We hope you are at home and doing fine in these difficult times of lockdown and quarantaine.
Today, things do not longer go according to plan. Countries are closing, cities and villages look empty, the good times seem far away. Also our startup, Italia Property Finding, has reached a critical point. Almost nobody is looking for real estate… and certainly not abroad. We could conclude: OK, we tried, wrong timing, it is beyond our own free will, too bad, we’d better give up.
But… Italia Property Finding is not the first start-up we are taking care of. Over time, as entrepreneurs, we have learned that success mainly comes from pure dedication, perseverance… and resilience. As long as you believe in the ultimate goal, you must never ever give up. In difficult times, the hurdles to be taken will be harder, but they are feasible as long as you are flexible and creative. You can always tweak the plan, adjust the strategy, but not change the ultimate goal as long as the goal feels right.
So, currently it’s our turn to “walk the talk”, to practice what we preach, and to decide what to do next. Well, as you can imagine, we will not give up. It is not because people do not make concrete plans today, that they are not dreaming about the future. When the time will be right again for Italy lovers to (re)consider looking for a residence, a second home or an investment opportunity, Italia Property Finding will be there as strong as ever. It will have survived the difficult hurdles of today.
And meanwhile we will keep on bringing positive stories about one of the most beautiful country in the world: Italy. Simply because keeping the spirits up is the only way to get smoothly through these difficult times.
It will be lovely to see you again when the worst is over.
The “MADE IN ITALY” brand continues to show its resilience. Numerous Italian companies are changing the production purpose and capacity of their factories throughout the country in support of the Covid-19 emergency situation. To name just a few:
Giorgio Armani is converting all its factories to produce disposable gowns for the individual protection of health personnel engaged in the constant fight against the virus.
The Ferrari brand will make its plants and employees available for the production of components and assembly of new respirators for intensive care patients.
The Prada Group has committed itself to produce 110,000 gowns and 80,000 masks, with daily deliveries, at their plant in the province of Perugia which remains open for this purpose only.
There are plenty of beautiful countries on the planet. True. Over the years, I have travelled the planet extensively. But still, each time I arrive in Italy, it feels like coming home.
My fascination with Italy started in early childhood thanks to uncountable trips to the Veneto, Lombardy, Tuscany and Le Marche. At that time we travelled by car and did not venture any further south than Firenze. The reason was simple: it was the 1970s and my parents, driving a legendary old Volkswagen without airco of course, were not that into the summer heat, but they did love the great cities of art and the Italian atmosphere.
To me, the love for a country stems from a certain “sense of belonging“. I am in love with all the beauty Italy offers from North to South, from Milano to Palermo, from the Dolomites to Mount Etna. But as you may know, my weak spot is Rome, the city that has become my second “home”. No greater sense of belonging than calling a place home. When I walk through the ancient streets of my neighbourhood in central Rome, I feel happily surrounded by art and history wherever I look. From my morning cappuccino in a local bar to a late evening stroll, I feel blessed by all the marvels my favoured country and city offer. If it wasn’t for family and friends, Belgium would easily become a distant memory.
7 reasons to love Italy, all equally important
1/ The history and the culture
Travelling through Italy is like taking a walk through history. It is taking a step back in time to enjoy the magic that has been created by our ancestors. Italy is the country with the highest collection of UNESCO protected monuments and heritage sites.
From the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum in Rome, to the mysteries of ancient Pompei, from Venice’s Carnival and its Biennales to romantic Verona, from the breathtaking bay of Naples to magical Matera, from fashionable Milan to the splendours of art Firenze, … I can go on and on about why you should go to Italy.
2/ The arts
Italy is home to some of the greatest masterpieces of art. Whether you prefer Rome, Firenze or Venice or any other city, there are uncountable museums and art galleries throughout the country. And no, we do not only mean the Vatican or the Uffizi Gallery. Also head for lesser known places like for example Palazzo Altemps, a stunning 15th century palace, which actually houses one of Rome’s finest museums. Or the Guarnacci Etruscan museum of Volterra in Tuscany, to name but a few. There are events and expositions going on at all times, which will surely give you “l’embarras du choix”. I must admit, for me it has become impossible to skip the Arts and the Architecture Biennales of Venice, those wonderful highlights of the year.
