Buying property in Italy - why Florence is worth a closer look
Ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence has been home to ex-pats for centuries. Here, Lara Cox, member of the multilingual team at Dimore Fiorentine tells us why she and others have such a deep love for the city.
Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and as such was one of the wealthiest cities of that period; it is considered by many as the birthplace of the Renaissance with periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and, from 1865 to 1871, Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
The city attracts millions of tourists each year and UNESCO declared the Historic Centre of Florence a World Heritage Site in 1982. Florence is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments and is home to the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti to name just two of the world-class galleries here. Thanks to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, Forbes ranked it as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
View at sunset from the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Today it is a bustling hub for students, art and food lovers and the fashion world, with many of the fashion houses having their origins in Florence (for example Ferragamo, Gucci and Pucci). It is a city that is easily accessible and easy to get around on foot; it offers many restaurants (and not just delicious Tuscan cuisine!) and wine bars for all age groups and tastes. The elegant Florentine hills, so vividly described by 19th century writers, the stunning Tuscan countryside with its extraordinary natural diversity and the many fascinating towns, bustling villages and sleepy ‘borghi’, or indeed the mesmerizing seaside, must all be explored too.
Hilltop of Bellosguardo
Florence though has been home to expats for centuries – and will continue to be – with even a cemetery being dedicated to the protestant population and it was given its name -the “Cimitero degli Inglesi” – after all the 19th century Anglophone community who were buried or cremated there. It is located in Piazzale Donatello on the elegant ‘Viali’ designed by Giuseppe Poggi as part of the road system created to encircle the city of Florence in the 1860’s. He was also the mastermind behind the most famous viewpoints in the world, Piazzale Michelangelo; the beautiful ramps that only last year were restored and reopened to the public, the creation of piazze, or squares, throughout the town and of many of our elegant ‘Lungarni’, that are so desirable in terms of real estate.
The Ramps, San Niccolo
Testament to the Italian way of life
So many of us came here on holiday, as a student or to work, fell in love with this beautiful city and stayed. It gets into your blood: we have all tried to explain this, but it was only in the recent words of resident writer and film director, David Battistella, that I found resonance with exactly why I and many others have remained all these years: yes it’s the food, the weather, the lifestyle, the culture but it is also the Italians themselves, in their generosity, warmth and courage, and I quote David when writing about the Coronavirus;
“the ability to respond in these circumstances is a testament to the Italian way of life, that has given Italy a reputation for creating excellence while maintaining balance and taking one’s time to enjoy life”.
Since the recent boom of sales in Florence of apartments as an investment and the subsequent increase in tourists to Florence in particular on the north side of the Arno river, other areas such as the Oltrarno district – the ‘hip’ nature of San Frediano, the elegance of Santo Spirito, the ‘trendy’ San Niccolò and the unique, magnificent views from the ‘Lungarni’, together with the greenery that can be found so close by at Porta Romana and the Boboli Gardens – are now particularly appealing to those who perhaps want to purchase or rent in the city centre, yet still want to immerse themselves in all that Florence truly has to offer.
These areas range from €3.000 to the most luxurious at €15.000 per sq.m so the type of building, floor, lift, precise area, turnkey or in need of renovation are all factors that will influence whether this figure increases or decreases.
So it’s not a wonder then that real estate agencies dedicate themselves to people like myself who want to enjoy a piece of all this, and indeed the Italians themselves, with their kindness and generosity of spirit, will welcome you into their home, their town and their country.
Example properties for sale
PENTHOUSE SAN FREDIANO – €735,000
Very close to the gate of San Frediano, on the second and top floor of handsome building in a quiet area, with crystal lift and staircase to all floors, Dimore Fiorentine offers a beautiful penthouse, new construction, of circa 118 sq.mt/ 1.270 sq.ft with a lovely terrace of circa 46 sq.mq/ 495 sq.ft, and a cellar. Click here for details
MORO DECOR – €355,000
Located on the first floor of a small condominium in Via del Moro, just moments’ walk from the prestigious address of Via Tornabuoni, a charming and very quiet apartment of circa 80 sq.m. / 860 sq. ft. boasting a 10 sq. mt. / 107 sq. ft. outdoor space. Click here for more details.
VILLA CAVRIGLIA – €2,500,000
In the uncontaminated Chianti countryside, a stunning exposed stone facade country manor house set around a charming courtyard with an ancient well and a watch tower that dates back to the year 1000. This splendid property, covering a total surface area of approximately 840 sq. mt. / 9,000 sq. ft., has been entirely renovated with great care and attention to detail, retaining the classic Tuscan features such as the original terracotta floors, the 17th century fireplace and the traditional barrel vaulted ceilings. Click here for more details.
Our thanks to Lara Cox, Member of the multilingual team at Dimore Fiorentine (www.dimorefiorentine.com)
Dimore Fiorentine, located in the Oltrarno area of Florence mentioned above, is specialised in the sale of residential properties and offers a professional service to find your ideal home. We propose well-appointed apartments and houses in the historical city centre of Florence and villas on the prestigious Florentine hills.
The main goal for the multilingual team at Dimore Fiorentine is to offer an exclusive and comprehensive service based on transparency, integrity and confidentiality and with our proven record of sales to foreign clients, we assist you in all aspects of a buying process which might be new or alien to you.
We also collaborate with a large team of professionals who provide technical, legal, accounting and notary services and we offer post-sale services including management of your property, so you can just enjoy your new home to the full!