Olive Oil, Fine Wine and Gentle Hills: the Umbrian Valley

| March 18, 2014

Basilica di Assisi

The Umbrian Valley, with beautiful rolling countryside leading up to the Apennine spine of Italy, invites newcomers with a warm and unpretentious charm. Umbria has shown little inclination to mimic glitzier regions, such as Tuscany or Lombardy, and this peaceful landlocked region has retained much of its ancient atmosphere. Often called “the green heart of Italy”, Umbria is known for a more relaxed pace of living, with vineyards, cattle ranches and olive orchards gracing the undulating landscape. Foreigners, who now comprise more than 8% of the local population, have found Umbria to be the perfect choice for those who have long dreamed of owning their own rustic villa and making their own signature wines and truffle-infused olive oils.

The real estate market in Italy is still in a state of upheaval, and there may be no better time than the present for non-Italians to find their bit of paradise in the tradition-rich Umbrian Valley. Choice properties, from beautiful apartments and charming cottages to classic working farms and wineries, are more reasonably priced than ever, spurring greater interest among those looking to Italy for their primary residence or second home.

Many travelers are familiar with some of the region’s illustrious history, and visitors flock to places like Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. Other points-of-interest in the region include the ancient Perugian cities of Spoleto and Foligno, with their churches, shrines and ruins. Montefalco is is well known for some of its wonderful wines; visitors who arrive for the annual Settimana Enologica (Wine Week) are able to sample from a variety of regional vineyards, and no one misses a chance to taste the incredible Montefalco Sagrantino.

Trevi, with its extensive limestone deposits, has the ideal soil and climate in which to produce highgrade olive oil, and foreigners are settling here in ever-greater numbers. The comune and town of Deruta has achieved world-wide acclaim for its production of “maiolica”, a white-glazed ceramic styling that dates back to the Italian Renaissance.
And, of course, there are the heavenly truffles. White truffles and black truffles, gastronomic delights which can fetch upwards of 2,000 euros per kilo, flourish in the wooded Umbrian highlands.
Specially trained dogs, selected for their keen sense of smell, are used by locals to sniff-out the pungent earthy delicacies.

With so much to offer, it is little wonder that many visitors proclaim Umbria to be the most soulsatisfying region in all of Italy. We have extensive and enticing Umbria real estate listings that will suit almost any taste, and we provide all the necessary information that non-Italians will need in order to make careful and informed decisions. Post-World-War II “baby boomers” are now seeking affordable areas for retirement and semi-retirement, and the one-time fantasy of becoming a “gentleman-farmer” or vintner in Umbria is now becoming a reality for many non-Italians. The quality of life in the region is high, and the inventory of available property in Umbria still favors non-native home buyers, though no one can say for certain how long the current real estate environment will last. Umbria is one of those magical places that people go to visit for a week-or-two, and end-up staying forever.

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