Looking for a Tuscan Farmhouse for sale? Here’s something to know

Your dream house in the vineyards with Tuscan terracotta

Welcome on board! Today here on Irecom we are starting a new in-depth column featuring news, small guides and big tips regarding the world of real estate in Italy.

The undying allure of a Tuscan farmhouse for sale 

A rambling stone farmhouse flanked by olive trees and surrounded by rolling hills, with an infinity pool overlooking the sweeping vineyards. Homes with pools for sale in Chianti, and land for sale in Tuscany, Italy in general, are among the most coveted types of property worldwide. Needless to say, much of their desirability is due to Tuscany’s gorgeous landscapes and uniquely rich cultural heritage.

A farm with a view near Florence, Siena or Lucca

The manifold attractions and gorgeous vistas of Florence, Siena, and Lucca, plus the region’s countryside, hills, and coast, have been forever luring travelers from all over the world. Is this why countless Hollywood stars and American, British, and Northern European entrepreneurs choose to invest in a farmhouse for sale? 

Do they, all, simply fall in love with Tuscany and want their own “farm with a view”? 

Why celebrities and tycoons buy Tuscan farmhouses for sale

Yes and no. Truth be told, Tuscany’s idyllic vistas, lifestyle, and cultural legacy are not all that lies behind the decision to purchase, say, a home with a pool for sale in Chianti. From an investor’s viewpoint, buying property in Tuscany is a wise move because the region is bound to continue attracting visitors. So, the first tip is about the property you are going to buy – it can be a not-expensive deal, but please avoid anything that sounds cheap.

Land for sale in Tuscany, Italy is a win-win investment

Purchasing a period Tuscan farmhouse for sale today means reaping the benefits of it tomorrow and for a good many years to come. Due to Tuscany’s distinctive traits, this is true whatever one decides to do with it: use it as a holiday home, rent it out for the same purpose, resell it, or even turn it into a hospitality business, i.e. an agriturismo, the possibility to offer tourists your unique farm stay in Italy.

Wherever it is, it’s money well-spent

Demand for a beautiful property in Tuscany, whether for sale or rent, is not bound to fade, and accommodation facilities are generally fully booked well before peak vacation season commences. Thanks to Tuscany’s unique diversity and richness, this “bonus” applies to all types of properties wherever they are located. Savvy investors are well aware of this, and hence choose the area and asset they like best. 

Renovating a farmhouse in Tuscany can be a wonderful dream come true

Tuscan farmhouses are indeed unique, because each stone wall, portico, terracotta floor, and beamed ceiling hold centuries of heritage and history, and, albeit levelheaded, upscale prospective buyers are not completely immune from their distinctive charm. Finding a period Tuscan farmhouse, a typical casa colonica immersed in the vineyards, for instance, outfitting it with present-day facilities and renovating it tastefully in keeping with the region’s distinctive features, is a dream shared by many foreign investors.

Charmed by those evocative Tuscan terracotta floor tiles

There’s something uniquely soul-pleasing about buying land in Tuscany, Italy, and turning it into a luxurious haven. First and foremost because there’s no end to the marvelous things one can do. Tennis fields surrounded by olive groves and infinity pools offering views of the ancient hamlets nearby. Pergolas dripping with fox grape and Tuscan-style terracotta pots filled with geraniums. Inside, massive stone fireplaces, chiseled walnut furniture, dining rooms, kitchens, and living rooms paved with warm traditional Tuscan terracotta floor tiles. 

Terracotta, a traditional and unique feature of Tuscany

Terracotta, i.e. a particular kind of fired clay, unglazed and rust-brownish-red in color, is one of Tuscany’s flagship products, and an iconic traditional feature that makes the region’s buildings and homes unique. Resilient, and resistant to rain, frost, and sun, terracotta has forever been used to make Tuscany’s “common” rooftops, i.e. those of houses in the city and countryside, and extraordinary ones, like the striking cupola built by Brunelleschi atop Florence’s Duomo. 

From rooftops to Tuscan-style terracotta pots, sculptures, and tiles 

You find terracotta everywhere, in Tuscany, because it’s incredibly versatile. Ideal for rooftops, it’s also perfect for flooring, the famous “cotto”, i.e. traditional Tuscan terracotta floor tiles, vases, and sculptures. Indoors it warms the ambiance and, when left natural, is virtually stain-proof. Outdoors it’s a fabulous container for plants of all kinds, even lemon trees because it is innately porous and hence favors oxygenation. 

Terracotta amphorae for winemaking

Terracotta’s porosity makes it ideal for yet another use: winemaking, specifically amphorae winemaking. Invented in Georgia some 8,000 years ago, amphorae winemaking is today a favorite among forward-thinking vintners. Terracotta, in fact, allows for constant steady oxygenation and, at once, does not impart flavors and aromas to the wine. Hence, experts point out, it’s the “new frontier” because it enhances each vintage and each grape variety’s most genuine characters. 

Antique clay jar standing by the wall of an old house in Italy.

Buy a farmhouse near Florence, Lucca or Siena and start making your signature wine

No type of home in the world is quite as characterful and evocative as a Tuscan farmhouse, and one carefully and stylishly restored using traditional materials, such as terracotta and local stone, can be a veritable oasis of peace and beauty. Plus, a wine-loving buyer can, perhaps, choose to buy land for sale in Tuscany that comprises vineyards and a winery too, and start making amphora-crafted wine! 

