• Italian cost of living drops from 85% to 58% compared to New York (Numbeo)
• Three course meal for two now just €50 (Numbeo)
• Fractional ownership providing luxury property at an affordable price in Le Marche (Appassionata)
Mention that you’ve been on holiday to Italy and within a couple of minutes someone is bound to ask if it was expensive there. Italy has a long-standing reputation as one of Europe’s pricier destinations, but the modern reality is actually very different. According to cost of living figures updated in October 2015 from Numbeo, two people can enjoy a three course meal in a mid-range restaurant for €50, relaxing with a regular cappuccino in a café costs just €1.33 and a mid-range bottle of wine from the supermarket costs €5.00.
Italy’s cost of living is falling. While buying gelato in a touristy area can still result in an eye-watering bill, for those who explore the Italian countryside and embrace the culture of home-cooking with local, seasonal produce, Italy is no longer an expensive place to spend time. The scale of the decrease in prices has been quite dramatic. In mid-2015 the Numbeo Cost of Living Index found that groceries in Italy cost 58.34% of the price paid for the same items bought in New York. Just a year earlier, the Italian groceries came in at 84.75% of the New York price, a significant change.
Just as the cost of living has fallen, so too has the cost of owning a luxury second home in Italy, as Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, owner of local fractional ownership business Appassionata, comments,
“We’ve seen a growing rise in interest in fractional ownership here in Le Marche. Buyers want to enjoy the sunshine and the lifestyle, not spend their holiday time taking care of overgrown gardens, cleaning and maintenance issues, as you do with a traditional second home. With fractional ownership, the property is fully managed, so all you have to do is turn up, unpack and start relaxing. Not only this, but such ownership means that the Italian lifestyle that many dream of is made far cheaper. This also means that buyers can afford a far more luxurious holiday home than if they bought outright, the dream can be a reality!”
Dawn is speaking from personal experience. Her family-run business has so far renovated three Italian properties. The third of them, the charming townhouse known as Casa Tre Archi, has just three shares left for sale. Owners are entitled to use the three bedroom property, which comes complete with roof terrace with stunning views over the town of Petritoli and the surrounding countryside, exclusively for five weeks each year. Fractions are priced from £75,000 and can be passed down to future generations, just as a property that is owned outright would be.
Dawn’s love of restoration work and interior design means that the family are already working on their next project: Il Riposo. The four bedroom, four bathroom home is situated in the peaceful hamlet of Patrignone. A delightful bar/restaurant just two minutes walk from the property offers the ideal place to relax over a lengthy meal of organic, locally produced food and wine. The bustling town of Montalto is just five minutes’ drive away, providing Il Riposo’s owners with everything they could wish for.
“We’re working hard to restore Il Riposo,” comments Dawn. “Casa Tre Archi has sold so fast that we only have three shares left and we are racing to transform Il Riposo so as not to disappoint those who want to buy into the wonderful Italian dream. It’s a big project – right now the house doesn’t have a roof, so we’ve got quite a way to go!”
When finished, Il Riposo will offer owners a traditional Italian home, complete with a small, terraced, walled garden. The Appassionata team are firmly committed to using local materials and local craftsmen – their restorations pay homage to the skills and traditions of previous generations. Previous houses have included bespoke, hand-made kitchen cupboards, reclaimed tiles and stunning light fittings made by a local artisan working out of a tiny studio, who learned at his grandmother’s knee.
“But we do like to fit in modern touches as well, where we can make them work,” continues Dawn. “At Il Riposo there is just enough room to include a swimming pool on the lower terrace. It’s a joy to save and restore some of Italy’s fine, tumbledown buildings and to breathe new life into them. Each home that we have worked on has its own quirks and charms that serve to truly delight its owners.”
At Casa Tre Archi, it is the unique blend of convenient town location with plentiful outside space that has so pleased those who have bought fractions. A shady, bijou kitchen terrace provides the ideal spot for a morning coffee. The first floor terrace provides a magnificent view of Petritoli’s ancient walls, including the three historic arches for which the property was named. The spacious roof terrace includes elegant loungers and a canopied gazebo – perfect for lazy days spent eating, drinking and relaxing in the sunshine. And it’s all within strolling distance of shops, restaurants, cafés, pretty churches and more.
For more information visit www.appassionata.com or contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225.