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Properties for sale - Italy by region

Click on region list or map for details
      Abruzzo Aosta Valley Apulia Basilcata Calabria Campania Emilia Romagna Friuli Venezia Giulia Latium Liguria Lombardy Marches Molise Piedmont Sardinia Sicily Trentino Alto Adige Tuscany Umbria Veneto
     
1 ABRUZZO   11 LOMBARDY
2 AOSTA VALLEY   12 MARCHES
3 APULIA   13 MOLISE
4 BASILICATA   14 PIEDMONT
5 CALABRIA   15 SARDINIA
6 CAMPANIA   16 SICILY
7 EMILIA ROMAGNA   17 TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE
8 FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA   18 TUSCANY
9 LATIUM   19 UMBRIA
10 LIGURIA   20 VENETO
   

 

ABRUZZO
This is one for nature lovers, its numerous hills and mountains making it ideal terrain to be explored by hiking or cycling. The mountains are also a favourite with skiers. Abruzzo has eye-catching landscapes, soaring hills and mountains towering over canyons, lakes and rivers. Little surprise, then that much of the region lies in national parks, the biggest being the Gran Sasso and the Maiella. And it's never too difficult to find yourself in splendid isolation, at one with nature, as you wander along centuries-old pathways used by shepherds and their flock and head towards some of Italy's most remote and picturesque villages hidden in the mountains.
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AOSTA VALLEY (Val D’Aosta)
Italy's smallest region is also its most mountainous and has on its borders the Alps' best known peaks – the Matterhorn, Monte Bianco, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso. Unsurprisingly, some of Europe's best ski resorts are to be found here, with Monte Bianco boasting the continent's highest cable car ride. The Gran Paradiso is at the centre of the magnificent National Park, full of picturesque pine forests, Alpine lakes and glaciers and populated by beautiful Ibexes, chamois and eagles. Val D'Aosta has special autonomous status and in homage to the fact that it borders France, most regional government business is conducted in French.
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APULIA (Puglia)
Worth visiting for its architectural treasures alone. There are cathedrals and castles dating as far back as the 10th century as well as numerous Greek and Roman remains. But Apulia also boasts a unique style of its own – barocco leccese, intricate carvings covering palaces and churches, the best examples of which are in Lecce. Another architectural must-see are trulli, conical stone structures that serve as olive and wheat barns. However, in some places they are built in clusters of hundreds and used as houses, as in the wonderfully quaint town of Alberobello. In addition, Apulia has some of the cleanest beaches in all the Mediterranean and one of the continent's largest forests. It also produces one in 10 of all bottles of wine drunk in Europe, so there's no excuse for not having a merry old time!
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BASILICATA
This hilly, southern region is a fantastic place to seek out undiscovered Italy. The beaches along its two tiny coastlines, particularly along the Tyrrhenian Sea, have not yet been over-run by mass tourism. The economy is mainly agricultural, although there is a thriving textiles and ceramics industry. The region has a long archaeological history. There are the Greek Palatine Tables ruins in Metaponto and Roman remains in Venosa, while the architecture in Matera, Melfi and Lagopesole shows heavy Arab and Byzantine influences.
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CALABRIA
Calabria has long been the secret that Italian holidaymakers discovered long ago and the rest of the world is just waking up to. The region, on the southernmost tip of mainland Italy, is the heart of the Mezzogiorno (Italian for 'midday", referring to its brilliant sunshine). It enjoys mile after mile of thankfully uncrowded sandy beaches as well as, in places, beautiful rocky coastlines that slope majestically into the sea. With the region not yet trampled underfoot by mass tourism, your euro will go farther here than in virtually any other part of Italy. Calabria, in many ways, is typical rural, deep South country. Narrow roads that wind perilously through the mountains, sprawling olive orchards and wheat fields. And in the main squares of the towns, the men smoking as they play cards, their wives sitting on doorsteps, knitting and weaving, locals almost falling over themselves to dispense hospitality to visitors. Welcome to unspoilt Italy.
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CAMPANIA
Home to the sun-soaked Amalfi coastline, which for decades has drawn sunseekers from across the world, as well as the islands of Capri and Ischia, where the rich, the famous and the beautiful come to holiday. With its balmy, year-round sunshine, sandy beaches, clear blue waters and enchanting sea caves, that's little surprise. Yet Campania is also home to some of Italy's best-preserved Roman, Greek and Lombard relics. Must-sees include ancient Greek temples in Paestum, dating back to the 6th century BC, the Imperial Villa in Capri and the 17th century Royal Palace in Caserta. And of course, no visit to Campania would be complete without taking in the ruins of Pompeii and neighbouring Herculaneum or braving a hike up Mount Vesuvius.
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EMILIA ROMAGNA

