COVID-19 Travel Update for Italy

Alitalia

With the recent lifting of the requirement for travelers to Italy to show a work-related reason for traveling, it’s getting easier to travel to Italy under the current COVID environment. As of June 13, 2021, travelers to Italy from the U.S. are still required to quarantine for 10 days after arrival to Italy. The latest entry requirements to Italy are listed on the Italian Ministry of Health’s website (see List D for U.S. requirements). There are some exceptions to the quarantine requirement:

1. Travel for certain transport crew members and for short-term stays

2. Travel on so-called COVID-tested flights

For most people, travel on COVID-tested flights offered by Delta, Alitalia, American, and United is the best solution. These flights require you to show a negative RT PCR or antigen test taken no earlier than 48 hours prior to boarding, and show another negative PCR or antigen test taken at the destination airport right after arrival.

Currently, approved COVID-tested routes include:

    • Atlanta – Rome Fiumicino
    • New York – Rome Fiumicino
    • Atlanta – Milan Malpensa
    • New York – Milan Malpensa

At Fiumicino, Malpensa, Naples Capodichino and Venice Marco Polo Airports, ‘Covid-tested’ flights are also operational from:

    • Canada
    • Japan
    • United Arab Emirates

You can contact your air carrier of choice for more information on these flights. My experience with Alitalia is they answer calls right away, but with Delta there are very long hold times.

Good luck with your travels, and hope to see you soon in Calabria!

How You Can Buy Your House In Italy Without Diving Into A Money Pit

Chris Renovation
Chris Renovation
Santa Domenica Talao
Santa Domenica Talao

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO PURCHASE PROPERTY IN ITALY YOU NEED KNOWLEDGE AND YOU NEED OUR ONLINE COURSE! FIND THE DETAILS HERE.

 

Admit it. You have been watching House Hunters International and a part of you is yearning for the golden hills, the ecstacy inducing food and the and glorious beaches of Italy.

Secretly you have been exploring the property pages on Italian Immobilare websites and dreaming big dreams.

And you feel yourself inching closer to the big plunge but are afraid because you could make a huge and costly mistake.

If you have mentioned this idea to friends or relatives, I am sure you have been told that you are crazy to even think about it.

And yet you continue to dream.

Several years ago my husband and I bought a house in a tiny ancient hill town in Calabria, Southern Italy.

An entire year before we purchased, I researched the heck out of the project and the result was a smooth transition of property and good feelings on all sides.

And we have been loving it beyond our wildest dreams each time we go.

Diamante
Diamante, Calabria

There is nothing like the sound of church bells waking you up in the morning with the sun slanting in your window and the smell of caffe coming from the bar in the piazza to make you realize how lucky you are to be in Italy.

But there are several things you should know and do before taking diving in.

1. Research the Heck out of it.

I was lucky to find a great book that covered everything I had questions about. It is called Buying a House in Italy by Gordon Neale.

Additionally I sought out and got onto several forums written and administered by people who had purchased in Italy and many of whom also lived there full time.

The forum was the most important research tool. I learned about some shady deals that I was able to steer clear of because I read the unfortunate stories about people who had purchased off plan houses (to be built) and once the money was paid, no work was ever done.

One off plan project that was offered to us when we were looking to purchase several years ago still has not been built. Had I trusted someone and bought one I would have sunk a lot of money and likely never had anything to show for it but expensive legal bills.

I have read horror stories not only about property purchases in Italy but also Spain that would curl your toes.

My most important piece of advice is never buy anything that you can’t see in front of you. Make sure you know and trust your architect before taking on a renovation project. 

SDT
Santa Domenica Talao

2. Visit different areas before you make your choice.

Unless you have already visited a town or village and fallen in love with it, I recommend that you visit several areas and rent Air BNB’s there for a few weeks.

Fall into the rhythm of the town and decide whether you can see yourself living there.

Italy House
Italy House

3. Once you have found your dream town, research the heck out of that too.

There is so much you have to find out. Jus tone example is that our trash pickup is so complicated we need a special calendar to keep track of what is picked up when.

Additionally Italy has earthquakes as we have seen recently. Research where the faults are and find data on the strength of your buildings.

Ironically, in the 1980’s when there was a massive earthquake in Southern Italy, some of the newer buildings fell down and the old buildings in the historic center are still standing.

The buildings in the historic centers are built all shoved together so they support each other.

The buildings that fell had large parking structures underneath and therefore were not structurally sound in an earthquake zone which much of Italy is.

Our area near Scalea, Calabria, Italy is one of the few areas that is between faults so the danger of a catastrophic earthquake is there but is  relatively small. In the last 20 years there have been shakers but not the massive ones such as we have seen in California.

Scalea
Scalea

4. Understand that property purchases there are not like they are here.

It is not unheard of to make an offer, have it accepted and then find out that the downstairs storage area is actually owned by someone else or that the fixtures are not included.

Many times in Italy, the kitchen is considered personal property and does not stay when you purchase. The owners simply pack it up and take it with them.

In Italy the inheritences are such that you may want to buy a property that is listed for sale but then have to convince 20 cousins that they want to sell.

This can make certain properties almost impossible to purchase and you may not know that until you have fallen in love with it.

5. Know that there will be delays.

Purchasing property in Italy is a process and it goes how it goes. That said, I was very impressed by the time and care the local Notiao took to ensure that everything was fair and equitable.

