Is now the right time to move to Italy?
With its timeless landscape of gently undulating countryside, vivid vineyards and rippling fields of golden wheat, Tuscany represents the Italian dream to many people considering relocating to a new expat life.
Beloved for hundreds of years for its fertile lands, rich history and mouth-watering gastronomy, Tuscany presents an elegant vision straight out of Elysium, guaranteed to soften even the hardest of expat hearts. And that’s before you even start thinking about the romantic cities of the region – the leaning tower of Pisa, the world-class art and architecture of Florence, and the gothic beauty of Siena. Discovertuscany.com is filled with images and information which will make you want to up sticks and leave tomorrow for this historic and breathtakingly beautiful region.
Of course, as we all know, we are living in a material world – a world where a little piece of paradise usually comes with an extortionate price tag attached. But in the current climate, If you’re looking at moving to Italy from London, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn what you can buy for the price of a home in the UK’s capital.
We recently highlighted the fact that the weak Euro, teamed with affordable property prices (down to approximately 25% cheaper than last year), has resulted in opportunities in European property that British expats can take advantage of. All you need to do is look a little off the beaten track. In Italy, the affectionately- nicknamed ‘Chiantishire’ might be renowned as a long-time favourite for wealthy British expats with a particularly high ratio of expats to local residents, but venture to other parts of this charming region and you will find that you can get even more for your money.
The Telegraph recommended a particularly choice destination for the savvy expat chasing the Tuscan dream. The charming medieval town, Castel del Piano, is a mere one hour drive from popular Siena, located among rolling hills and tranquil vineyards, steeped in all the spellbinding natural beauty that endears Tuscany to visitors. It is also one for the foodies, with a delicious culture of artisan food products, and it enjoys an enviable location, just an hour’s drive from the beach at Castiglione de la Pescaia and a little more from the magnificent 8,900 hectare protected park, Talemone Parco.
Just outside this picturesque town, a boutique resort named Terre Gialle plays host to 41 apartments in a converted listed 18th century building, situated in an oh-so Tuscan setting of woodland and gardens – it even has its very own, mirror-like lake. Terre Gialle offers buyers the chance to become part of a friendly community, living in a scenic setting straight out of a fairy-tale. All apartments retain coveted period features such as coffered ceilings, though some are ideal candidates for a little modernising; with a three-bedroom residence coming in at around €175,000 (£128,000), it’s much more affordable either as a home or an investment than, for example, a one-bedroom apartment in Chianti (typically around €280,000/£205,000).
Alternatively, why not tick off the boxes of majestic scenery and traditional, Italian charm by fulfilling your Tuscan dream just outside of Tuscany. Neighbouring Le Marche offers access to the Apennine Mountains on one side and miles of glorious coastline on the other whilst the bit in the middle is filled with the countryside that makes Tuscany such a popular expat hotspot. At the end of last year, the Telegraph reported property prices in Le Marche to be 35% lower than in Tuscany – something to consider when assessing your options.
As always, you’re advised to seek professional legal advice on financial issues.
If you are considering moving to Italy, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you.