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Finding Property on the Italian Riviera

BY: Adriana Giglioli | Category: Real-Estate | Submitted: 2011-04-02 09:54:12
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Article Summary: "An Italian real estate professional offers vital tips on picking up a vacation home in Liguria.."

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Just over a century ago Sanremo attracted European nobility as well as the likes of Tchaikovsky, who wrote his Fourth Symphony here in the late 1870s and Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who breathed his last in the resort in 1896.

In the 1950s and 60s it was to Portofino, some 120 miles along the same coast, to which movie stars Sinatra and Bardot came. Nowadays the names are those of Clooney and Cruise.

In other words, the coast of Liguria in north-west Italy has for countless decades glittered with the type of star quality that still brings over five million visitors each year, making it one of Italy's most visited regions and a favourite with property in Italy buyers. For good reason. For one, this corner of Italy has a majestic 180 miles of coastline renowned as the Italian (or Ligurian) Riviera, extending from the French border at one end to five picture-postcard villages that make up the well-known Cinque Terre, now a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Stefania Russo, who runs Italy real estate company The Property Organiser, explains: This region is pipped only by perhaps Tuscany when it comes to parts of the country most asked for by our customers. In addition to the Cinque Terre coast, its beaches and lovely countryside, the French Riviera is only across the border, there are ski resorts in Piedmont, and there are a couple of airports in Nice and Genoa."

The most expensive areas on the seafront are probably the Cinque Terre, Bordighera and Alassio. Prices are naturally higher if you insist on a sea view. The real estate market is kept bullish by demand from rich Swiss, French, Germans and Italians. On average budget around Euro 400,000 for a flat within strolling distance of the sea front and up to Euro 1,250,000 for a villa with sea-view in a similar location.

As always, diligent buyers can find bargains by looking around. In Alassio, 90sq m apartments with sea view can be found from Euro 235,000. And in Bordighera, Euro 340,000 can get you a two-bedroom apartment again with sea view, although you will probably find yourself somewhat farther away from the sea.

However, overlooking the coastal resorts is the mountainous countryside chock-a-block with lovely villages. But if you are prepared to sacrifice a sea view, troop just 20 minutes inland, to hamlets such as Perinaldo, which is what legions of buyers from the US, Canada and Britain have done in recent years. Here, expect a one-bedroom flat to cost around Euro 150,000.

Happy with a restoration? Then you may get away with Euro 100,000, possibly with half an acre of garden to boot. With the region's enduring popularity, rental potential remains strong, in particular if you have bought near a coastal resort. Expect a two-bedroom property can go for Euro 1,500 a week between May and October and a deluxe property with swimming pool over Euro 2,500.

Among the most gorgeous spots on the coast are Alassio, Sanremo and Portofino. Alassio has two miles of sandy beaches and has been a favourite of Brits for more than 100 years while famous faces such as author Ernest Hemingway began flocking here in the 1930s. Sanremo reeks of ageless glitz and is these days best known for its music fete.

Meanwhile among Portofino's most striking features is pastel-coloured huddles of fishermen's homes along its marina. In peak season its plush fashion outlets crammed with designer labels and the yachts in its waters speak volumes about the type of moneyed visitor that vacations here.

When it comes to natural magnificence not much comes close to the five clifftop villages that constitute the Cinque Terre. Then again, some things in life are priceless.

About Author / Additional Info:
The author writes for the real estate website Homes and Villas ( and specialises in the Amalfi coast (

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