The Notaio is charged with the task of ensuring that the sale is conducted in alignment with Italian real estate law.. Our notaio was extremely careful and took great pains to ensure that we understood everything about the contract.

However an illness may cause delays as your Notaio may be the only one for miles.

Stairs
Renovations

6. Understand that renovation estimates can, at times, be wild guesses.

My friend in Scalea has become the resident counselor to those who have purchased and seen their renovations go wrong and spiral out of control. (Note, I have never seen this in Santa Domenica Talao where we personally know the architect and builder.)

A ruin in Italy is likely several centuries old and those of us who live in America which has very few old buildings don’t always understand the true meaning of the word “ruin”.

I have heard of properties having to be taken apart brick by brick and rebuilt.

My advice if you don’t know a contractor, is to purchase something habitable that perhaps needs floors and finishes.

We purchased our house and the attached ruin. We were willing to take it on as we have worked with the builder on several other house projects and he is good and trustworthy.

Additionally the structural work had already been done so it is just the interior that needs finishing.

Meanwhile, we had the house which was habitable and very nice and were able to enjoy it right away without waiting for renovations. The renovations are now complete and they are truly spectacular.

If you have your heart set on a total ruin renovation project, go ahead but budget over the amount you are quoted.

7. Treat everyone with courtesy and respect

There is no nightmare quite as complete as buying a property somewhere and being ostrasized by everyone in the town.

These villages and towns have survived because they are like a large family. Courtesy goes a very long way and an effort to get along and become a part of the village is accepted with open arms.

Volterra
Volterra

8. Learn the language

You will not be expected to read and understand the contracts in Italian as an interpreter is present if you don’t speak the language.

Nonetheless, when you make the effort to speak and be understood, you earn the respect of your new neighbors. They are way more willing to overlook any social gaffs made out of ignorance of local customs.

Chris in Ostia Antica, Rome

9. Don’t consider it an investment in anything but experience.

When I was getting ready to make my purchase, several people asked me with horror in their voices, “Aren’t you afraid you will lose money?” as if that were the greatest sin I could ever commit.

The answer was, who cares what the market does after I buy? If I buy a property and I love it and it gives me joy and I can afford it, it is a good purchase. End of story. The property market gyrations would never make it worth any less in my eyes.

You are buying a dream. Dreams do not come with a price tag. It is whatever you are willing to pay for it that gives it its value.

There is a person who was looking at buying at the same time we were. She asked me all manner of questions like the above. She had so many “What if’s” that I gave up answering them.

Needless to say, she has not purchased and we have been enjoying our property for many years now.

10. Once you have purchased don’t let anyone kill the love you have for your beautiful new home.

I don’t know why people do this but some have to tell you what a huge mistake you have made.

They have to prove to you that you have been foolish and normally it comes down to money that in their opinion you should not have spent.

These are the people who never do anything big in their lives. Listening to them is destructive.

In the end you will have done your homework, you will have experienced the ins and outs of a foreign property purchase and will have many, many years of beautiful experiences to enjoy as a result.

Buying property in Italy is absolutely worth the effort and the money.

If money is tight, look in Southern Italy. Calabria is stunning and the prices are so good you could almost put it on a credit card.

I’ll see you in Italy!

Check out our YouTube channel under Super Savvy Travelers, LLC

The Vampire of San Nicola Arcella

Vampiress
Photo Credit DeeDee51
Vampiress
Photo Credit DeeDee51

Cio Belli!

I love a great vampire story. There is something terrifyingly romantic about the undead roaming around seducing unsuspecting innocents into having their life blood sucked out.

It doesn’t hurt to have sexy vampires like Frank Langella, Christopher Lee, the amazingly talented and compelling Gary Oldman (my favorite) and even George Hamilton. These guys turning up at my bedside at night might make me start thinking that the afterlife could be an acceptable lifestyle change for a gal like me!

I also love our area in the Riviera Dei Cedri. So imagine my delight when I found out that there was a vampire in San Nicola Arcella!

Well this vampire doesn’t really live (or not live) there but she has been immortalized by American writer Francis Marion Crawford who lived in San Nicola in the 1800’s and rented the lookout tower that is now named for him, as a quiet place to write.

Crawford Tower is one of a network of lookout towers dotting the coastline of Southern Italy from which warnings were raised at the first sight of Saracen and Ottoman pirates and brigands back in the day when these things were a serious threat to anyone living along the coast.

When sighting invaders, the lookouts in the tower lit fires to send a signal to the other towers along the coast and to the towns, that invaders were coming and advising them to retire to their protected places until the threat was gone.

These towers were used for centuries up until the 1800’s when they were demilitarized and no longer used. Each town that has one now features it as an attraction like the Talao Tower in Scalea.

Talao tower
Talao Tower, Scalea
Talao Tower Scalea from the Centro Storico

And one of these towers remains on a rocky promontory in San Nicola Arcella.

It was there that Francis Marion Crawford fell in love with it one day, left for a time and returned to his beach party with the keys to the tower in his hands, having rented it for his own use.

Crawford Tower, San Nicola Arcella
Crawford Tower San Nicola Arcella

And it is in this tower that the story “For the Blood is the Life” was written in which the glorious vampire appears and just happens to be named Cristina.

