It is not the most frequented summer resort in Calabria, the south Italian region on the top of the country’s boot-shaped landmass. Even Calabresi would admit it isn’t the most scenic, not with Tropea and Paola nearby.
But for real estate buyers searching out a wallet-friendly deal, the unprepossessing resort of Scalea is our No1 tip for this year.
The location boasts all the features of more renowned local beach resorts – an irresistible sandy beach, crystal blue waters and a climate averaging a mild 49.5 degrees at the start of the year and that reaches around typically 78 in the hottest months of the year. Then again late Autumn sees typical readings of close to 72 F.
However it is in terms of affordably priced apartments and houses – it could be argued the stand-out deals one can find across Italy presently – that it really makes you sit up and take notice.
Property prices are just less than €90 for a square foot. In practice it means a 25sq m studio apartment barely 3 minutes on foot from the Tyrrhenian coast can start from a mere €20,000. A 30sq m one-bedroom sea-view vacation home can be picked for just €29,000 or €30,000.
By no means the largest, but comfortable enough for a pair of holidaymakers – or three or four who are content to use the living room as a bed at night. Add the fact that usually both sea and utilities such as shops and banks are less than a 5-10 minute stroll and that is unbeatable value.
For a property a bit bigger but still eminently cut-price, a 50sq m twin-bedroom property can start from €48,000 . You might also be able to get one or more of a sea view, balcony and garden thrown in with that if you are lucky.
Historically, the typical expense of living in the south – everything from real estate prices down to the cost of a restaurant meal – is far more affordable than in regions of Italy like Tuscany and Umbria, which draw far more foreign tourists and are pricier as a result.
The speed of everything in this part of Italy is inclined to be significantly more laidback. This is, before long come to notice, unspoilt Italy. Something that is slowly changing, with overseas buyers increasingly eying places such as Scalea in search of better value properties. Locals have always holidayed here of course – meaning that letting opportunity for your property remains excellent.
But there is far more that Scalea offers than cut-price homes to buy. The conurbation has almost 11,000 inhabitants and has that number magnified several times over during peak season as Italians and increasing hordes of Brits and Americans surge to the resort. In addition to the stunning scenery, the waters of the Tyrrhenian being overlooked by mountains, the location has a deep heritage.
Scalea rose to prominence as a Byzantine port, attracting merchants from across the ancient world. A Byzantine fort and centuries-old wall dominate the old town centre, perched on the hills overlooking the coast and the marina, in turn packed with modern hotels and large villas.
Finding your way here is straightforward too. The closest airport is Lamezia Terme, some 1hr 40 minutes southwards, while Naples Airport is 230km by road northwards. Both airports are also reachable by train as Scalea has a mainline train station.
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