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From the first time I laid eyes on Venice in 2006, I was in love. The food, the wine, the history, the breathtaking views every way you look.

For years we returned, staying mostly in apartment rentals with our family of four. We dreamed of owning a property in Italy, but never thought it could actually happen.  After watching House Hunters International way too many times, we began our internet search of properties with NO knowledge of what to do or how to do it.  We’d read that properties were less expensive south of Tuscany.  We traveled to Italy in 2015 and rented a car to see if we could find our “happy ever after”.  As usual, our trip began and ended in Venice. While there are many lovely places south of Venice…we realized it is just not the same. Like a magnet, Venice continued to draw us back.

Another episode of House Hunters International led us to Guardia Sanfromondi. We even planned a trip there! We bought and studied every book about buying property in Italy we could find.  (There are a few but they don’t really replicate the process).  A few weeks before our planned adventure the earthquake happened in central Italy, making our travel to that area near impossible.  What to do? It’s a horrible situation for the people in that area. We have tickets to Italy for our family of four, but realize that “tourism” is the last thing the people there need at this time.  

So, we decide to train it from Rome to Venice (remember it draws us like a magnet). Luckily, I found Andrea’s website and made an inquiry to him about property in Venice. We can “just look”. His response was quick and in very good English. He alerted us to the fact that properties in Venice are very expensive. But remember, we’re “just looking”.  That trip we “looked” but didn’t find what we were looking for. After reading several of the reviews here on, I knew that some people looked for years.  And, we weren’t in a hurry…but…

After we returned home, I spent time every day on websites looking at properties. Andrea sent me others and even went by to take pictures for me.  In one case, a property that looked perfect online took over 6 months to gain entry to. Despite my “American impatience” with the other agent, Andrea patiently and diligently worked on him until he got us a visit.  Pictures of the inside of properties do NOT tell everything. Although this was in a beautiful location, the inside of the property was a mess.  We were all disappointed, but the search continued.

Our budget and desire to be in a tranquil location near to convenient services led us to Castello.

You think you know how a property purchase should go, given you’re an adult and you’ve bought a few properties. But, in Italy, it’s a whole different story. The negotiation comes with nice flowery words, and doesn’t move quickly. Unlike purchases in the United States, the personal relationships are extremely important. Fortunately for us, Andrea introduced us to an Italian lawyer who speaks great English. Max was the negotiator and legal voice for us during the process.  Thank goodness, because my straightforward and impatient American demeanor would have had us kicked out of the country!

The first property we made an offer on was to include many renovations. This would have been a property that I would never have looked at. However, Andrea’s keen eye knew the property would be a good one.  After seeing it, we could envision what it would be like. However the cost of renovation was an unknown.  Andrea spent hours – even providing an architect – to help us get reasonable cost estimates for the renovations. After finally settling on the property, even standing outside the windows for hours to see what the setting was like, we made an offer.  However, the negotiation process came to a screeching halt when the seller wanted us to make the down payment, and allow them to stay in the property for 6 months longer! 

Exasperated, we moved on to another property.

In hindsight, we felt relief because the alternate property was a better layout for our family.  It appeared, the “all-in” costs including refurbish and furnishings would be far less and we could actually be up and running quicker!

Max, the ultimate lawyer and negotiator, took our offer to the seller. Within a few days we had a deal and were handed over to the Italian mortgage broker.

Compared to the US everything takes time. Lots of it.  Did I mention that already?

Thanks to digital file transfers, we were able to get cleared several weeks later to finalize the purchase of our Italian property. But that’s not where the story ends…

It felt like an eternity, but four months after that “just looking” trip, I went back to close on our Venice property.  You must have an Italian tax code and bank account for any of this to happen.  Plus, my husband was unable to come, so I would need a Power of Attorney. Max organized all of this for us.

I set out with a trusted friend for a two-week trip to Italy.  We would close on the property, put new furniture in and enjoy!  (Silly ladies…we even booked some tours for sightseeing). Upon arrival, we discovered other items in the property that needed attention. Andrea quickly arranged for the painter to get the walls back in shape. As preordered furniture and appliances started to arrive, we were excited that we might get this apartment turned around in 2 weeks!  As usual, the timing was not exactly perfect, but we could do it! 

Unfortunately, we had to get the old couch out before we could get the new couch in. In the US, you can donate the couch and get it hauled off pretty quickly. Not the case in Venice. You must store the couch until you schedule a pick up from the trash company. The storage room door is only 2 feet wide. The couch is 3 feet wide.  We considered throwing it in the canal. But, getting arrested in Venice might not be a good idea. After much thought, my friend convinced the painter to bring a chainsaw, and the handyman to cut the couch into pieces so that we could store it to wait for the pickup 2 weeks later. Whew! We thought we were so close to getting the apartment ready!

But then, we discovered the underside of the kitchen counter tops were rotten.  There is no Home Depot in Venice. I have only 7 days left in Italy.  My husband is not here to help me. Every call indicated the only way to fix it was to redo the entire kitchen.  Panic set in.

Andrea to the rescue again!  He convinced me to calm down and wait for the carpenter. He tells me the carpenter can make new butcher-block countertops in a couple of weeks time.  Who likes Formica anyway? It won’t be done by the time I leave, so I will have to rely on Andrea’s help to get this accomplished.  Where else can you get a realtor who helps you after the sale?

Before we left, I was able to spend three glorious nights in the property. Peacefully sleeping in my little quiet haven was a dream come true. The Via Garibaldi, with everything you could possible need (except counter tops), has become my favorite street. The street includes the best sandwich shop, restaurants, butcher, coffee shops, gift shops, and even a wine shop where you can get a liter bottle of wine for 4 Euros!  Plus, we are only a 10-minute walk to Saint Mark’s Square.

Talk about dreams of Venice…This is it.  Better than I ever expected. And certainly something I could have never done with just a book. You need people who can help you navigate the nuances of Italy that you will just never understand.

A few months later we fully remodeled the bathrooms. Again, with Andrea’s help and keen eye to detail, the bathrooms are beautiful and modern.

Our little dream is available for you to share. Sogni del Canale is available for rent at  If you’re looking for a quiet haven to enjoy the peace and tranquility Venice has to offer, but yet be close to the major sights, this is it.

This dream would not have been possible without Andrea's help.  If you’ve got a dream, get started! You never know until you “just look”…

Patti - March 2019

Bathroom before

Bathroom after

Bathroom before

Bathroom after

Bathroom before

Bathroom after



I highly recommend Andrea Zaglia as a real estate agent/broker. Andrea was referred to me by a friend who was also going through a process of buying an apartment in Venice. In December of 2017 we viewed 16 apartments and I chose the one which was in the process of total remodeling. Just bare unpainted walls. With Andrea’s help I established a reasonable rapport with the seller and I specified quite a few of my preferences such as colors, tile, parquet, location of electrical outlets. Later on Andrea got me in touch with Simone Squarcina, who has an excellent cabinetmaker business. From my home in California I could specify and agree on  the kitchen design and I am very happy with the results.