Yes, this vampiress and I share a name but I swear that my teeth are ridiculously inadequate for blood sucking making it inefficient and extremely messy unless I am grappling with an underdone steak and the proper cutlery.

I am not “that” Cristina.

Vampire
Not Me!

Cristina was a peasant girl who fell afoul of robbers. She subsequently haunted the area just outside of Crawford Tower sipping the life energy from anyone who happened to go near her.

The story is creepy but in his descriptions of the scenery and the people, Crawford gives an amazingly vivid account of life in Calabria in the 1800’s.

While “For the Blood is the Life” is a fascinating read, Crawford also wrote the story for the movie I saw as a teen that caused me to endure many sleepless nights. The story and the movie were called “The Screaming Skull”.

In this story Crawford details actual, real gaslighting at its most extreme but (spoiler alert) justice prevails. I won’t tell you how. This is still one of the scariest/creepiest movies I have ever seen.

Creepy stories aside, Crawford wrote many stories and novels based in Italy and gave readers glimpse after glimpse of life in Italy in the 1800’s as he was uniquely familiar with the social, political and cultural aspects of life all over Italy.

Beach San Nicola Arcella
The Sea at San Nicola Arcella

If you want to read some of Crawford’s amazingly vivid stories, you can fined them on the Gutenberg Project website, They are now in the public domain so you can download them for free. What better way to while away the time lounging on the beach in San Nicola Arcella this Summer?

For more great content, check out our Youtube channel!

See you in Italy!

 

All Of Your Italy Property Purchase Questions ANSWERED!

Italian property Purchase
Know before you go! Take our course!
1 Euro Italian House
Italian Balcony

Hi Guys!

Chris here from Super Savvy Travelers!

If you are not familiar with us, please check out our YouTube channel for amazingly informative videos all about purchasing property and moving to Italy. Almost every single day we post new content designed to turn you into a Super Savvy Property Purchaser/Owner.

And every single day I receive emails asking specific questions about the process of finding a home, purchasing a home and all of the tiny details that go into making your move and finding your dream.

And in the process of communicating with you, I have found that certain specific questions come up over and over.

For this reason Pete and I put together a super comprehensive course which if studied well, will give you a huge increase in your level of understanding and more importantly, will give you the things to watch out for.

Italian real estate is very different from American real estate.  The laws are different, the process is completely different and there is a certain level of due diligence that is required on the part of the buyer. If you do not know these things you can be bitterly disappointed when things don’t turn out the way you pictured them.

Pete and I purposely sell this course for a ridiculously low price considering the amount of data you get. We are doing this to protect YOU and educate you so that you know what questions to ask and what to expect. Honestly we could ask twice the price and it would still be a massive value.

Here is a brief outline of what is on our course:

  1. Welcome and what you will  learn in the course
  2. Where will you live? An overview of the regions of Italy
  3. Earthquakes, medical facilities and transportation to and from
  4. Deciphering the energy efficiency ratings on real estate listings
  5. How to choose your agent
  6. The necessary documents you need to have ready for your purchase
  7. How to obtain an Italian mortgage
  8. The Italian property purchase process step by step
  9. The Notaio
  10. Closing costs, fees and taxes,
  11. Renovations
  12. Property succession laws in Italy
  13. Working as a resident of Italy
  14. Obtaining residency step by step
  15. The Golden Visa Program
  16. How to learn the language
  17. How to move your pets
  18. FAQ’s
  19. Leasehold properties
  20. What the Heck is an Apostille?

Before you make any move on your property purchase, you NEED all of the information we have provided here.

On another note, Pete and I are rolling our our Remote Property Purchase Program soon. We already have several people signed up so if you are interested in taking advantage of the crazy Italian property market right now but are frustrated that you cannot get over there, shoot me an email and we will put you on the list! [email protected]

Ciao! See you in Italy!

 

Properties for Peanuts! Calabria Property Update January 2021

Italian Architecture
Italian Architecture

Hi Guys! Chris here from Super Savvy Travelers!

If you have not seen my recent interview with Dr. Ivan De Luca on Youtube, please drop everything and go watch the whole thing. In this video Dr. De Luca gives us so much intensely useful information with regard to the property market in Calabria in general and our Riviera Dei Cedri in particular.

In a nutshell, the Calabria property market has tanked as an unfortunate result of COVID and Brexit. Calabria is suffering from a recession as is much of Europe and this has forced people to sell their vacation homes in order to bring in money.

This is a sad scenario however the good news is that there is something we can do to help them out of it. In short there has never been a better time to invest in a property (or two) in Italy and especially Calabria.

Beach in Maratea
Beach in Maratea

Why Calabria?

This question has so many answers, the food, the spectacular scenery, the lifestyle, the people, but a huge reason to purchase now is the prices.

Calabria has some of the most dramatic and spectacular beaches in the world. It has a deep, rich culture, it has the religious and food festivals. It has the laid back lifestyle and you can get a property for almost literally peanuts.

Staircase in Santa Domenica Talao
Staircase in Santa Domenica Talao

When Pete and I were looking for our house in 2010, properties in Santa Domenica Talao, our village were more than twice what they are now.  In Scalea, Dr. Ivan has seen a drop in the average 2 bed, one bath apartment in Scalea from about 50,000 Euros to 40,000 Euros with many, many properties available for less than 30,000 Euros and even in the less than 20,000 Euro range.

