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Italy - Why Buy Property For Sale in Italy?

Scenery & Climate

A country of contrasts due to its geography, Italy's northern region (Including Turin, Milan & Bologna) can get very cold with plenty of snow - especially in the Italian alps.

Meanwhile in the south of the country, particularly in coastal areas, Italy enjoys a true Mediterranean climate with warm summers (reaching over 40°C on occasion) and mild winters (expect around 18°C). This southern climate is a major attraction for foreign property purchasers, looking to escape the cold and rain of northern Europe.

Italy's scenery is just as diverse as the climate; with everything from Mont Blanc (bordering Switzerland and France), the highest mountain in Western Europe, Vesuvius, Stromboli and Etna - awe inspiring volcanoes (the latter two are active) to the Apennine mountains (the backbone of Italy) right through to the lush green agricultural areas, olive groves and the lazy golden beaches of the south.

Italy is known as "Lo Stivale" (The Boot), but more commonly and somewhat more affectionately as "Il Bel Paese" (The Beautiful Country).

People & Customs

Until 1861 Italy was not a country at all, just a collection of independent regions of varying size and population that were eventually united. As such, the people and customs of Italy can be quite diverse.

In the South of Italy, particularly in the Calabria region, a typical Mediterranean philosophy of life exists. The people are generally very friendly, open, boisterously passionate and, above all: welcoming.

This generous mix of traits is one of the main reasons why so many people are attracted to Italy as a place to live. Family values are very strong in Italy, a lot of time is spent nurturing these relationships. Mealtimes are often a large, noisy affair with the whole extended family sitting around a large table, or often a series of large tables joined together. This family connection, often missing from everyday life in northern Europe, makes southern Italy a great place to bring up children.

Italian hospitality should be taken very seriously. It can be considered somewhat impolite to refuse a dinner invitation for example.

Driving in Italy, especially in the small towns of the south can be an exhilarating experience - the horn is often used in place of the brakes!

Italians usually have a high sense of respect for their elders and a love of La Dolce Vita which makes them a wonderful people to spend time with.

Commerce & Gastronomy

Commercially, Italy is somewhat unique in that "big business" is very limited. A small number of Italian multinationals do exist, but the bulk of the country's economic strength comes from small to medium sized firms. This is great news for anyone thinking of starting a business in Italy. In effect, the whole system is geared up to assist smaller sized companies. Meanwhile, overpowering competition from huge corporations is much less of an issue than it would be in, say, the UK or Germany.

As one of Europe's most developed countries, Italy has an excellent infrastructure and plenty of facilities even in the smallest of towns. If you are looking to buy property in Italy, you can be certain that everything you need will be nearby.

The low cost of living in southern Italy is reflected most of all in the price of food and beverages. Eating out is inexpensive compared with the North and the rest of Europe.

Pizzas and pastas are the staple of the Italian diet. Fresh fish is a speciality in coastal areas, whilst delicious vegetables and fruit are available in abundance throughout the south. Even airport food tastes great in Italy, according to many visitors.

Health & Lifestyle

Italy is one of the top 10 countries worldwide for life expectancy, with an average of 80 years. Much of this can attributed to food and lifestyle.

When living in Italy, it is usually the case that one ends up adapting, often subconsciously to this lifestyle change. Eating fresh fish, vegetables and olive oil becomes natural. Due to the incredible climate, far more time is spent outdoors and consequently, getting fresh air and exercise. Even the odd glass of Italian red wine (often served chilled) can be just what the doctor ordered!

In terms of healthcare, the hospitals and medical facilities throughout Italy exceed EU standards, so you know you're in safe hands.