3/ The weather
Sun, sun, sun and more sun. The Mediterranean climate you typically find in Central and South Italy is definitely a plus. Mild winters and hot dry summers are exactly what I am longing for. Having lunch outside in winter is a luxury we can only dream of in the North. In Italy it is just normal. Life in Italy happens in the streets. From the moment the sun is out, terraces come to live and the country looks like everyone is on a holiday.
4/ The scenery
Italy has it all: magnificent countryside, beautiful mountain ranges (such as the Alps, the Apennines, the Dolomites,…), a great number of clear blue lakes (think of Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lago Maggiore, or my favorite Lago Trasimeno,… ), sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, complemented with charming villages and little town, kilometres of rocky coastline with spectacular villages like in the Cinque Terre, the splendid Amalfi Coast, the still active volcanoes like Vesuvius and Etna with their stunning vistas, small colourful islands like Burano and Murano in the Veneto, Capri, Ischia and Procida in the gulf of Naples.
Let’s not forget Italy’s gems, Sicily, where every square kilometre breathes history and culture… and Sardinia, with the costa Smeralda and Stintino, a Caribbean paradise in Europe.
5/ The food, the wine and the coffee
Yes, I am a foodie, and Italian food is my favorite. I rather have olives, artichokes, Parma or San Daniele ham, Grana Padano, burrata and lots of tomatoes than the Belgian “beefsteak frites”. Not to mention the delicious fruit that doesn’t compare to what you find in the North. Italians are passionate about cooking, eating and sharing good food. So am I.
The Italian cuisine is so much more than pizza and pasta bolognese. It differs from region to region, with very distinct flavours but always with the same Italian character. There is great food everywhere, not only in expensive restaurants. Also the most simple trattoria can be heaven on earth. In Italy, life is centred around food and Italians express their love through food, wine and coffee. So do I.
6/ The language
Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, if not the most beautiful. It is Latin turned into poetry. And frankly speaking, it is never too late to start studying a language. It will take some effort and time, but it is feasible. With each language you learn, you open the door to a new culture. Try Italian. You will not regret.
7/ The people
Italians are very hospitable people, and can make you feel at home very easily. They have a strong sense of community and a welcoming, helping nature. Family is sacred, they adore children and respect the elderly. The southern way of living is relaxed and easy-going. Italians are often loud though, but that simply is their unique way to express their passionate nature. Friendships are meant to last.
Here it is: our featured article published in Second Home Magazine, Gent 2020 edition, available as of today. You can still attend our seminar for free at Second Home, Flanders Expo Ghent, Hall 8, location 3, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February at 15:45 hrs.
From 7 till 9 February 2020, Flanders Expo in Gent will be hosting Second Home Expo, a perfect event to start your search for a home or a second home in a foreign country.
We, from Italia Property Finding, will be there too. We will he holding a 30 minute seminar on our experience with finding a house in Italy.
Finding a place under the Italian sun
The road to a new home in Italy is not necessarily a walk in the park. In Italy, real estate agents, notaries and the administrative merry-go-round do not work exactly the same way as in Belgium. Having a good idea of what you expect from a property or a region is not enough.
To avoid unpleasant or expensive surprises it is important to surround yourself with professionals. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. That is why we are happy to share our experience, straight from the heart, about finding a unique medieval property in the historical heart of Rome.
Come and see us at Second Home Expo, where Ann will be giving some insights on what it takes to find a unique place under the sun in Italy. A place to cherish, a place to live and a place to work.
You can register here to obtain free tickets for the event.
Looking forward to seeing you on 7, 8 or 9 February at 15:45 !
When one chooses Rome, it is to live or to spend time there, unconditionally. Rome is being loved for either its orderly chaos or its frenetic pace. Time in Rome is from a different order.
