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.

Italy's country estates

Italy has a countless number of country estates that have been left to crumble, but taking on a major restoration project is not for the faint-hearted

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

Living the Italian dream

A shared vision restores the Reschio estate in Umbria into an idyllic and exclusive second home retreat for the wealthy

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

Buying in Italy - Factsheet

From dramatic coastal resorts to iconic cities with fine regional cooking and classy designer goods in the mix, the Italian lifestyle is very alluring. Less alluring are the stories of the country’s torturous bureaucracy. Forewarned is forearmed so here’s what you need to know before you head off for la dolce vita