Published On: Wed, Aug 23rd, 2017

Veneto regional property guide

Veneto, tucked away in the northeast of Italy, is romantic and prosperous in equal measure. Home to 5 million inhabitants, it stretches up to Austria in the north and to the flats of the Po Valley in the south, encompassing a variety of terrains along the way.

The region’s capital is Venice – obviously. This iconic city, one of the country’s biggest draws for tourists, is unique in its geography and atmosphere, boasting peerless architecture and a rich historic legacy. The wider Veneto region lays claim to more historically resonant and pretty towns and cities too – not to mention wide swathes of rural peace and beauty. It is truly an area that can claim to offer something for everyone.

Lake Garda

The eastern shore of Lake Garda belongs to Veneto. There are pretty towns up and down the coast, with the terrain getting progressively steeper and more dramatic the further north you head. Much of this side of the lake is very touristy, but there are pockets of peace and tranquility, for example Malcesine or Torri del Benaco. Homes in all areas are popular with foreign buyers and Italians alike – and offer good holiday rental prospects from Easter through to October. The lake is ideal for watersports, with clean, wide expanses of water and reliable breezes. Bardolino is one of the priciest spots, but prices reduce as you move away from the water. Lazise offers very good value for money.

Venice

Incomparable Venice lures visitors by their million to its watery shores every year. It may be crowded, flood-prone and pricey, and very slowly sinking, but any drawbacks are dwarfed by its myriad selling points – an unrivalled array of art and architecture to set the heart racing, romance in spades and amazing food (if you know where to go). Many non-locals who have fallen for such charms have snapped up homes here in the past few years, fuelling concerns that the city could become simply an outpost of second homes – all owned by wealthy northern Italians and foreigners. Over the past 60 years the permanent local population has shrunk to nearly two-thirds of what it was, and it’s the young who are most likely to leave. Property prices in Venice may be high, but rental returns are excellent – some of the best in the country. The most expensive areas are the Grand Canal, St Mark’s and San Polo, as you might expect, while you’ll find areas like Cannaregio and Castello less pricey, though no less atmospheric. Holiday rentals in the city are popular throughout the whole year and property on the islands of the Lagoon, where purchase prices can be considerably lower, will always attract sun and water lovers.

Other cities

Lovely though it is, there is so much more to Veneto than Venice. Vicenza, Verona, Treviso and Padua are all delightful, prosperous cities filled with history and exquisite buildings. Prices are cheaper here than in Venice, though the quality of life is still high. Vicenza is sophisticated, chic and wealthy, while neighbouring Verona is a romantic city of pretty piazzas and charming churches, steeped in history and with an impressive Roman amphitheatre, which is home to an annual summer opera festival. Often overlooked, Treviso is a charming town that’s just half an hour from Venice and is home to picturesque canals and stylish townhouses. Padua has plenty going on, with ample cultural attractions and a lively entertainment scene – in part thanks to its role as an ancient university city.

The North

The northern spur of Veneto sees rolling hills climb gradually towards the exhilarating drama of the Dolomites – one of Europe’s most spectacular mountain ranges. Attractive towns up here include Conegliano, Vittorio Veneto, Feltre and Belluno – variously featuring steep cobbled streets, lovely old townhouses and magnificent views. This is a less costly area of Veneto for buying a home and has a good range of affordable property. However, you’ll find an exception to this rule in chic Cortina d’Ampezzo, a pricey ski resort close to the Austrian border. Winter rental returns here are high, but do keep in mind that the nearby resort of Alleghe is quieter and cheaper.

The South

The southern Veneto’s terrain is generally flat, except for the beautiful Euganean Hills near Padua. This is a great place to buy property – with spas, a tranquil atmosphere, vineyards, good walks and picturesque hill-towns. Prices are rising, but remain reasonable. The flat landscape of the south features pretty cropfields and the reedy marshes of the Po river delta. The Brenta Canal also lopes through these parts, its banks dotted with grand Palladian villas.

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