We are retired Americans. We would qualify for a long term stay visa most likely France. We would like to travel to Spain, Italy and France. Am I understanding right, in that even with a long term visa issued in one of the above mentioned countries, we are still limited to travelling outside the "home visa country" to 90 days before having to return? I thought there was no more border control in the EU and free travel isn't a problem. is there a way legally we can be free to travel to the 3 countries mentioned for more than 90 days before we have to exit.

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    I doubt you'd get in trouble, but if you have a long-stay visa for (e.g.) Franch, it's strictly speaking not allowed to spend more than 90 days in other Schengen countries in any 180-day period. I suppose it might be possible to hold concurrent long-stay visas for multiple countries, though, for example if you wanted to spend four consecutive months in each of France, Spain, and Italy. I don't know whether Italy and Spain have any such visas for which you could qualify. – phoog Jan 25 '16 at 4:30