The purchase of an apartment in Italy involves dealing with many entities: a lawyer who writes the proposal, a notary, a mortgage broker, and later on all the utilities, i.e. electricity, water, internet, telephone. Italy is choked with bureaucracy, the Italians are not keen on promptly returning the phone calls and any task can take 4 times the time and effort as compared to US.

Andrea received his MBA from the University of Clemson in South Carolina, he speaks perfect English and is always prompt. He made sure all of my requirements for the remodeling were listed in the contract and were fulfilled. He was invaluable in communicating with all the entities listed above, extracting the necessary responses. Andrea put me in touch with his other American client which helped me to comprehend various issues from the buyer point of view.

I concluded my purchase in June of 2018, I am happy with the result. I see Andrea every time when I am in Venice. He still helps me to deal with other issues such as taxes and resolving utility problems. Home ownership is a process and it is very important to have a local advice and help the need for which does not cease.

Zachary Deretsky - January 2019
San Pantalon Canal view



The jewels of any properties in Venice. The whole reason of moving from our beautiful flat in Misericordia to Miracoli was our search for private exterior space. Thanks to Andrea and his team, he made our dream come true. The space is simply fabulous and large enough for a dining area, exterior kitchen with running hot water, and relaxing area with two large rotating pods.
Andrea, personally selected and planted all the flowers , wisteria, jasmine, rosemary and mint. He has done a fabulous composition and organised for the daily , on timer irrigation. Andrew and I are so pleased with the final result and it is now becoming very hard to leave the apartment. So comfortable with plenty of space inside out, fabulous views of Miracoli and the roof lines of Venice . We are now enjoying Venice in our own privacy and do no longer need to got to expensive restaurant to enjoy outside eating experience. What a beautiful way to live in Venice. Andrea you are a Star!

Pascale Reymond and Andrew Langton – May 2018


Following our very happy and successful experience of purchasing and refurbishing our apartment opposite Misericordia a few years ago, Andrew and I were ready for a new challenge.

We simply love our little apartment and spent more time than expected there. Beautiful refurbished by Andrea and his team. The only thing missing was exterior space. With the help of Andrea and Max our Italian lawyer we managed to find this incredible apartment opposite the beautiful church of Miracoli with a huge Altana ! The only problem this flat was that it had been empty over 9 years . The interior needed extreme updating and restoration and the building needed a new roof. Scary ?

With Andrea, Max and their architects, builders and interior builders on board, we were ready to do it again in full confidence of success . Max helped us with getting the best price for the apartment and also managed to convince all the owners of the building to contribute to a superb new roof. Andrea has been brilliant getting the quotations and the working team together and did an absolute fantastic project management.

A year later, our beautiful Miracoli apartment came to life and the pictures speak for themselves . Thank you so much Andrea and your team

Pascale Reymond and Andrew Langton – November 2017


Bali Room before and after

Bali Room before and after

Bathroom before and after

Bathroom before and after

Corridor before and after

Corridor before and after





Dining Room after

Dining Room after

Entrance before and after

Guest room before and after

Kitchen before and after

Kitchen after

Loft room before and after

Lounge after

Lounge after

Master bedroom after

Snug Room before and after

Top floor bathroom before and after




Meine Venedig Leidenschaft begann bereits als Kind.  Die kunstbegeisterten Eltern reisten mit uns zu jeder Biennale. Danach kam ich mehrmals im Jahr und mietete immer Apartments in verschiedenen Sestiere.
Als zufällig einer dieser Vermieter den Verkauf seiner Wohnung ankündigte war ich überrascht über den, im Vergleich zu München, reellen Preis. So entstand die Idee sich einfach mal weiter umzuschauen…
Ich mailte unzählige Makler an, bekam unprofessionelles oder meist gar kein Feedback. Bis ich zufällig auf die Website von „Properties in Italy“ stieß. Noch am gleichen Tag erhielt ich eine sinnvolle erste Abfrage meiner Präferenzen.
Ein wichtiger, praktischer Unterschied zu Deutschland: ich konnte Andrea Redivo alle Objekte von anderen Portalen und Maklern mailen. Er stimmte sich mit den Kollegen ab bzw. mailte mir zusätzlich unzählige passende Vorschläge. Nach ein paar Wochen hatten wir einen prall gefüllten ersten Besichtigungstag in Venedig.
 Mein erster Eindruck bestätigt sich bis heute: So viel ehrliche Seriosität, unermessliche Fachkenntnis und unkompliziertes Engagement habe ich noch nie erlebt! 
Als nach einiger Zeit mein Traum-Objekt gefunden war, kam der Anwalt Massimiliano de Benetti mit ins Team. Er führte die Preisverhandlungen souverän, überließ rechtlich kein noch so kleines Detail dem Zufall. Meine „Akte“ wurde immer dicker, trotzdem blieb es beim vorab fest vereinbarten Honorar. Ohne diese „Doppelspitze“ scheint es mir nach meinen Erfahrungen unmöglich (oder zumindest höchst riskant) in Italien eine Immobilie zu erwerben.
Der Umbau verlief trotz der Entfernung in höchst professioneller Abstimmung ganz nach meinen Wünschen. Ich habe im Baubereich keinerlei Fachkenntnisse, da war Andreas Seriosität bei der Firmenauswahl ein Segen für mich. Alle beteiligten Firmen waren äußerst zuverlässige Voll-Profis …. und blieben auf den Cent genau bei Ihren Kostenvoranschlägen!
Ich fühlte mich so exklusiv betreut, als sei ich der Einzige und Wichtigste Kunde,

Tausend Dank an Andrea!!!

My Venice passion began as a child. My art-loving parents traveled with us to every Biennale. Then I came several times a year and always rented apartments in different 'sestieri'.
When happened that one of these landlords told me about the sale of his apartment I was surprised about the, compared to Munich, real price. So the idea 'just to look around' arose...
I emailed countless agents, got unprofessional or mostly no feedback at all, until I accidentally came across the website of "Properties in Italy". On the same day I received a sensible first reply to my preferences.
An important, practical difference to Germany: I could mail Andrea all properties from other websites and brokers. He agreed the viewings with the colleagues or emailed me in addition countless suitable suggestions. After a few weeks we had a packed first day of  property viewings in Venice.
My first impression was confirmed on that day: I have never experienced so much honest seriousness, immeasurable professional knowledge and uncomplicated commitment!
When after a while my dream project was found, the lawyer Massimiliano de Benetti joined the team. He led the price negotiation sovereignly, leaving to chance not even a minor detail, legallywise . My "file" was getting thicker, but it still remained with the pre-agreed  budget. Without this "double point" it seemed to me impossible (or at least highly risky) to buy a property in Italy.
Despite the distance, the project was carried out in a highly professional manner, according to my wishes. I have no specialist knowledge in the field of construction, as Andrea's seriousness was a blessing for the selection of the  constructors. All involved companies were extremely reliable and full professional .... and stayed on the penny exactly within the cost estimates!
I felt so exclusive, as if I were the only and most important customer.

