Tuscany's best kept-secret: the Maremma coast

The Maremma, just over an hour from Pisa and 90 minutes north of Rome, is already loved by Italian holidaymakers - and now British second-home buyers are discovering this rugged coastline.

City of style: Milan

World focus is on Milan for Expo 2015 and there are flats in the Italian fashion mecca from £251,000.

Nice and easy: year-round holiday homes with sea views

The French city of Nice has long held a special place in British hearts. A favourite holiday spot since the 18th century, by the turn of the 20th century it was so loved by Queen Victoria and her aristocracy that the coastal boulevard, planted with mimosa and palm trees, was named the Promenade des Anglais.

Take in the vistas in Umbria

Rebuilding an ancient Umbrian village with a dramatic natural setting became a passion for two Rome architects with a soft spot for the British, while in Promano, an Englishman is breathing life into an ancient farm on the River Tevere

Seeing the light

To convert a rundown one-bedroom flat into a modern town house took some creative thinking

La dolce vita - Buying in Italy

A long, thin, mountainous peninsula complete with glorious sandy beaches, Alpine ski resorts and awe-inspiring cities, Italy is a country of enormous geographical contrasts