When you think of authentic rural Italy, the first place that probably springs to mind is Tuscany. It’s a favourite among expats – and has the prices to match. So why not look beyond this ever-popular region, perhaps to Umbria? The so-called cuore verde d’Italia, or green heart of Italy, is unspoilt, laid-back and much more affordable!
Life in Umbria
Anyone arriving in Umbria for the first time will immediately notice that archetypal Italian landscape: green, rolling hills, winding roads lined by cypress trees and centuries-old villages of terracotta-coloured homes clustered together against the sun. Many have become famous nation- and worldwide: the medieval town of Gubbio, for instance, has been described as one of the most beautiful in Italy.
The region is rightfully famous for its cuisine, and overseas buyers moving here will enjoy beautiful local produce, including top-quality olive oil, Norcia black truffles, cheese and herbs. Lentils are also a favourite, used in the local delicacy castelluccio di Norcia soup. And for those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss Umbrian chocolate, like bacio perugiana – a dark chocolate shell filled with gianduja and hazelnut.
Buying a home in Umbria
Property prices in Umbria are gratifyingly affordable. The eastern two-thirds, Perugia, have an average property price of €1,200/m2, while in Terni – the western third – it’s €1140/m2.
Famous towns and cities see slightly higher prices. In Assisi, for instance, the average home sells for €1,300/m2. However, this is still much cheaper than back in the UK!
Prices get more affordable as you head into more rural areas. In the south, in regions like Norcia, Cascia and Monteleone di Spoleto, the average price is just €800/m2!
In Terni, prices are highest in Orvieto, that beautiful city famous for its white wine. The average home goes for around €1,700/m2. However, in return, you get to spend your days in a very special area, with a strong food culture. It’s been named as a Cittaslow member, part of the ‘slow food’ movement.
Getting to Umbria
There is access by plane directly to Umbria, via the small airport in Perugia. Ryanair have flights from London Stansted. The airports of Rome are only about a three-hour drive, with access to pretty much the whole world!
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