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Living The Dolce Vita on Calabria

Calabria in Italy, Everyone's Talking About It


Goodness, was it really only a few years ago that Scots, flying to their Spanish second home - starting at around £40,000 - had to fly via Stansted to Alicante? That was the bad news! Nowadays - with so many direct flights to the region, not just from Scottish airports, but all over the UK - you won’t find a decent apartment on the Costas for under £85,000. But before you start feeling like you’ve just missed the flight, let us tell you about something that’s causing a bit of a buzz in the overseas property market right now and it’s not a divided country, corrupt, meteorologically challenged, has an iffy human rights record, is impossible to get flights to, or is just too downright expensive! Ever thought of having a second pad in Italy? And we're not talking about a place where you have to fight your way round coach-loads of tourists for a cappuccino that puts your bank account in the red! (Oh, did I say, Tuscany?) No. This is Calabria and it's about a quarter of the price. It won't last. There is already talk of another budget airline flying into the region and once this happens, some commentators are expecting prices to go up by as much as 25%.

The Italian coast at Reggio di Calabria

First, here’s the bad news: In most cases, to get to Reggio di Calabria right now, you will need to fly via Stansted. (Or just do it in style: Fly to Lamezia via Rome, Milan or Naples and have a day there). Or enjoy a superb meal in the restaurant car of a train taking the five hour journey from Rome down the rocky west coast of Italy while the sun sinks into the Tyrrenhian Sea.

The Colossseum in Rome

Stepping out at Reggio di Calabria - the real home of Gianni Versace - you'll find yourself gazing across the water to Sicily and the summit of Mount Etna. The moment you set foot on the soft white sand of a beach looking out onto boats sailing across the Ionian Sea, we think you'll be sold.

Now let's find a quiet spot...

Anyone for Calabria? (Look at a map of Italy and it’s where the toe of the high-heeled boot kicks the ball – which is Sicily). With the explosion in properties prices in Spain following more direct flights; small wonder investors are so interested in what this region offers. Medsea plc was the first major overseas property company to open offices here and have two major regions and plenty of properties to show you.

First find a place to park and then an empty spot on the beach

(This picture was taken in the first week of July)

Italian legislation ensures that low density, low rise construction is the only permitted form of development in rural Italy, avoiding the concrete invasions prevalent in many other Mediterranean locations. The Italian government, with EU funding is injecting £800million into the area. The market really took off in 2006-07 with one, two or three bedroom beachfront apartments with communal swimming pool and underground parking starting at £30,000! (Thought that’d make you sit up)! Prices are moving on up and - still cheap - start at around £50,000. Within the past few months direct flights to the region’s Lamezia airport have started from Manchester and other UK regional airports are set to follow. Let’s Live Abroad! specialise in selling properties in economically and politically stable European countries and with Medsea plc, the only financially regulated agency, they guarantee your freehold purchase is debt free. Let’s Live Abroad! can arrange a short tour of the region around the towns of Bianco and Siderno which is going to be the cheapest way of doing your homework. So, take advantage of this no-obligation tour!

See the coastline of Reggio di Calabria by train from Rome

But what is it like? Think paradise, elaborate on it; then live the dolce vita! Fill your nose with the scent of Bergamot as you try white Aloe Vera sorbet from traditional trattorias in the mountains; smell the Jasmine as you walk along country roads in spring or take a quick ferry rides to Sicily to visit ancient Greek, Roman or Byzantine ruins round Mount Etna. Imagine swimming in the clearest aquamarine waters of the Ionian Sea washed up on sun-bleached beaches or clutching designer bags, wandering through glamorous boutiques in Catania. Now stop imagining all this and do it! If you are thinking of relocating, with the low cost of living, pensions will go further, children receive free education and if you want to work in Italy we help you obtain the necessary Carta di Soggornio.

Isola di Capo. Locals call it the biggest sandcastle in Calabria!

There are many properties to see on your inspection tour, like the ‘Residenziale Chiara’ which is surrounded by beautiful woodlands while waves crash on a sandy beach you can just see through the pine trees. There are eight, two bedroom, one bathroom apartments in each block with prices starting at £71,000.

If you are looking to rent property here you can expect around £700 a week for a two-bedroom apartment in the peak months of July and August, enough to cover the repayments of a 70% mortgage. Buy-to-let can be an excellent way of investing. According to The Mail on Sunday, here in the UK, if you invested in a property in 2000 to let out, you would, on average be looking at a 133% return by 2007! (By comparism, a savings account might have got you 39% and the stock exchange around 5.8%).

And what a great opportunity to learn Italian! Don't be afraid to make mistakes. They're unlikely to be as unfortunate as this attempt at English by a unisex hair salon in Palmanova!

The one bedroom 'Vista Sila' properties are near the hilltop town of Caulonia Marina with its Norman castle and Byzantine frescos, shares a swimming pool and gardens and is only one kilometre from the beach. The prices start at £42,000!

Illustration of the Vista Sila

Work starting on the Amusa development

As for some of the properties that stole our clients' imaginations, the two bedroom ‘Bella Calabria’ apartments – either top floor or ground floor with garden - started at £69,000. They all had private terraces and have already been sold.

Bella Calabria

But you really can’t beat ‘Residenziale Villaggio Marasusa’ studio apartments which sit in the hills with sea views and start at £37,000!

Residenziale Villaggio Marasusa

Purchasing in Italy is simple. €3,000 plus 50% of the purchase price within 4-6 weeks will secure a property and a UK lawyer will do all the conveyancing on your behalf with an Italian lawyer. Lo-call Let’s Live Abroad! on 0845 22 55 777 for a free guide. Let us arrange your stay while you are viewing property in the area. This is usually at the five-star Parco dei Principi Hotel in Roccella.


Parco dei Principi Hotel in Roccella

If you are viewing property in the north of the region we will endevour to make your stay as comfortable as possible where one of our most favoured beach resort hotels for clients on our inspection tours is the Baia Degli Dei.

Baia Degli Dei

© Let’s Live Abroad! 2007