of eateries and the more chic restaurants.

Rio De Janeiro
Rio De Janeiro
Cittą del Capo
Cittą del Capo
San Francisco
San Francisco
Hong Kong
Hong Kong


If I personally had to choose a place to live on a permanent basis, I would direct myself towards the city with the highest quality of life and livelihood possibilities, and would go to the "world's most beautiful cities" only occasionally, on vacation.

Of course, there are then other factors which influence all of us when choosing a permanent living location, such as work and proximity to family.


In the eyes of the various criteria, Italy is not rated particularly badly nor very highly: summed up, Italy still offers a good life but the beautiful South is unfortunately still in a negative position compared to the North.

Italy is often damaged by immorality, chaotic street traffic, pollution, unfair management of public resources, lack of respect for one's neighbour (who is seen as an enemy and not as an object of respect as he is englobed in the same community and is therefore a precious thing), unemployment, corruption and bureaucracy, overly high prices, excessive taxation due to a lack of correct management of public wealth, and public transport which is often inefficient and unsatisfying.

However, Italy has seas and lakes the colour of sapphires, stupendous mountains and beaches, 60% of humanity's artistic treasures and an almost unbeatable cuisine.

Furthermore Italy seems to have a healthcare system which ranks second in the world (the first would appear to be France's).

Amongst the most famous Italian cities we can safely cite Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan (as Italy's business and fashion capital).

Amongst the most famous products characteristic of Italy we can cite pizza, espresso coffee, vineyards and wine, and opera.

what should I look for when leaving my home town?

Efficiency in all areas, full respect for the rules of education and communal living, excellent public transport, a crime and violence rate close to zero, speedy bureaucracy, a satisfyingly pleasant appearance and the possibility to enjoy yourself, helping you be more efficient and live more efficiently.

Personally every time I go and visit a city in Italy, I return home somewhat more stressed than when I left: statistically the probability of coming home with increased stress and anxiety levels is quite high.

We have only one life, and stress is certainly lesser when we encounter problems from the environment we happen to be in if it provides a higher quality of life: in this way we are free to live better, work better, and reach higher states of spiritual expression.



Europa Italia



Cliccare per ingrandire - Click to Enlarge
World Map


Usually, classification criteria includes standard of living, the work and business situation, public services and the environment, law and order, population and opportunities for free time.

Amongst the most highly ranking cities according to these criteria we find the following cities...Aosta, Belluno, Bolzano, Sondrio, Trento, Trieste, Milano, Siena, and Rome.

Amongst the most favourable cities we may cite Milan, Rome and Turin (in twentieth, twenty-eighth and sixty-sixth place respectively).

Amongst the best regions (according to the 2008 Sole 24 ore list) are the Valle d'Aosta, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna (with its clean and crime-free cities such as the splendid Ferrara), the Marches, the Veneto, Lombardy and Tuscany.

Giuseppe W Pellegrino


Mercer's Quality of Living survey
Durata e qualitą della vita nel mondo
Classifica della libertą nel mondo
Qualitą della vita in Italia secondo il Sole 24 Ore
Qualitą della vita in Italia
Aosta prima in qualitą della vita


  • La qualitą della vita nel mondo : Social watch : rapporto 2001, Bologna : EMI, 2001
  • Fuligni, Paolo 1948  La metropoli umana : economia e politica per la qualitą della vita nelle cittą di oggi / Paolo Fuligni, Paolo Rognini, Milano: FrancoAngeli, 2007
  • Una cittą in salute : healthy urban planning a Milano : un approccio e un programma per una cittą pił sana, vivibile, ospitale / Paola Bellaviti (a cura di), Milano: FrancoAngeli, 2005
  • La qualitą della vita: filosofi e psicologi a confronto : atti del Convegno ideato e diretto da Giancarlo Trentini e Carmelo Vigna / a cura di Alberto Peratoner e Alberto Zatti, Milano : FrancoAngeli, 2002
  • La cittą dell'uomo: contributo all'analisi della qualita della vita a Lecce e nel Salento / introduzione a cura di Mario Signore, Lecce : Milella, 2001
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