Italy’s popularity with tourists has never been higher, and the end of summer won’t stop them coming to every part of the country’s famous ‘boot’. For anyone with a holiday home in Italy, there is opportunity to make friends and a little money too.
That high-heeled boot joyously splashing in the Mediterranean sea like a child in new wellingtons is Italy, and tourists simply love it. When you look at a satellite image of the earth you can easily spot Italy’s boot shape, and it becomes clear what a great location it is in Europe.
Look closer and you will also notice the varied landscape. Wth everything from snow-capped mountain to sandy beaches, and with those rolling green hills between, it’s great for sun lovers and those who enjoy winter sports.
Who is holidaying in Italy?
Tourists are flocking back to Italy. Hotel bookings are up and according to a study published by the retailers’ association, Comfcommercio, Italy’s tourism income is expected to reach €17 billion in revenues this summer. The report also shows that this year the highest percentage of visitors are making the trip from America, with 2.2 million United States visitors expected to bring in €2.1 billion between July and September alone.
Although there are no Russian tourists this year and air traffic disruption has lowered the numbers from Germany, significant numbers are coming from Canada, Australia and South Africa this year. Add to that the 35 million Italians that are expected to holiday in their home country this year, and the summer season is looking bright.
In a typical year only about 3% of tourists in Italy are from the UK, compared to 14% from Germany. So if you have a property to rent out, this highlights the importance of advertising your Italian holiday home on the right holiday rental portals. There is a whole world of potential renters out there, looking for their perfect holiday location.
Italy is so much more than a boot
Like that favourite pair of boots that you go back to wearing every year, Italy makes you feel warm and comfortable. Many holiday rentals find that guests come back year after year.
However, there’s more to Italy than just a pretty face and fine styling. Italy could merit an honorary degree in so many subjects, from history and art, to geography and home economics.
So, what is it that makes Italy such a great place to own a holiday home? And why do tourists keep coming back?
Italian food reflects and compliments the produce and culture of each Italian community. From risotto to gnocchi, polenta to pasta, it provides an insight into each region’s history and what the locals are growing nearby.
Restaurants and households love to cook with fresh local ingredients and you can really taste the difference in the flavours. Pick up a tomato from an Italian market and when you bite into it your taste buds will immediately know it has been ripened in the sun.
Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Versace, Valentino, Moschino, Giorgio Armani… the “Made in Italy” brand is admired the world over. It takes confidence to wear Italy’s heeled boot in the sea and still look stylish, but Italian design is both fashionable and exudes quality.
The catwalk models in Milan wear them well, but when you live in Italy you will naturally find yourself dressing more beautifully and taking pride in looking your best.
I think most people would agree that looking at a gorgeous view makes you feel good. Some find pleasure in having a view of the sea or a lake, and others prefer mountains or rolling hills. You could be looking across a field of sunflowers, a vineyard on a hillside, or the blossom in a cherry orchard, the effect on your mood is the same.
Many property buyers dream of having a house with a view. In Italy you’ll discover numerous amazing views, even in the cities and villages, because even the architecture can be beautiful.
Each village and city of Italy will have some interesting architecture. Whether it’s a medieval hill top town or a renaissance city street. Sometimes you get a bit of both. Like with Hadrian’s Temple in Rome, below, now part the Chamber of Commerce building.
Tourists love to holiday in an unusual building, such as a trullo, castle, palazzo, or tower. If you intend renting out your holiday home it will be much easier if the property is appealing in the photographs and has traditional Italian features.
The Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance have all left many cultural artifacts that attract tourists. There are over 4,000 museums, 6,000 archaeological sites, 85,000 historic churches and 40,000 historic palaces, all subject to protection by the Italian Ministry of Culture. Rome is the third most-visited city in Europe, with around 9.4 million arrivals a year.
Italy is also the country with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, currently numbering 58. Historic sites that attract many visitors include Pompeii and Herculanium, the colosseum in Rome, Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Florence cathedral and the Duomo in Milan. However, there is so much history on display all around Italy, it would take a lifetime to visit every location.
Art and culture
Italy has been the homeland of painters, sculptors and architects who have left an incredible mark on its history. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Filippo Brunelleschi and Andrea Palladio, to name just a few. While thousands of tourists visit galleries to view their work in Florence, Rome, Venice and Milan, don’t be out off. When you first see Michelangelo’s David in the flesh, trust me you won’t notice the other tourists in the room….
However, there is plenty off the beaten track to discover too. Even small towns will have churches with amazing paintings and stone work – as well as a very welcome respite from the heat.
Speaking of which, many tourists choose Italy for their holidays due to its predominantly Mediterranean climate. Summers are generally dry and hot, and winters mild. There can be rain and snow, but the seasons have a beauty of their own. The autumn leaves in the Forest of Umbria and the wild flowers in the spring are astonishingly beautiful.
Cost of living
Consumer prices including rent in the United Kingdom are nearly 15% higher than in Italy, according to Numbeo. A lot will depend on location and how your home is set up regarding heating and a power supply. Gas heating is going to be much more expensive than a wood burner or pellet fire. Solar panels and photovoltaic panels also offer great savings. If you decide to become a permanent resident in Italy you wont be charged the equivalent of council tax either, which is a massive saving.
If you go out for dinner in a restaurant, prices are about 10% cheaper than in the UK. A cappuccino at a café is likely to be between €1.20 and 1.50, not the £3 or more typical in the UK. Public transport is also generally cheaper than in the UK. Property for sale on average is much lower.
Italy has something to offer every type of tourist, from the active adventurers to those who want to relax by a pool.