So You Want to Buy a House in Italy?

Buying real estate in Italy has become one of my favorite topics as of late. For our March issue, I wrote about the areas of Tuscany that still make good prospects for foreign buyers.

I personally have always said that if I had the money, I would buy a piece of oceanfront land or a home in Puglia. Businessweek Online seems to agree with me:

Known as Apulia in English, it’s famous for its wine, olive oil, and traditional conical-shaped stone houses called trulli. Do-it-yourselfers can buy a totally unrenovated trullo (see photo) for as little as $65,000. It is also possible to get a new three-bedroom villa with sea views and a pool for under $300,000. (Reminder to self, start saving pronto before all of the good deals are gone.)

Businessweek also tells the tale of an American who found his piece of Italian paradise in Sardinia:

After several vacations in Italy over the years, Randall Briggs of Baltimore was determined to spend his retirement living la dolce vita. Initially, the 41-year-old entrepreneur had his heart set on the Italian Riviera, but sky-high property prices put him off. While researching locales on the Internet, he came across, which found him a property and walked him through the buying process. “It seemed like we could get everything we liked about Italy — the culture, the scenery, and great weather — at a fraction of the price,” says Briggs. A few months later he and his wife became the owners of a $500,000, three-bedroom seafront villa in Torre delle Stelle on the southeastern tip of the island.