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Italy - Basilicata

The capital of the Basilicata area is Potenza and the area has a population of around 600,000 people. The region is located in the south of the country with neighbours including the regions of Campania, Calabria and Apulia. In recent years the population has declined slightly, mainly due to residents moving to other areas. The area of Sassi di Matera has been declared a World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of tourists each year.

The climate of the area is influenced by its proximity to the coast, with a continental climate in the mountain region and a more Mediterranean climate in the coastal areas. As a result there are high temperatures along the coast and some of the resorts are popular with tourists.

The coastline of Basilicata is becoming increasingly popular with retiring expats, partly due to the beauty of the region and partly due to the lower property prices. There are coastal resorts that aim new developments at those who want to retire to the sun and offer a wide variety of leisure activities. Inland areas are quieter and ideal for those who want to experience traditional Italian country life.

Tourism is big business in some areas along the coast and there are opportunities for those who want to run a tourism based business, such as a B&B or a bar. There are also some towns which are only just beginning to attract tourists, so these areas provide plenty of opportunities. There are some tourism opportunities inland, particularly for those who want to rent out self-contained holiday accommodation, although there are fewer opportunities for other types of business.

The Basilicata area of Italy is a good place in which to begin looking for a property, whether you are retiring or planning to work. The area is so far mostly unknown to expats and there are many villages that have a small population offering many opportunities to purchase and renovate older properties.

The town of Metaponto is a good example. It has a population of under 1000 people although it is now starting to attract the tourists due to the tranquility and fine beaches. The town of Matera is also known as Sassi de Matera. It is the home of a pre-historic settlement which is often used to double for Jerusalem in Hollywood movies. Many of the homes in the area date hundreds of years and some of the ‘Sassi’ prehistoric houses are still occupied, although most of the occupants were moved out in the 1950s.

The town of Maratea offers very reasonably priced properties and is much less crowded than other coastal areas. It is a small town and properties there are very reasonably priced. The area does not have a large choice of schools, so some travel would be necessary for those with families, but it is a good area for those who want to begin a tourism based business. There are opportunities for small hotels and bars in the area as more tourists discover the area each year. The town of Rivello is close to Maratea and situated on a hill. There are around 3500 inhabitants and the area is almost unknown to expats. There are opportunities for expats to live and work in this area, although due to the lack of English speaking people, some Italian speaking skills are needed.

In rural areas around the town it is relatively easy to find a good sized detached property with land for less than €100,000. Those that are in need of some restoration can be found for much less than that, so the area is a good investment area, as the value of a property that has been renovated can double or treble easily if the work is done to a high standard. Many of these properties are cottages or farmhouses. In the towns the properties are mainly houses, although there are some buildings which have been converted into apartments and those with newer districts will have more modern apartment buildings. It is possible to buy luxury properties in the countryside of this region, with large houses that are set on large parcels of land costing anything from €300,000 upwards. These are usually already renovated, although some are new builds which have been completed to a high standard.

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