Indeed its position as a top-ranking holiday location has been doubly confirmed of late. First, data from The World Bank, which examined almost every country across the globe, placed Italy as the fifth most popular world tourist destination. New figures from Eurostat then placed Italy as the joint second (tied with France) European country for tourism.
The figures are further supported by the latest residential research report from Knight Frank, which state that sales volumes in 2012/13 have strengthened, as international buyers look for long-term lifestyle purchases rather than short-term investment gains. International Residential Researcher Kate Everett-Allen comments,
“Despite the economic malaise, Knight Frank’s Italian team agreed a record number of sales in 2012/13, up by 50% year-on-year.”
To those familiar with Italy, the data will come as no surprise. It is a country of many faces, from the bustle of the big cities with their ancient architecture, to the refreshing simplicity of rural life in an idyllic setting. Of course the balmy climate – a key factor in many visitors’ choice of holiday destination – also adds to Italy’s charms.
Buying a second home in Italy has become increasingly attractive to foreign buyers. According to data from the Scenari Immobiliari research institute, 2012 saw an increase of 14% in second home sales to overseas buyers, with sales totalling €2.1 billion. The majority of buyers (almost 40%) were German, while 18% were British and 13% Russian.
This mix of foreign buyers is supported by new flights to many of Italy’s airports, with Russia’s Sheremetyevo International Airport recently announcing its summer flight schedule, which includes flights to a range of Italian airports. Italy’s Ancona airport is attracting particular interest, with Montenegro Airlines operating charters there during the summer months and Darwin Airline beginning four daily flights from Ancona to Rome from June 2013 in a code share with Alitalia. Flights to Ancona also operate from Albania, Germany, Belgium, Egypt, England and Sweden, as well as numerous internal Italian destinations.
Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of family-run company Appassionata, which offers fractional ownership of its two luxury properties in Italy’s beautiful Le Marche region (accessed by Ancona airport), has noticed this interesting mix of nationalities amongst her properties’ owners. Dawn comments:
“The owners of the fractions in our two houses – Casa Giacomo and Casa Leopardi – are from a variety of countries. We have Swiss, Italian, Scottish, Irish, English, American and French owners at present. The fact that Le Marche can be accessed from so many places is an important factor for those looking to buy here. Of course, the idyllic Italian rural lifestyle and endless summer sunshine also play their part!”