Top five locations for buying property in Italy

Top five locations to buy property in Italy

Who can resist La Bella Vita? Those historic hilltop villages, rustic farmhouses sitting between olive groves or vineyards?

Around 30,000 Britons live in Italy, and according to the British Embassy in Rome, with around a third for work, a third for family, the rest for retirement. You won’t find property prices increasing either – they are expected to drop by around 4.8% in real terms, during 2023. Good news for anyone seeking a cheap property in Italy!

Judging by the most popular places searched for on the Tuscan dream remains very strong, with Bagni di Lucca, affordable Tuscany bagging the top spot yet again, as well as another northern Tuscan location: Fivizzano.

But we also love a cheap Italian seaside home (is there a better environment for people watching or the finest gelato?) with Cianciana in Sicily, Scalea in Calabria and the rugged rural beauty of the Abruzzo with Gessopalena at number four.

Here we take a closer look at our top cinque:

1. Bagni di Lucca, Tuscany

Move over Florence, it’s all about Lucca now for property hunters, and that includes the historic spa town of Bagni di Lucca. Historic towns, nice wines, olive oil – it’s got everything you might expect and is handy for both Pisa or Florence airports, or the Tuscan seaside. Lucca is a beautiful walled city nearby with a great summer festival. You can get an apartment or even a three-bedroom village house for €50,000,

Properties for sale in Bagni di Lucca

2. Cianciana, Sicily

Where to buy a cheap Italian property by the sea? Here is one answer (see also Scalea, below) – a small hillside town enjoying spectacular views over the Agrigento countryside in southern Sicily, half an hour from the beach. Historic sites, great restaurants and vineyards – what is not to like?  Find small stone houses to do up for around €16,000, or one that needs a smaller update for double that.

Properties in Cianciana

3. Scalea, Calabria

In the toe of Italy, 15 minutes by ferry from Sicily, Calabria is a relatively undeveloped but a dramatic region of mountains, great beaches and superb food (it’s the home of the spicy sausage that is 'Nduja). Long summers to enjoy the beaches, especially along the west coast and the beach resort town of Scalea. Find very affordable properties: those that need renovation for below €20,000 or one you can move right into for double that.

MoRe properties

4. Gessopalena, Abruzzo

Offering both mountains and sea – fancy hiking, skiing and beaches in one day? – Abruzzo is the heart of Italy and Gessopalena sits in the centre of this wild and underrated region. Great wine, national parks, medieval towns and the Adriatic coast – there’s also the affordable property with plenty of options if you have €50,000 to spend. Don’t fancy a project? You can find a turnkey two-bedroom townhouse with mountain views for €35,000.

Find properties in gessopalena

5. Fivizzano, Tuscany

North of Lucca in the top corner of Tuscany and handy for the coast – it’s only 50 minutes from the beautiful seaside town of La Spezia – Fivizzano has much reason to sparkle. The walled town is in Lunigiana, an area situated perfectly about an hour's drive from Pisa and Genoa (in Liguria) and so has great airport connections to the UK. It's an area of great natural beauty - wooded hills, medieval villages, mountain views and superb wines. This is properly rural Italy but a part that is easy to get to. Find properties a fraction of the cost of those around Florence. Find a ready-renovated two-bedroom apartment in the medieval square of Fivizzano for €80,000.


Liz Rowlinson