Thousand thanks to Andrea !!!

Dagmar Eder, München/Munich – Dezember/December 2016

Für mehr Info und Reservierungen/For more info and bookings :



Bathroom after

Master bedroom after

Second bedroom after

Sitting room after

Courtyard after

Kitchen before

Bathroom before

Master bedroom before

Second bedroom before

Courtyard before

Sitting room before



We have been in love with Venice for years.  It was only in the last four years that we started staying in apartments when visiting Venice.  We always stayed somewhere that had a canal view and enough room for friends to visit.  So putting two and two together, we naturally came to the view that we should own an apartment there and rent it out when not in use.  So began the process of finding an apartment to buy.  We knew nothing.  We met with various agents and were fortunate to find Andrea through his website.  He dedicated a substantial amount of time to our search and showed us many properties over the three years that we’ve been searching. 

Dealing with Venetian real estate agents is fraught!  Andrea negotiated the tricky waters for us in a way that we could never have done.  Being Aussies we are very straight forward but we soon learnt that isn’t the way things are done in Venice! We made various offers which were unsuccessful due to the Venetian way of doing things… but we stuck with it and we finally struck gold just before Christmas 2015. To tell you how much we trust Andrea…. We took his word that it was what we had been looking for and made an offer without seeing it!  The offer was accepted with final settlement at the beginning of February 2016.  The paperwork involved is complex and Massimiliano held our hands through that process with banks and legalities, going out of his way to help wherever he could.

 We arrived in Venice on 10 February 2016 and Andrea and Massimiliano gave us all the contacts we needed to have the place fully renovated by the time we left on 29 February.  Fortunately, there was no structural work but it was a substantial makeover.   Andrea and Massimiliano gave up their own spare time, their employees time too to take us around looking for furniture, light fittings, even linen for the apartment. They made us feel that the success of this venture mattered to them as much as it did to us!  So then we had a beautiful apartment and began the process of advertising on the internet.

In the first six weeks after going live we had 90 days of bookings over the next six months.  This is a testament to the quality of the finish in the apartment, the apartment amenities and its superb location.  Despite all the best laid plans, things do sometimes go awry and when they have Andrea has been totally available to pull strings, contact his tradesmen or apply gentle persuasion when it has been needed. Massimiliano too. 

We could simply not have done any of this without the fantastic support of Andrea and Massimiliano.  As we go forward we know they will both be there in the background if needed and this gives such reassurance.  We cannot recommend them highly enough for anyone wishing to make the journey to owning a property in Venice.  The apartment is named Ca’Fortuna and we feel blessed to have met these lovely gentlemen and to finally achieve a dream. 


Linda and Andrea in Sydney

Max, Linda and Andrea at Ca' Fortuna











Rio di San Stin

Dining Room

Sitting Room

Dining room




We had already purchased a property in Italy before we contacted Properties in Italy to help in our search for a dream holiday home in Venice. Having seen first hand how difficult it can be to buy a property in Italy without proper representation we can honestly say that we found Andrea's advice, support and professionalism to be absolutely invaluable.

Prior to our initial visit to Venice to view properties Andrea ensured he understood the type of property we were looking for, the features we hoped it would contain and our budget. Based upon this knowledge he suggested a number of properties which we were able to view on the Internet before travelling to Italy to ensure he was pitching the right kind of property for our needs.

It was clear on the initial viewing visit that Andrea had done a lot of research on the available properties, had liaised with the local estate agents and set up a logical itinerary so that we were able to visit at least 10 properties per day.

Although we did not see our dream home on our first visit, Andrea was more than happy to arrange a second viewing trip during which we saw the property we have now bought.

Andrea and his network of associates made the purchase and signing processes as simple as possible. He also offers post-purchase services including connecting utilities and phone lines, which again make the process much simpler.

Andrea also suggested a local builder to complete work we wanted to carry out and a property management company to assist with our new rental business - all of these contacts have provided excellent service too.

We are both extremely happy with our new apartment and the successful rental business that we are now running. Without Andrea's assistance we honestly do not believe we would be in this position and would wholeheartedly recommend his services to others.

Michael and Natalie



Michael and Natalie
Michael and Natalie
living and bed




The process of buying and restoring an apartment in Venice is as bizarre, byzantine, gaudy and wonderful as the city itself. If you’ve done this kind of thing before at home, be ready to pick up your carefully collated giant book of know-how and toss it into the canal. You’re going to have to put yourself in the hands of people who actually understand - practically, viscerally, emotionally - what it takes to achieve the impossible: to buy a home in a place that really only ex...ists in the imagination, strip it to its mouldering underpants and rebuild it as the little palace you’d imagined before you knew you were out of your mind. To do this in a fairytale setting that has as much to do with normality as Pittsburgh does with Narnia, whose bureaucracy resembles some attenuated Vivaldi oboe concerto that refuses to stop, where there is no translation of the phrase ‘no problem’, where brick is a word for water, ‘yes’ means ‘possibly’, ‘possibly’ means ‘almost certainly not’ and ’no’ means ‘I don’t want to’.

To me the whole process can be summed up very simply. If you don’t have Andrea and Massimiliano, don’t do it.

But if you do; gird your loins, grit your teeth, hang on to your wallet and jump.

I could go into detail. I could tell you about the apartment owner who signed the deed and dropped dead: the septic tank which didn’t exist, but did, that when opened resembled a passageway to the Orc city of Darrowdelf: the walls that rained. I could tell tales of kitchen shops with two plastic lemon-squeezers and and a piece of string, of a single visit to Ikea requiring five return railway tickets to Padova, of driving a borrowed Fiat Punto round the rings of Satan’s rectum known as Mestre and Marghera. But that would be misleading.

Because despite being utterly bonkers, it’s so worth it.

You’re going to be in possession of an actual piece of Atlantis. You’re going to be in love, transported, amazed every morning, all day; and when you go to bed you’ll dream weird dreams. You’ll be suddenly popular, have phalanxes of friends and quadruple the Instagram followers. You’ll be given the key to the world beyond the yellow signs to San Marco and Rialto. You’ll move among the shadowy race who glide over bridges pulling little shopping carts, frequent supermarkets, hop the vaporetto to Giudecca for free, know how to get to Pellestrina and pronounce Chioggia. You’ll ‘tsk’ at the pink, idle, desultory fools meandering fat and four abreast down narrow passages, stopping every few seconds in thrall to some crap in a mask shop window, pausing at the crest of each bridge gazing back blankly, seeking out their wife and kids, who it turns out are right beside them doing the same thing. Instead of being one.

