“When thinking of skiing in Italy, most clients think of two specific regions, namely The Dolomites on the borders with Austria and the Val d’Aosta bordering on France, but there are a number of alternatives” says Linda Travella of Casa Travella, who has been selling properties in Italy for 24 years.
The region of Abruzzo, which lies in the centre of Italy between Rome and the Adriatic coast provides very good skiing facilities and many miles of pistes with good access from the areas around Pescara, thus enabling people to enjoy both winter skiing and summer sun from a single location, at a more affordable price. The Passo Lanciano which has very good pistes is located in the Maiella Park and only 40km from Pescara and even less from Citta Sant’Angelo where you can buy a new 3 bedroom apartment for just €165.000. Other locations include Prati di Tivo and Monte Piselli, in the montagne dei fuori close to the Le Marche Abruzzo border. At only 30kms from the piste you can buy a 2 bedroom apartment for as little as €60.000. Fly into Pescara with budget airlines or if more convenient fly to Rome and using the motorway go through the Gran Sasso tunnel.
The lakes of Como and Maggiore also provide access to skiing, says Linda, with the possibility of using your property throughout the year for sailing, shopping and sunbathing! The mountain of Monte Rosa at 4000 metres is about an hour and a quarter from Lake Maggiore, with San Domenico and Macugnaga at 70kms from Stresa. In mid winter you can ski at Mottarone taking a 15 minute ride from a cable car in Stresa. A 1 bedroom apartment on Lake Maggiore is available from only €150.000 with a 2 bedroom at €170.000.
Lake Como offers similar opportunities with Madesimo and Aprica less than an hour away and for those who want to travel a little further St Mortiz which provides top class skiing for all levels and night skiing that starts at 10pm and finishes at 2am! A house to restore can be found for only €95.000 and a 2 bedroom apartment for €150.000.
If you wish to be right on the piste, then at about an hour from Lake Como is the excellent if less well know facility at Aprica, with properties available right by the ski lifts. It is also very good for snowboarding with a new section of terrain at the Baradello especially for snowboarders, Aprica offers summer activities as well, such as mountain biking and mountain walks. Day trips can be taken for skiing or in the summer to Bormio, St Mortiz and Livigno. Milan’s airports of Linate and Bergamo are only 75 minutes away. Prices here range from €160.000 for a 1 bedroom apartment with 2 bedroom apartments prices up to €280.000.
Jackie and Paul Cavalli from Orpington bought a property at Nobiallo, close to Menaggio on Lake Como 7 years ago.
Jackie says ‘it is now 7 years ago that we fell in love with Lake Como and with the help of Linda Travella we purchased our home at Nobiallo which allows us to enjoy the water sports and lake in the summer and go skiing in the winter. It was a cold rainy October day when we went to view intending to buy a ski chalet, but we never go further than Como! Jackie and Paul, choose the resort of Madesimo for their skiing which takes just over an hour from their house at Nobiallo.
Over the year this resort has grown as has Aprica, with a number of faster lifts (not drag lifts!) getting you to a wide variety of pistes.
When returning down the mountain from a great day’s skiing what could be better than the lake surrounded by snow covered mountains, you could not wish for a better way to get away from it all, says Jackie.
“Many of our past clients have used their property as a base for both summer sun and winter skiing and if you purchase in Aprica you can enjoy a day on Lake Como or St Moritz.
Clients are surprised at the sort of value for money property they can find in the above areas. My advice is to take a trip and you won’t be disappointed”, says Linda.
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Linda Travella is known as the Italian property expert and has been selling property in Italy since 1987. She was the first woman chairman of FOPDAC and is media spokeswoman for NAEA International.
She has appeared on ITV A Place in the Sun with Amanda Lamb, Selling Houses Abroad with Andrew Winter and BBC Breakfast News.