Its endless miles of warm, sandy beaches have naturally become a magnet for visitors from across Europe and are perfect for those who love any kind of water-based recreational activity. Its best-known resort, Rimini, is just as famous for its exuberant nightlife. Away from its alluring beaches the region – apart from being one of Italy's richest – is a treasure trove of architectural gems. The magnificent basilicas of Ravenna, for example, are a reminder that for centuries this was part of the Byzantine Empire, while Bologna's 11th century university, Italy's oldest, are proof of its long history as a centre of art and culture.
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FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA
This quiet corner of north-east Italy is rarely visited by Italians, let alone outsiders. But let that not blind you to its many attractions, especially if you fancy exploring them without having to weave your way past throngs of tourists. Trieste, its main city, was James Joyce's favourite place in the world and he was made an honorary citizen; a statue to the legendary Irish author stands on the bridge over the Canale Grande, near his old home. There is much to discover elsewhere in this region of contrasts, from snow-capped mountains to warm sandy beaches and lagoons, from awe-inspiring rocky coastal cliffs to picturesque fishing villages. Those who appreciate architecture will find much to admire in Udine's Gothic Palazzo del Comune and the Basilica in Aquileia, as well as the numerous Roman ruins and palatial country villas dotted around the region.
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LATIUM (Lazio)
There's Rome, of course, the Eternal City, with seemingly every cobble on every street steeped in more than 2,000 years of history. Yet Latium – Lazio, to give it its Italian name – is so much more than just Rome. The rest of the region offers long, sun-kissed beaches and vast pine groves, mountains, lakes, hills and plains. And south of the capital, for instance, is the famous spa town of Fiuggi, itself almost encircled by equally charming picturesque hill towns. To the east lies Rieti, where you can visit and even sleep in some of the monasteries built by St Francis of Assisi. Some 40 or 50 miles north of Rome is the former centre of the fabled Etruscan civilisation, which was later conquered by the Romans.
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LIGURIA
Liguria has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its breathtaking scenery, from the Liguri Alps in the north to the Italian Riviera to the south. Arguably the most famous stretch of the Riviera is the Cinque Terre – five picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore and the surrounding hillside – that is now a UN World Heritage Site because of its outstanding natural beauty. Further west along the coast, on the other side of the main city Genoa, lies the harbour village of Portofino - one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful resorts. It's easy to see why for decades it has attracted celebrities the world over; it was here that Richard Burton once proposed to Elizabeth Taylor. Another notable destination on the Riviera is San Remo, at the heart of the coastline called the Riviera dei Fiori after the stunning variety of its flowers and also famed for the San Remo Music Festival. The Riviera runs as far as Ventimiglia, just west of San Remo and a few miles from Monte Carlo on the other side of the French border.
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LOMBARDY (Lombardia)
The wealthiest of Italy's 20 regions and in fact one of the three richest in all Europe. It boasts the fashion mecca of Milan, which is also a centre for finance, commerce and industry, as well as the must-see medieval cities of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Mantua and Pavia. However, tear yourself away from its towns and cities and head for its beautifully serene countryside, with some of Europe's most breathtaking stretches of water. Its several shimmering blue lakes, including Como, Maggiore Orta, Endine and Garda, make it a natural haven for lake cruises and watersports.
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MARCHES (Marche)
A mainly agricultural region, famed for its good food and wine. There's also a 100-mile Adriatic coastline, with the seaside resorts Fano and San Bernadetto major attractions. The area has a proud artistic history, with Renaissance painter Raphael being born in Urbino. Places such as the regional capital Ancona, as well as Ascoli, Fano, Fermo and Urbisaglia, are full of magnificent Roman remains. The region's national park and nature reserve boasts the 22-mile Sibylline mountain range.
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MOLISE

