The Italian city of love
Enjoy a lock-up-and-leave flat in breathtaking Florence. You’ll have no trouble letting it, says Cathy Hawker
FLORENCE is a city of five-star beauty. There’s intense Italian style in its narrow streets and austere stone buildings, from the aromatic 600-year-old Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella perfumery to the food shops piled high with Parmesan cheese and olive oil, to the perfect displays of Renaissance art and architecture.
Visitors come not only to see the work of Michelangelo, Donatello, Brunelleschi and Botticelli, but also to indulge their own creative passions, says Amy Redfern of Knight Frank. “Florence is a great place to do a painting, cookery or writing course, learn a language or study a craft,” she says. “The world-famous Florentine School of Leather has leather making, language and culture courses in its ancient courtyard behind the Basilica di Santa Croce for six months or a year.
“It’s a walkable city with scores of restaurants and you can live there at a relatively low cost. It has its own international airport, easy access to Tuscan countryside, skiing within two hours, or the fabulous Ligurian coast within 90 minutes.”
Florence also offers a long and reliable rental season. “The market for lock-and-leave to fourbedroom apartments in the centre of Florence is fairly strong, a reflection perhaps of the popularity of Airbnb-style rentals,” adds Redfern. “Owners can use their apartments for a month themselves and still get a good rental return.”
WHERE TO BUY
Brunelleschi, the architect of the Duomo, has been divided into 18 apartments. A one-bedroom home here of 645sq ft is for sale priced £490,000 and a two-bedroom loft on the fourth floor, with lift, is £2 million, both through Knight Frank.
“Finding homes finished to the best international standard is not always easy and they tend to sell quickly when they come to the market,” says Knight Frank’s Amy Redfern. “In general British buyers do not want the hassle of doing renovations themselves — although our Tuscany team do help with many mainly larger villas on the outskirts of Florence.”
Knight Frank: knightfrank.com Gate-away: gate-away.com Casa Travella: casatravella.com