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Your Italian Escape: Advice on Buying Property in Italy

Tips on finding and purchasing your Italian dream home

Frans de Wit

Buying property in a foreign country can be a logistical, cultural, and legal minefield. When I started house hunting in Italy, I was a complete novice, and with hindsight would have done many things differently – learning to speak Italian at least semi-fluently would have been number one on my to-do list!

I’d passed through Italy briefly on an Interrail trip years ago and seen Gladiator enough times to mistakenly consider myself an expert, but Italy is a diverse place and it’s important to have a feel for the country as a whole before you consider making a purchase.

Tips on finding and purchasing your Italian dream home

Frans de Wit

Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Italy tips & suggestions | 2 Comments »

Before & After: The Renovation of Haven in Paris’ Victor Hugo Luxe Apartment

Victor Hugo Luxe Living room more

Salon, Julien Hausherr

Haven in Paris’ newest four-bedroom apartment, Victor Hugo Luxe (emphasis on the luxe), is found on a quiet street just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Boulogne. The owner and interior decorator took the HiP Paris Blog through the nine-month renovation process of this spacious, Belle Époque gem. 

Victor Hugo Luxe Kitchen and Balcony

Kitchen and Balcony, Julien Hausherr

Built in 1903, the apartment was owned by the same family for 50 years and had not been remodeled since 1970. The design team wanted to revamp the out-of-date 70s-style interior and revive its elegant, turn-of-the-century charm.

Victor Hugo Luxe Dining Table

Dining Room, Julien Hausherr

Continue Reading »

Posted in Apartment, Homes, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

A Summer Day in Rome

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

Every time I take my first stroll along the terracotta colored and ivy-clad streets in Rome I fall in love all over again. Despite the smoldering heat (you can’t expect much else if you’re going to the Italian capital in the middle of the summer, I know) and the never-ending groups of tourists, I always manage to enjoy the city when I visit.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

My trick? Waking up early and strolling around before 10am. In the early morning hours, you can discover the city and the monuments almost tourist-free.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

I found myself nearly alone in front of the beautiful Trevi fountain one morning! I also wake up at this time to get some good photographs of the city before the harsh light starts casting shadows over the streets (which is any photographer’s nightmare). Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 4 Comments »

Summer In Italy: A Beach Escape To Terracina

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

“Do you want help with that?” and Italian man asked me when I was trying to push three suitcases at the same time over a threshold at the airport. “Non, merci” I said and smiled. “I mean no, thank you. Or no, I mean no, grazie!”.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

I don’t know if it was adjusting to people actually asking me if I wanted help or if it was the language that confused me the most when I arrived in Italy from Paris. But let’s just say that I adapted to both the language and the kindness quite quickly.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

Almost every summer since I have been old enough to stand (and even before that) my family travels to Italy — to Terracina to be a little bit more precise. We go for the warm weather, the delicious food and the laid-back lifestyle. Terracina is located about an hour and a half south of Rome, which makes this little town a perfect escape for many Romans during summertime as well. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 11 Comments »

Leaving Italy For Paris

Coffee is still good. Coffee is still cheap.

The sun is still shining. The Italians are still smiling. My taxi driver was friendly. I got to the airport too early. My check in was easy. Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 10 Comments »

Still in Italy, Paris Here I Come

I’m still in Italy.  The coffee is still fast and the Italians are still ever so sweet. I’m still in Italy, but not for long.

Bogliasco (above) & San Disiderio, Liguria, Italy

I will soon be leaving the country of sunshine, smiles and scooters where everything is possible and everything is doable.

Genoa, Italy

I will leave behind, gelato, pesto, focaccia, 1€20 cappuccinos and laundry hanging to dry in the street. I will be welcomed by flaky butter croissants, crispy baguettes, stinky cheese and laundry hanging to dry in my apartment. I will leave the sea, sun and heat for cold, rain and smog. Paris, here I come! Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 11 Comments »

Day-Tripping Through Liguria: From Genoa to Cinqueterre and Beyond

Our very own Erica Berman has just landed in Genoa for her yearly stint in Liguria, her favorite region of Italy. This still relatively untouched corner of Italy is one of our favorite spots for experiencing authentic Italian living in a gorgeous, seaside setting. Until the rest of us are able to make it there ourselves, we can live vicariously through Marisa’s gorgeous photography… -Geneviève

Sarzana details

I’ll just put it right out there: I love Liguria, and centrally situated Genoa is the perfect home base from which to delve into and savor Liguria’s many enchanting qualities and seaside cities. A maritime marvel, La Superba (the proud or the haughty, as it was once known) rivaled Venice as a powerful city-state for over 500 years. And while the splendor of its storied past as a seafaring legend is evident in the magnificent UNESCO-protected Strade Nuove and Palazzi dei Rolli, Genoa’s real charm is its present-day incarnation as a working port city.

Cinqueterre

This is a city that doesn’t bend over backwards to market itself to tourists. The result is an authentic Italian metropolis, more accustomed to the visiting Milanese than Manhattanite. As a traveler who thrives on finding and experiencing those places that aren’t (yet) teeming with fellow Americans, Genoa is a joy for me. Plus, I’m a sucker for labyrinthine medieval lanes, which Genoa has in spades. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 15 Comments »

Spoiled in Italy: A Delicious Lunch in Montepulciano

Erica Berman was lucky enough to spend a couple months in gorgeous Genoa, Italy, this summer. She met up with HiP Paris friend and contributor Steve Brenner for a leisurely lunch in the historic town of Montepulciano before touring some villas in Tuscany. After reading his mouth-watering account of their meal, we couldn’t keep ourselves from sharing it with you here! -Geneviève

A square in Montepulciano (Stefano Piemonte)

Yesterday I drove up to Montepulciano to meet (in person) Erica Berman of Haven in Paris and her friend Mattia after literally years of email and skype exchanges.  I’ve guest blogged on her popular HIP Paris blog, and we list a few of her flats on Cross-Pollinate, but we’d never actually met in person.

Bagno Vignoni near Montepulciano where Erica was staying for a night (Elena Vataga)

She was coming from Genova to Bagno Vignoni (above) to see some flats in Tuscany for her site, so we decided to meet nearby.   I checked my trusted Osterie d’Italia published by Slow Food Italia, which has NEVER let me down, and we placed our bet on Acquacheta in Montepulciano.

Giulio Ciolfi, owner of Osteria Acquacheta

They were very insistent on us being there at 12:30 sharp. They will only accept reservations at 12:30 or 2pm, and they were passionate about giving us only one glass per person for both wine and water (per tradizione, apparently). The food was good – started with some amazing pecorino cheeses, one aged in walnut leaves, one with black truffles.  Without a doubt, the closer you get to Pienza, in Tuscany, the better the pecorino. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Italy tips & suggestions | 7 Comments »

Fast Coffee in Italy – Quick, Cheap and Delicious

Coffee and focaccia – Breakfast in Genoa

In Italy, coffee is delicious, quick, and to the point.

You arrive, you order, you drink, you go. Now, your day can start or your afternoon can continue.

Your barrista probably knows your name, the name of first born child, where you live and, most importantly, what kind of coffee you want and how you want it.

Small and quick, the morning coffee fix

Your coffee will be served velocemente…. you will stand at the bar, you will chat about the weather, your vacation, your work, your kids, your partner, your pet …. Continue Reading »

Posted in Coffee, Food, Italy tips & suggestions | 13 Comments »