Do you want to stake a claim in Tuscany's 'last frontier'?

Investment opportunities on the southern coast of the famous region are opening up

The postcard-perfect views of Tuscany are an easy sell to British buyers, and with confidence returning people are once again ready to pursue the good life. Tuscan homeowners are confident they are buying into a stable market – the region has held up well during Italy’s economic woes – but superstar status can have its downside. Inflated prices and cash-rich buyers from Eastern Europe and beyond have already scared off some people. But if you’re looking to invest in an up and coming area, the Maremma coast in the south is being touted as Tuscany’s ‘last frontier’.

Southern Tuscany is often overlooked by British travellers but Maremma has a lot to offer visitors, with its unspoilt beauty, archaeological sites and medieval mountain-top villages, all with the added bonus of a beautiful 250-kilometre coastline. And a new development at the state-of-the-art Marina di Scarlino is primed to take advantage of this unique notion of “Tuscany on Sea”.

“The British have always had a long love affair with Tuscany,” says Elisa Biglia of estate agency Chesterton Humberts, which is selling the apartments. “An increasing interest is being shown in coastal properties and the Maremma region is fast becoming the new fashionable part of Tuscany. In the past six months the majority of our sales have been coastal properties and in particular Argentario, Roccamare and Marina di Scarlino.”

Marina di Scarlino offers the best of both land and sea, overlooking the islands of Elba and Montecristo and a breathtaking 9,000-hectare nature reserve with sandy bays. The 39 contemporary apartments are the vision of Leonardo Ferragamo, son of the world-renowned cobbler Salvatore Ferragamo and president of the Lungarno Collection of hotels. The feel is modern sophistication rather than high-end luxury – you won’t find Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, but there is a very smart Puro Beach Club, quirky boutiques, a vintage shop and a contemporary art gallery.

The living areas of the fully equipped suites range from 48 square metres to 123 square metres, which excludes generous terraces with sea views. All of the apartments are sold on a 75-year lease and prices start from €350,000 (£290,000) for a one-bedroom (including fixed and terrace furniture) peaking at €890,000 for a two-bedroom, with VAT to pay on top. If you want internal furniture and furnishings, you pay an extra €12,000 to €29,000. A total of 13 suites at the marina have already been sold to British and Italian buyers and there are plans for more homes in future, probably villas, this time on a freehold basis.

You don’t have to let your apartment, but Puro Suites Toscana will manage lettings if you want to recoup some of your money. The resort is open all year, and this summer was a busy one for the marina with 80 to 90 per cent of the suites occupied. Rental starts from €1,200 a week for one-bedroom suites in low season (October to March) rising to €2,700 for two-bedroom suites in high season and you pay 20 per cent to the management company.

Boat-lovers are well catered for, of course; the marina supports 950 berths up to 36 metres and there are the seven islands in the Tuscan archipelago to explore, or you can venture to Corsica and Sardinia.

There is a spa on site and various sports to keep you busy, including golf, horse-riding and mountain-biking. Wine tasting at the nearby Antinori vineyard Le Mortelle – an impressive €11m winery cleverly concealed into the hill – is also a must. Pisa airport is little over an hour away while Florence is closer to two hour’s drive and Rome about two and a half hours away.

Only 20 minutes from Marina Di Scarlino, Savills International is selling ten new exclusive villas built by Borgo Santa Chiara.

These are set around a central courtyard with olive and pine trees, a 20-metre swimming pool, communal gardens and views of the surrounding 18-hole golf course. Each house has three bedrooms, its own courtyard-facing garden, shaded seating and two parking spaces. They range from 135 to 160 square metres and prices start from €680,000 with concierge services available.

Prices in the whole of Tuscany vary widely but generally the market saw falls of about 15 to 20 per cent after 2007, although prime properties in established areas have held their value.

Agents are predicting that prices will start rising again at the end of 2014 so it could be a great time to buy, whether you are sticking to popular areas such as Lucca, Chianti and Val d’Orcia, or considering lesser-known areas such as Arezzo, Cortona and Maremma.

Wherever you decide to buy your Italian home, you will need to factor in taxes and fees.

Homes that are bought as a primary residence incur lower rates but purchase taxes in Italy are about 10 per cent for second homes (although this is based on the land registry value, which may be half or even a third of the purchase price). You pay up to 4 per cent VAT on new builds, but this can rise to 20 per cent for luxury properties depending on whether you buy from an individual or a company and whether you intend to be a tax resident.

“Exchange rates should be a major consideration of any British buyers in the eurozone at the moment – in 2013 alone, the rate has yo-yoed from €1.23 to the pound in January down to €1.14 and is now edging back towards €1.20, making it more favourable for UK buyers again,” says Richard Way, editor of Overseasguidescompany.com, who recommends using a currency exchange firm to fix a rate as soon as you commit to an Italian property.

Managing a long-distance investment can result in a host of new problems so appoint a local legal adviser to act on your behalf.

Marina di Scarlino is currently on the market with Chesterton Humberts.  Contact details: www.chestertonhumberts.com / Tel: +44 (0) 203 040 8210

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

    £300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

    Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

    £500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

    Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

    £200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

    Day In a Page

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup