Be it in summer or winter the mountains are an ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, enjoy the scenic views as you walk along curvy mountain roads, and discover quaint little villages. The Alps are the highest and the longest mountain chain in Italy and they cover all the regions in northern Italy, including the region of Lombardy. Not only has tourism grown here in recent years due to the number of events that have been organized to incentivize people to visit the area, but the share of people who have purchased a property has also increased significantly. Drawing from this, it will be the aim of this article to provide you with an overview of the real estate opportunities which this area of Italy has to offer.
The mountainous region in Lombardy is divided in four main areas: Valtellina, Valcamonica, Val Seriana and Val Brembana.
Valtellina is the largest and the most populous of the Italian Alpine valleys and it is home to some of the most famous Italian ski locations such as Bormio and Livigno. The main reason why these towns attract tourists is linked to the different activities they offer combined with a number of excursions organized through the routes of Stelvio National Park and smaller valleys. These areas offer modern and efficient ski facilities and ski slopes with several levels of difficulty, including the highest in the region. The ski facilities here are also considered to be the best due to the constant and abundant snow in the winter. During the summer the ski slopes become trails for bikers who want to experience thrilling downhill mountain biking. If you are not interested in skiing you can find countless hiking trails and paths which are suitable for everyone both in winter and in the summer. Bormio is also well known for its spas which are set in quiet and breathtaking natural landscapes, and which offer both physical and mental benefits. Additionally, these places are suitable for both families and young people; there are chalets, discos and pubs where you can enjoy a hot drink while the sun goes down.
Another area which is worth visiting is Valcamonica; the drawings which were carved into the rock by the ancient people of Camuni and which are located along the valley are part of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Capo di Ponte is home to the National Park of Rock Engravings where people can learn about the prehistoric population that inhabited the area. This destination is ideal for families because there are a number of activities which are organized for children in order for them to learn about history in a fun and creative way. Finally, the highest part of Valcamonica is characterized by the mountains of the Adamello Group and its regional park; both these areas are surrounded by the largest glacier in Europe, a must-see for alpinists. Ponte di Legno-Tonale is the main touristy area of Valcamonica and it has long been a great spot for skiing. This town is an excellent starting point for cycling along the most famous mountain passes (Mortirolo, Stelvio, Gavia and Tonale, just to name a few) which offer breathtaking views.
Finally, Val Brembana and Val Seriana are quieter and less known areas compared to Valtellina and Valcamonica, but they are very popular among people who live in the province of Bergamo. Foppolo is undoubtedly one of the most renowned ski resorts in this area due to its wide variety of ski slopes. Among the attractions in this area are the thermal baths of San Pellegrino which are famous for the quality of their thermal cures.
One of the most awaited events of the year for athletes and mountaineers is the Adamello Ultra Trail. This is the only place in the world where courses are run entirely on mule tracks and military paths used during the First World War. Aside from the historical trenches crossed more than a century ago by young soldiers, the athletes of Adamello Ultra Trail engage in a sport challenge 170km long to test their limits and physical strength.
For those of you who enjoy cycling and walking, the Girarifugi initiative is a competition that offers hikers the chance to win free stays in some of the hotels and resorts in the region. You only need to apply for the Girarifugi card, go to a mountain hut in Lombardy which participates in the initiative and request a stamp on your card. You will receive your prize as soon as you collect 25 points of which at least 3 need to be earned from visits to the mountain pastures.
Moreover, every year during the autumn season you can go on excursions and pick mushrooms or chestnuts. Often these events are guided by experts who advise people on the best routes in the woods, which mushrooms to pick and how to cook them.
The main events which are held in local towns and villages are the so called “sagre” which are food festivals during which you can taste local products. One of the most traditional foods is polenta, which is boiled cornmeal that originated in northern Italy as peasant food. One of its main variants includes adding local cheese, which makes it tastier and more suitable for pairing it with game such as deer and roe deer. Dairy products such as cheese are also very popular in this part of Italy and you will find many huts up in the mountains which produce different types of cheese; in particular, each area produces its own cheese and the differences in taste boil down to the diverse methods of rearing and feeding animals, and the different methods of production. In particular, Valtellina is famous for Bitto and Stelvio, Valcamonica for Rosa Camuna, Casolet and Silter whereas Val Brembana is famous for Branzi. Another typical dish where cheese is used is “pizzoccheri”, which is a variety of pasta made of buckwheat flour and served with potatoes, melted cheese and chard. Finally, Valtellina is the largest terraced wine-growing area in Italy and it is particularly suitable for viticulture due to its southern exposure and to the modest rainfalls that are evenly distributed throughout the year. The most renowned wines are Rosso di Valtellina D.O.C., Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. and Sforzato di Valtellina D.O.C.G.
As for the real estate market in this area of Italy, it is worth pointing out that the desire and need for fresh and clean air and social distancing caused by Covid-19 has driven many people to purchase a second home in the mountains. House prices vary depending on the type of property you are looking to buy. Among the factors that lead to an increase in house prices are panoramic balconies and the proximity to ski slopes. In August 2021 the asking price for properties for sale was € 1,600 per square meter in the province of Sondrio, in the area of Valtellina. As for Valcamonica, the cost to purchase a property varies from €1,200 per square meter (at the bottom of the valley) to €2,600 per square meter in the villages around Ponte di Legno-Tonale. The cheapest properties to buy are located in Val Brembana because it is not a very popular tourist destination. In fact, residential properties for sale cost on average € 802 per square meter whereas near Foppolo the average price reaches €1,300/1,400 per square meter.
To conclude, if you decide to purchase a property in the mountains in Lombardy you will be spoiled for choice. If you would like further information about purchasing a property in this area feel free to contact us at email@example.com for a free consultation. We will be happy to assist you!