Diamante, Italy
Diamante, Italy

The Riviera Dei Cedri

The area in Calabria between Tortora up in the north, to Paola in the more southern part of Calabria is the prime tourist destination called the Riviera Dei Cedri. A cedro is a citrus fruit (Citron) and the region is famous for them.

In addition to the fabulous food products grown here, Our Riviera Dei Cedri has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe or even, the world.

Tourists from all over Europe and other parts of Italy flock to Calabria in the Summer and in August, when Italy closes down for vacation, every corner is filled.

Even during COVID, apartments, hotels and BNB’s were filled to capacity in August and, according to Dr. De Luca, the season extended from June all the way through October as tourists fled to the beaches before the next expected lock down.

So in a nutshell, if you have ever wanted to purchase a vacation home in Italy or to retire there, now is the time.

Contact us https://www.supersavvytravelers.com/contact_us/

We are putting together packages to help you locate and purchase your beautiful vacation home in Italy.

AND take our online course that walks you through the entire purchase process including, renovations, residency and moving there.

Ciao for now! See you in the piazza!

 

A Moment Frozen In Time; Pompeii

Pompeii Vesuvius
Pompeii Vesuvius

 

 

Pompeii Street
Pompeii

Every so often one gets a snapshot of a moment in history; a faded photograph, a piece of nostalgia, everywhere we go there are glimpses of the past. 

Pompeii girl
Fresco at Pompeii

These little bits when stitched together can create an idea of what life was like in a certain time period. And in fact, many historians and archeologists spend their entire lives lovingly stitching together moments to create a pure line of history as carefully and patiently as grandma stitched her quilts. 

So imagine visiting a place frozen in time where no stitching necessary to see exactly how an ancient people lived almost 2,000 years ago. 

Such is Pompeii, a wealthy city located along the shores of Mediterranean Sea a short distance south of Naples in Campania, Italy. 

Pompeii Vesuvius
Pompeii Vesuvius

If you are unfamiliar with Pompeii, It is an ancient Roman city that was completely overwhelmed and mostly covered up by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Subsequent eruptions buried it further and it was not until the 1700’s that archeologists really understood what lay beneath the years and layers of dust and volcanic ash that preserved these ruins beautifully, until they were finally excavated.

Beautiful House in Pompeii
Beautiful Ruins in Pompeii

When they were, archeologists discovered a magnificent jewel of a city frozen in time more than 2000 years ago when all life suddenly stopped. 

The dust and ash that covered Pompeii had the effect of perfectly preserving everything it touched including frescoes, buildings and even food that was to be sold at the markets that day and consumed for the next meal that never arrived. 

rescue Pompeii
Fresco Pompeii

Preserved were the city streets, the tiled walkways and floors, the sidewalks. And as you walk these ancient streets, despite the crowds that normally flock to Pompeii in the high season, you can get a feeling of exactly how the people lived so long ago and how they died suddenly in the catastrophe that was the eruption of Vesuvius. 

It took many decades for Pompeii to be excavated to the extent it is currently, however today, the excavation site at Pompeii is huge.

Pompeii Map
Map of Pompeii

As you can see from the overhead view from Google Maps, the city of Pompeii spans four and a half miles. A shady, tree-lined walkway takes you into the park. The modern shops, stalls and restaurants are a stark contrast to the ancient city, but oddly only superficially. These modern shopkeepers need to make a living selling their products just as the ancient people of Pompeii did. 

Prior to the catastrophe, Pompeii was a thriving port town and an important trading hub. The excavation of amphorae revealed a busy trade in wine and olive oil.

Amphorae
Amphorae
Grapes
Grapes in Naples are fertilized by the volcanic soil

The farmlands surrounding Pompeii were rich in volcanic soil and created an abundance of agricultural crops including grapes, barley, wheat and millet. These were all grown for export to various parts of the Roman Empire. 

As you walk the streets, you see complete apartment buildings and shops. There are also a myriad of food stands that catered to customers, complete with menus frescoed on the walls. Walking in today is just like walking in in August AD 79. You almost expect the proprietor to wipe the counter in front of you and stand there waiting for your order.

The presence of beautiful villas with lavish wall decorations and gardens points to the fact that Pompeii housed many successful people. Nero himself visited Pompeii and was said to have performed there. 

Pompeii residences
A Typical Street In Pompeii

Life was rich and good in Pompeii, that is until August 24 AD 79 when everything changed.

(New evidences suggests that the date was actually later than August and was more likely as late as November. This is due to several factors such as the clothing worn by the victims, which was heavier and more Winter type clothing. Also important is the fact that the fruits and vegetables being sold at the market at that time were also Winter products and that there were chestnuts in the market which would not have been available in August. These facts all seem to point to a later date.)

 

Volcano
Pyroclastic Flow

The eruption that buried Pompeii took place over two days. Prior to that time, for at least 17 years, Pompeii had been subject to earthquakes. In fact some archeologists believe that parts of Pompeii were still being repaired from the previous destructive earthquake in 62 AD which had destroyed much of the city. Others disagree and state that much of the city had been repaired and new buildings had been added. 