But you will need Andrea and Massimiliano. There’s no other way.

web:          email:




Last year when I told my friends and family that Andrew and I were planning to purchase a flat in Venice, the responses were " how lovely, extravagant but how complicated and do you realise that Venice is sinking?" My response was very simple, for 4 years my apartment in Garrick Villa near Hampton court was very seriously burnt and in ruining so I am sure we could now cope with the charming risk of Venice! After 4 stressful years we finally managed to renovate and sale my Hampton Court property on the 12 of December 2012, And was on the search for my next challenge.

We completed the purchase of my lovely Venetian apartment on Friday the 13 of September 2013, had it refurbished and moved in 3 months later on Friday the 13 of December 2013. All these strange dates turned out being pure coincidence but how interesting.... Please be aware that it is a true challenge to buy and also renovate your property in Venice, if you are not surrounded by the right team!

While searching on the Internet for properties, I came across Andrea's website "Properties in Italy " and I can assure you that what you read on his site is totally correct. Andrea's purchase service is absolutely incredible and perfect. Andrea arranged and took us to visit over 20 properties in 2 days and found us the best possible property for our budget with two canals views on the first floor. The purchase process was smooth as Andrea with the help of Max, his recommended solicitor, took care of all details. We did not expect this level of service as we never experienced it before in the UK or France.

Andrea's project management service and renovation skills were my biggest surprise! On a very short time scale of 3 months, he managed to price the work and also organise it with local builders from Padova. The final result is fantastic, on time, on budget and beautifully finished. This is to Andrea's credit his talent and honesty. The design was very complicated and very demanding, and Andrea should really be proud of what he had achieved there. In my profession, I am used to large complexed luxury projects as every day I am designing and supervising the build of large privately owned superyachts in Europe. Therefore my positive comments on Andrea's service and his artisans are based on long years of experience in these matters.

I wish Andrea future success with his next clients. Who ever is reading my "Venetian experience" please be assured that you will be in totally safe hands with "Properties in Italy" and Andrea's service.

Please find below a few photos of before and after, as I believe that images will speak for themselves.

Pascale Reymond and Andrew Langton - December 2013


View from the apartment
kitchen - before
kitchen - after
living room - before
living room - after
guest library - before
guest library - after
bedroom - before
bedroom - after
bedroom - before
bedroom - after
living room - before
living room - after
bathroom - before
bathroom - after



I have often said that it is impossible to visit Venice once. Unless you are impervious to beauty, history, art, food, culture and sheer crazy sensuousness, you will find yourself wanting - needing, even - to visit again.

I had been coming to Venice as a visitor for many years - my father used to teach history at the University and when I was small I would come with my mother and my sister for three months at a time. Ever since then, I have taken many trips back, and of course I wanted my own wife and children to experience this crazy city. However, these visits were only ever for three or four days and one has no choice on such trips but to rush around the city with a guidebook and a map making sure that you see the important sites, and I was anxious to rediscover the feeling of actually experiencing the way of life which I had known when I was a young child.

So, one evening Victoria and I had what seemed at the time like a silly conversation about the viability of actually owning a property in Venice. It was such a beautiful idea, but it seemed too complicated and out of reach. We knew nothing about how to purchase property overseas, what the pitfalls and complications might be, where the hidden costs would lie, what might be the particular peculiarities of purchasing in Italy.

Nevertheless, we sent away some emails to estate agents we had found after a hunt around on Google. We heard nothing from almost all of the agencies we contacted, but one, Properties In Italy, replied quickly (and in excellent English!) to ask a few more questions and sow the seed of the idea that this purchase might not be quite so out-of-reach after all. An email correspondence was quickly established in which the manager of Properties In Italy, the wonderful Andrea Redivo Zaglia, asked about what we wanted, our budget, the areas of the city we liked, how much renovation we were prepared to do, and so forth. With this information, over the course of the following few weeks, we were sent selections of flats - all different, all possible, and all of which were clearly selected with care and with our requirements in mind. This is not an agency that just throws out identical newsletter-type listings to everyone - the great strength of this company is the personal care shown throughout every step of the process.

And so it was that, one cold December morning, we found ourselves in Venice with a list of about ten properties to visit. This part is such great fun; let's face it, we're all a bit nosey, so having a look around people's houses in a foreign country is a fantastic way to spend a couple of days. Keeping up with Andrea's almost superhuman walking pace around the Venetian streets was also something of a challenge. By the end of this trip, we had selected a flat that was within budget and requiring just the right amount of renovation to enable us to do what we wanted to create something personal to us. We went back to the UK excited and ready for things to get moving in the new year.

At this point, Avv. Massimiliano De Benetti from law firm Studio Legale became fully involved. We had met Max briefly and had emailed to and from a few times. He has been through this process many times, and like Andrea he speaks excellent English and there is no question too stupid - whatever you need to ask is fine! Max dealt superbly with all the legalities of the sale, keeping us fully informed every step of the way. There genuinely were no surprises - I know this seems almost impossible to believe when you're thinking about property deals, especially when you're in a different country, but it is absolutely true. Offers were made, rejected, adjusted, haggled over and then accepted, and before we knew it, we had an email from Max congratulating us on being the owners of a property in Venice.

This is when the real fun began. You can see from the 'before' pictures that our flat was, to say the least, somewhat unloved by its previous owner. It offered a great deal of potential, but it needed to be brought back to life. Before long, Andrea was discussing knocking down interior walls, new flooring, where to buy the best quality kitchen, paint colour, how to get connected to the internet, local taxes, the best shade of tiles and so on. I hope you can see that the service his company provides does not stop once the contract is signed. He even helped us to set up direct debits with the utility companies and translated emails from the bank.

At the time of writing this, we have owned the flat for about four months, and it is - we hope - completely different from the rather beige shell of a place it had been. The builders were efficient, friendly and highly professional, and I can't quite believe how much has happened in the relatively short time since we sent that first speculative email to Andrea. We have just spent a very happy month in Venice buying furniture and getting the flat looking like a second home. We can't wait to get back and to really take part in the life of the city.

At the very start of the process, Andrea gave me a spreadsheet with the costs of the purchase laid out clearly. You'll be interested to know that, six months later, I looked at the spreadsheet again and worked out that the purchase had cost exactly (and I mean exactly) what he said it would. The same, incidentally, was true for the building costs. Any extras here were at my instigation - things like air conditioning units, re-painting shutters etc, which I had added to the list at the last minute.

So, if you are dreaming about purchasing property in Italy, I hope this story persuades you to go for it. At the start it will almost certainly seem at least a little intimidating, but with the team from Properties In Italy to help, you'll be collecting the keys to your new front door before you know it.

Victoria & James Lowry - August 2013



Lowry's family - the children
Lowry's family - the children
the kitchen - before
the kitchen - after
Fondamenta Bragadin - San Vio - Dorsoduro
Grand Canal and Salute church



Having just moved into my brand new home right in the heart of the beautiful Euganean Hills, south of Padova in Italy, I wanted to tell everybody about the experience.