As you may know, Tuscany is a region comprising many areas with a high wine vocation. Buying land planted with vines in these zones can be a great bargain, because the grapes produced in DOC, DOCG and IGT areas are more valuable than others. That’s why buying a farm with excellent exposure and already-producing wineries can be an advantage. The areas of Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, and Colli Lucchesi are just a few examples of those suitable areas.

Where to buy authentic Tuscan terracotta

Terracotta is part of the rural landscape here. It is used for tiles, embers, flowerpots, wineskins and pitchers to hold oil and wine, as well as in many decorative elements.

Where does one buy authentic, beautiful Tuscan terracotta? For example in Impruneta, a small, pretty town located south of Florence, in the Florentine Chianti hills. Terracotta production in Impruneta dates back to the 14th century, and this is where Brunelleschi came to get “his” tiles for the Florence Duomo made. 

Impruneta’s historical kilns

The Tuscan terracotta floor tiles, pots, vases, etc. produced in Impruneta are famous worldwide for their color, durability, and beauty. These features are given by the quality of the clay, which comes from the local quarries, and the skill of the artisans who create the finished product. Impruneta’s fornaci storiche, i.e. historical kilns, are the best places to buy superb quality Tuscan terracotta. 

These are: 

But there’s more to Tuscan craftsmanship than terracotta, and that is what makes renovating an ancient villa or farmhouse in Tuscany so exciting. 

Tuscany is a haven of top-quality craftsmanship

Alongside gorgeous terracotta, Tuscany’s cities, hills, and villages are a treasure trove of fine, manicured, original, handmade fabrics, stonework, furniture, and appliances of all kinds. Lisa Corti’s exquisite designer fabrics and textiles, Gullo’s deluxe handcrafted kitchens, and the wooden furniture by Leonardo Design, just to mention a few. One can easily decide to buy a home with a pool for sale in Chianti and renovate it using lovely locally-produced materials and furniture only!

Buying real estate in Tuscany in 2022-2023 is a smart investment 

Aside from Tuscany’s unending lure to tourists, there are other “practical” and business-focused reasons that make buying property in Tuscany a smart choice. Firstly, current prices: as journalist Sophie Perry recounts in the Oxford Mail, as of August 2022 buying a farmhouse in Tuscany was more cost-effective than buying a mid-sized, not particularly lovely, flat in Oxford. Now that’s food for thought. 

Buy a Tuscan farmhouse for sale and reap the benefits of tax exemptions 

Also, standing Italian fiscal law “facilitates” foreign buyers in several ways. First and foremost, current regulations maintain that non-resident buyers who buy property in Italy and then sell it within 5 years of its purchase are not subject to capital gains tax. Secondly, those who buy a home and choose to elect it as their primary residence (“prima casa”, i.e. “first home”) are not subject to property tax. 

Where to buy property in Tuscany, Italy

As mentioned above, the whole of Tuscany offers a myriad of natural and cultural attractions, so where to buy largely depends on what a buyer’s needs and expectations are. This said, there are areas that, real estate agents and financial analysts say, are particularly interesting from an investor’s point of view. These are:

  • Florence
  • Chianti
  • Lucca
  • Costa degli Etruschi and Campiglia Marittima
  • Isola d’Elba
  • Versilia

Florence 

Mid-sized, vibrant, brimming with world-class art, and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Florence offers all a citizen of the world may need and want, from culture to dining to fashion, plus countless opportunities as regards real estate. Options range from apartments, flats, studios, and palaces in the city center, to Renaissance villas and farmhouses in the near surroundings. And, houses in Florence are definitely cost-effective compared to those located in other major European cities. 

Chianti 

Homes with pools for sale in Chianti will never go out of style. This area’s manicured fields, quaint towns, dreamy landscapes, and world-celebrated vineyards make it one of the most coveted places in the world, and a heavenly destination for all those who wish to purchase a Tuscan farmhouse for sale.

Lucca 

Lucca is a true Tuscan jewel. Its exquisite historical center, majestic 15th-century walls, cobblestone streets, and soul-pleasing lifestyle make it a welcome oasis for many who choose to relocate. The general trend towards a more sustainable way of life shows in the real estate data: demand, and prices, for property in Lucca and its surroundings have been rising as steadily as those for houses on the banks of Lake Como!  

Costa degli Etruschi and Campiglia Marittima 

A pristine, largely unspoiled natural environment, golden beaches, pretty ancient villages,  archeological sites, and, last but by no means least, the vineyards and cellars where the famed Supertuscans come to be. The Costa degli Etruschi, with its pretty towns, offers great real estate opportunities both on the coast and inland. Campiglia, in the Val di Cornia hills, for instance, is a charming township well worth a visit and, possibly, an investment.

Isola d’Elba 

Elba Island is a favorite worldwide, In fact, Northern Europeans and Britons have long been traveling over for their holidays, and ending up buying a charming seafront home in Marina di Campo, a secluded mountain-side retreat near Marciana, or a luxury property in Capoliveri. The island’s blue waters, grottoes, and sheltered pebble beaches are a sea lover’s paradise, hence it is a perfect destination to buy if one envisions setting up a hospitality business. 

Versilia

8 municipalities – namely Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza, Stazzema, Camaiore, Massarosa, and Viareggio – plus a plethora of well-groomed sandy beaches, charming restaurants, artistic attractions, shiny boutiques, and much more. There’s no end to Versilia’s charm, diversity, and allure. Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, and Pietrasanta are among the most popular destinations, but Camaiore’s characterful appeal and the beautiful vistas of Serravezza, Stazzema, and Massarosa are no less attractive. These inland towns, still off the beaten track, may very well be the perfect destination to find one’s ideal Tuscan farmhouse for sale. 

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