Where in Italy should I buy?
With a good supply of affordable property, excellent long-term fixed mortgage deals and convenient travel, conditions are optimal for an Italian property purchase. But where to buy? With everything from cosmopolitan towns, rolling luscious hills, upmarket marinas, ski resorts and rural ancient villages aplenty, Italy literally has something for every taste. It’s regions are beautiful, bold and seductive, as we find out in in this ‘road trip’ – buckle up!
Positano, Amalfi Coast
The British love of central Italy’s Tuscany reached such feverish popularity in the late 1990s, certain areas of its lush countryside – such as Chianti and Siena – were coined ‘Chiantishire’ by the British media. Since then, the Russians have joined the stampede helping to push prices even higher. Still relatively affordable compared to the cities, the area does provide the quintessential landscape of romantic hilltop towns that holiday makers have come to love, presenting excellent long-term rental prospects for those with a more generous pot.
A street in Pienza, Tuscany
Trulli, madly, deeply
If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the regions of Le Marche and Lazio are very worthwhile alternatives. They might not be as fashionable as Tuscany or Umbria but the landscape is just as beautiful and property there much less expensive. Many Brits have now opted to move further south to Puglia, in the ‘heel’ of the boot. Newer developing markets here include the city of Brindisi with its bustling harbour, and the town of Alberobello which is chock-full of traditional trulli cottages. The very far south region of Calabria provides a plethora of inexpensive seaside apartments, rural properties and restoration finds.
Trulli roofs of Alberobello
Head north and you’ll find the lakes of Italy’s Lombardy region. Some of the most spectacular shores here include Lake Como, Garda and Maggiore. At one time, these areas conjured up dreamy visions of poets and writers although you’re now more likely to spot George Clooney and Kim Kardashian. While you won’t need celebrity status, owning a villa here – as you’d imagine – requires a large budget.
Prices fall off as you go further up the mountain and hillsides with some of the biggest bargains being found around the smaller lakes. Bergamo or Brescia near the less-visited Lake Iseo are both beautiful towns to consider, as is the very pretty Orta San Giulio nestled the shores on tiny Lake Orta.
Scenic Como lake and Bellagio town at sunset
Verona offers value
In the very far north of Italy lay the elegant ski resorts and alpine villages that border Switzerland and the well-known regions of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta. Rental opportunity is at its strongest here, but head just a few minutes further out by car and property prices drop significantly. Renovation projects can offer great value.
Rentals are similarly strong in the affluent area of The Veneto which is full of historic cities, mountain resorts and – of course – the country’s watery capital, Venice. Dorsoduro and Castello, within Venice itself, are popular tourist areas but you will be paying for excellent rental prospects with high prices.
Head away from the canals and to areas such as Padua and Verona and your money will go further without compromising too much on ‘tourist traffic’.
Ponte Pietra on Adige river in Verona old town, Italy
The island of Sicily offers much in the way of property for foreign buyers. Although less popular in the past with Brits than mainland Italy, this was probably related to a lack of regular cheap flights. But these have improved significantly in recent years. For coastal property, try Trabia. Or Cerda is slightly further inland but still has dramatic sea views. For a truly undiscovered Sicily, consider Marsala in the northwest which is unspoilt but still easily accessible.
Saline della Laguna, “Isole dello Stagnone di Marsala” Nature Reserve, Marsala, Sicily
Sardinia, the second biggest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, has many stunning beaches, lakes and mountains of its own. Property in the south and middle of the island is cheaper due to limited facilities and infrastructure but, it’s also for these reasons that rental prospects are scarcer. If this doesn’t worry you or isn’t relevant, look at the area around the enchanting Lake Omodeo which offers particular impressive lake views. Property in the north of Sardinia can fetch some extremely high prices particularly in the famous resorts of Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo. However, the villages of Valledoria and Lu Bagnu are far less expensive and still offer good rental opportunity.
Lu Bagnu Beach, Sardinia
Download our free buyers guide to Italy below and sign up to our newsletter for more info. If you are serious about getting started on your journey, search for an AIPP member agent via the link in our menu bar who can help you achieve your Italian dream! AIPP member have all signed up to a strict code of conduct and are covered by the UK property ombudsman. AIPP also comprises legal members.