Siena and Florence are among the top ten cities and provinces in Italy, for quality of life. The city of the Palio excels in the leisure and population characteristics categories, whereas the Tuscan regional capital improves, compared to last year, from a variety of perspectives: business and employment, services and environment, and quality of life. This is what emerges from the annual rankings composed by the Il Sole 24 Ore, the principal Italian economic newspaper, which compares the 107 Italian provinces by scrutinizing them on the basis of 36 parameters in six macro-categories: quality of life; business and employment; services, environment and health; population; public order; and leisure.

The overall ranking is led by Trento and Bolzano, and shows a clear prevalence of Northern cities in the top positions, with Macerata (Central Italy) being the only exception in the top ten. Milan dominates the quality of life rankings; Trieste in the services and environment domain; Trento in the business and employment conditions category; Oristano distinguishes itself in terms of security and public order; Piacenza ranks first in term of population structure; and Siena for the leisure opportunities. With the exception of Pistoia, all Tuscan provinces fall within the top 50 positions: Pisa is among the best for services and environment, but also highlights itself because of the number of innovative start-ups launched by young adults; Arezzo ranks near the top for business climate and employment conditions, and also makes itself noticeable through the strong incidence of [its] exports on the GDP; Massa-Carrara emerges for its cultural and sports offerings; and Grosseto for the characteristics of its population.

Siena ranks fifth overall, and upholds the high standards that had already allowed it to place among the top ten in 2012 and Florence ranks seventh overall, but shows the greatest improvement over the past 12 months. Specifically, starts from a high quality of life, supported by the consumption levels and by the per-capita added value – according to Il Sole 24 Ore calculations – and was able to climb the ranks in business climate (where credit institutions have significant loans towards businesses, and where the employment of women and number of start-ups are also among that nation’s highest) as well as in services, with adequate infrastructural endowment and an appreciable standard for hospitals and day care facilities.