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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Oct 2019 > Homes in Piedmont

Homes in Piedmont

Snow-dusted Alps, vine-striped hills, elegant little towns and some of the best food and wine on the planet – Piedmont has an embarrassment of riches. Good property prices and strong prospects make it a superb place to buy a home, says Fleur Kinson.
The Langhe is an area famous for its food and wine, not least Barolo and the white truffles of Alba

With some of the shortest travel times between Italy and the UK, Piedmont sits tucked up in Italy’s northwest corner, with France and Switzerland as its neighbours. It’s a clean, sophisticated and well-run sort of place, where everything works and life flows along in a contented and orderly fashion. It’s also a physically very beautiful part of the world. The buildings show the usual Italian flair for design and the landscapes lift the heart, with celestial Alps rising in the north and west and vinecovered hills rolling across the south.

This hilly south is worth special gastronomic mention, as it’s down here that many of Italy’s very best wines and foodstuffs are produced. Some people say it’s the finest corner of the whole world for eating and drinking. White truffles and Barolo wines are among the local specialities, but so is perfect cooking. Southern Piedmont has long had the greatest density of Michelin-starred restaurants of any comparatively-sized area on the planet. The Slow Food and Slow Cities movements both began in this area, which should tell you how highly Piedmont values the art of living well.

With its wonderful landscapes, culture and food, you might have expected Piedmont to be up there with the likes of Tuscany and Umbria in terms of foreign homebuyer interest. But Piedmont only really came to the awareness of international buyers a couple of decades ago, so its fame as a holiday home or retirement destination hasn’t had very long to build. Also, being further north than the much-loved central Italian regions, many would-be buyers have wrongly assumed that the climate might not be as good in Piedmont. But heed those vines on the hills! You can’t make some of Italy’s most highlyregarded red wines without the right kind of climate.

Bardonecchia, in the far west, shows off Piedmont’s Alpine attributes

REASONABLE PRICES

Another wrong assumption that might have deterred some international homebuyers is that Piedmont’s location in Italy’s wealthy north means its property prices must be sky-high. But they aren’t. Piedmont’s prices are very reasonable, and certainly lower than those of central Italian regions with similarly appealing landscapes, climate and lifestyle (namely Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche). What’s more, especially because it’s situated in the prosperous north, Piedmont enjoys a particularly safe and stable property market. It’s a very good place to put your money.

So what of actual prices? Currently, you might expect to pay less than €100,000 for a village home or a small country house needing restoration in Piedmont. Small restored properties, meanwhile, start at about €150,000. Farmhouses needing a little repair work get going at around €250,000, while €500,000-€600,000 might get you a beautifully restored farmhouse with great views in a gorgeous location. There are also castles, wine estates, B&Bs and other large properties available. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a lake – or ski-focussed home, one-bedroom apartments in converted period villas on Lake Maggiore might ask €150,000, and two-beds €200,000. Ski properties in Piedmont’s Alps come in a very wide range of prices, with some studio apartments asking less than €100,000 and some large three-bed flats going for €400,000 or more. Note that Piedmont’s tiny neighbouring Alpine region of Valle d’Aosta tends to be costlier.

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About Italia!

We start our exploration of 'il bel paese' in the beautiful northern region of Piedmont. From elegant, cultured cities to the rural heartland of premium wine production, this is a wonderfully diverse place to visit. Our first stop is at the fragrant lavender fields of Sale San Giovanni near Barolo, known as ‘little Provence’.