Subject: Re: OT Buying property in Italy?
Ciao Maria, G'day Ziners.

Buying property in Italy sounds such a rommantic exciting idea, as does buying in South of France, Finland, Tierra del Fuego (?) etc.

If I might generalise firstly, the principle here is one of exotica (in the real meaning of the word) being always attractive. I love Italy, and France, and England, etc (no comment on T del F) and dreams of having a house or farm in one of these places have frequented my thoughts for years, but looking at it in the cold light of day reminds me that the practicalities present enormous difficulties. For a start, if its such a good idea, everyone would do it, and significantly it seems that most successful "foreign" ownership falls to the extravagantly wealthy.

Specifically, as my sister married and has lived in Italy for 30 years, I can tell you that there have been many surprises in her landowning career there. Complicated and ancient right-of-way laws, occupiers rights, taxes and charges - sometimes retrospective, hunters access rights, etc etc etc have plagued her and her Italian husband. Another interesting aspect has been the different interpretation of 'truth' which occasionally surfaces in business transactions, not to mention the apparent ease with which elements, whom we of the New World might consider criminal, can obtain favourable consideration over others. These things are all part of the way of life in many Southern European societies, and in varying degrees help make them such interesting places.

This is not to say that it is impossible to satisfactorily purchase and operate property in other countries, but point is that you would have to be willing to accept some big shocks from time to time.

. . . . and I still love Italy and the Italians.

Paul in Sunny Sydney