It shares many of the characteristics of Abruzzo, which it was a part of until 1963. It is mainly mountainous with a small coast facing the Adriatic. Molise has several examples of medieval architecture to fill the visitor with awe. Campobasso, its capital, has a Lombard castle dating back some 1,500 years, while San Bartolomeo and San Giorgino both boast majestic Romanesque churches. Anyone travelling to Isernia, Molise's second city, should make a point of seeing the 14th century Fontana Della Fraterna.
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PIEDMONT (Piemonte)
Piedmont, one of Italy's great wine-growing regions, is bordered on three sides by the Alps and is home to some of Europe's most spectacular peaks, including the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa. Then there are the rolling hillsides of Monferrato and La Langhe with their rich, fertile terrain that has given Piedmont its great wine and culinary tradition. The region's capital is Turin, which has a long-established architectural and cultural history and in the 19th century was the first Italian capital. The St John the Baptist Cathedral houses the Turin Shroud; many of the palaces of the old House of Savoy are here; while its Museo Egizio has the world's most important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts outside Cairo. And in recent years the city has shaken off its image as the grey industrial home of Fiat and soccer club Juventus to enjoy a renaissance and in 2006 hosted the Winter Olympics.
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SARDINIA (Sardegna)
It's 120 miles off the Italian mainland, so little wonder its people speak a dialect virtually incomprehensible to the rest of the country. But it can claim one of Europe's most spectacular coastlines, with its jagged, rocky promontories broken up by serene, sandy beaches. Inland, it has some of the continent's oldest archaeological remains, some nearly 4,000 years old. The six-mile long Costa Smeralda on the north-east shore has been turned into an upmarket resort with sprawling private villas, luxury hotels and huge marinas. But among its main – and decidedly cheaper – attractions are its numerous hidden beaches. A second resort almost as popular with the wealthy is Porto Rotondo, a few miles further down the coast, which has an assortment of beaches, restaurants and nightlife.
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SICILY (Sicilia)
Virtually all of Sicily – the exception being the summit of Mount Etna – is sunny all year round, as you would expect from an island whose southern tip is closer to the tropics than parts of North Africa. This is an island of contrasts – the big cities of Palermo and Messina; traditional fishing villages; and beautiful sandy beaches all cheek by jowl with one another. Sicily was once ruled by various races, including the Greeks, Spanish and Arabs, and their legacy is obvious all around you, especially in the Greek temples, Arabic fortresses and churches covered in Byzantine mosaics. There's plenty to see in the awe-inspiring landscape, from the towering Mount Etna to the Isola Bella nature reserve and the Gole dell'Alcantara, a 150ft deep gorge along which the River Ancantara runs. Also worth a visit are the scenic islands of Pantelleria, Ustica, Lipari, Stromboli, Favignana, Salina and Panarea.
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TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE
On the north-east border with Austria, Trentino-Alto Adige is blessed with snow-capped peaks overlooking picturesque meadows, lakes and waterfalls. The northernmost areas are dotted with idyllic mountain hamlets, with a character all of their own, where German is the common language and locals tuck into dumplings rather than pasta. In winter the region offers fantastic skiing while during the rest of the year it's the perfect place for hiking and being at one with nature – the area is teeming with deer, ibexes, marmots and eagles. Little wonder so many Italians head here for their holidays all year round. The region also has nearly 300 lakes, including the famous Lake Garda. Many have superb beaches, making them a magnet for swimmers and bathers in summer. Trentino is also famous for its wines and its grappas – clear liqueurs flavoured with local herbs and berries. Just the thing for rounding off the perfect evening here.
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TUSCANY (Toscana)
Famed the world over for its art, culture, history and breathtaking landscape. It is home to the great centres of Renaissance art such as Florence, Pisa and Siena, as well as the charming medieval areas of San Gimignano and Pienza and the spa regions of Montecatini, Chianciano and Bagni di Lucca. Then there is the spectacularly diverse landscape, which takes in everything from the lush green hills of the Chianti wine region, the snowy Apennine peaks and rocky Apuan Alps, to the relaxing beach resorts of Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi and Elba.
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UMBRIA
Although some two-thirds of Umbria is mountainous, the rest seems to have been given over to lush, sprawling olive orchards and vineyards. Agriculture is clearly important here, in the heart of Italy, and it is one of Europe's major sources of truffles. Despite being landlocked it is home to several rivers, including the Velino, which joins the Nera by way of the magnificent 540ft Marmore Waterfalls. It also has central Italy's largest lake, Trasimeno. The main city is Perugia but enchanting towns such as Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto, and Castiglione are also popular with tourists.
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VENETO
Venice, the world's most romantic city, is undoubtedly Veneto's jewel in the crown. Yet the region has countless other treasures often overlooked by visitors and mercifully free of hordes of tourists. Verona, the setting for Romeo and Juliet, is one of the country's most beautiful historic towns. That is in part down to the famous architect Andrea Palladio, who was born here and designed many of its palaces and other buildings. But also contributing hugely to Verona's allure are its elegant Roman ruins. Worth discovering too are Chioggia, which boasts Venice's canals but few of its teeming crowds; Soave, famous for its wines; and Abano, a serene spa town. When it comes to relaxing and soaking up the sun, the region has mile after mile of golden sandy beaches along its 150-mile Adriatic coastline, with Lido di Jesolo the most popular resort. Veneto is also home to the stunning Dolomite mountain range, where winter sees the rich and the famous descend on the glitzy ski resort Cortina, known as "The Pearl of the Dolomites".
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