Letters from Le Marche …. chapter one.

Letters from Le Marche …. chapter one.


Over the past few years many people have asked me to write a blog, me, I’m not even on Facebook! But, I do like writing and relish the opportunity to share our Italian adventures with you.

Was it the classic midlife crisis move, maybe, maybe not, I like to think of it as making the most of life. In 2001 we had reached a cross roads in our lives, and the desire for adventure and change were strong. With four children almost grown up, we saw a window of opportunity, and jumped!

People frequently ask me why Italy, why Le Marche, quite simply we fell in love. Let me explain, up until a few years ago I had never visited Italy, we had travelled extensively around Europe and lived in America for a few years, but Italy remained undiscovered.

Out of the blue my husband, Michael, was invited on a business trip to Florence, and asked if I would like to join him, of course I jumped at the chance to visit the one country I had been longing to see.

I was so excited, landing in Pisa and catching the bus into the centre of Florence, I was finally in Italy for two whole days. As with every weekend, at home or away, there is always an important game of rugby on TV.  Michael searched out a bar with sky TV to watch the game that afternoon. I was determined to make the most of the short time we had, plus I knew the shops were fabulous. I have a terrible sense of direction, no inbuilt compass, no natural feeling of north, south, east or west. Sometimes I get hopelessly lost, but these are the times I discover hidden gems.  Florence was no exception, I was lost in minutes, wandering the crowded narrow streets which often led onto a beautiful piazza. I found a little café in the heart of the city, and ordered a cappuccino, my first lesson in Italian etiquette, don’t order cappuccino after 11am, it’s bad for the digestion!

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs

To be continued…….

Your Great Escape: why now is the best time to buy  a holiday home abroad

Your Great Escape: why now is the best time to buy a holiday home abroad


The US dollar is at a thirty-year high against the British pound, and rightly so American jetsetters are casting their eye across the pond and setting their sights on trips abroad that will now see their money stretch a lot further.

With a reported 50% surge in stateside searches for UK accommodation, there could be a flurry of American travellers exploring Great Britain. However, for those looking to get off the beaten track of London sightseeing, and instead immerse themselves in authentic Italy – I say there has never been a better time to consider buying a fractional share in an Appassionata property!

Now I know what you’re thinking, our properties are based in Italy, which of course they are. But, the properties are actually owned by UK based non-trading companies, meaning they are priced in pounds’ sterling. Couple this with the fact that the fractional ownership buying process is also very straightforward and avoids all the complexities and substantial costs associated with purchasing a property outright in Italy – it’s a savvy option for discerning Americans to consider.

So, if you’re reading this from across the Atlantic, then I will leave you with a parting thought; prioritising a lifestyle investment like this now could see you afford a third more luxury for your money. Looking to your future, you will own a one tenth share in a stunning luxury property, giving you a picture-perfect family space for five weeks’ escapism each year – and it will last a lifetime.

To read more about our property on the market, Il Riposo, and to find out about our Fractional Ownership model head here, and I hope to see you on a discovery visit to Italy soon.

ITALY: €73 billion generated by tourism industry in 2013.

In Italy in 2013, tourism generated a turnover of €73 billion. This figure covers the cost of over 831 million tourist arrivals of which 60.9% were Italian and 39.1% foreign. So, while our compatriots fell 3.9 % and spent 2% less, visitors from abroad recorded a slight increase in spending of 0.7% revealed by Observatory on Tourism UNIONCAMERE-ISNART.

39.9% of the total was invested in accommodation and catering and 60.1% in other sectors. In particular: 18.7% in recreational and cultural activities, 16.1 % in agriculture and food, 10.4 % in manufacturing industries, 10.4% in clothing and footwear, 2.3% in publishing and 2.1% in transport.

Compared to the previous year, consumption of food decreased (-15.1%) and housing (-17.9%); whereas, there was an increase of spending on clothing and footwear (+15.1%), the agricultural and food industry (+14.1%), and recreational activities (+4.9%). The average expenditure per capita of tourists per day in Italy was €47 for accommodation and €75 for all other consumption.

Agricultural and food is the first and foremost in expenditure for the visitors of our country: 67.5% attend restaurants and pizzerias, spending on average €16 per person, and 68.3% are entertained in bars, cafes, and bakeries, consuming about €6 per day. Many buy their food and drinks in supermarkets and shops (60.4% at around €23), while 32% of visitors choose to bring home souvenirs of local food and wine, spending about €10 per head.

Excluding the costs of travel and accommodation, the average expenditure of Italian tourists in 2013 has seen a good recovery (€72 per day compared to €67 the previous year). Also, there was a significant increase for foreigners: €78 per day compared to €69 in 2012.

Taking into account the costs incurred for housing, the biggest ‘spenders’ were the Russians (€149.48 per capita compared to an average of €102.33), followed by the Japanese (€122), the Spanish (€111.17), the British (€105.14), the Germans (€104.42), and then the Americans (€102.34).

Below average, however, were the French (€98.33), the Swiss (€96.57), the Austrians (€95.48), and finally the Dutch (€83.54).