Italy has everything one might desire, especially from a geographical point of view. In fact, the Italian peninsula is located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea and it offers a great variety of landscapes: from mountains to valleys to dreamlike coastlines or volcanoes. Arguably, most of Italy’s landscape has always been rural, and this feature is reflected in the countless small and quaint towns in its countryside. In one of our previous articles we discussed the main differences between living in a big city in Italy and living in a small town; the aim of this article, instead, will be to introduce you to some of the most interesting areas –not the well-known nor the most popular ones – that you might want to consider if you are thinking of purchasing a property in the countryside. Please note that there is a great variety of spectacular countryside landscapes in Italy, some of which are rich in vineyards as well as rural villages with a welcoming and magical atmosphere. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all of Italy’s countryside areas exhaustively, therefore, this article will focus on a few which we personally believe are worth discovering.
Umbria is a region in central Italy; it is the only landlocked region on the peninsula. The region is mainly hilly, except for the area of the Sibillini Mountains National Park, which covers a predominantly mountainous area with beautiful valleys crossed by rivers, forests and gorges. Among the attractions in Umbria are Lake Trasimeno, which is the fourth largest lake in Italy, and the man-made Marmore Waterfalls, which are the second tallest in Europe (165m, 541 feet). These are just some of the reasons why the region has been nicknamed “Italy’s green heart”. From a historical point of view, Umbria has a lot to offer, especially in its quaint villages which were founded by the pre-Etruscan people and which later became Roman colonies. Among the cities that are worth visiting are Perugia, Città di Castello, Orvieto and Spoleto. In particular, Orvieto is famous for its 14th-century gothic cathedral which is home to Renaissance painter Luca Signorelli’s awe-inspiring frescoes in the Chapel of San Brizio. Under the town is a riddle of Etruscan-era tunnels and grottos which are 2,500 years old, and which were used throughout the years as siege escape routes, wine cellars and World War II bomb shelters. Gubbio and Assisi are also celebrated for their rich cultural heritage. In particular, Assisi is famous for being the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. The Basilica of San Francesco remains an important Christian pilgrimage to this day. As for property prices, the average cost for a property in Perugia is about 1.402 €/m2, whereas in smaller towns near the provinces the cost is approximately 1.157 €/m2. In Orvieto the average price is 1.783 €/m2, whereas towards the southern part of the region the average price is 800 €/m2.
Sicily is another region with stunning landscapes, with its green pastures contrasting with its sparkling blue Mediterranean waters. Sicily is the largest island of the Mediterranean, its ancient name was Trinacria, which stands for “three promontories” that characterise the island. The island is separated from the Italian peninsula by the Strait of Messina and its coastline stretches over 1.000km approximately. Sicily was inhabited 10,000 years ago and its history is among the most fascinating in the country. Its strategic position in the Mediterranean, in fact, has made the island a crossroad of history and a melting pot of ethnic groups originating from the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans and the Spanish, who all influenced not only the culture but also the architectural styles, which are now visible in every corner of the island, starting from the archaeological site of Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) in Agrigento, to the cities of Palermo and Monreale. As for the average cost to buy a property, in the province of Palermo and in Monreale it is around $1,240 €/m2. In the southern part of the island in Val di Noto there are towns with baroque heritage which are now UNESCO sites, such as Modica, for instance, which is famous for its chocolate production; here, the average cost for a property is around 973€/m2, whereas in Noto it is approximately 1.375€/m2.
Finally, Apulia, in the southern heel of Italy, is known for its pristine beaches and fresh local food, but it has also become famous in recent years due to its charming white-washed towns like Ostuni, Locorotondo and Otranto with its quaint courtyards and balconies overflowing with flowers. Apulia is also famous for Alberobello and its peculiar Trulli, which are cone-shaped dwellings made with dry-stone and which are surrounded by the countryside and its thousand-year-old olive trees. The elegant city of Lecce, just half an hour away from the international airport in Brindisi, is famous for its intricate Baroque architecture, the “taranta” dance shows and the local craft of papier-mâché. As for property prices, the average cost for a property in the province of Foggia is 1.085€/m2. Generally speaking, prices are higher for properties by the seafront and they tend to decrease as you move away from the coastline. In Monte Sant’Angelo, for instance, the average price is approximately 1.070 €/m2, whereas in Sant’Agata di Puglia, which is in the countryside, the average price is around 459€/m2. On the other hand, in towns in the province of Bari, such as Ruvo di Puglia, prices are approximately 1.300 €/m2 and in Andria they are 1.200 €/m2. In Gioia del Colle and Putignano, which is famous for its Carnival, the asking price is around 1.000 €/m2, which is fairly similar to the asking price for properties in the province of Lecce.
Undoubtedly, when people picture the Italian countryside, they often think of Tuscany’s hills, but while the bucolic region is a must visit, this article has also sought to provide you with information about other spots that are worth exploring too. Please note that there are many other spectacular landscapes Italy offers beyond its cities with each one reflecting a particular need and taste, and ultimately allowing you to live a slower and quieter life whilst enjoying life in the picturesque towns and villages nearby. If you would like further information about purchasing a property in Italy, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com for a free consultation. We will be happy to help you.