The Appeal of the Sabine Hills

| October 9, 2014

Colle di Tora

Rome VS Rural Lazio:

Everyone had heard of Rome, but surprisingly few people are very familiar with the lovely region that surrounds it, Lazio. This is a spacious and rurally scenic place that provides a complete contrast to the crowded bustle and choking traffic of the Eternal City. Most of Lazio is thinly-populated, its unspoilt landscapes sprinkled with charming medieval hilltop villages and small ancient towns full of historical buildings. Life is relaxingly slow-paced here and communities reassuringly warm. Meanwhile, of course, Rome is always within easy daytripping distance whenever you fancy an invigorating trip into the teeming capital.


Overshadowed by the fame of Tuscany and Umbria — two similarly attractive regions which border it — rural Lazio still hasn’t seen anything like the stampede of foreign buyers which have driven property prices so high in those two better-known regions. Rural Lazio’s prices remain very reasonable. And as you might expect, with many Romans keen to have a bolthole in the countryside to escape the pressures of city-living, the long-term value of homes in rural Lazio are very secure. This is a well-priced and secure region in which to put your money.

Property Prices in the Sabine Hills

castles in SabinaOne extremely attractive stretch of Lazio to consider is the Sabine Hills area also known simply as “Sabina”. It lies about 45 minutes northeast of Rome and presents a landscape of rolling olive-clad hills topped with medieval villages and dotted with old abbeys and castles. Despite being so close to Rome, the Sabine Hills area is remarkably unspoilt and well-preserved, its population low and its rural character wholly intact. In many ways the area offers a kind of “best of both worlds”. It combines true rural character with the ever-present option of a quick escape into big-city sophistication. And as there are already a small number of foreign buyers who have settled in the Sabine Hills, the area combines a true Italian lifestyle with the option of befriending a few fellow ex-pats if you want to while you’re here.

Property prices in the Sabine Hills area represent extremely good value-for-money. There are village houses to be found for less than €100,000 and village apartments for less than €60,000. Farmhouses to restore start at around €120,000, and habitable ones at around €180,000. But there is no shortage of larger and more luxurious properties, if that’s what you’re looking for. A plush country villa might ask €400,000. Or perhaps you’d prefer a grand old historical building to restore? There are lots of options in this beautiful part of Lazio.

vineyards in Sabina

Bargain-hunters should note that, like in so many parts of Italy, prices tend to come down as you move into higher elevations. The lowest prices in the Sabine Hills are generally found as you move further northeast across the hills towards the higher Apennine Mountains. The area around Rieti near the Umbrian border is very thinly-populated and has very low property prices. A large farmhouse needing work here might ask just €80,000.

So if you’re looking for great-value property in lovely countryside with a big city never too far away, you should put the Sabine Hills area on your map for further investigation!