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Italy - Liguria

The Liguria region of Italy has Genoa for its capital and a population of more than 1.6 million people. The region has one of the highest population densities in the country, although most of its population is in coastal areas. Around 6% of the population are expats. Liguria is a popular tourist area and is located in the north west of the country. Much of the area has avoided modern development and there are numerous small towns and beaches to keep all visitors happy. The area shares a border with France as well as the Italian regions of Piedmont, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

This region has good weather during the summer, though does not get as hot as some southern regions. Winters are very mild, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

This area of Italy is popular with those who are looking to retire for several reasons. Its proximity to France gives the opportunity for travelling and the area is very traditional, both in style and lifestyle. There are few modern developments and the lifestyle is very relaxed. The good climate is also attractive, particularly for those who hail from colder climates.

There are a number of business opportunities available in Liguria, particularly for those who can run an activity type business. In the coastal areas there are businesses suitable for those who can teach others to sail or scuba dive, and there are opportunities inland for those who want to run hiking or cycling holidays.

The area has a wide range of property to offer the expat. This includes luxury villas, farmhouses and apartments and there has been an increasing number of expats buying homes in the area. The area sees a lot of tourists each year, but still manages to retain the relaxed traditional Italian way of life. For around €100,000 there are good apartments and small houses to be found. Rural properties are even cheaper, particularly if you purchase a renovation property. If you have more than that to spend, you should be able to find something a little more luxurious, and the more you have to spend the closer you can get to the coast.

There are seaside towns such as Bordighera and Ospedaletti are relatively expensive areas in which to buy property but these are good investment areas for those who want to rent out self contained holiday accommodation as a small business. As with other areas, a property that needs some work will be much cheaper, but in popular areas such as this, these are few and far between. The village of Airole is in the Roja Valley and properties there can be bought for less than €200,000 and some have swimming pools and gardens.

Western Liguria is close to France and is characterised by small resort towns such as Sanremo. These towns are filled with designer boutiques, restaurants and traditional shops. Buying in the villages themselves can be expensive, so those with not as much money to spend should look in the hills around the villages for an affordable home. The stretch of coast from Imperia to Genova also has seaside resorts but is not as well known as other areas. This is the area in which to buy a reasonably priced coastal property, particularly for 2 and 3 bedroom houses. In contrast, Portofino is extremely expensive but much sought after. For those who want the luxury of living in the area but cannot afford the prices, there are the villages of Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure, which offer similar properties at a much lower cost. It is worth noting that the villages have some facilities but may be lacking in essentials such as schools, due partly to their small size and partly due to the fact that they are considered to be tourist areas.

Cinque Terre is a group of five villages located on cliffs which used to only be accessible by boat. Properties only come onto the market here on a rare occasion and those that do are usually snapped up very quickly, but those who do manage to purchase one will find that the rental potential is great. Prices are high, due to the demand and the lack of new developments.

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Bupa Global

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