Real Estate Opportunities in the World’s Most Romantic City

Venice in Italy is one of the world’s most enchanting cities thanks to the almost fairytale allure of landmarks such as St Mark’s Basilica and Square, the Palazzo Ducale, the Grand Canal and the Bridge of Sighs.

This is understandably one of the most desirable places in which to own a property in Italy. Yet with prices of apartments in St Mark’s Square, for instance, routinely changing hands for US$9.75million, many investors have shied away from buying real estate in Venice. As have many locals, in truth, and since the 1950s the city’s population has shrunk by two-thirds to its present 60,000.

Yet there are highly affordable and profitable investment opportunities to be snapped up here – if you look in the right parts of the city. One such area is Dorsoduro, one of Venice’s six sestieri (districts) and a short vaporetto boat ride from St Mark’s Square. Here, just US$360,000 can buy a small, well-appointed apartment. Dorsoduro lacks nothing in upmarket chic as it is home to the Accademia art gallery, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and a recently opened Punta della Dogana Museum, a major collection of contemporary art on the site of an old 17th century customs house.

Yet it is also a lively, vibrant area – the Ca’ Foscari University is here – and after dark Dorsoduro’s bars and cafés form the centre of Venice’s nightlife. To get more bang for your investment buck, head for the even more affordable Castello, Venice’s largest district, which lies just to the east of St Mark’s Square but is slightly off the well-trodden tourist trail. Here, expect to pay around US$415,000 for a two-bedroom apartment of around 75-80sq m.

The rental yield of property in Venice remains huge. Some 20 million visitors a year beat a path to the city, for its historic architectural splendour as well as popular events such as the carnival in February/March; the Biennale arts festival in summer and autumn; and the Venice Film Festival in August/September. It means there is demand for rental properties almost all year round. In high season, a one-bedroom apartment can fetch from US$1,700 a week, a two-bedroom property around US$2,600 and the most prestigious properties US$8,000-plus.

Alternatively, look farther afield to the outlying isles among the 118 that make up the Venetian archipelago. In Burano, six miles outside the city centre, US$625,000 can secure a house rather than just an apartment. The nearby islands of Tellestrina Chioggia and Torcello are also worth a look. Bear in mind that rental yield will fall the further away from the centre of Venice in which you are.

Another popular option is to look beyond Venice and to the historic towns and cities within the Veneto region, some 45 minutes away by train. They include Verona, one of Veneto’s principal tourist and cultural destinations; Vicenza, a Unesco World Heritage Site; Padova, a lively, attractive and historic university city; and Treviso, renowned for its wine and cuisine. In Treviso and Vicenza, expect to pay around US$350,000 for a two-bedroom town centre apartment.

Padova is possibly the priciest of these towns and an 80sq m two-bedroom apartment will frequently come with a price tag of around US$550,000. Obviously the price falls considerably if you are prepared to take on a restoration project. Explore the surrounding countryside, where in places such as the spa resort of Abano Terme US$350,000 can stretch to a spacious three-bedroom home.


Adriana Giglioli works for Homes and Villas, which showcases 2,500 properties for sale in Italy. Her specialist area is property in Calabria.

220 thoughts on “Real Estate Opportunities in the World’s Most Romantic City”

  1. Venice would be an awesome place to own Real Estate! Or, if you love the romance and atmosphere Italy has to offer, why not create a theme in your own home after Venice!

  2. Italy is about to join some of the other nations across Europe in needing money from the EU in order to avoid going bankrupt. Probably not the best time to be looking into buying real estate there. I would recommend waiting another 1-2 years.

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  5. Being a real estate investor and having purchased in several different States in the U.S. I would love the opportunity and ability to invest in Italy! What an awesome place!

    Dan Koch

  6. The marketing medium you use and the message you accompany with it that hits the right target market turns sellers into motivated sellers. There simply is no generic marketing message and medium that is a �one-size-fits-all� approach in real estate.

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  8. Italy is a lovely country. My father has a beautiful house in Umbria and also rents out apartments within the house. Umbria is typically Italian and is a lot quiter than other regions such as Tuscany but maintains the same rustic beauty. Lovely article

  9. David this is great! As an aside, would love to chat at some point about whether we can help send some visibility to your blog.

    In any event, just wanted to mention a resource we’re building that may be interesting to those who are selling property in Italy and thinking about making the move to Manhattan (something we’ve seen over the past few years repeatedly). We’ve recently launched and are building a site which supplies useful info on New York real estate, such as records and homes for sale ( specifically for individuals and real estate professionals. Perhaps this could be useful to the various international real estate-minded folks reading your story and thinking about New York as a new destination!


  10. It would be very lovely if I have the capacity to invest in a real estate property in Venice, or in any country in Europe. Venice is a good place for tourist so you can always turn your house as a rental property.

    Sugar Land Homes for Sale

  11. A good way to buy is to visit free classified ads at believe that a beautiful place to stay is Abano Terme a beautiful city Near Venice. We here have found a beautiful property but we can not buy
    We visited it and was fascinating!

  12. best way buy is to visit free classified ads at believe that a beautiful place to stay is Abano Terme a beautiful city Near Venice. We here have found a beautiful property but we can not buy
    We visited it and was fascinating!

  13. Hi, I found your post really helpful but I was Searching for Residential and Commercial Property in Noida and i get the information about Buy, Sale and Rent Apartments, Flats and Plots in Noida from Apni Properties and on this property site have such a sufficient information about Real Estate Property in Delhi, NCR, and other metropolitan cities.

  14. hi your information was helpful for me .really its a romantic city. promotes group buying that offers great discounts in Real Estate Deals.Get the best deals and prices on this .

  15. The population of Venice has decreased by two-thirds since the 1950s? That’s incredible. What do you think was the cause of the dramatic change?

  16. Great post! I visited Italy a couple of years ago, and I must say it was one of my favorite trips. Gorgeous place and so much history. The chance to own real estate in the Venice area for pricing like is a pretty good deal really. I was curious about what real estate went for there. Hey, it’s not much different than California prices!

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