Having wanted to move from Ireland to Italy for the past few years, I was waiting for the right property to come along. I had a definite list of requirements: my new home had to be easily accessible to flights to and from Ireland; I needed at least two bedrooms; I absolutely had to have someplace to sit outside during warm evenings - my dream - and shops, markets and all facilities needed to be near at hand. Plus, I did not want to feel isolated from whatever community I came to live in; neighbours close by and visible were an essential element to my move.

Over a period of almost three years, I looked at several properties throughout quite a few areas in Italy. None of them quite managed to tick off enough boxes for me to consider purchasing. For myriad reasons, I knew that the procedure of moving my home and residency lock, stock and barrel was always going to be a huge step and I was filled with trepidation; especially upon reading all the horror stories in various publications regarding Italian bureaucracy and "shady" building contractors!

In September 2012 - only six months ago - I read Italia! Magazine on line and saw that there was still a house available in a small development I had read about a few years previously. A new house; it would give me the opportunity to finish it in my own style, choosing tiles, sanitary-ware and kitchen. I immediately emailed the agent, Andrea Redivo Zaglia of Properties in Italy and received an impressively speedy response. Within three weeks - and after a great deal of communication - I was in Padova where I met with Andrea and Avvocato Massimiliano De Benetti (Max). Both Max and Andrea speak English fluently, which was a huge bonus, plus they are well accustomed to handling work for English speaking clients.

A wonderful day was spent in The Euganean Hills looking at several properties, with an essential stop for a relaxed lunch. However, the house I had especially wanted to view was the one I put an offer on without delay.

Max handled the negotiations and, within a couple of weeks, the deal had been done and I was back in Padova to sign the preliminary contract. This proved a lengthy affair, which lasted several hours and I brought a friend with me to keep an eye on things in case I missed anything. I need not have worried as everything went without a hitch. The next day I went with the architect to choose tiles, sanitary-ware and a kitchen; exactly as planned. Luckily, his English is also perfect and he has been a great help to me throughout the entire procedure.

Final signing took place in early March. It was a grand occasion; I went with Max, Andrea and Max's assistant to the office of the Notaio. Only having read various accounts in books and magazines about such formalities, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed, yet thoroughly detailed, the whole meeting turned out to be. The vendors were also present and we all sat around a long table with the Notaio at one end chairing the meeting, which again lasted quite a number of hours. Upon signing and handing over of the relevant payment, we all shook hands happily and went our separate ways. Highly civilized!

I have now moved into my brand new Italian home in The Euganean Hills. I am close to four airports: Venice Marco Polo; Verona; Treviso and Bologna. Shops, supermarkets, banks, post-offices, hospitals, restaurants, Palladian villas to visit….all are on my doorstep. I have a small garden, where I plan to sit during the warm summer evenings. I have exactly the amount of accommodation I require and lots of friendly neighbours. The location feels rural, with lots of walking and cycling on offer, yet everything is within a few minutes reach. All the boxes have been ticked.

I can honestly say that Andrea and Max have looked after me extremely well; patiently answering my endless questions without complaint and have smoothed over any potential difficulties along the way. They always respond to any queries without delay. I look forward to my new life here in Italy with my new friends.

I also hope to continue my career as an interior designer here in Italy. My website is

ORNA O'REILLY. March 2013

Orna O'Reilly
Hamlet of Faedo
My New Home in The Euganean Hills
Snow in The Euganean Hills 2013



We were walking along the fondamenta on Giudecca when Andrea stopped and turned around. "Actually," he said, "I think this is the flat you are looking for." We entered an arched doorway and climbed up to the top floor. Andrea let us in. We looked out of the windows and almost instantly, we knew he was right.

The dream

Our dream of an apartment in Venice started years ago. This magical city has been special to us since we got engaged at Caffe Florian on the Piazza San Marco during Carnevale in 1985. We have visited regularly, often several times a year, alone - together and later with our two sons. Last spring we decided to stop renting and look into buying. Quite by chance, after searching the internet for apartments, we came across Andrea Redivo Zaglia and his company Properties in Italy. He immediately responded to our inquiries and asked for a 'wish list'. We knew what we wanted: A place with light and view, tucked away from the tourist crowds. There are lots of places for sale, but not so easy to find the right one on your own. Andrea knew exactly what to do. He offered to set up viewings according to our wishes, and was very well prepared when we visited the city in July 2011. It was then, by the end of the first afternoon together, that we first entered the apartment we now own.

Invaluable services

We had been told that the buying process in Italy could take ages and be difficult and demanding. With the invaluable help from Andrea and also the lawyer Massimiliano De Benetti it proved unbelievably quick and easy. We first visited the flat on the 20th of July. On the 22nd of October we received the keys. Andrea and Massimiliano guided us through offers, contracts, bank visits, signing at the Notaio's office and helped us with lots of necessary practicalities. They have answered questions, listened to worries and shared the joy. This total 'package' of services, that also includes how to set up life in Venice, is unique and we realize how difficult it would have been to do all this on our own.

This Christmas we had our first family holiday in the apartment. We stood by the same window as back in July, enjoying the sight of the golden terracotta roofs, the dome of the church Santa Maria della Salute half hidden in the morning mist and the now familiar sounds from the vaporettos and boats on the Canale Giudecca. Taking in the sounds and views of this beautiful city, we knew: Our dream has come true.

Ingeborg Dybvig and Oddbjørn Sørmoen, Oslo, Norway

Happy Owners - December 2011
morning mist as seen from Giudecca
view from the apartment
a desk with a view
kitchen area
living room area



Six years ago my husband’s job transferred us from England to Italy. We were excited, but once we discovered we would be moving to the Veneto area, we were overjoyed. Veneto is one of the most beautiful, serene, magical places in Italy. The more we researched the Veneto; we were convinced this was the area where we wanted to purchase a home. While we found many property sites on the internet, we decided to contact Properties in Italy as they specialize in properties in the Veneto area. We arranged to meet them once we arrived in Italy. From the moment we met them, we knew they were special. Their passion and knowledge of “the hills” (Euganean Hills) was apparent. We could not have imagined the wonderful journey we were to embark on for the 3 years we lived in Italy. We purchased a beautiful home where we created some amazing memories. From the time we purchased our home to the restoration phase, their assistance, loyalty and commitment was constant. Sadly, my husband and I were once again transferred to another country after 3 years. When we decided to sell our home, they were alongside us again; from finding a buyer (Andrea) to navigating the legalities of buying and selling our home in Italy (Massimiliano De Benetti - 'Max'). We have not given up on our dream of one day returning to the Veneto area. When that day comes, we trust Andrea and Max will be a big part of our continual journey. If you wish to contact us for further details our email address is

Rob and Norma McMillan

Rob and Norma in Pizzo (Calabria) - Summer reunion with Andrea, Marta, Silvia and Max



Die Renovierung

Mit der Schlüsselübergabe für unsere Wohnung Ca´Degolin Ende Dezember 2010 begann die konkrete Planung der Renovierungsmaßnahmen. Renovierung ist allerdings nicht wirklich zutreffend. Vielmehr war es eine Generalsanierung mit tiefgreifenden Umbauten. Die Wohnung war im original 60er Jahre Zustand. Sie hatte neben dem Gasherd in der Küche keine Heizung und nur ein Bad. Es galt daher zu klären, ob es bautechnisch möglich ist, die Küche an die andere Seite der Wohnung zu bringen, ein zweites Bad einzubauen und einen großen Durchgang zwischen dem Eingangsbereich und der Küche sowie dem Wohnzimmer zu realisieren. Weiter musste ein Platz für das externe Klimagerät gefunden werden, welcher mit den Vorstellungen der Nachbarn kompatibel war. Im Wohnzimmer ging ein Stahlanker von der Aussenwand mehrere Meter nach innen, der natürlich nicht entfernt werden konnte und zur Gesamtstabilität des Gebäudes beitrug. All das waren Punkte die berücksichtigt und geklärt und vor allem auch mit den zuständigen venezianischen Behörden abgestimmt werden mussten. Schon an dieser Stelle ist klar, dass man als Ausländer und in diesen Dingen absolut Ortsfremder, ganz sicher keine realistische Chance hätte. Mit anderen Worten, auch in diesem Kontext, wäre nichts ohne Andreas und Massimilianos Hilfe gegangen. Andrea beauftragte die erforderlichen Spezialisten, also den Geometra und den Architekten sowie die ausführenden Firmen, überwachte wiederum nicht nur den Verlauf der Baumaßnahmen, sondern auch die Aktivitäten der Koordinatoren. Weiter waren wir mehrmals gemeinsam unterwegs um die Ausstattung festzulegen, also Fliesen, Böden, Fenster und Türen sowie deren Ausführungen. Nicht zu vergessen die Preisverhandlungen mit den Lieferanten und Handwerkern! Dabei dachte Andrea an die kleinsten Details, bis zur Lage und Form der Steckdosen und der Höhe der Bodenleisten. Da wir ja nicht die einzigen Kunden waren, wie man in den anderen Beschreibungen hier nachlesen kann, koordinierte er parallel mehrere Baustellen in Venedig. Das schafft auf der einen Seite Synergien, aber auf der anderen Seite gerne auch mal das eine oder andere Abstimmungs- und Terminproblem. Dennoch, es gab nichts, was Andrea nicht vollständig geregelt hätte. Am Ende ist alles so geworden, wie wir es uns vorstellten. Ohne die Unterstützung und die Gesamtkoordination von Andrea hätten wir das allerdings nicht geschafft. Aber andererseits hätten wir ja auch keine renovierungsbedürftige Wohnung gekauft, wenn wir nicht gewusst hätten wie exzellent Properties in Italy hier unterstützt. Es ist also sehr gut geworden. Nun die entscheidende Frage: Würden wir es wieder so machen? Die Antwort ist ganz klar, JA!

The renovation

With handover of the keys to our apartment Ca'Degolin at the end of December 2010 the planning of the renovation started. Rather, it was a complete refurbishment with profound alterations. The apartment was in the original 60s state. There was no heating, only one bathroom and oldfashioned floorings. In addition we had to clarify whether it is structurally possible to bring the kitchen to the other side of the house, install a second bathroom and realize a wide passage between the entrance and the kitchen and the living room. A place for the external air conditioning unit had to be found compatible with the ideas of the neighbours. A steel joist in the wall of the living room, contributing to the overall stability of the building, had to be considered when we decided to change the layout of the apartment. All these points had to be agreed, especially with the authorities in Venice. Already at this point is clear that you absolutely, as a foreigner, certainly would have no realistic chance. In other words, even in this context, nothing would have been without Andrea and Massimiliano's help. Andrea asked the necessary specialists, so the Geometra and the architects and contractors, in turn, supervised not only the course of construction, but also the activities of the coordinators. Next we were traveling together several times to set the equipment, so tiles, floors, windows and doors and their variants. Not to mention the price negotiations with suppliers and craftsmen! Here Andrea thought of the smallest details, to the position and shape of the sockets and the height of the wall skirting. Since we were not the only customers, as you can read in the other descriptions here, in parallel, he coordinated several construction sites in Venice. This creates synergies on the one hand, but also one or the other coordination and scheduling problem. Nevertheless, there was nothing that Andrea had not completely regulated, doing a 24h job! In the end everything turned out the way we had imagined. Without the support and overall coordination of Andrea, however, we would not have made it. To say the truth, we would have never bought any apartment in need of renovation, if we did not know how excellent properties in Italy supported here. So it's been very good! Now the crucial question: Would we make it back this way? The answer is clearly YES!

Henrike und Michael Wochinger, Bayern - October 2011

welcome to Ca' Degolin
the living room
the entrance hall
the entrance hall
the kitchen
the master bedroom
the second bedroom
the second bedroom
the bathroom
the second bathroom
Chiara and Leo
Ca' Degolin - layout


A Venetian Adventure - UPDATE

We have just returned from Venice, having been able, for the first time to enjoy our new holiday apartment, christened Ca' Masena, now fully renovated and furnished. Eight months have passed since its purchase and we are delighted with the end result.

This has been achieved with the invaluable assistance of Andrea, without whom the project would have stalled several times. So we feel a certain sense of triumph which certainly must be shared with him! Andrea's help included contracting and liaising with the workmen and craftsmen required for the restoration, and smoothing the path where and when necessary. All obstacles were finally vanquished and we were able to appreciate the results of all their combined efforts.

A final flourish to the project was an enjoyable trip with Andrea to the Euganean Hills to buy some terracotta pots and plants for our courtyard. At the same time, he gave us a wonderful 'Grand Tour' of the Hills. The tour took in visits to two other 'Properties in Italy' projects. One of these was complete and beautifully restored, 'The Tower'. The other is a larger ongoing project in another lovely hill setting, the Miller's House. This is receiving all the necessary attention that it deserves with materials carefully selected to enhance the original character of the house. We could clearly see that the choices for all the interior detailing will ensure that the final renovation is in keeping with other houses in the area.

Ca' Masena looks set to serve our purposes, which was to act as a holiday rental, with bookings that have been very encouraging, and also as a holiday home for ourselves. We are truly satisfied customers and very grateful for all the help and attention to detail received!

Richard & Suzette Colson, London, August 2011

Ca' Masena - avant / après restauration

the living room - before
the living room- after
the master bedroom - before
the master bedroom- after
the courtyard - before
the courtyard - after
the kitchen - before
the kitchen - after
the bathroom - before
the bathroom - after
Venice - Zattere
Venice - Dorsoduro - Calle Masena



From Oslo to Venice

My wife and I (we are both in our fourties, with three children from 9 to 22 years old) decided to look for an apartment in Venice after staying on Lido for a week in June 2010. My family then had a summer cottage with a private beach in one of the most popular summer resorts in Norway, but after over 50 years of maintenance and - to put it mildly - unstable summer temperatures we found that we wanted to try something completely different. Venice seemed like a perfect choice; not only is the city itself spectacular but you get access to Veneto and Northern Italy with Padova, Vicenza, Verona, the Dolomites etc. We thought that the combination of culture, history, food, wine, the sun and beach life all seemed very attractive. For us who live just south of Oslo, only 30 min. from Rygge Airport, it is also very convenient to travel with just over two hours flight time to Treviso or Marco Polo. I started to make the necessary preparations (mental and practical) for selling my family´s cottage, and turned on my computer to start looking for information about Venice on the internet. I have to admit here that my command of the Italian language is nonexistent, so I was a bit nervous about how this would turn out.

