Originally Posted by Nomayoplease
I just like most people have a love affair with Europe and i am seriously considering buying a one bedroom condo somewhere. Now here is what i am looking for:location, friendly people, cheap cost of living and good transit.
i need to be close( and by close i mean a 2 to 4 hours max by rail) to south of france( Nice region) ,North and Northeast of Italy( I love the dolomites).Any ideas??
Spain should be pretty cheap due to their financial crisis, but I'm not sure the rail connects fits your demands.. ( but you can easily get around Europe with plane in that timeframe ) and fits your demands for friendly people, cheap costs and fair enough transit
France I would expect to be rather pricey, unless you don't mind a long distance to the coast ( generally the french are very friendly in the south, but in terms of living costs it's not as cheap as Spain )
Switzerland is very expensive compared to the rest on all accounts - the people are friendly, but a bit reserved ( in what I as a Scandianvian would call in a good way )
Italy should be fairly priced and seems to be spot on what you seek - just note that it's a highly sought coast region, so realestate prices will reflect that. ( I would not classify the Italians as friendly people in general, they tend to be loud, crude and expects you to speak Italian - I know that doesn't go for all, but their rep around Europe didn't come from nothing )
My suggestion would be to pick a larger city with directs flights to the US and a price level you like and then just fly to the regions you like rather than rail ( unless rail such as the TGV ) is the faster option - though with the current market I'm not sure it's the best time to buy, so perhaps using your money on multiple trips ( hotels are pretty cheap down there ) and other investments might bring more value