Puglia, Southern Italy’s shining star and the second most researched region (after Tuscany) by overseas buyers when looking at real estate. So what makes Puglia so special and in such high demand?
Could it be the stunning coastline which connects the Adriatic Coast with the Ionian Sea; hundreds of kilometres of crystal clear warm turquoise waters, the iconic trulli houses, the historical sea side towns with charming city centres, the Baroque style architecture and did I mention award winning wines and delectable gastronomy?
Sound convincing enough? I think so!
I have been living on and off in Puglia for the past few years; my journey to this beautiful region started off in Monopoli. I was immediately enchanted by this beautiful coastal town for various reasons. The historical centre is a labyrinth of little alleyways and nooks, bustling with a variety of local restaurants, bars, coffee shops and boutiques.
So what is the price of living in such a beautiful place? Not as much as you may think! Independent terraced properties in the historical centre, some with roof terraces offering uninterrupted sea views can start from €150,000 (to be restored).
For those of you who wish to live on the outskirts of the city, villas and trulli in the countryside of Monopoli start from around €180,000.
Monopoli is a hugely popular tourist town, so many properties for sale have been designated in mind for the overseas investor looking to rent the property out a Holiday Rental and generate a seasonal passive income.
Long term rentals in Monopoli are extremely difficult to come by. Due to the demand of holiday rentals, many landlords have opted against having long term tenants in favour of renting out their properties only in the summer months at a much higher rental premium.
However, if you are lucky, you can find a 1-2 bedroom apartment in the city centre from around €600 per month.
The cost of dining out in Monopoli is relatively inexpensive. An aperitif in a local trendy bar can cost from €3 onwards and is usually accompanied by local produce such as “taralli” and olives, for which Puglia is famous for!
Dining out in a local pizzeria for two could set you back approximately €20 and there is also some higher end restaurants which specialise in local seafood which has a more expensive price tag.
Fruit and vegetables at the local markets are incredibly reasonable and every Tuesday there is a street market where you can buy a wide range of household items, clothing and local produce at excellent low cost prices.
So what about some of the other towns in Puglia?
Let us take a look at Ostuni, otherwise known as The White City. Ostuni is incredibly popular as a summer tourist destination, it is pretty quiet during the winter months. Ostuni is perched up high on the hill overlooking the coast, which is approximately 6km away.
One bedroom apartments located in the historical centre which need restoration start from as low as €30,000 and can range up to €99,000 for a one bedroom restored apartment with roof terrace and sea view.
Countryside villas and trulli can range in prices starting from around €50,000 right up to the grand masseria (farmhouses) which go for well over €1,000,000.
For those of you who don’t mind getting your hands dirty with a renovation project there are plenty of opportunities to be had!
Ostuni is also another tricky spot to find a long term rental due to the popularity of Holiday Rentals in the summer months, however a 2 bedroom rental property can set you back around €500-€600 per month.
If we take a visit further into Valle d’Itria, away from the coast, you will come across a town called Martina Franca, which is where I live. Martina Franca is a beautiful town with Baroque style architecture and an incredibly charming historical centre.
Property prices here are cheaper in comparison to Monopoli due to the fact you are at least a 30-minute drive to the coast. One bedroom apartments in the historical centre start from around €30,000 (to be restored) and villas and trulli in the countryside also start from around the same price (also to be restored).
Rents in Martina Franca are also cheaper and one can find a 2 bedroom spacious apartment for around €500 per month.
Martina Franca is well known for its agricultural produce with meat being a popular choice. The city is full of butchers (macelleria) offering fine local meats all at extremely inexpensive prices.
Local cantinas sell excellent wines for as little as €2 a litre.
Puglia is famous for its olive oil, which has such a smooth texture and delicious taste, you could literally pour it over everything (and I do!). There are many olive oil distributors in the region where you can purchase a 5 litre barrel of oil for as little as €20.
If you are looking to move to Puglia, a car is definitely advisable as the transport links are rather non-existent, especially if you are living in a rural area.
The one thing I love about my experience in Puglia is the community feel. The locals are welcoming and warm and always happy to help.
It’s the Mediterranean lifestyle at its finest!