Inner city life – demand for Italian urban living soars

“Holidaymakers don’t want to see only Italy’s touristy areas anymore. They want to experience real life – to immerse themselves in the country and its way of life, to eat where the locals eat, to feel part of the town they are staying in.”

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For Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of fractional ownership company Appassionata, this has been a learning experience. Appassionata’s first two fractional holiday homes, where owners buy a one tenth share of the property and use it for five weeks per year, were located in rural Le Marche. The properties offer the ultimate in luxury rural Italian living, including pools, a tennis court and a working estate producing its own wine and olive oil.

“I was surprised by just how much the owners wanted to embrace the true Italian lifestyle,” comments Dawn. “Of course they enjoyed sunning themselves on the beach and skiing in the mountains, but they seemed just as delighted – if not more so – with buying fresh fish from the local fishermen early in the morning and learning how to make pasta with a local chef. They wanted to embrace Italy in a totally different way.”

It was owners’ feedback that guided the location of Appassionata’s third property, the urban fractional holiday home Casa Tre Archi, in the medieval hilltop town of Petritoli. The three bedroom, three bathroom house with large roof terrace is perfectly located for owners who want to experience urban Italy, from sipping coffee in a piazza to the sound of church bells tolling, to heading to the fruit and veg market to pick out locally grown produce that’s bursting with flavour.

The trend is reflected in official figures, with the Italian Revenue Service reporting a sharp upturn in the country’s buying and selling rates in Q3 2014, an increase of 3.6%. The buying and selling of urban properties was the main driver of the upturn, in line with feedback from Rupert Fawcett (one of Knight Frank’s Italian team partners) in November, who commented that, “there has been increased interest this year in city living.”

Fawcett’s observation was that buyers from the UK and US were leading the charge. Certainly this has been the case with Appassionata’s properties, though they also have owners from South Africa, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, France and of course Italy itself.

A one tenth share of Casa Tre Archi can be purchased for just £65,000 and it is this low price point that adds to the property’s attractions, as Dawn explains,

“The beauty of factional ownership is that buyers can get so much more for their money than if they were buying a second home outright. Given that the average second home owner is unlikely to use it for more than a few weeks a year anyway, fractional ownership makes perfect sense. Our owners arrive to find their home ready for use and never have to worry about the upkeep of the garden or minor repairs – it is the ultimate in relaxing holiday experiences.”

For more information visit www.appassionata.com or contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225.

From connoisseurs to family groups, Italy calls out to travellers from across the globe

From connoisseurs to family groups, Italy calls out to travellers from across the globe

“Italy has everything – stunning beaches, snow-capped mountain ranges for winter sports, world-class cuisine that is both healthy and delicious, a culture steeped in art and intellectual pursuits, a sun-drenched climate… It really is one of the most attractive countries I can think of when it comes to a holiday destination.”

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So speaks Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of luxury holiday home company Appassionata, based in Italy’s Le Marche region. And Dawn is certainly not alone in her view. The ENIT Italia survey has shown that tourist numbers were well up over the summer 2013 season, with individual tour operators reporting increases of as much as 40%.

Without question, Italy remains a top global holiday destination. From Rome’s ancient architecture, to the shopping streets of Milan, to the rural splendour, quaint medieval towns and beautiful beaches of Le Marche, Italy has such diversity that it never fails to charm and delight those who venture within its borders.

Food and wine are high up on the list of Italy’s attractions, with Virtuoso’s eighth annual Travel Dreams Survey recently identifying family pasta making lessons as one of the dream holidays for connoisseur travellers, who made up 21% of the survey’s respondents. Deb Gale, owner of a 1/10th share of Appassionata’s stunning fractional ownership property Casa Leopardi, nestled snuggling between the sparkling sea and the misty mountains, explains,

“You cannot help but love the food, the wine, the restaurants and the markets but images of our daughters and a recent fresh pasta making lesson in our farmhouse kitchen at Casa Leopardi lingers even longer.

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Those looking for town life will no doubt be drawn to Appassionata’s latest offering: the three bedroom/three bathroom Casa Tre Archi, in the picturesque and unspoiled town of Petritoli. The townhouse enjoys outside space on three levels, including a generous roof terrace with room for owners to dine at a leisurely pace as the sun lowers over the rolling countryside. Family-friendly, Blue Flag beaches await those who care to venture out, while holidaymakers who prefer to relax in town can stroll through Petritoli’s pretty piazzas.

With shares available from just £65,000, entitling owners to five weeks’ usage per year, Casa Tre Archi provides the perfect way for those who want a second home in Italy to buy one without breaking the bank. The fractional ownership model also removes the stress from owning a holiday home overseas. Owners arrive to a house that is clean, well maintained and ready for them to simply drop their bags and begin having fun, while those who own their second home outright usually arrive to an overgrown garden, general maintenance and a list of outstanding minor repairs.

For more information on the benefits of fractional ownership and the joys of Italy as a holiday destination, contact the Appassionata team on 0039 073 465 8775 or visit www.appassionata.com.