A city that is always on the move… and sets its own rhythms.
Even the climate is unique: if for example in many parts of Europe, in March we are still cherishing our winter clothes, in Rome we say “marzo pazzerello, guarda il sole e prendi l’ombrello”” (ancient proverb meaning “crazy March, look at the sun and take an umbrella”). Not surprisingly, the ancient Romans had dedicated the month of March to the war god Mars, since they considered it the month that kicked off summer. The warriors began to prepare their armour, spears and shields, and the armies were ready to get going again.
Another phenomenon is happening after summer. When October announces the beginning of the cold season, in Rome we experience the “Roman Ottobrate”, a sort of meteorological miracle, with bright sunny days and a very mild climate, enough to seduce many Romans to enjoy some last days of sunbathing and swimming at the seaside. All this is due to an anticyclone, which particularly affects this strip of the Italian peninsula, ensuring a warm climate without rain since ancient times. Hence the term “Roman Ottobrate”, the phrase people used in previous centuries to refer to the Sunday trips out to the countryside surrounding Rome.
“I like Rome very much, it’s a kind of jungle, lukewarm, quiet, and where you can hide well ” Federico Fellini
In fact, a city that has been the magnificent centerstage of history and culture for so many centuries, provides its residents with a great sense of protection. Each alley, staircase, square, fountain or church hides or reveals an unexpected piece of the puzzle that contributes to the present splendour of the city, but at the same time, they all contains tons of mystery and secrets.
The secrets of Rome
Let’s reveal one: Salvatore Spoto tells in his book “Esoteric Rome” a story that really happened in 1578 in the church of San Giovanni in Porta Latina. It also appears in the “Journal of Montaigne’s travels in Italy” which was published equally in the late the 1500s. The story is about marriage between men. In that church, during mass, men were married to each other, completely in line with the same ceremonies that are still in use for contemporary weddings. To date, that church is still very well known and appreciated by the Romans for… celebrating weddings.
But do all roads lead to Rome?
There is a famous proverb “All roads lead to Rome” which refers to a bronze monument from 20 BC. called Miliarum Aureum (the Golden Milestone) located in Rome inside the Roman Forum, which used to be the starting point of all roads of the Empire.
Today, centuries later, Rome remains an easily accessible destination, not only with respect to many other destinations in Italy through highways and a very good high-speed rail network, but also to foreign countries thanks to its two main airports of Fiumicino and Ciampino. For example, when arriving at Fiumicino, it only takes 30 minutes to travel to Termini and arrive in “centro storico”, the old historical part of town.
The beauty of Lazio
With Rome as its capital, Lazio is a very important region in terms of culture, art, architecture and archaeology. The hinterland of Rome is quiet and sparsely populated. However, there is plenty to see. Living in Rome is great for visiting and making day trips to uncountable interesting and pleasant places.
Starting from the characteristic seaside towns, south of Rome, we mainly think of Ostia, Sabaudia and Anzio. From the latter – a delightful fishing village – you can easily reach the beautiful island of Ponza by hydrofoil n just one hour. Memorable are day outings to the suggestive Garden of Ninfa, classified by the New York Times as one of the most romantic gardens in the world, which were born on the ruins of the medieval town of Ninfa on the slopes of the village of Sermoneta. Heading north, the vast area of the province of Viterbo reveals enchanting places, from an Etruscan necropolis to medieval villages, natural spas and ancient towns that are gradually disappearing, to name just one… Civita di Bagnoregio.
Could Rome become your city? Do you consider the Eternal City when looking for a house of your dreams?
We can keep on writing about the Eternal City. We live there. We know it is a gorgeous place. And we like to reveal lesser known details to arouse your curiosity. We like to share our thoughts, just to give you an idea of how many opportunities this splendid city has to offer.
If you are interested in finding a property in Rome or in the Lazio region, we can take care of a tailor-made search for you, taking into account all your wishes and desires until you find that unique place called home.
Contact us if you want to talk about your project.