The first 18 hours consisted of a rainfall of tapilli, small volcanic particles that rained down on the city. This warning was enough for some residents to leave to city taking whatever valuables they could. Since there have only been about 1,150 bodies recovered out of an original  population of about 20,000, we can surmise that most people actually did leave the city either after the first earthquake in 62 AD, years earlier or just before the eruptions turned into the deadly pyroclastic flows, the “Walls of Death “ that ended up entombing the city and annihilating any inhabitants left. 

Volcano2
Volcano Eruption

A pyroclastic flow is a billowing cloud of 700C gas, ash and rock that scientists now believe flowed from Vesuvius on a cushion of air allowing the flows to reach speeds of 750 km per hour. 

While initially it was believed  that the victims were overcome with ash that caused their demise, it is now believed that the heat of the pyroclastic flows killed them instantly upon its arrival even if they were inside buildings or other structures. 

Victim
Victim of Vesuvius

Discoveries of mass casualties in a cave near the sea reveal that even those who took refuge succumbed in the same fashion. The cave discovery, near Herculaneum revealed that several of these people had gathered up their most precious belongings, gold bracelets and earrings and coins, and sought shelter thinking that the cave would save them. Sadly this did not occur and they succumbed with the others in Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum.

Sculpture at Pompeii
Sculpture At Pompeii

Pliny the Younger, who lived during that period was across the Bay of Naples at Misenium when the eruptions occurred and gave a first hand account of what he saw. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, was admiral of the fleet and died while rescuing victims as he had ordered his ships to travel across the Bay of Naples to assist. 

Bay of Naples
Bay of Naples

At that time volcanic ash covered Pompeii to a height of almost 20 feet.

And she lay there for centuries until she was found.

On a peaceful Spring or Summer day you can explore Pompeii although it takes more than a day to see it all. 

There are three separate entrances as the park is so big. 

Pompeii has many noteworthy sights however here is a short list of a few of them:

Temple of Apollo
Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

This temple features Etruscan architecture and is thought to be the oldest structure in Pompeii having come up through history from Etruscan occupation, through the Greeks and finally the Romans.

House of the Faun
House of the Faun

The House of the Faun

This particular villa is one of the most famous sights in Pompeii. As a villa it covers an entire block and was home to the Alexander Mosaic which depicts Alexander the Great fighting the Persians. Intact are the geometric floors, however many artifacts have been recovered there as well. Named for a statue of a faun that was found there, this house depicts the lavish lifestyle and success of some of the people in Pompeii. 

Forum Pompeii
The Forum at Pompeii

The Forum At Pompeii

Like the Forum in Rome, the Forum of Pompeii was the center of life in this ancient city. Government activities were carried out there and nearby, one found shops, markets and baths. 

As you wander through this formerly buzzing space, you can still feel the activities as though they were still occurring despite their 2000 year hiatus. 

Sabian Baths
Sabian Baths

The Sabian Baths

Ancient Rome was big on bathing and no wealthy Roman city would be without its luxurious baths. Hot, cold and tepid baths were provided for those looking for a day out and a little cleanliness. 

Annaliseart
Photo Credit Annalisart

A visit to Pompeii seems to always end up with lines of tourists waiting to see the Lupanare or the brothel ruins. In fact, there were several brothels in Pompeii and curious tourist minds want to know. 

All through Pompeii there are various houses identified as to who owned them. The house of the lonely poet, the house of the surgeon, The house of Pansa all giving a snapshot frozen in time of a vibrant city that suddenly stopped like a broken clock. 

Getting to Pompeii by train is relatively easy. From Naples you can either take the Circumvesuviano which takes about 35 minutes to cover the Pompeii-Naples route or you can take the Metropolitano which will get you to Pompeii In 38 minutes, Please be wary while on these trains and in Naples in general as there are pick pockets much like in any big city. However they do seem to haunt the train routes to the attractions so extra care should be taken. An over the shoulder bag that zips up and with straps that cannot be cut through is perfect for both men and women for carrying valuables. Never carry your wallet in your pockets. 

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip through Pompeii. You definitely have to experience it in person. And when you are there come a little further south and visit us in Calabria. We will look for you there.

Ciao!

Credits:

Wikipedia
Science mag
Pixabay
Pexel

Simple Steps to Buying A House and Moving to Italy

Italian house
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Ciao amici (friends)!

First of all thank you for helping us make our Youtube channel so popular! Pete and I are over the moon to be contact with so many people who are jumping in to make their dreams come true and we are blessed that we can help.

Thank you also for your questions because this tells me what you need and want in terms of information and we can then get you the correct data.

All of this data and, in fact, everything you need to know to purchase property and move to Italy are outlined in our online video course and Ebook. The course is light and fun and with the Ebook you can highlight and tab important pages and information so you can refer to it easily. Click here for the details about our course.

Recently many people have written asking what they need to do to retire in Italy, especially in Calabria.

The process is not difficult but as with anything, there are steps.

Map of Italy
Courtesy of Pixabay
  1. Decide where you want to be.

    Italy is so diverse and every area seems to be wildly different than the other areas. Each has its own personality, culture and climate and somewhere in italy there is a place that is perfect for you.

    To begin, start Googling the different areas. If you want something more Alpine in nature and more Austrian/Swiss in character, look North in the areas of Piedmonte and Lombardy.

