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Italy - Umbria

The capital of the Umbrian region is Perugia and the region has a population of just under 1 million people. Nearly 9% of the population are expats and most of these originate from Eastern Europe. Umbria has no coastline and some parts of the region are industrialised. Other large towns in the region include Assissi and Deruta. The area is popular with tourists, particularly as it is easy to travel to some of the country’s major cities.

The area has a continental climate with mild winters and warm summers. Rainfall levels are high in some areas, particularly in winter. The area is protected by the mountains so does not get the cold air from the north.

Umbria is one of the most popular regions in Italy for expats, whether they are retiring or looking for work. This influx has caused property prices to rise, so it is not the cheapest option for those who are retiring on a pension. The area offers a traditional Italian way of life, particularly outside the main urban areas.

Tourism is the best option for those who are looking to start their own business, with the rental of self-contained holiday cottages and small hotels proving to be good business. Other options include bars, restaurants and cafes. The lack of coastline means that the options for holiday businesses are limited but the area is also popular with those who like walking and cycling, so organising tours or renting out equipment is another option.

Umbria has seen a high demand for its properties, mainly due to the large numbers of expats who want to move there or those who want to buy a second home for holidays or renting out to others. The area is relatively expensive, although it is cheaper than Tuscany. Most people come to the area looking for a rural property, in the hope of finding a run-down building that can be snapped up at a bargain price and renovated cheaply.

Rural properties are often ‘Casali’. These are large farmhouses and are usually in need of a lot of renovation work. They often come with a large plot of land and prices will vary depending on the amount of land and the general state of repair. A smaller building is known as a ‘rustici’ and these can be a better option for those who want to downsize, although the land that is included is often a much smaller plot.

The capital city of Umbria is Perugia. It has 5 quarters and most of the town still sits within the old Etruscan walls. Perugia was a real town long before Rome and large parts of the town have been renovated, with some areas home to trendy restaurants and a lively night life. Property prices in the area are high, mainly due to the demand and because the properties have been renovated to a high standard. It is possible to still find a bargain though you have to look hard. For families, the schools are good and there are good leisure facilities.

The town of Assisi is one of the most famous in the region and the town centre has kept its historical roots. Due to the hill side location there is little opportunity for new developments, but there have been some older buildings which have been converted into apartments. Property prices are as high here as they are in Perugia, mainly due to the influx of tourists and high demand for property.

The town of Gubbio is also a hillside town and is one of the oldest in the region. Much of the older property has been well preserved and most has been renovated to a high standard. Property prices are lower here than in the larger towns. The town of Orvieto is also located on a hillside and has also undergone sympathetic regeneration. These smaller towns offer good opportunities for those who want to run a B&B, as the numbers of tourists that pass through them is increasing each year. Families hoping to set up home in the areas may need to look further afield for schools. Many of the small towns have primary school facilities but some do not have secondary schools, so some travel may be needed.

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