Owing a home in the Riviera of Flowers

Riviera dei Fiori lies on the westernmost edge of Liguria in the Province of Imperia. It is part of the Riviera di Ponente on the border with France. Liguria, especially its Riviera dei Fiori, is one of the most coveted regions in Italy by buyers seeking for homes in a tranquil and relaxed environment. At a global level, Liguria is in fact the second most demanded region with a 14.4% demand in real estate. It is also the most demanded region by buyers from Germany.

There are many reasons why Liguria attracts international home buyers and investors. The region has everything you could dream of from beautiful golden sand beaches to mountain slopes that are perfect for skiing in winter, hiking, and mountain biking activities. The beaches of Liguria are actually a continuation of the famous beaches of the French Riviera giving you a great opportunity to enjoy the same beautiful scenery away from tourist crowds. The region furthermore boasts of magnificent Art Nouveau villas on hills overlooking the sea. It is accessible and well connected with the rest of the world due to its close proximity to the airport at Nice.

The tourism in the Riviera of Flowers has a rich historical tradition too. Many towns and villages in the region served as essential stages in the famous Grand Tour 800 in which Europe’s young intellectuals and wealthy aristocrats played a game of traveling all over the continent to enrich their knowledge and experience.

The real estate market in Riviera dei Fiori

Map of Riviera di Ponente Liguria
Map of the Riviera di Ponente, Liguria

Despite the falling prices of property, the Province of Imperia is still more expensive than the rest of the region. Average property prices are around € 3,500 per square metre. The most expensive properties can be found on popular resorts overlooking the sea in “historical sites” such as the cities of Bordighera, Ospedaletti, and Sanremo which lies on the western coast of Liguria and is known by many as the Pearl of the Riviera dei Fiori.

Ventimiglia, which is regarded as the “flowered entrance” to Italy is another beautiful city with the best beaches in Liguria, a few kilometres from the French border. It is a modern city but with a rich historical heritage. Property prices in Ventimiglia range between € 3,200 and € 5,000 per square metre for a renovated home complete with a garden and terrace in a prime location close to the sea or on a hill overlooking the Gulf. Prices drop significantly to between € 1,000 and € 2,000 per square metre as you head away from Ventimiglia. For example, you can buy a 70 square metres house in a location away from the old town center for around € 140,000.

Houses in Sanremo
The beautiful alleys of Sanremo and its charming houses

The situation is similar in Bordighera where you can find a good 65 square metre apartment with all the necessary amenities and not far from the sea for around € 180,000 or at a rate of € 2,800 per square metre. The most popular properties are located on the front row along the sea and in the old town. Prices are much higher in these privileged locations and beachfronts, rising from around € 5,000 to € 7,000 per square metre for an apartment with an Art Nouveau villa characteristics. Bordighera is a very famous seaside city in Liguria located between the sea and mountains just 11 km from Sanremo. Popularly known as the “Queen of the Palms”, has further been popularized by poets, writers, painters, and travellers who describe the rare beauty of the city with great passion.

Ospedaletti, a renowned traditional seaside resort that is popular both for summer and winter vacations, has a discreet atmosphere that is typically Ligurian and boasts a number of old fishermen houses in the old town that have great sea views and requiring a little renovation going for around € 4,000 per square metre. There are also 60s and 70s homes around the city that are still in good condition going for around € 3,300 per square metre. The top price for a well preserved beachfront property is around € 5,000 per square metre. As you move away from the central areas, there are nice semi-detached houses still in good condition and complete with a garden and car park going for € 2,200 per square metre.

The average price of a house in the city centre of Imperia, the capital of the province, is around € 3,300 per square metre. The prices are slightly higher here for newly built houses or those facing the sea but the suburbs are cheaper, as you can imagine.

A charming view of Oneglia in the province of Imperia
A charming view of Oneglia in the province of Imperia

Away from the coast in the hilly areas with a perfect view of the Ligurian Gulf are beautiful classical rustic houses made of stone and slate (typical and local black stone) with vaulted ceilings and large terraces. Some of the homes are located in historical centres, such as Vallebona and Seborga where the price of a house requiring restoration starts from € 1,000 per square metre while a restored and habitable home costs from € 1,600 to € 2,500 per square metre.

As you head northwards towards inland towns, such as Apricale and Dolceacqua, or mountainous regions of Pigna and Triora, prices start from about € 800 per square metre. So a small renovated apartment with beautiful views of the valley go for about € 50,000 or less. And these are areas currently attracting more and more tourists each year due to a close proximity to the coast since they are also quite accessible. For example, Triora is only 40 minutes away from the “City of Flowers”, Sanremo!