    If you want something more Mediterranean in feel, look south to Calabria, Abruzzo, Puglia and Basilicata. This is where you find the stunning beaches, the hot peppers, the very traditional Italian lifestyle. The South features influences from Albania and Greece and was the home of the Magna Graecia. It has a rich history as does all of Italy.

    Agent
    Courtesy of Pexel
  2. Find a good real estate agent

    In Italy as anywhere, there are good and bad in terms of real estate professionals. If you are coming in with little knowledge of the local culture and language, you need an agent that speaks fluent English and who is willing to ensure that you understand everything about the purchase process.

    Before you hook up with an agent, interview them to see what their attitudes are. If they tend to brush you off, not respond to emails, or seem impatient, they are not the agent for you.

    Beautiful Italy
    Courtesy of Pixabay
  3. Decide what type of property you want.

    All over Italy there are many, many different types of properties available. I could make this article long and boring by listing them all so I won’t. Instead I invite you to indulge in the process of searching.

    The best way to start your search is to create your ideal scene. How do you see yourself living in your new place? Are you on a balcony in a city or a terrace overlooking the sea?

    List this out in every detail. Understand that this will change as you go through the process but you will find the closest thing you can to that ideal scene.
    You cannot start the search for something without knowing what you are looking for. This will save you lots of time and make your agent’s job a LOT easier!

    Things to consider are number of bedrooms, number of baths, whether in a city or elsewhere, what needs to be within walking distance, will you have a car? What are the neighbors like? Do you have a garden, etc.

    Make a detailed list of everything you need and want in your property. It also helps to assign each item a number in terms of priority, for example if you MUST have a sea view, that would be a priority one.
    Once you have this outlined the search can begin!

    House Interior
    Courtesy of Octoptimist/Pexel
  4. Get a feel for the property market.

    To do this we recommend the Idealiste.it site. They have the most listings of any site I have seen. Understand also that many properties may not be listed at all but the local agent will have a list of them. However searching in Idealiste.it will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay and how close you can get to your ideal scene.

    Business
    Courtesy Andrew Neel/ Pedel
  5. Start your immigration process

    Immigration is not difficult but there are steps involved that must be done in order and there are financial requirements to becoming a resident. You can see the steps on Nick Metta’s website.

    Start this early as the appointments at your local consulate book up quickly and they are booked 6-8 months in advance and you will need this BEFORE you move to Italy.

    Beach
    Courtesy Valdemaras D/Pexel
  6. Go on a property viewing trip

    At this point you have found your agent and communicated to him or her what you are looking for. Now comes the fun part, looking at all these amazing properties! As you view them you will get a better idea of what living in Italy will be like and your ideal scene, and needs and wants list may change.

  7. Choose your property and make an offer

    Courtesy of Mentadtdgt/Pexel

    If your property requires renovations, you will need to talk to the local  professionals to see if you can work together. The renovation process has its own steps and these are all outlined in our course.

    It would also be wise to get an idea of the costs of renovation before making an offer. The local geometra or architect can give you a ball park figure and if you can get an estimate from the local builder, that would be best.

    Courtesy of Oleg Magni/Pexel
  8. Go through the property purchase process.

    This includes, among other things, the negotiations through your agent, the deposit and the final signing with the Notaio. The Notaio is the person who is a neutral third party and answerable to the state that everything in the transaction is legal according to Italian real estate law. He will ensure that the title is clear and that the final deed gets recorded in your name. DO NOT GO THROUGH A PROPERTY PURCHASE WITHOUT A NOTAIO!

    On the date of signing, you will go through the meeting with the Notaio, money will change hands and you will have the keys to your new home!

Now obviously this is a brief list touching on all of these points. To fully understand every part of the process, you will need to do our course. We have specifically designed it so that you can avoid the pitfalls that could cost you your dream. Also, knowing what questions to ask the various professionals is vital and you will know what to ask as you go through the course.  We also intentionally priced it lower than a half an hour with an attorney so it is very affordable and could potentially save you thousands.

Now all we need is for Italy to open up and we can all go pursue our dreams!

Pete and my dreams consist of helping our friends in Calabria by bringing great people into our towns and villages, and helping great people create their new future in Italy.

Thank you again for letting us be part of your process. Please also go to our contact page and put in your needs and wants so we can get you in touch with the best professionals to assist you.

Ciao and Happy Hunting!

Calabrian Cuisine, 5 Things You HAVE To Eat When You Arrive

Al Caminetto Ravioli
Home Made Ravioli at Al Caminetto

Ciao Belli!

First of all if you are new to our Super Savvy Blog Welcome and we are glad you are here.

Also thank you for reaching out to us. Our goal is to give you the information you really need and want, so your emails and comments on the Youtube channel really help us in that endeavor.

Please continue to write when you have a question and I will respond.

Perfect coffee and cakes
Perfect coffee and cakes

OK, I know that you know that I am a truffle pig when it comes to finding the best eats. I will root them out anywhere I go and my job became a lot easier when we arrived in Calabria.

Calabrian food is a wonderful mix of amazingly good and fresh seafood, pork dishes, Chicken dishes, home made pastas, and so much more.

Everything is fresh. The vegetables are right out of someone’s garden. Some of the people in our village, like our friends Rosaria and Peppino raise EVERYTHING themselves including their mushrooms. Rosaria is an amazing chef and an invitation to lunch starts your mouth watering even if the lunch date  is days away.

