Village properties in Basilicata

05/06/2010 - 12:53

There is a company called Tricali that sells renovated village properties in Irsina, Basilicata, as part of a sustainable renewal project in conjunction with the local council. We are going to see some of the properties next month. The deal is that you choose a property, pay for it, they do it up, then you take possesion nine months later. Does anyone know anything about this company? They also have similar projects in Le Marche and Abruzzo. Also, does anyone know the area around Irsina? Would you recommend it as a holiday home destination? I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts/ experiences.


I don’t like to sound too negative but…“Andate con i piedi di piombo!” An Italian saying for “God, be careful!” I had a look at the Tricali website and cannot believe that these days €25 000 can buy you anything in re-constructed property terms even in village locations in  Southern Italy, much less furnished, even if cheaply. How do they do it? You’ve probably thought about all this anyway, but I think you must really make sure you don’t get so carried away by the beauty of the area (Basilicata is fantastic – we used to spend part of our summer holidays there as children) that you allow yourselves to forget your natural caution. I have a friend involved the construction field in l’Aquila and she says make sure you have the services of a good notaio if you plan on going further with the purchase once you’ve seen what’s on offer. Make sure it is not a notaio connected in ANY way with the company. She doesn’t know the company so can’t give me any information about them. She also says that prices in Abruzzo have risen since the earthquake because people who were  re-located from l’Aquila and the surrounding areas have decided to settle  where they moved to and prices have gone up as a result – the usual demand/supply equation. She doesn’t know about the Basilicata region but suspects that caution and extreme care need to be exercised before any financial decision is taken. Don’t part with your money until and unless you have spoken to others who have bought in the area with the company and proof of your purchase clutched in your hands first. Good hunting, anyway!

I'm sure this is good advice. I hope I am strong minded enough to follow it. But speaking as someone who bought a little house in Spain on the strength of the lemon tree in the garden and the mother cat with litter of kittens in the shed, I do tend to get carried away! (There was also a stuffed badger in the outside - and only - loo, and a cage full of large snails hanging from a wire in the patio...) But this time I shall have my sensible husband with me, so will probably not be making rash decisions.  The company claim that they provide a standardised service, and all their furniture comes direct from the factory, so that way they can keep costs down. But like you, I tend to think that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Having said that, they were also involved in the development of the Antico borgo di Calitri, near Naples, and there is at least one satisfied customer blogging about his house there.

I have never been to Irsinia - so I have no idea what it is like...but I did purchase a property through Tricali (cost a tad more than that, but still very inexpensive) a few years ago and the transaction was fairly smooth and painless and I did get the house that was promised. Budget a bit extra for utilities connections as mine were not included (1200E+) and heating (again, it was not included with mine and we added a fireplace) or just make sure to ask A.&A. if they are extras or included. There also are not many choices you can make, so don't plan on customizing -you get what you get pretty much. The furniture...well...functional I guess maybe Ikea-ish? It's there...which is nice so you can move right in, but you would probably want to replace much of it eventually :-)The destinations they tend to be restoring in are NOT tourist destinations - that doesn't mean they don't make wonderful holiday homes (we love ours!) but, I think some people (at least a few years ago when we were purchasing) went into it thinking they would buy cheap and flip it for a profit or purchase it and hand it over to a management company and rental income would just flow in - that did not happen!! advice would be to look into it if you are looking for an undiscovered spot for yourselves...but I don't think it would be the ideal investment if you are looking to grow your money.

Thank you, Musetta, that's very helpful. They do say on their website that the furniture is a bit basic, and things like wood-burning stoves or other forms of heating are extra. But we just want a little holiday home, we wouldn't want to sell it on at a profit or rent it out, so it would probably be OK for us. It's reassuring to know that the company does exist, and that there are satisfied customers!

Hello Karen, this is my first time posting as not sure of how to navigate the forum yet. Have been enjoying the interesting chat though. I am in the process of buying a very small flat in Abruzzo from Tricali properties. I agree with everything that has been said except to say that I have not taken my own advice and have thrown caution to the wind for once in my life. I just wanted a wee cheap holiday home that I could afford. If you have been on the website you will know that there is loads of info. This company wants to regenerate villages  with holiday home owners who will adhere to there sustainable tourism principles. If anybody is wanting to make a quick buck renting or a dead sure investment then they should not go down this route. You can read my testimonial on the website. I went to Abruzzo with my eyes shut and fell in love with it as soon as I hit the motorway.

Thank you Moruzzo- it is reassuring to know that there are people out there who have bought from Tricali successfully. How many properties did you look out before deciding on the one for you? And is there any pressure to buy from the Tricali people? I'm very interested in your experience. Any before and after pictures?

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In reply to by alan h

Thanks for that Alan. I had been trying to find out via the Private Messaging instructions but could not find it. I am quite thick when it comes to stuff like this.   Thanks again for your help.   ,

Karen, I have been to Irsinia and found it charming but I like remote, off the beaten path places in the south. If you have never been to this area of Italy I would recommend you visit first as it is not like Central or Northern Italy. You will need your own transportation to get to most places and your nearest airport will be Bari. This company has bought up a bunch of the centro storico that was abandonded by the locals and are making this offer. It is positive that it helps to restore a neglcted part of town but also be aware there will be others close to you in your same situation - expats and not locals.

Well, we went ahead and bought a disused wine vault in this small hilltop village through Tricali. There was a false start when we went out to sign the contract and found there was a legal hitch, but this was resolved and the contract was signed three months later by proxy. Restoration is now under way: utilities have been installed and the plastering is almost complete. The property is just one large vaulted room, and it needs a window put in at the back and a loft-type platform - a soppalco- built to give additional flooor space. So fingers crossed, it should be ready at the end of May!