Stylish, hopelessly romantic and oozing with history, Italy remains one of our favourite locations, although it is never likely to be a mass-market one, much to the relief of many Italians. But the British are still very much in love with those rolling Tuscan landscapes, the heart-stopping medieval hill-top towns, the wonderful palazzos of the cities and the locals that manage to be both remarkably insouciant and fiercely passionate at the same time.
For property buyers, an abundance of cheap property to renovate has been a big draw: you cannot only come to see the Renaissance beauty, but live in it too. The appetite for renovation was killed off during the global downturn but in 2015 it came back, according to agents, with build costs competitive and plenty of "projects" available in most regions.
Hot spots are slightly dictated by transport links, and whilst quick and easy trips to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan, Turin and Sardinia's Olbia have produced catchment areas around these airports, areas reliant on Ryanair ights (such as Brindisi, Ancona and Pescara) are not quite as popular with buyers not enamoured with the Irish low-cost airline.
But for all its insouciance, Italy an excellent rail infrastructure and comprehensive motorway (autostrada) network across the country that makes getting around quite painless. To choose just one place to buy a home is less easy but we provide a few snapshots of the most popular areas...