The best recent advert for the bella vita is surely actor Stanley Tucci sampling regional cuisines in CNN’s Searching for Italy exclaiming ‘oh my god’ at least four times an episode as he swoons over risotto Milanese or Sicilian pasta alla Norma.
It's these sun-soaked visions of a foodie paradise that persuade scores of Northern Europeans and Americans to buy a home there. Around 30,000 Britons have moved there – mostly to Lombardy, Lazio or Tuscany – but a raft of incentives is helping draw many buyers to southern Italy, where rural properties are more affordable.
Villa Castagnoli, in Gaiole, Chianti (€1,890,000, Savills)
During 2021, the most popular regions in Italy for searches during 2021 were Tuscany, Sicily, Abruzzo and Puglia (Apulia), according to the property website Rightmove, whilst the most searched-for regions for the largest Italian property portal, gate-away.