11 June, Il Sole 24 Ore
Old towns and small villages are scattered all around Italy. Some have been reconstructed, and others are abandoned. Foreign buyers have a fascination for these small towns, as they come to Italy to spend the holidays or to retire.
“Many villages were built in the middle age, and then have been abandoned – explains Alessandro Ghisolfi from AbitareCo -. According to the figures, there are over 5 thousand abandoned villages, and about 3 thousand that risk to disappear”. The south of the country has the highest concentration, especially in Basilicata, but many are also in the Marche and in Tuscany, as well as in some area of Liguria. These places were rediscovered in the Nineties. Since then, the interest increased, along with the prices. Today, the recovery of an entire village costs from three to thirty million euro. Anyway, it’s still a small niche. Some old villages are still inhabited and are close to tourist destinations. They have been reconstructed little by little, such as the backcountry of Como lake. The old stone houses have been reconverted into holiday houses, mostly by foreigners. Britons aim at Tuscany, Umbria and Como lake, same as the Swiss, while Germans concentrate on the Garda lake. British buyers can also be found in the south, especially in Puglia. Here, prices have increased by 1.6% in the last year, registering the best performance, followed by Sicily (+1.5%) and Tuscany (+1.2%).
“Buying a house in these villages can cost even double the national average prices – explains Ghisolfi – the coast of Liguria has the most beautiful and expensive old villages of Italy, like Cervo in the province of Imperia. The price here is about 3,900 euro/Sq m, over the double the national average of properties in Italy. Concerning lakes, in Gardone Riviera, on the Garda lake, the average prices are 2,500 euro/Sq m. On the Como lake, in Tramezzina, a municipality of 5 thousand people born from the fusion in 2014 of Lenno, Mezzegra, Ossuccio and Tremezzo, prices are over 3 thousand euro/Sq m”.
Villages appeal tourists who look for historic houses and don’t pay much importance to services and comfort. “They often buy properties to rent – explains Fabiana Megliola from Tecncasa -, or they buy a house where to live all year long. For instance, Cipressa, Lingueglietta and Costarainera register the interest of French mostly, while Germans focus on the Garda and Iseo lakes”.
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi