Choosing a home is an important and life-changing decision, and implies considering various factors. Seeking a house in a bustling lively city, a mansion that ensures quiet country living, a comfortable and affordable flat or a vast and magnificent house? Whatever your dream house looks like your bound to find it in Italy! 

Yet, making one’s way through the multitude of options can be hard for foreign buyers not perfectly familiar with the country, language and customs. And ensuring the real estate of one’s choice complies with all legal and technical requirements is often another source of frustration.

The same is true when it comes to looking for real estate to invest in. Buying commercial property in Italy, especially when connected with accommodation and/or recreation, is a wonderful opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs who aim to benefit from the flourishing  Italian tourist market. 

But sourcing and purchasing property in a foreign country is a complex enterprise, and one that can often conceal problematic and potentially dangerous aspects and issues. That’s why discerning potential foreign purchasers choose to face the challenge with the assistance of  local consultants who are familiar with the territory, market and standing legislation.

In addition to the complexities associated with finding a home, there are those related to the documentation required for the purchase. Among the documents required during the agreement is the Italian Fiscal Code. Discover the importance of the Italian Fiscal Code and how to obtain one here.

Get your Fiscal Code

As concerns private property, the internet offers websites with extensive databases that allow users to search for various properties for sale or rent. These platforms are beneficial because they offer a broad insight into the economy by showcasing opportunities divided by location and area. Several websites also include presentations or videos of the homes, to make it easier for prospective clients to view the property, and many allow one to narrow down the options available by selecting the variables that suit his/her requirements and thus perform an efficient and fruitful search. In most platforms, one can choose a preferred city or area, type of property, number of rooms, property size, and budget, and add specifics such as furnishing, ventilation and air conditioning system, geographic orientation, and amenities.

Another alternative is to first look at a focused platform that is more tailored to one’s requirements, for instance a website that only shows properties appropriate for a specific target audience and properties in a single geographical location.  

Yet, nothing beats professional customized assistance. Relying on specialists who have a thorough understanding of the local real estate market, its trends and benefits, means having a “partner” who can assist you in your search, share contacts and advice and guide you through the various stages of finding and purchasing the ideal home. 

As regards commercial property, recent market surveys confirm that the most profitable commercial assets in Italy include hotels, farms, bed and breakfasts, and vacation homes.

Italian law establishes a variety of strict rules and limits related to the management and running of property-based businesses, comprising numerous licenses and authorizations and rules as concerns limits and/or structural characteristics of the property itself. 

Specifically, there are different rules applied to different kinds of properties. 

Hotels are subject to mandatory licenses and permits that include: Certified Notification of Commencement of Activities (SCIA), signage, advertising, health and safety licenses, licensing for food and beverages and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) . In addition to this they must comply with attribution of the hotel category, non-smoking signage, and authorization to employ external areas. Hotel properties must also be classified according to a specific Land Registry classification and implement actions as provided for by the technical and sanitary laws and regulations, fire prevention and safety, and comply with timeframes as established by the Revenue Office, license authorities and local Chamber of Commerce, and with employment regulations as per standing law.

Other types of commercial enterprises, B&Bs for instance, are subject to an entirely different set of laws, namely those included and provided for as per l. n. 135/2001. Specific rulings set forth regulations as regards minimum surface area per guestroom, furnishing, guests’ access to their rooms, cleaning and linen changes.

About our services

Our skilled team of experienced lawyers, real estate agents, accountants and technical experts - including architects, engineers, designers and surveyors - assists and supports international buyers through the entire process of buying real estate for personal use and/or commercial property in Italy.

In detail, we help purchasers and entrepreneurs by:

  • Offering advice and insight to expedite our foreign clients’ research for the perfect property;
  • Providing examination of preliminary documents, translations and carrying out surveys as needed when properties are owned by companies;
  • Assessing property rights and encumbrances;
  • Implementing on-site visits and inspecting the property and its plans;
  • Completing property evaluations, technical and legal due diligence;
  • Drawing up contracts, offers and deeds;
  • Preparing business plans and drafting tax estimates.

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