The diverse regions of Italy all have that certain something that makes them truly unique.Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily) and the beaches there are so beautiful that Sardinia has sometimes stood in for the Caribbean in television commercials (the Bounty adverts of the 1980s being a famous example).
Qatar Holding has acquired Costa Smeralda Holding (in the north-east of the island) and its portfolio consists of four luxury hotels, the Porto Cervo Marina, the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Golf Club, a 51 per cent interest in 2,290 hectares of adjacent undeveloped land and various other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda.
It appears that Qatar Holding has big plans for this side of the island and they intend to invest a considerable amount of funds to refurbish the existing properties and develop new commercial and residential real estate.
Pictured above and top: Costa Smeralda
Areas like Tuscany (second home for Sting), Lake Garda and Lake Como (second home for George Clooney) are very popular to the investor and the world’s wealthy, while other regions such as Umbria, Marche, Piedmont are less popular but equally beautiful.
Now is a very good time to invest in Italy. According to a study by Nomisma (an independent company that carries out international economic research and consulting) the property prices in Italy have fallen by 26 per cent since the beginning of the crisis. But the first signs of a slow recovery are now showing.
At Icnos we pride ourselves on our professional and personal service. We primarily represent the buyer and, through our extensive network of property professionals, we are able to offer an unparalleled and discrete Italian property finding service that best matches our clients’ requirements. This makes finding your perfect Italian home an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
As part of our after-sales service we help clients find the right suppliers for their properties at very competitive prices and assist in vetting and selecting the best companies for refurbishment or development.
Icnos will be launching a virtual open-day viewing for potential customers using the Google Glass technology. Using this innovative sales technique, my clients will be able to register and view properties in real time from their office desk or from the comfort of their own home.
Ten years ago I was looking to invest in a property in my home country (Sardinia) after selling my technology company in London. It was then that I realised the Sardinian market needed someone to work in the interests of the buyer and help foreign investors find the right property. This prompted me to take a course to become a licensed real estate agent in Italy.
My passion for property started long before this as I’d spend many a weekend visiting show homes in London. I arrived in the UK at the age of nineteen, directly after high school, and since then I’ve spent half of my life in London and the other half in Italy. I am now lucky enough to call them both home.
I love London with its vast array of events and opportunity but I’m still very attached to my home. Italy is a beautiful country that is well-known for its lifestyle, food, fashion and history. I lived in Rome for three years and one of the most amazing things there is that you can stop at a traffic light (yes, we do stop at the red lights, even in Italy) and see the most beautiful works of art hiding in the corners of buildings all around you.
Maria Vendone is managing director of the Icnos Group, a specialist real estate agent for Italian luxury property