Cheerful songbirds greet you as you enjoy a rich Italian coffee on your terrace. The sun rises from the direction of the Adriatic Sea—a mere half-hour drive away. When the day ends the sun will set over the mountains casting dreamy pink hues across the landscape.
This is the life in the Le Marche region at the heart of Italy. Its rolling hills have a time-honored, laidback lifestyle, without the rush and fuss of urban schedules.
In between the Sibillini Mountains and the beaches of the Adriatic’s Palm Riviera are mountain trails for biking and trekking, hot springs at Sarnano with a spa, and plenty of country lanes for walking and enjoying the clean air, tranquility and expansive views.
Expats have been especially attracted to the area known as The Golden Triangle, between Sarnano, Amandola, Penna San Giovanni, and San Ginesio. So-called for the sunny effect of golden-hued brick, these pretty towns are small enough to have a sense of community, where you can feel like a local, yet large enough to offer plenty of stores, excellent restaurants, coffee bars, and weekly markets.
You can enjoy the change of seasons, yet winters are mild and summers aren’t excessively hot. This area satisfies outdoor enthusiasts as well as beach lovers, while being able to return home to a tranquil spot away from the crowds.
The area has grown, but real estate is still good value. For example, you could find a three-bedroom home just five minutes from San Ginesio, nicely restored, for $179,000. You’ll get gorgeous mountain views here and a terrace provides shade for summer dining.
If you prefer the advantages of town life, you’ll find a cutely restored apartment in the heart of San Ginesio. Priced from just $61,000, it’s two-stories with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, pretty exposed brick walls and views of the undulating hills, while a rooftop terrace could easily be added for outdoor space.
Bargain hunters will like the cute, sun-lit cottage on an acre of land I came across. It’s a one-bedroom property going for $72,000. You could use this as a holiday home, with scope for expansion in the future. It is in a private tranquil setting but just a few minutes from Sarnano, and there is plenty of room for a swimming pool.
Or maybe you dream of a beautiful farmhouse, in a private setting, that is already restored and ready to move into. I found a rustic stone cottages on sale for $199,500 where you can immediately start enjoying the quiet splendor of the hills and views at Casa Anemoni near Force.
Expats often meet for a drink or a barbecue, and to exchange English language books. These small towns have been welcoming foreign residents, mostly English, Dutch and Americans, for about a decade, though the zone has blossomed rather quietly, without spikes in the real estate prices. You can still pick up a good-value home to relax and enjoy the Italian lifestyle for less.
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