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Italy - Lazio

The Lazio region of Italy is home to the country’s capital city, Rome. There are more than 5.5 million people living in this part of the country, 8% of which are expats. The region is located on the western coast of the country and shares border s with Tuscany, Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria, amongst others. Rome is the largest urban area in the region and most other towns are small. The region is divided into five provinces for administrative purposes.

The climate of the area is mostly mild, with warm summers and mild winters. Summers see very little rainfall, with the highest levels in November and December.

Many people choose Rome, both as a retirement destination and for work. The city has everything that is needed for daily life. There are quieter districts of the city which are ideal for those who want a quieter retirement, although the city offers many opportunities for a busy social life. The rural areas outside the city and in the other provinces are ideal for those who are looking for a traditional Italian way of life.

For those who want to establish their own business in the region, there are many options. The city of Rome has established businesses which are for sale, although there are opportunities for those who have a trade to establish their own business. In the rural areas there are properties which are suitable for conversion to small hotels or B&Bs, and there are many properties with land for those who want an agricultural based business.

When most people consider the region of Lazio for a new home, their first port of call is Rome. The city is expensive for property, particularly in the central parts of the city. Property is much in demand and there is a mix of modern and older properties. Very few have outdoor space although most apartments have balconies. The district of Trastavere is outside the city centre and is known for being home to immigrants, so there is already an expat community. It has become known as a bohemian area of the city and property in this part is cheaper than in the centre of the city. This part of Rome has access to good schools and has all the amenities for everyday life.

The city of Rome is only a small part of the region and those wanting to live there should seriously consider living outside the city where they will be able to get more property for their money. These areas are cheaper than the city and cheaper than rural areas in Tuscany and Umbria. Areas such as Frascati are a little more expensive than other parts, so some careful consideration of area is needed. These regions outside Rome do not have large expat communities and some of the areas that are favoured by the Italians are not what the expat is looking for. Italians prefer to buy modern properties, which leaves the rustic rural properties available for renovations.

There is also a lot here for those who do not want to live in areas which have a large expat population. This is another reason to look here as areas such as Tuscany and Umbria are attracting more and more expats each year. There are many medieval towns and the hilltop locations mean that there is little space for new developments, so buyers are guaranteed traditional properties and often at a price much lower than can be found in Rome or Tuscany. In the small town of Subiaco, for example, prices are often only a quarter of those in other areas. It should also be noted that rural properties are also much cheaper than those on the coast, even in small towns. However, prices are beginning to rise.

In some rural areas, developers have bought plots of land and built new villas, but these are often bought by locals. It is a good idea to make friends with locals, as many rural properties are sold by word of mouth rather than spending a long time being advertised on the market. A property that is in need of renovation can be bought at a fairly low price, although a good quality renovation can treble the value.

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