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Italy - Trentino-Alto Adige
The climate in the mountains is an Alpine climate, with warm summers that are short and very cold winters, although at lower altitudes the climate is much milder and summers last much longer.
This area is ideal for those who want to experience more than one culture in their retirement. The Alpine location means that most areas are fairly rural and there are many tranquil small towns and villages to choose from. Most areas have kept their old traditions and there are few new developments apart from those that have appeared near the ski resorts.
For an expat to start a business in this area, the opportunities are not great. There are some tourism opportunities such as hotels, bars and restaurants, although for a tradesperson there is much less of a demand. It would be a necessity to be able to speak at least one of the local languages, although not necessarily for a tourism based business.
There are several different types of property available in Trentino-Alto Adige. There are a number of communities of wooden chalets, particularly in the skiing areas, or a townhouse or apartment in one of the cities. There are many opportunities for those who wish to rent out self contained accommodation in the area, particularly in the ski resorts and some apartments in these areas have been bought by those retiring to the area or second home owners. Ski property in Italy is considered to be a good investment as most people considering a ski resort for a new home will head to France or Switzerland, and some of Italy’s resorts are not yet established enough to be attracting the same amount of tourists as those in other countries.
Bolzano is one of the region’s capital cities and is quite a small city. It has a university, so there are several districts where properties for rental are available at a low price and there are opportunities for those who wish to become a landlord. The city has a strong cafe culture and is ideal for those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture. Property in the area is available at a very low price and is a mix of houses and apartments. The centre of the city is mainly older properties, some of which have been converted into apartments. The outskirts of the city offers more modern properties, with detached houses and apartment blocks.
The city of Trento dates back to the Renaissance and is particularly popular with those who want to use the area as a base for skiing, hiking or other outdoor activities. Prices are a little lower than in Bolzano even with the healthy demand. The city has good schools, shopping facilities and other leisure facilities. This is a good choice for those who are looking for an active retirement.
Prices in the region are even lower if you choose to purchase a property in need of renovation. Buyers will find that there are a number of large estates being divided into smaller areas of land and sold as building plots, some of which will have planning permission in place already. In some areas planning permission is readily obtained as the local authorities are trying to encourage investment in the region. Even with planning permission, a plot can be bought at a very low price and investors should see the value of the property once the house is built gain three or four times the original value. There are many small mountainside properties which are in need of renovation which are available at a very low price. Those who have a larger budget will find bigger, more luxurious houses available but these are rarely on the market.
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