Paradise found

Life here is for living. Tina and Mark tell us of their experience of buying a property and retiring in Italy.

by Tina Fradinardo

After living in the UK and working for the NHS for so long, retirement beckoned and a change of pace and lifestyle was long overdue. Little did we know that life could get as good as this.

My wife and I chose the region in Italy where we wanted to settle on the grounds that it is such a beautiful region, close to the sea, has fantastic transport and road links and it is close to my wife’s family ( just not too close! ). We found that it pays to be practical when choosing your home and think about GP surgeries, food shopping, fuel etc and we were lucky to find our home sits in the most perfect position to access everything we need, should we need it.

almalfi gulfThe Almalfi Gulf

Buying a property in Italy

This was surprisingly simple. We contacted and met up with the agent for the house, chatted, drank coffee, asked for a boiler to be installed and some very minor odds and sods to be done then agreed to buy. We were asked to pay a deposit and then balance upon completion which we did and we then moved on to the next phase. The next phase was meeting a notary (slightly more important version of a solicitor) in order to agree that we were happy to proceed and proceed we did. The next phase was to visit the notary for a second time in order to sign the relevant documents, transfer the money and the house was ours. It is important to say that the notary here in Italy acts on behalf of both the seller and buyer which in the UK would be considered a conflict of interest however if you don’t understand any part of the language, process or documentation I would advise anyone buying a property in Italy to seek the advice of a separate Italian solicitor.

We found that the tried and tested method of searching the property websites, making a list of properties, flying over and visiting each property was the most effective approach. Some houses were “ as advertised “ however some could definitely be referred to advertising standards as complete fiction so make enquiries with the owner of each property before it makes it to the “ to view “ list.

Experience of living in Italy

It’s hot! Life here is hot for about 10 months of the year and then the temperature drops to around 10 degrees. Having said that, we did once have a dusting of snow on the car which appeared at around ten at night but it had disappeared by morning. We hadn’t seen snow here before, we haven’t seen any since and we are very happy with that arrangement!

The pace of life here is hot and slow. Everyone here is friendly and the important issues of the day are meeting up with friends, eating, sleeping and moaning about politics and football. Local, freshly produced food of every kind is available every day either from the supermarkets, producers or villagers. Our greatest hardship is usually working out which day it is or which of the many festivals we are going to attend next. While arguing, shouting and waving your arms around seems to be a national pastime it is generally done in good spirit and everyone eventually leaves the table happy and friends. 4 and 5 hour lunches are the norm here and it is mandatory to laugh and enjoy yourself as much as possible. Life here is for living.

gulf of Amalfi and hillside villagesLocal beaches on the Almalfi coast

The village and surrounding area holds a wealth of small b&b’s, very good restaurants with an amazing variety of high quality foods and again, enjoying yourself is a priority. These are all set in stunning countryside with views and weather we never experienced in the UK. There is also a hotel in the village so finding accommodation is never a problem.

Below are some useful links for Agropoli, Torchiara and surrounding areas:

gulf of Amalfi and hillside villagesGulf of Amalfi and hillside villages

Life here could not be any better and we love every day here. Waking up and opening the shutters to be greeted by fantastic views across the gulf of Amalfi and hillside villages is the only way to start the day. Breakfast on the inevitably sun drenched terrazza while looking over to Naples, Capri, Positano, Sorrento and Amalfi really does set you up for the rest of the stress free day ahead.