So you can imagine how incredibly difficult it is to choose only 5 things that you HAVE to eat. By no means limit yourself to these 5 but definitely don’t leave without tasting them.

Pizza Talao
Pizza Talao
  1. Pizza at The Bella Vista, Santa Domenica Talao, Calabria

    This is the Italian snack staple. Pizzas are everywhere and they are all good. I have only once had a bad pizza but it was in Rome and really everything in that place was bad. The restaurant owners and staff were not even Italian.
    So you can love them all but the best pizza I have had was Michelle’s pizza at the Bella Vista. I know I harp on and on about Michelle’s cooking but it really is that good.

    Pacchieri
  2. Pacchieri Ala Gitana at La Perla Del Terreno, Scalea, Calabria

    I initially ordered this dish because LOVE pacchieri. they are wide, fat noodles that soak up the sauce and spread it all over your tongue. Then you bite and there is a little resistance and then it gives.  You can’t help it! Suddenly you start singing hymns to the Almighty!

    This pasta Is coated in a fine tomato based seafood sauce with lots of assorted shellfish and white fish.

    It comes with a bag of freshly baked Calabrian bread that you can use to sop up everything on your plate. It is serious, good eating. Pair this with a lovely white wine on a Summer day while you watch the sea birds play in the surf and listen to the waves lap the shore. It is one of the most pleasant things to do on a Summer day in Calabria. Then you have to go and nap.

    Zucchini Fritters
    Zucchini Fritters

    The Bella Vista in Santa Domenica Talao
  3. Zucchini Fritters at The Bella Vista, Santa Domenica Talao, Calabria

    OK here is Michelle again. Let me describe the Bella Vista to you. It is a cafe at the corner of our village and is the first thing you see when you arrive. The owners have created a huge roof terrace on top where you can enjoy your dinner while watching the sun set over the Mediterranean and while the village behind you starts to glow gold in the evening light. It is a magical place far from anything that worries you and the best part is that you know a spectacular meal is coming.
    Michelle or one of her staff greet you and take your order. Shortly after that a little plate arrives with your zucchini fritter and a perfect bruschetta featuring sweet tomatoes, garlic and a drizzle of beautiful Calabrian olive oil. Honestly some day I will show up and Michelle’s and just asks for two or three plates of appetizers instead of dinner.

    Cannoli
    Cannoli at Vulare Siciliane
  4. Cannoli at Vulare Siciliane, Scalea, Calabria

    I know I also talk a lot about Ilenia but her food is unbelievable. Everything there is delicious but if you want something sooooo incredibly delicious that you actually go weak in the knees, you want one of her cannoli. She and her husband make the little pastry shells themselves and fill them with the lightest sweetest, milkiest, ricotta filling I have ever come across. I have had a LOT of cannoli and hers are seriously the best.

    Pasta with Wild Boar at Al Caminetto in Tortora, Italy
    Pasta with Wild Boar at Al Caminetto in Tortora, Italy
  5. Pasta Al Cinghiale at Al Caminetto, Tortora, Calabria

    One rainy June afternoon we met our great friend Giacomo in Tortora which is a stunning little hill town just north of us. Giacomo’s cousin and his wife Roseangela run a restaurant there Called Al Caminetto. Since it was our first time there, Giacomo ordered a sampling of many different Calabrian dishes including fried appetizers such as arancini. This is a ball or cone of rice stuffed with a meat and vegetable mixture and rolled in bread crumbs and fried. I know! That is about as good as it gets!

    Roseangela giving us a pasta making demonstration

    Everything was amazing but her Pasta Al Cinghiale was special. It is a truly gifted chef who knows instinctively how much of everything to put in to ensure that the balance between the flavors is perfect. Roseangela is such a chef. Don’t miss this dish! (Cinghiale is wild boar by the way.)

    Lunch!
    Lunch!

    Now I could go on and on for days and I would love to do that because these are just the things you need to eat when you arrive. Hopefully you intend to stay awhile and sample all of the amazing restaurants in the area. The Riviera Dei Cedri seems to have attracted the most talented chefs in Italy and you can hop from one great meal to the next easily and happily.

    Antipasti
    Antipasti

    Enjoy your trip to our beautiful area and Buon Appetito!

Updates On Travel To Italy

Volterra
Volterra
Volterra
Volterra

Ciao Amici!

While we continue to wait for Italy and all of Europe to open up, we do get dribs and drabs of information.  Someone on the “Living in Italy” Facebook page posted this update and I thought you would find it helpful. It is from the Minister of External Affairs and International Cooperation.

I basically copied and translated it for you here. You can see the website in Italian at the above link.

“06/15/2020 COVID-19: WHO has classified COVID-19 as a “pandemic” since 11 March. To limit their spread, restrictive measures have been gradually adopted on a global scale since January 2020 (suspension of air traffic, ban on entry, refoulement* at the border, compulsory quarantine, health checks). Based on art. 6 of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 11 June 2020, travel to / from EU Member States, Schengen States Parties, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are not subject to restrictions. Travel to these countries is therefore also allowed for tourism. Before departure, it is always necessary to check any restrictions on entry in force in the country where you want to go. This information is available on the country sheets of Viaggiare Sicuri and on the websites of the Italian embassies and / or consulates of the countries of interest. The return to Italy from the listed countries is allowed without limitations, without prejudice to any restrictive measures provided for specific areas of the national territory.

