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Italy - Abruzzo

Abruzzo is an Italian region which neighbours Marche, Lazio and Molise and has a coastline on the Adriatic Sea. It is officially considered to be part of Southern Italy even though it is much more central. It has a population of over 1.3 million people. Large numbers of immigrants have chosen to make their home in the region, particularly from third world countries, as many Italians from the region have chosen to leave for more densely populated areas. The coastal areas of the region have the largest population while the mountains are very sparsely populated.

During the summer the weather in Abruzzo is hot and dry. The winters along the coast can be very mild, but inland can become very cold with plenty of rain and snow.

Retiring to Abruzzo is ideal for those who are looking for a quiet retirement. The inland part of the region is home to many small towns and villages and property is very reasonably priced there. For a livelier retirement, the coastal areas are ideal as there are resorts there which have a variety of activities available. Some of the coastal areas already have small communities of retired expats.

One of the downsides of the movement of the population has been the lack of industry. There have been some attempts at kick-starting the commercial areas with varying degrees of success. There are few opportunities for a person to open their own business inland unless it is an agricultural style business and most opportunities will be along the coastal strip. Tourism based businesses could do well, such as small hotels, bars and restaurants.

This region of Italy is very unspoiled and has beautiful countryside to offer as well as a wealth of leisure facilities. Many expats are looking at Abruzzo as the area is not yet as popular as Tuscany and Umbria and properties are therefore cheaper, particularly if you are prepared to renovate. It is a fact that a property in Abruzzo can be up to 50% cheaper than in Tuscany. Many expats are choosing the area for investment properties as well as second homes and there are bargains to be found for those who want commercial properties.

Most of the towns in the region have a good mix of traditional living and modern life. Many of the buildings are centuries old, but most towns also have some new developments. Most have good shopping facilities and leisure amenities but most of the towns in the region are not large.

The town of L’Aquila has 70,000 inhabitants and is set in a national park at 721m above sea level. It is a university town so there are many properties which can be rented cheaply. The town still enjoys the traditional Italian way of life and properties are available very cheaply. Due to the location there is little new development, although the properties in the area are a good mix of apartments and houses. There is a lack of outdoor space with most properties, but L’Aquila has some good schools and good leisure facilities. The rental potential of properties in the area means that those looking for investment opportunities should consider L’Aquila.

The town of Chieti dates back to Roman times and gets many visitors who are interested in the history of the region, as there are monuments and architectural styles from many periods. As with L’Aquila, the properties available are mainly older properties, some of which have been converted into apartments, but there is very little new development due to the restrictions of the hill side location.

The town of Pescara also has a long history and has the largest number of inhabitants of any town in the region. Some of the older parts of town have been restored and are home to fashionable bars and restaurants. Many larger buildings have been converted into apartments and it is possible to find a reasonably priced property, although prices are rising as the popularity of the area grows. The area has good schools and good leisure facilities in the town.

The town of Teramo sits in a valley and also has a long history. There has been some restoration in the town although it is possible to find low priced properties that are in need of repair and modernisation. Again, the location restricts new developments and the extension of the town.

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