Friday 29 August 2008

Italian sunset in Perugia, Umbria

We are looking to produce a calender for 2009 and thought it might be a nice idea to invite you to submit your Italian pictures for consideration. We are especially interested in sunsets in and around, Cortona, Siena, Florence, Todi, Sansepolcro, Assisi, Gubbio, Anghiari, Orvieto, Montepulciano and Spoleto. In fact we are looking for 12 Italian medieval, Roman or Etruscan cities in Umbria and Tuscany. We are offering a credit and if your a professional photographer a link to your website. If your interested e-mail a low res photo to

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Torre di Fiume, Lake Trasimeno, Umbria

"I want to buy a property in Italy". Torre di Fiume is not any old Italian property. Torre di Fiume also known as Castello di Fiume is an once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase an historical part of Italy. Situated in the the Pian di Marte near Passignano, 20 minutes from Lake Trasimeno. This stunning Tower really is amazing. First recorded in 1282 and then mentioned as a Castle in 1313 the Tower can be seen for miles. Torre di Fiume is in need of full restoration. There might be a possibility to obtain a grant from the Belle Arti. If your on a Italian walking holiday in Umbria or Tuscany I would highly recommend a walk from Pergo through the Pian di Marte, up to Passignano and down to Lake Trasimeno. In this valley was where Hannibal camped his army and elephants before the battle of Lake Trasimeno. On June 24th 217BC they ambushed Caio Flaminio and his 15,000 Roman soldiers. No-one survived. In memory of the battle the stream was renamed Torrente Sanguinte (blood stream) and two villages, Sanguineto (blood bath) and Ossaia (bone place). For days Lake Trasimeno became red with the blood of the Roman army. For further information please have a look at our website The Tower is only 30 minutes from Cortona and 50 minutes from Perugia International Airport. It really is breathtaking. If you have an amazing Italian ruin please contact us at

Friday 22 August 2008

Italian weather

I know we brits are absolutely obsessed with the weather but after three months of roasting temperatures I'm beginning to wish for cooler winds. Living in Italy has changed my opinion of weather forecasters. Our clients often asked us, "what's the weather like tomorrow". I normally reply, especially between May and August, "the same as it is today". In Blighty I remember in the summer looking our of my bedroom window on the weekend and if there was a glimpse of sunshine, I would dart out of bed, call all my friends and rush down to Sainsbury's knowing that if I didn't make it before 10 there wouldn't be a single chicken drumstick left.

Being involved in Italian property I spend a considerable amount of time in my car. The Tuscan and Umbrian countryside can be cooler but if you go to Siena, Florence or Rome you will find that without aircon and a large bottle of water you'll be melting within minutes. I was in Florence a month ago and I can honestly say it was like being in a convection oven. I'm not complaining, in fact one of the reason I moved from the Uk was that I couldn't cope with the uncertainty of the British weather. I want to wake up in the morning knowing that apart for a thunderstorm the sun will be shining and the day will be long and hot, viva Italia...

Monday 11 August 2008

Siena Palio, Tuscany

The second edition of the famous horse race is nearly upon us, with the emotions undoubtedly already ramping up in the beautiful Tuscan city of Siena in preparation for Saturday's race. The August 16th race has been run since 1774, having been added to the original race schedule of July 2nd, itself a date in the Senese diary since 1656. The races create some of the strongest emotions I have seen in any sporting event, with losing supporters crying real tears and the winning contrada celebrating as if Italy had just won yet another World Cup. Several thousand spectators cram themselves into the stunning Piazza del Campo, which is surrounded by some of the most prime real estate in Siena. Owning an apartment or a whole palazzo on the main square of Siena must be considered one of the most exclusive addresses of any property in Tuscany. A seat on one of the many balconies surrounding the Piazza del Campo can set you back as much as €1,000 or more, unless you are lucky enough to have a friend who has bought a property there already. Considering the horse race itself only lasts 90 seconds, that makes it a pretty expensive seat. Then again, if you have bought property in Siena, the Palio makes it a very good investment indeed...

Florence, Siena, Perugia, Cortona, that is the question

Florence or Siena, Perugia or Cortona, Tuscany or Umbria. Purchasing your Italian Abode one has to consider the old trusted saying, location, location, location. Two years ago everyone wanted to be in the middle of the Italian countryside. Isolated, away from it all! Now we are finding that more and more people want to be close to one of these beautiful Italian cities. It's a hard call. Being close to a city can have it's problems. Noise for one. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find the perfect Italian retreat which is a five minutes drive to the shops but at the same time immersed in the rolling hills of Tuscany or the green heart of Umbria. We have had one inquiry recently who wants to be able to have their teenage children walk to Town. They have also stipulated that they need a pool. Where do you find your Italian dream that is walking distance to the Centro Storico, not overlooked with a pool and stunning views? The other consideration is that Italians love building new houses and you might find that within a very short period of time you lovely Italian vista has been replaced by a housing development. There are such properties, Casa Coniglio for example but there hard to come by and command a premium. We are actively searching for these, so if you're looking for such a property it Italy please get in touch.