If you loved your Italian city break, why not invest in one of Italy’s stylish cities? Easy to reach, plenty to do and surprisingly affordable, take a look at the luxury homes on offer.

Italy has a lot to offer anyone looking for a city property in Europe that combines elegance and historic charm. There are some truly unique properties available, from stylish city apartments to Palazzo houses with historic features.

If you want a city home but have a more suburban budget, you’re going to need all your negotiating skills! Read our guide, How to Negotiate Abroad

Art and apartments side by side in Rome’s Piazza Navona

Italy’s cities are in great locations at the heart of Europe and the Mediterranean. With every budget airline flying here, travel from any city in the world with ease, as well as the UK. The rental opportunities are, of course, immense, and so is the long-term capital growth.

There are dozens of beautiful cities where you will find luxury apartments and historic Palazzo houses. For this article, we are focusing on Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. All have culture, art, cuisine and shopping to die for. What makes these cities so special, however, is that they are bucking the property market trend: prices are beginning to move upwards here, at last.


In the capital city, there is history at every turn. Alongside the remains of the Roman Empire, the city centre has Baroque and Renaissance buildings, converted into luxury apartments and penthouses. Some of the most sought-after properties have views over the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon or the Trevi Fountain. You can also find elegant 15th Century Palazzos with hardwood floors, ornate fireplaces and frescos. Other exclusive villas and hotels can be found for sale on the outskirts of the city.


Apartments in Rome (Brian Kinney/Shutterstock.com)

The central, historic centre is more expensive, but then you are living in the attics of the houses from ancient Rome. After the Empire fell, silt from frequent floods from the Tiber led the street level to gradually rise up, engulfing the lower floors of houses. The residents simply built on top. So the streets and houses are just the same as 2,000 years ago, but a couple of storeys higher up. Quite a thought!

€5,500 per m2 is half the price of London, and still a third less than the 2007 level.

You’ll pay around €5,800 per m2 for an apartment in the Centro Storico, but some areas are more affordable than others. One affordable area to watch is the trendy Quartiere Trieste, a favourite of students and yuppies, where prices are closer to €4,800 per m2. In the suburbs, you can pay under €2,000 per m2.

We can provide recommendations to trusted Independent Financial Advisors for impartial advice on buying property in Italy.

Unlike the rest of our cities on the list, prices in Rome are still undergoing a correction, with a slight drop in price of 2% since last year. So, could now be the time to buy to get ahead of the curve?


Spacious, two-bedroom apartment in Rione Monte with beautiful terrace. Click on the image to view the property.

Spacious, two-bedroom apartment in Rione Monte with beautiful terrace. Click on the image to view the property.

City living also doesn’t need to mean being short on space. This beautiful two-bedroom apartment in the Rione Monte area has a large living area and its own private terrace with plenty of greenery.


Milan is considered by many to be the economic and financial capital of Italy. It is also the city of fashion and design. Together, these make it one of the country’s economic powerhouses, and it has a thriving jobs market and start-up scene focused around the Porta Garibaldi. With quality healthcare and good international schools too, it’s an excellent city to move the family to, and the proximity to central Europe (and major airport and three key train stations) makes travelling around and popping back home easy.


Italian cities do young and trendy as well as old and venerable. “Bosco Verticale” in the business district. (marcociannarel/Shutterstock.com)

Milan has been nicknamed the ‘new Rome’ (and the ‘new Barcelona’ for its booming property market, with prices growing by 6.8% in the last year, according to Immobiliare.it data. In the centre, year-on-year growt is 7.52% – so this could be a fantastic investment opportunity for property buyers.

This buoyant market translates into a well-positioned apartment in a historic building starting at around €500,000.

Take advantage of low interest rates and get the right mortgage for you by talking to your recommended Italian mortgage specialist.


Rich in art, fine architecture and culture, Florence is the birth place of the Renaissance. It’s the city whose wealthy benefactors not only built beautiful homes, but encouraged local artisans like Leonardo and Michelangelo to become the world’s greatest artists to decorate them. They created one of the most awe-inspiring cities in the world. Florence’s architectural treasures include “il Duomo”, the Uffizi Gallery, The Ponte Vecchio bridge, Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace. Not just an open-air museum, Florence is a modern, thriving city of 380,000 people. It is surrounded by the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, with rolling hills, vineyards and artistically bucolic villages on the doorstep.

Florence, Italy

Restored or modern two-bedroom apartments in historic buildings start at around €360,000. Properties in prime locations in prestigious buildings with architectural features, such as frescoes and marble tend to be over a million. Any property with that classic view across the roof tops towards the dome of the cathedral will be pricey!

Two-bedroom penthouse in palazzo in Oltrarno.

Two-bedroom penthouse in palazzo in Oltrarno.

This stunning apartment in a historic palazzo is just a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Santo Spirito, close to all amenities. It’s in excellent condition, making it an ideal choice if you’re looking for somewhere to move into right away.

Prices have been bumping up and down since 2008 but the latest data shows that they have risen by 3.8% in the last year


Venice, with its romantic canals and alleyways, is a highly sought-after location for luxury apartments, particularly those that are in one of the prestigious Venetian Gothic palaces which line the Grand Canal.

Prices have been bumping up and down since 2008 but agents are saying they have bottomed out. Yes, they always say that but now it seems they may be right! The latest data shows that they are rising by around 4 or 5%. Clearly, a property here will have massive rental appeal, but do beware restrictions that may come in on AirBnb and the like. Local residents and hoteliers have been protesting against the growth in unofficial short-term rentals.

Could you find your dream home in Venice?

Could you find your dream home in Venice?

Popular areas include Castello, which is close to the Basilica of S. Giovanni e Paolo, and also San Polo, Santa Croce and Dorsoduro by the Accademia and Guggenheim museums. Outside Venice, along Riviera del Brentare, are luxury estates and Palladian villas. Prices are around €9,000 per square metre for prime areas, €6,000 to €7,000 for slightly off-centre areas such as Cannaregio.

Get your free Italian Viewing Trip Guide today to kick-start your hunt for the perfect city property.

The decline and fall of Italy’s housing market has stopped in the grandest and most historic cities. Prices are beginning to rise and buyers are returning. Elsewhere in the country, it is still very much a buyers’ market. So where will the next phase of the recovery begin? Possibly in Italy’s smaller but similarly beautiful historic cities. Siena, Verona, Turin, Genoa and Bologna all hold great potential in 2018.

In all of them you will find historic buildings worth exploring. This is an area where “kerb appeal” doesn’t really apply. Their facades may seem narrow and unimpressive, but once you step through the large wooden doorways, you will often discover large stone or marble stairways leading to huge and luxurious apartments with high ceilings, frescoes and beautiful stone fireplaces. Has yours just been waiting for you all these centuries?

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The Italy Buying Guide walks you through each stage involved in buying property in Italy, and offers invaluable insights from expats and experts who understand the process. The guide will help you to:

  Ask the right questions
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  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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