Until 30 June, 2020, travel to/from States and territories other than those listed is FORBIDDEN, except for proven work, absolute urgency or health needs. In any case, it is allowed to return to your home or residence.

Those who return to Italy from States and territories other than those listed, or who have stayed there in the 14 days prior to arrival in Italy, must still complete a specific SELF-CERTIFICATION ON THE REASONS FOR THE TRIP,  must undergo fiduciary isolation for 14 days and CANNOT use public transport other than that used to enter Italy (for example, on arrival to Fiumicino by plane you cannot take the train to the center of Rome or to any other destination).

Airport transit is allowed: those who enter Italy by air can take another plane to any national or international destination. Car rental and the use of taxis or rental with driver is allowed. “

Truthfully we won’t know when Italy opens for other than the countries listed above until they do. Until then we wait…

Pete and I will keep you as updated as possible.

I hope this helps!

*non-refoulement refers to the generic repatriation of people, including refugees into war zones and other disaster locales.

Calabria Joins The Ranks Of The 1 Euro Italian House Program

1 Euro Italian House
Italian Balcony

Ciao Amici (Friends!)

Chris here from Super Savvy Travelers!” And in the last few weeks over 200,000 of you have heard that phrase on our Super Savvy Youtube channel. 
Thank you! It has been a pleasure being in communication with you all!

Honestly the 1 Euro Italian House trend has just gotten bigger and bigger. A couple of weeks ago, I swore to you that there were none in Calabria that I could find.

Well, it appears that Mayor Michele Conia has risen to the challenge and made 1 Euro Italian houses available in his community of Cinquefrondi.

Cinquefondi literally translates to “Five Fronds” and the village is named for the fact that there were five separate communities of Greek and Byzantine origin that all came together and formed one community during the Middle Ages.

1 Eur italianhouse
Ancient Italian House

Cinque Frondi is located on the bunion of the boot that is the Italian Peninsula. It rides along the crest of the Aspromonte Mountains and affords access  to the sea on both sides.

1 Euro House Cinquefrondi
Cinquefrondi

Mayor Michele, along with many other mayors in the region have been attempting to reverse the depopulation of their towns and villages due to the exodus of young people who have had to leave and look for work in the more populated areas.

He has christened his repatriation project, “Operation Beauty”  and we whole heartedly support him in his efforts.

Cinquefrondi has also advertised the fact that it is a “Covid Free” community in that they were able to side step the COVID virus completely.

In fact, much of Calabria was able to escape the ravages of this virus by shutting down quickly and keeping a close eye on it. I have heard that there was not a single case of COVID in our village of Santa Domenica Talao either so well done to all of our mayors and city leaders in Calabria! You guys did great!

Here is a map of where we are n Santa Domenica Talao for comparison.

Santa Domenica Talao map
Santa Domenica Talao; Riviera Dei Cedri

Now let’s go over some facts about the 1 euro Italian house programs.

Normally if you elect to purchase a 1 Euro Italian house, you have to have a 5,000 Euro deposit. In addition if you do not complete the renovations within 3 years, you will be facing a fee of 20,000 Euros.

In Cinquefrondi, the 5,000 Euro deposit is waived but they ask you to purchase an insurance policy in the amount of 250 Euros per year until the works are complete.

The 20,000 Euro fee is in also effect in Cinquefrondi if the works are not completed in three years.

So it appears that the community has tried to sweeten the pot dramatically in order to bring people in.

Maratea
Ancient house in Maratea Centro Storico

That said, is a 1 Euro Italian house for you?

In addition to the factors listed above, there are other factors you need to consider.

  1. The houses available for 1 Euro in Cinquefrondi are very old and are located in the ancient part of the city.  These ancient houses lean on each other. What happens to the structural integrity of the building as a whole? Can you fortify your house so that it doesn’t fall if the others never get renovated?
  2. Does the housing market in Cinquefrondi support a renovation cost of 10-20K Euros that it will cost to renovate one of these places.
  3. How can you protect yourself if the builders get backlogged and it takes longer than there years to renovate?

None of these questions are designed to put you off the 1 Euro houses but merely to have you take a look and see if this will work for you.

In any case I would definitely run everything by an attorney because he will know what questions to ask and what points to clarify in a contract.  We highly recommend Nic Metta at Studio Legale Metta for this purpose.

This may be the deal of the century for you so check it out thoroughly!

Now I want to give a shout out to Dave and his Youtube channel Dauv0. Dave is in Mussomelli (Messina) Sicily and has his finger on the pulse of everything about 1 Euro houses all over Italy. We will be teaming up with Dave for some really fun and exciting projects so stay tuned to both of our channels. You are going to love it!

If you are looking for a 1 Euro Italian property. You need to watch our video on the subject. This will give you the truth abut 1 Euro Italian houses.

AND if you are looking at purchasing a property in Italy and/or moving there you MUST study our online video course and Ebook. It gives you EVERYTHING you need to know about purchasing a home and/or moving to Italy.

You can also get your personal Move to Italy Action Plan/Checklist here.

Free Action Plan/Checklist
Free Action Plan/Checklist

Caio!

Chris