Basilicata is possibly the least-known region in the country. Located at the ankle of the boot, it borders with Puglia, Calabria, and Campania and is the most sparsely populated part of the country.
“Here time-worn towns rest on their hilltops and carry on a way of life that is quickly fading in other regions,” says InternationalLiving.com writer Valerie Fortney Schneider, who bought a property there herself and paid just $32,000.
“We opted to purchase in the central part of the region, near the regional capital of Potenza, a few minutes from my ancestral village,” Fortney Schneider says.
Because the area has lost residents in the past half-century, there are lots of properties available, but you have to make an effort to find them.
“Most towns don’t have real estate agents. We found our little 300-year-old casa in the village of Trivigno thanks to the village’s former mayor. Neighbors have homes for sale by word of mouth, ranging from $26,000 for fixer-uppers to $137,000 for part of a once-noble palazzo to restore,” says Fortney Schneider.
The palazzo has two interior courtyards and a centuries-old iron key to open the door. It sits at the top of town and has great views.
An hour from Trivigno, to the northwest of Potenza, is the pretty, pastel town of Muro Lucano, which is big enough to have a real-estate agency. Here houses line up along a steep ridge in an orderly jumble, looking more like a sunny coastal town than a hill town. Mount Vulture looms up behind as a dramatic backdrop.
“Muro Lucano is where Aglianico, the region’s most famous wine, comes from,” Fortney Schneider reports. The town’s historic center is a warren of narrow lanes that unfold below the 13th-century castle. There are artisan shops, sidewalk cafés, and a handful of excellent restaurants to enjoy.
“The lifestyle is leisurely and friendly and homes can be had for a song. I looked at one newly restored apartment going for only $13,000. It’s unfurnished as are most properties in Italy. And it’s small—about 500 square feet. But it feels more spacious because it is set on two levels, with the entry way and kitchen on one level, and the living room and bedroom down a short flight of stairs. It’s the perfect little vacation bolt hole.”
On the eastern side of Basilicata is the region’s most famous and fascinating city, Matera. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is thought to be Europe’s oldest continually-inhabited town.
Here a two-bedroom apartment with arched brick ceilings and a panoramic balcony needing restoration is going for $34,000, while a habitable home with two bedrooms, a fireplace, a balcony, and a big rooftop terrace is listed for only $57,600.
The full report on the property market in Basilicata, which appeared in the August edition of International Living magazine, can be read here: Property Bargains in Italy’s Basilicata Region.
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