“Abruzzo is the sweet spot of Italy,” Kat Kalashian—emcee of our Live and Invest in Italy Conference last week—told us in her opening presentation.
“You can find cheaper property in the south. But here in Abruzzo, there’s no trade-off in infrastructure. Property can be unbelievably cheap… but you have lots of amenities… the sea and the mountains… and you can drive to Rome in four hours.”
After Kat’s introduction, two local mayors rolled out the red carpet to attendees. The mayor of Pescara welcomed us in English, followed by Gabriele Florindi, mayor of Città Sant’Angelo, who spoke in long, lyrical Italian sentences… all of which were translated by Marco, our representative from the Chamber of Commerce.
By the end of his speech, Mayor Florindi had formally invited all attendees to come and experience his village.
He was also aware that we’d ranked Città Sant’Angelo sixth in our 2017 Overseas Retirement Index… and is hoping for a higher position this year.
If you joined the group visiting Città Sant’Angelo over the weekend, please drop me a line! I’d love to hear how it went.
This welcome party set the tone for the rest of the event.
On Day Two, we had an unscheduled appearance from a third mayor—this time from the village of Tocco da Casauria… where he reported a population of three expats who are all treated as locals.
Our Italian guests and experts were all keen to put their regions on the map… to spread the word about Abruzzo… and to welcome new neighbors who appreciate this part of the world.
Kat told us, too, how she’d noticed on a recent visit to Città Sant’Angelo that more signs in English are appearing in the store windows. The owners may not speak English, but they welcome you in.
The expats who came to share their stories were in high demand. Especially Raymond Setzer, who, along with his wife Heidi, retired here from Wisconsin almost two years ago. After both his presentations, Raymond had attendees lining up to ask questions.
I can’t include all of Raymond’s words of wisdom here (you can get the full version in our Live and Invest in Italy Home Conference Kit). But here are three nuggets he shared on the ground in Pescara last week…
1. Slow down. Piano, piano (slowly, slowly) is a favorite local saying. And the pace of life in Abruzzo is much slower than you’re used to in the United States (and probably most of Europe). There’s no great rush to get anything done… but things are done well.
“I went into a store and picked a sofa,” said Raymond, “and three months later, I got my sofa. You order, and they build one just for you. It’s the best sofa I’ve ever had… and it will last the rest of my lifetime and beyond. It’s the same with my doors and windows. The quality is remarkable.”
You just have to be prepared to wait.
2. Learn some Italian. “Resist the urge to limit yourself to an English-speaking society,” Raymond warned.
“It will diminish your experience. After taking lessons for over a year, I feel much more confident going into stores… even when my rehearsed script doesn’t play out.
“And, once it becomes known that you’re learning Italian, you’ll have 100 teachers.”
3. Take advantage of low season. From mid-July to the end of August, the rest of Italy comes to the beaches of Abruzzo. You don’t want to compete with these crowds…
“June is a great time to take advantage of the local beaches,” said Raymond. “The water is warm… and, when you go to the restaurants, you’ll get the best tables with a view over the sea.”
It’s hard to believe this was our first event in Italy. We truly were welcomed as old friends.
If you’d like to hear the full story on this friendly, hospitable region—where you’ll never be stuck for something to do—now’s the time to act…
While Abruzzo is still several years away from being a recognized vacation spot, and perhaps even further from being the household name that Tuscany is, the tide is turning. We predict it won’t be much longer until the world begins to pay Abruzzo the attention it deserves.
Meantime, the cost of everything, including a home of your own in what we believe qualifies as Italy’s most enchanting corner, is unbelievably undervalued.
Just how cheap can a home in Abruzzo be? Local real estate agent Monia Di Guilmi introduced us to some irresistible opportunities… including a three-bedroom lake-view property with views of the lake from every window with an asking price of just US$105,000…
And a three-bedroom house, 20 minutes from the beach, with exposed stone and vaulted ceilings, for just US$90,000…
More from the scene tomorrow.