Googling for a place in the sun

I started doing some searches on the Internet and quickly came across the website "Properties in Italy", among many others. Their website was very informative (in English…!) and inviting, so I sent a mail to them (Andrea) requesting some information. At that point we had not yet decided where in Venice we would like to buy, but we knew that we wanted a place with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and some sort of terrace. And not to expensive, of course. Our initial maximum price was € 600,000 , later we reduced this to € 500,000. "Properties in Italy" advertised a couple of apartments on Giudecca that I found interesting, and Andrea started - after my request - to send me emails offering me his services. I decided however to ask him to arrange some viewings on Giudecca and also other places. We first met in October 2010, and Andrea gave a very favorable first impression as a well spoken and serious estate agent. My wife and I didn't latch on to the properties he showed us then, and after viewing a couple of apartments on Lido with other agencies we decided to focus on Lido, since we really liked it there with its beautiful beaches and wonderful atmosphere. We figured that when we wanted to visit Venice we could just take a ten minute trip with the Vaporetto. The view of Venice from Lido is also quite spectacular.

To Lido or not

When we finally had decided to find a place on Lido we could start our search in earnest. Andrea did not represent any properties on Lido, as his main portfolio was in Venice, but he explained us that he could act as our agent on whatever property we wanted, as long as we did not contact any other agencies regarding a specific property first. This is VERY different from how it is done in my home country Norway, but Andrea was excellent in explaining the formalities (and expences...) connected with buying a property in Italy as a foreigner. As a rule I always got all the information I needed from Andrea (and later Massimiliano). I still hadn´t found a fitting apartment though. It was also quite annoying to try and get in contact with most of the other local agencies on the internet that had attractive properties - usually they didn´t bother to answer at all, and when they did they only replied in Italian telling me to contact them on their telephone! So Andrea was a huge exception to the rule with his quick, friendly and informative replies.

This is the place!

Then Andrea sent me the link to a website which has a clear and structured way of showing properties that makes it a lot easier to find interesting objects. I started a long and exciting process of searching for possible apartments, and then mailing possible candidates to Andrea for his opinion. I made lists of properties I would like to see in person and he then tried to arrange viewings for me for the dates I would be in Lido. After five trips and viewing around 25 properties I finally found one that I really liked in Via Barbarigo. As many other properties advertised on the web, the pictures of this apartment was dark and uninformative, to put it mildly. Italians don't seem to pay as much attention to take glossy and inviting pictures of their homes in the same extent as we do in Norway, and often it was even very hard to tell from the advert exactly where the apartment was located!! This, I learnt, is a well kept secret.... Anyway, the apartment in Barbarigo was in excellent condition, large (120 sqm), and had all the aspects that we were looking for; three bedrooms, two bathrooms, three verandas and it was within walking distance of Gran Viale (1 km.). The wonderful beach is also only 300 m. away. As an added bonus the building has roof terraces that provide a fantastic view over Lido and the Laguna. (this wasn't even mentioned in the advert, go figure....).

Meet my lawyer

After we had decided to start the process with bidding on the apartment, Andrea put me in contact with the lawyer Massimiliano De Benetti. He, just as Andrea, is very fluent in English and also very professional and service minded. He took us through the whole process of compromesso, atto and all other formalities involved. All expenses and procedures went just like Andrea and Massimiliano had foreseen so there was no surprices of any kind, which is a good thing when you are investing almost half a million Euro in a foreign country! However, being a Norwegian and used to the idea that Norway is the most expensive country in the world, it was quite a surprise to find that all the "extras" attached when buying a property in Italy is quite a bit pricier than in Norway. This has of course nothing to do with Andrea or Massimiliano, it is just the way things are done there. Also the formalities around buying a property is much more time consuming than in Norway. But, this is also an advantage as the bidding process is very relaxed and not at all stressful (but still exciting, of course). I was quite satisfied with the price we ended up with. It is important to remember that the asking price is based on the vendor's own judgement, it is not set by an agent or estate evaluator. So the price is just what the vendor would LIKE to get for the property, not a rational evaluation of the current market. You may save lots of Euros by being a bit careful placing your first bid.

Placing a bid, finalizing the contract and burning some bridges

The vendors accepted my first bid, and we signed a "compromesso" that stated the size of the deposit and when the final takeover of the apartment should be. This is quite flexible in Italy, and since I had a cottage to sell before I could finance the Venetian (Lidonian…?) apartment I gave myself a couple of months before the signing of the "atto" - the final contract, 1st. of July 2011. Then followed a bit stressful and hectic period in Norway where I had to get our summer cottage on the market (middle of May) and - if I were lucky - sell it as fast as possible to an acceptable price. To my great joy the cottage was sold in only four days, and the offered bid was exactly what I had been suggesting in my private budget for this project. Phew! Now was the first time I really could be certain that our Venetian dream would come true! Massimiliano, Andrea and I communicated by e-mails regarding what should be included in the final agreement, the "atto", and I also installed the first payment of Andrea´s commission. Andrea was very kind and flexible there in that he accepted my request (plea…!) to divide his commission in two payments. I asked him if it was OK that we waited till I got the money for the cottage and this he agreed to. We got an agreement with the vendors that the kitchen with fittings (stove, dishwasher, fridge) should be included in the price. The vendors also offered to sell the ceiling lamps etc. but we declined to buy since we wanted to find our own pieces. The practice here may vary, I have heard of apartments being sold with all furniture included - and this would of course be convenient if the buyer likes the style and quality of this. After some discussion about this we settled for a final version of the contract that the vendors accepted. Massimiliano and I then agreed to meet at the Notaio in Padova at the 1st. of July 2011. Italy here we come!

Help needed

After a three-hour (!!) long and incredibly boring (but pleasant) meeting on the 1st. of July at the Notaio in Padova, the apartment was ours and we could move in. As proper Scandinavians we were obliged a visit to IKEA in Padova to get the basics first, and we arrived at our new address at 1130 PM. It was very exciting to finally be there as owners. We were very happy with our purchase! We quickly discovered a water leakage in the kitchen, and Massimiliano arranged for a plumber (on the vendors expense) to repair it. This happened in the weekend but we got the plumber on the following Tuesday, together with the Internet technician from Telecom. I thought it was very promising that these things could be done on such short notice. In the following weeks I received some contracts and invoices from the different companies regarding gas, electricity, Internet etc. , and since I don't read Italian (yet....), Andrea was kind enough to translate the most vital sections in them for me! Prospective buyers that speak Italian have a huge advantage, as I find that very many locals don´t speak any English at all, and if they do it is often very basic. But to their credit, the Italians are very patient and friendly when you try out the handful of words you may have in your Italian vocabulary. For us soft-spoken Norwegians it sometimes feels like we should be screaming the words to reach the normal noise level of Italian conversation, it is certainly good for getting rid of our Northern inhibitions! Our apartment was in very good condition overall, but it needs some paint work on some surfaces, and Andrea has kindly gotten hold of a painter for us. My experience in general is that you can ask Andrea and Massimiliano about almost anything and they will try and help you at the best of their ability.

