Having a second home sounds nice. Having a second home in one of Italy’s famed wine regions sounds even nicer.
Many Americans would seem to agree with that statement. Those looking to buy second homes are flocking to Piedmont, the home of Barolo, according to The Wall Street Journal. Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, the head of residential sales at Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, estimates that the number of Americans asking about the area had jumped about 50 percent at her agency over the past two years alone.
Along with its reputation in the wine world, Piedmont was instrumental in the creation of the slow-food movement, and it’s a major area for the hunting and buying of white truffles. That makes it an especially appealing area to buyers with a strong interest in food and drink.
Some are even intrigued by the idea of having their own vineyard. Luca Stroppiana of Langhe Real Estate told the WSJ that vineyards are the new must-have for second-home buyers. He helped facilitate the sale of a $510,000 farmhouse with one to an American couple mainly living in Milan. “We like to drink wine,” said Bryony Bechtold, who bought the property with her husband. “And now we will learn all about the different grapes and how making wine works.”
At Langhe Property, Americans are actually the No. 1 demographic, beating out the British. And an architect in the area told The Wall Street Journal that Americans are now the majority of her foreign customers. It doesn’t hurt that the US dollar is quite strong, and that the pandemic has allowed for flexibility as to where people can live and work.
While enjoying the Italian countryside for a few weeks or months at a time does sound great, the Journal didn’t note how locals feel about the influx of out-of-towners. That’s been an issue in other international locales, like Mexico City, where residents became fed up with American tourists and remote workers earlier this year.
Still, the possibility of animus isn’t turning off the Piedmont-curious. A couple from Kansas who have been visiting Italy for 50 years are gearing up to move the region next year—and even more home buyers seem likely to join them.