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Italy - Piedmont

The Italian region of Piedmont has a population of nearly 4.5 million and Turin for a capital city. The name translates as ‘foot of the mountains’ and most of the locals speak Piedmontese. In the 1950s and 60s many people from the southern part of Italy moved to the area in search of work, and around 7% of the current population are expats. The geography of the region is mainly hills and mountains and this region attracts many tourists each year.

The south of the region has a climate influenced by the Mediterranean, so is very warm in summer and mild in winter. The north of the region has a continental climate with warmer summers and mild winters with some cold spells.

There are several towns in this region which offer the expat a taste of the traditional way of life and the chance to relax in a good climate. The area is ideal for those who enjoy walking and other outdoor activities, while cities such as Turin offer the chance for socialising, with some societies for expats and good restaurants. There are few new developments, so most properties will be older style houses and apartments.

The cities offer good opportunities for those who want to start a business or take over an existing business. Renting out self contained holiday accommodation or accommodation for long term rental could also be a good business, particularly in the areas around the universities. There are fewer opportunities in rural areas, although a small B&B might be a good investment. Holiday rental are all year round, as there are tourists in summer who visit for the sun and tourists in winter for the skiing.

The region is divided into five provinces – Asti, Cuneo, Turin, Vercelli and Alessandria. Of these, the most well-known is Turin and the city is home to much of the area’s industry and commercial areas. Those choosing Turin as their destination will find that the city has everything that they need, with schools for all ages of children, good shopping areas and leisure facilities. Some of the city has older properties, although the outskirts of the city have a number of newer developments, with apartment buildings and newer houses. Most homes have very little outdoor space, although some homes in the suburbs do have gardens.

This area of Italy is very reasonably priced for property when compared with some other areas. Properties that are in need of renovation can be bought for very little and the area has many properties which are suitable for renovating for holiday lets. These can fetch a lot of money when compared with the cost of buying and renovating and an investor can make back their initial investment very quickly as renting property can be done all year round.

It is possible in some towns to purchase a fully renovated apartment for less than €100,000. Some apartments that have previously been used for holiday lets come complete with furniture, so this may be a good option for those who do not want to go to the trouble of shipping their own from home. For a similar price, a small renovated farmhouse can be purchased in the countryside. Renovation projects can be less than half that amount and these are available in abundance as many Italians have chosen to move into more modern properties. Those who have more money to spend will find that there are plenty of larger farmhouses and luxury villas in the region. These often have extras such as swimming pools and plenty of land, and often there are outbuildings which can be converted into holiday cottages.

A good option for those who are retiring is a residential park. The Antiche Cure di Ghiffa park can be found at Lake Maggiore. It is not aimed at tourists, but at those who are looking for a new way of life in the area. This is a new development and includes shops, restaurants, apartments and a fitness centre. This is a development aimed at the luxury end of the market and prices are high, but the area is considered to be a good investment and it is expected that property values will continue to increase.

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Bupa Global

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