From head to toe

Article courtesy of n/a
As published by Living Abroad
Date: July 2008

Italy’s Calabria region is the toe of the country’s boot, and is proving to be a bargain hotspot for canny property investors.

If you’ve dreamt of buying in Italy, but have been put off by the high prices, Calabria could be the place for you. Regarded by many as Italy’s hottest new emerging property market, this previously hidden gem – and the birthplace of fashion icon Gianni Versace - is definitely worth exploring.

Located in southern Italy ‘in the toe of Italy’s boot’, Calabria is a narrow region that extends down into the Mediterranean. “Calabria is emerging as a Mediterranean hotspot in terms of property investment,” “Not only is it a stunning location, with turquoise sea in one direction and majestic mountains in the other, but it’s also a great investment.”

Compared to northern Italy, Calabria is far less developed. In fact, the province has three mountain ranges and many parts feature dense forests or numerous lakes. But the areas around the coastal regions are a magnet for tourists and, as well as the charm of the sea, there are many interesting historic aspects to explore here too.

Part of the reason why Calabria’s suddenly swept into attention and onto the tourist and property radar is due to improvements to the airports and the arrival of low-cost airlines. Thanks to new routes, Calabria’s become a lot more accessible, from both the UK and other areas of Europe, and direct flights take only two and a half hours. Ryanair, for example, now flies five times a week from Stansted to Lamezia Terme Airport and ThomsonFly operate flights once a week from Manchester and Gatwick.

As more people have visited the region, they’ve discovered the glorious coastline and investors have noticed prices are a lot more affordable than other parts of Italy. “Owning property in this sought-after part of the world often appears to be reserved for the rich and famous,” says Chris Sawyer, from GEM Estates. “But regions such as Calabria offer the same charm for a fraction of the cost. Calabria is without doubt Italy’s best kept secret. People have just started to cotton on to this and have begun to snap up holiday homes here for real bargain prices. Property prices in this popular Italian hotspot are certainly set to accelerate this year, so now is the time for investors to buy.”

The allure of Calabria is being noticed in many camps. The Sunday Times put Calabria at the top of its 2007 review of the best beach holidays and A Place in the Sun’s Amanda Lamb has highlighted the region as an area she currently recommends.

The Italian government is keen to encourage regeneration and tourism, and is investing money in the region, which is always good news for investors.

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