The five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property

Fractional ownership is, at its core, a means for individuals to purchase a luxurious item as a group that they would not individually be able to afford. From jet planes to super yachts to high end property, fractional ownership has opened up a world of luxury to those who might otherwise never have known it.

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Overseas property, in particular, is ideal for fractional owners looking for a holiday home a cut above the rest. With a management company in place to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of the property, fractional ownership offers the capital growth benefits of a regular holiday home, but with less hassle and a far superior property.

As fractional ownership is still a relatively new concept compared with other methods of property investment, Italy-based fractional expert Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of luxury holiday home company Appassionata here provides her five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property.

The five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property

  1. Location, location, location – as with any property purchase, be sure that the location offers everything you desire, whether it’s mountain views, access to stunning beaches, fabulous local cuisine or an easy flight from the UK. If it’s all of the above that you seek, then look no further than Italy’s Le Marche region!
  2. Value for money – ensure the purchase price is in line with the local market and offers value for money, with transparent annual maintenance charges. Check out the purchase procedure as well – it should be simple and straightforward, with clarity built in at every stage.
  3. Property size – think carefully about how many bedrooms you need and the property’s other rooms and features. Bear in mind that over time your holiday needs may change, with extended family and friends all able to join you if you have a sufficiently spacious property.
  4. Residency calendar – be sure to investigate how the property’s residency calendar works. It should be a simple system that is easy to understand, with a means of allocating weeks that is fair to all owners.
  5. Confidence – ensure that you have confidence in the company that you are buying from. The fractional ownership company should engender trust from the start. Here at Appassionata our clients get to meet the whole team, which as we are a family business even includes the grandchildren. We like our clients to know that we are nearby should they need us, especially for their first visits when everything is new to them.

Appassionata currently offers three fractional ownership holiday homes – two nestled within the rolling hills of the Le Marche countryside, plus their latest property, Casa Tre Archi, which offers Italian urban living in its purest form, in the medieval town of Petritoli. Dawn was careful to look at all three properties through their potential fractional owners’ eyes before purchasing.

Attached to the ancient turrets and entrance arches of the town walls, Casa Tre Archi offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three levels of outside space, including a stunning roof terrace with sea views. Unique features abound, including beamed ceilings, old turret walls and travertine stone floors. Fractions are currently priced from £65,000 each for a one tenth share, which entitles the owner to five weeks’ usage per year.

For more information on fractional ownership and the wonders of the luxury Italian urban lifestyle, contact the Appassionata team on 0039 073 465 8775 or visit www.appassionata.com.

Urban Fractional Ownership: Own your own Italian urban retreat from just £65,000. You do the maths.

Fractional properties offering sun kissed beaches in idyllic locations are easy to come by, offering you the opportunity to unwind in your own personal pocket of tranquility in an exotic locale but without sacrificing your wi-fi connection or perfectly chilled glass of white. But contemporary fractional owners are beginning to demand more – they want the excitement, convenience, hustle and bustle of urban life, but still within easy reach of a fabulous beach.

Thus, in recent years, developers have recognised the potential of offering fractional interests in urban areas for those craving their own slice of a pied-a-terre in a foreign setting. Cities with international appeal – luxury shopping, high levels of cultural attractions and a world-class business centre – have been extremely successful for larger, resort-style fractional developments such as Marriott’s 47 Park Street in London and The Phillips Club in New York.

More recently, smaller businesses have entered the market, offering, unique properties for sale on a more traditional fractional ownership basis. A new breed of boutique companies such as Appassionata offer the perfect combination of urban retreat and insight into traditional Italian life in a luxury environment for less – a mere fraction of the price – and are proving extremely popular.

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of Italian fractional ownership company Appassionata,comments,

“For urban fractional properties to succeed the old maxim ‘location, location, location’ is extremely important. Our properties aren’t necessarily going to work in just any old town – it has to be somewhere with international appeal that will attract visitors come rain or shine and be the type of place people have an enduring desire to visit and revisit.

“Picturesque hill towns nestled in Le Marche region, with their tapestry of hills, olive groves, vineyards, and pine forests, with cobbled streets, small churches and medieval watchtowers, provide the perfect urban retreat and baptism into Italian town life. Their fantastic pizzerias, locally produced wine and winding, romantic streets transport you to a different era, totally removed from modern life.

“The picture perfect town of Petritoli, where our urban fractional property is nestled, gets lovelier with each passing day. The views alone from the property are sensational. The collection of spires, towers and rooftops lie like buried treasure across the town when seen from the roof terrace, creating a delightful ambiance.”

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The family-run company´s latest project in the medieval town of Petritoli is a three bedroom townhouse known as Tre Archi, packed with original features and in the process of being restored to Appassionata´s high standards. The property will provide stunning urban holiday accommodation at a snip of the usual cost – from only  £65,000 for a share that entitles owners to five weeks’ usage per year.

The benefits of urban fractional ownership make Appassionata’s Tre Archi a truly exceptional lifestyle investment for smart purchasers seeking to indulge their passion for Italy and possess their own slice of the Italian dream.