May 19, 2024


Mad about real estate

Finding Affordable Properties In Tuscany, Italy

When investing in real estate – as with investing in the stock market – it pays not to follow the herd.And when it comes to buying property in Italy, the smart money has piled into Tuscany.Tuscany’s enduring appeal is undeniable, not least in its famous art cities of Florence, Lucca, Pisa and Siena.Indeed, the image most people conjure up when they imagine a property in Italy is of a Tuscan farmhouse bathed in balmy sunshine and surrounded by cypress trees and never-ending countryside.

However, such is the overwhelming demand for properties in Italy’s most popular region, Tuscany, that prices have reached giddying levels despite the current economic climate.For instance, while UK house prices plunged nearly 16 per cent in 2008, in Florence they were down by just 1.9 per cent, almost negligible in comparison.But here’s a secret: canny investors can still find very affordable properties in Tuscany – by ignoring the crowd and instead heading to the almost undiscovered Maremma area.

The Maremma is right at the bottom of Tuscany and has a rugged landscape very different to anything else you will find in this part of Italy.It also boasts more than 100 miles of amazing beaches and coastline, running from Follonica all the way down to Monte Argentario. Eastwards, it extends to the outer reaches of Siena province.

And its appealing towns and villages are fertile ground for investors looking for cheap properties in Italy.In Pitigliano, for instance – the town famed for its buildings hewn from the rock – just €100,000 will secure you an apartment, ideal for use as a base from which to explore other areas of Tuscany.And in Sorvana a three-bedroom semi-detached home will set you back just €200,000 while a detached house can be picked up for an additional €50,000. In contrast, in much more famous Siena a couple of hours’ drive away, you would have to double or treble those prices.

Despite areas such as Siena grabbing the headlines, the Maremma has for decades quietly attracted Italian and foreign holidaymakers, ensuring maximum rental potential for any property you buy here. Monte Argentario is one of its most in-demand areas and as such properties here change hands much more slowly, with owners keen to keep hold of them for as long as possible.Some of Tuscany’s most stunning beaches are to be found on Monte Argentario, an island attached to the mainland by three narrow strips of land. Viewed from the skies it appears crafted with breathtaking precision, almost in the shape of a gigantic flower.

The Maremma also has the lively coastal resort of Follonica and the nearby Cala Violina beaches, where folklore once had it that the grains of sand were so fine they sounded like violins when walked on. Maremma’s seas are also a huge attraction for watersports fans while skiing enthusiasts throng to Mount Amiata. And one of Europe’s most stunning golf courses has been built at Punta Ala where it gloriously looks out over the sea.

Another must-visit is Saturnia, where the thermal baths are just the place in which to be pampered with beauty treatments and relax in thermal pools after a hard day’s sightseeing.

Other popular towns and villages include Castel del Piano, Bagni San Filippo, Abbadia San Salvatore and Manciano, a great place to pick up local handicrafts. But one simply cannot visit this part of Tuscany without watching one of its medieval racing palio competitions. Siena’s famous event may feature horses, but in Roccastrada they race mules. And in Paganico the townsfolk gather every Autumn to cheer on…racing frogs. The Maremma. A place quite like no other in Italy.