For many, the dream of owning property in Italy — especially in the Tuscan countryside — is too powerful to resist. Yet countless barriers often make this dream seem like a mirage.
“We know of someone who bought an estate in Todi,” says Bret Robins. “He had purchased a beautiful property, then spent four years trying to permit and entitle the property. At the end of the day, he hadn’t even finished the villa before he put it back on the market. It became a full-time job that he just didn’t want.”
And as writer Nicholas Farrell soberly put it when sharing his personal experience in a column for The Telegraph UK, “you have to be patient otherwise you will go insane.” Farrell’s efforts to buy a five-bedroom home near Ravenna were meticulously chronicled in a separate article, in which he details the previous 15 months of agonizing back-and-forth with the seller, the surveyor, and the local authorities, all because of a centuries-old barn without modern-day documentation. Ultimately, he was presented with three choices: tear down the beautiful building, back out of the transaction, or keep pursuing legal action.
But, as he points out, “the average time the courts take to resolve a civil action in Italy is 2,000 days — seven years — according to figures just out.”