From the sparkling lakes and snow-capped mountains in the north to the sun-drenched Mediterranean shores in the south, Italy is awash with world-class cities, historic towns and ancient villages. Combine this beautiful scenery with the delicious food, fabulous wine and charming locals and it’s easy to see why Italy is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, over 52 million tourists headed there in 2016 alone.
If you were one of them and didn’t want your trip to end, buying a holiday home in Italy is the perfect way to visit your favourite spot year after year. To help you decide where to holiday to your hearts content, here are some of the most appealing holiday home destinations Italy has to offer.
Italian Lakes, Lombardy
One of Italy’s best holiday destinations for enjoying breath-taking views and tranquil surroundings has to be the Lakes in the Lombardy region in northern Italy. Formed at the end of the last ice age, these beguiling bodies of water have been a popular holiday spot since Roman times. Today visitors enjoy the tiny harbours, grand palaces, rustic hillside churches and elegant lakeside towns like Stresa, Como, Bellagio and Salò. Purchase a property around here and you could be neighbours with European aristocrats, Arab princes or Hollywood celebrities. Lakes Como, Garda, and Maggiore are the most popular with property buyers, but whichever you choose you will find a relaxed outdoor lifestyle amongst stunning scenery awaits.
Ski resorts of Turin
Have you ever dreamt of living in the Milky Way? Head to Piedmont and you could do just that. The two parallel valleys west of Turin that form the galaxy’s namesake – or Via Lattea in Italian – hosted numerous events at the 2006 Winter Olympics, ensuring its skiing facilities are top-notch. Because it’s spread over a relatively small area, property buyers can explore smaller resorts without fear of sacrificing access to the best slopes.
Known as Valle di Susa, the more northerly of the two valleys is home to quaint mountain villages and the old Celtic town of Susa. While its southern sibling, the Valle di Chisone, is ski-resort heaven – the most well-equipped include Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx.
Tuscany is well-known as the most popular region in Italy to buy a holiday home, so where better to find your own than lovely Lucca? This Renaissance gem is everything you’d possibly want from a Tuscan getaway: cobbled streets, attractive piazzas, shady promenades, historic cafes and traditional restaurants.
Located just north of Pisa, Lucca is home to a charming historic centre surrounded by large walls, on top of which the locals enjoy taking a stroll and socialising in the shade of its ancient trees. Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is the jewel in Lucca’s crown, where cosy restaurants and the workshops of painters and artists are a convenient stroll from the apartments in surrounding streets.
Do you dream of idyllic days spent by the sea, set to the backdrop of a postcard-pretty medieval town and soaring mountains? If the answers yes, beautiful Cefalù in Sicily ticks all the boxes. Not only is it one of Italy’s best beach destinations, it’s a charming town with a hive of medieval streets, a mosaic-adorned cathedral, pretty fishing port and an attractive seafront promenade (the lungomare), which is popular for a passeggiata (evening stroll). Buy an apartment in the heart of the historic centre to enjoy the buzz of the tourists or look along the coast and up into the hills for beautiful villas with elevated sea views.
This petite capital of the Umbria region proudly sits atop a hill overlooking the Tiber river valley below. Its historic centre (centro storico) contains a sedate collection of cobbled lanes, ancient stairways, shady piazzas and gran mansions (palazzi). While its status as a university city guarantees a vibrant nightlife and infectious energy.
Townhouses in pretty hilltop villages and farmhouses surrounded by beautiful countryside make for very relaxing holidays in the surrounding area. It’s even possible to buy apartments within large country houses with communal pools and gardens. Pop star Ed Sheeran recently purchased a pad just up the road on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, proving that there’s more to central Italy than just Tuscany. And the best bit: Umbria is more affordable but just as beautiful as its neighbour to the north.
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