Category Archives: News

Murazzano. A village in the Alta Langa

Many people dream of buying a home in the famous Langhe region of Piemonte (Piedmont) which features  a wonderful landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, mountains and the famous wine producing towns of Barolo and Barbaresco.

As you travel south from Alba through the Langhe hills you head towards the Alta Langa, an area that borders Liguria (The Italian Riviera). This area has a higher altitude generally ranging between 700 meters above sea level to a maximum of 896 meters at the town of Mombarcaro – here you can see wonderful views of the mountain range.

The Alta Langa landscape is characterized by forestry, rolling hills and hazelnuts groves all surrounded by a wonderful backdrop of mountains. It’s a true paradise for hikers,cyclists and anyone who appreciates nature.

The Alta Langa has many small villages and towns one of which is Murazzano with a population of about 1000.

The area surrounding the town is extremely tranquil and boasts an absolute stunning scenery and  a variety of wildlife which includes several birds of prey, deer and wild boar.

The town itself is steeped in history and features old cobbled streets with a good variety of shops, restaurants  and other facilities. During the summer months the local residents sit outside in the streets chatting until the early hours of the morning, a truly wonderful atmosphere.

Murazzano is also famous for its locally produced cheese. The Murazzano PDO is a fat fresh cheese produced from sheep’s milk.  The milk coming from the local breed of sheep ” Pecora delle Langhe”

Murazzano PDO comes in a cylindrical form, it’s a milky white cheese and its texture is slightly thick, soft and sometimes has some holes. The outer part has no rind and the fresh whole cheeses are milky white in colour while the aged cheeses are more of a straw yellow. It’s taste is smooth and delicately fragrant and makes a great combination with some of the local wines of the region. Even today every whole cheese in this area is still made by hand.

In 1982, Murazzano cheese won the national P.D.O. status and subsequently the European P.D.O. status.

All these beautiful villages in the Alta Langa seem to produce something worthwhile and I whole heartedly recommend a visit to this area which is often forgotten in favour to the popular wine producing Langhe region

Buying a business in Italy

Many of us dream about moving to Italy and making a fresh start in life. Italy has much to offer, wonderful warm local people, scrumptious food, prestigious wines and it’s fabulous climate make it a popular choice for relocation.

The reality for most of us is that to make this move successful we must generate some form of income to live. The Italian job market can be a little limited if you are not fluent in Italian – you can teach English, become a tour guide etc.

So what are the options? One such possibility is to buy a business for sale in Italy that allows you to generate and good income using your native tongue language. An interesting, lucrative business proposition is working in the tourism industry for example a bed and breakfast accommodation, Hotel or a holiday rental business.

What are the advantages of buying an established business for sale? Well of course there should be an established income in place, but also, the property in question will already be set up for business, it may already have a swimming pool, car parking area , existing clientele etc…
Expenses like these can soon mount up when starting a business from nothing often placing an additional financial strain on the business even before it has started.

A business with an established income may also help with cash flow projections for the bank if a little borrowing is required

How can the business provide additional income? It may be worth looking a properties that have vineyards and hazelnut groves. Vineyards involve more work and skilled work so if you don’t have experience then you will need to learn or you could hire someone to work the vines for you and teach you the tricks of the trade. The locals are passionate about the land and its produce and genuinely pleased to share their enthusiasm and experience. You then have the option of making the wine itself or selling your grapes to an established wine maker or a local cooperative.

Hazelnuts are another possibility – referred to in Italy as the “Lazy man’s tree”. They are much easier to maintain and require less work. Here in The Langhe most of the local hazelnut production go to Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, Ferrero Roche, Kinder chocolates etc

There are also small local businesses making local products with the hazelnuts – for example , hazelnut cake, toasted hazelnuts….

Selling local quality produce, wines, hazelnut cake, preserves etc is also an interesting addition to any tourist based business.

In addition to the income generated from a vineyard or hazelnut grove there is a certain sense of achievement, satisfaction and appreciation of nature that comes with working the land.

Business practices vary from country to country and Italy is no different. It’s essential that you deal with an Italian accountant preferably that speaks your mother tongue language. He or she will be able to guide in the right direction and help you with other matters like insurance and the availability of local grants etc.

Buying a business in a Italy is a big decision so do your research thoroughly – however it could be the best decision in your life….mixing with the warm friendly local people, enjoying scrumptious food, prestigious wines and the fabulous climate…………

We have several businesses for sale in the Piemonte region, check our website for further details.

Piedmont Property featured in Ville Giardini magazine

The region of Piemonte is attracting a lot of interest from the media all over the world and as such we work closely with the press to ensure that the area gets the recognition it deserves. We are currently working again with Ville Giardini who are one of the top property publications in Italy.

Ville Giardini have decided to feature The Langhe region of Piemonte and have asked to feature some of our properties in their article. I’ll let everyone know the publication date when all details are finalised.

Buying a casa rustico (rustic house) in Piemonte

A rustic house for sale in the Langhe

Throughout Italy and particularly in the Langhe and Monferrato regions of Piemonte one can find many old stone buildings which have been for many reasons neglected by their current owners.

These old rustic houses or rustici as the Italians call them, usually have a farming connection and consist of an L shape building with haylofts which usually include wonderful arches.

A typical rustico will be found in a rural area and have commanding views of the local countryside and as such can make an ideal location for your dream Italian home.

These old farm properties usually feature original cotto floor tiles and vaulted ceilings. Unfortunately the condition of these houses are usually in a state of disrepair and require complete restoration.

The renovation of these rustici is an expensive process but ultimately you wind up with a property built to your specification and if restored sympathetically could prove to be a good investment over the years. Traditionally restored farmhouses also prove popular for holiday rentals in Piemonte.

You need to be or have someone fluent in Italian to manage the project and be sure to get a quote for all the additional taxes involved as these soon can mount up.

So in conclusion if you can’t find the property of your dreams here in Italy, consider a rustico and renovate it yourself.

Property investment in Italy

Although the world financial crisis is in full swing we still have clients with money to invest and with uncertainties in the financial markets they are seeking alternative investment opportunities.

Property prices In Italy are remaining relatively stable but of course there are some bargains to be had !!

Tourism here in the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of Italy is thriving and while the poor performance of Sterling may affect the British market a little, the number of tourists coming here each year is increasing.

Piemonte offers something for everyone be it sports, food, culture, sea, skiing, wine and access to the wonderful Italian cities of Milan, Turin, and Genoa etc.

More and more tourists visiting the area are seeking self catering type holiday accommodation. Investors looking at properties in Piemonte with holiday rental potential certainly have an interesting investment opportunity……

A typical two bedroom property can fetch in the region of Euro 1000 per week with this figure increasing depending on standard of accommodation and amenities eg if there is a swimming pool.

Tourists are arriving in the Piemonte region all year round – a good return on your investment is for sure a viable proposition.

If you don’t live in Piemonte permanently and you buy a property for holiday rental, you will need someone to manage the rental business for you. There are agencies who will do this for you and there are also local Italian and foreign families that provide this service. Such assistance is very easily arranged.

With careful planning and an effective advertising campaign this is an investment seriously worth considering …….