The dream of Italian design……

When it came to finding furniture, curtains, lighting and so on, we had initially decided to try and find Italian products, in addition to using IKEA for basic stuff like beds, closets etc. We did a fair bit of research and was somewhat disheartened with the steep prices we found on Italian furniture. But we went to Mestre one day to have a look for ourselves, and after viewing some very expensive stores we visited a shop, where the prices were much friendlier and the choice of manufacturers and styles quite expensive. We got a very favorable price with delivery and assembly included!. We will try and rent out the apartment to cover our expences, and we still have some work to do before the place is ready for guests. We haven't yet found someone locally on Lido that may help us with cleaning etc. but hopefully that will soon be sorted. It will therefore be an eventful and exciting year that we have ahead of us on Lido, we will know after the summer of 2012 or so if this has been a wise investment and if we can manage the expenses involved, with the help of income from rentals. We have now had the apartment since 1st. of July and we are very pleased with the location and quality of the property. Our Italian neighbors have all been very forthcoming and friendly. Lido is just wonderful! I can´t wait till we get everything in order. I believe that my family and friends will enjoy the life on Lido immensely in the years ahead of us.

Andrea and Massimiliano has both been extremely helpful during this entire process. I recommend them without any reservation whatsoever!

Petter Wiik. Oslo, August 24th. 2011.


Beautiful Lido!
wonderful atmoshpere
the beach
our nearest beach
the 'molo'
the old Casino nearby
canal in the neighborhood
lovely neighborhood
the living room - without furniture
the terrace by the living room
view from the kitchen
view from the roof terrace


Ca' Leonessa - a luxury apartment worthy of a view from a movie scenography!

We first came across Properties in Italy in 2007. My wife, Leona and I had thought for several years that it may be possible to buy a property in Venice that we could use for our family and friends but which may also become a good investment. In 2007 we decided to look more closely into matters and sent a few exploratory emails to various agents in and around Venice. Only Andrea seemed to have any understanding of what we were trying to achieve and he responded to our initial (rather vague) request both with ideas about the best types of properties and the best areas. He quickly followed up with a range of properties that might suit our objectives and we organised a viewing trip. After a very long but exciting day viewing properties we decided to focus on the Dorsoduro area and also thought one of the properties we had seen near the Accademia, with a large terrace was the property for us. Andrea cautioned us that the pricing was overambitious and we agreed to make a realistic offer. At this point the other element – namely the legal service, Avv. Massimiliano De Benetti – was introduced to us in the form of Max who was able to "translate" our Anglo Saxon offer (without any obligations or costs) into an acceptable Italian offer. We were unsuccessful as someone was prepared to pay a price far in excess of the asking price and our search went on with Andrea sending us details of various properties he thought may suit our needs.

In mid 2009 a property near Campo San Barnaba became available with a negotiable price and in a truly perfect location. We visited and were smitten although a full restoration was required which we had not envisaged. Andrea and Max again took the lead on negotiating with the sellers and we finally completed the purchase of the property just before Christmas 2009. Then the restoration began. We had minor layout changes and needed air conditioning and a modern heating system. Max and the team expertly negotiated the planning process to get us all the consents we needed and works started in earnest in Summer 2010. We had, with Max's help fixed the price of the contract works in advance so had no nasty surprises on the costs although had a few of the inevitable surprises and delays that such a restoration project throws up. Max and Andrea helped at all stages with the selection of materials and introduced us to local craftsmen to build kitchens and bathrooms as well as carry out all the plumbing and electrical works. They also showed us other properties so we could get ideas.

By early 2011 the project was nearing completion and we started (with Andrea's assistance) marketing the property for lettings. To date the response has been overwhelming and we have been inundated with enquiries. So much so we are having to block out space for ourselves to ensure we get a chance to spend some time in the property that we have dreamed of for so long.

A huge thanks to Andrea and Max for understanding exactly our vision and enabling us to create it.

Jon and Leona - London - April 2011

See more on

Ca' Leonessa - avant / après restauration

the living room - before
the living room- after
the master bedroom - before
the master bedroom- after
the second bedroom - before
the second bedroom- after
the kitchen - before
the kitchen - after
the bathroom - before
the bathroom - after
Venice - Ponte dei Pugni
St. Barnaba church and square



Endlich angekommen!

Schon seit vielen Jahren besuchen wir regelmäßig das unvergleichliche Venedig, früher zu zweit und mittlerweile zu viert mit unseren beiden Kindern. Sie sind genauso begeistert von "La Serenissima", denn nirgendwo sonst auf der Welt lässt sich eine Stadt so unbeschwert erkunden. Selbst wir Erwachsenen betrachten - auch nach dem unzähligsten Besuch - die Stadt jedes Mal erneut mit staunenden Augen, denn hinter der nächsten, noch unerforschten Calle, könnte wieder etwas Neues und Ungewöhnliches auf uns warten. Je mehr Tage man in Venedig verbringt, umso mehr lässt man sich auf das Leben der venezianischen Art ein: alles ein bisschen langsamer, lässiger und entspannter. Ein großartiger Ort um zu relaxen und die "normale" Welt draussen zu lassen. Oft haben wir abends auf der Piazza San Marco gesessen und während unsere Kinder auf dem Platz herumtollten, haben wir davon gesprochen, wie toll es doch wäre hier eine eigene Wohnung zu besitzen. Dieser Wunsch hat sich über ein paar Jahre von einer harmlosen Spinnerei zu einem festen Vorhaben gewandelt und nachdem uns Verwandte und Bekannte für völlig verrückt erklärt hatten, begannen wir im Sommer 2009 den Immobilienmarkt zu beobachten. Das Spektrum reichte vom 1-Zimmer Appartment bis zur luxuriösen Etage am Canal Grande. Ein grosszügiges Piano Nobile mit Altana oder Garten wäre schon nach unserem Geschmack gewesen, aber in unserem Fall leider unerschwinglich. Um einen ersten Eindruck zu gewinnen, machten wir im Herbst 2009 unsere ersten Besichtigungen mit einheimischen Maklern. Von neu renovierten und komplett eingerichteten Wohnungen direkt vom Bauträger, bis zu nahezu völlig heruntergekommenen Ruinen, war fast alles dabei. Wir wurden sehr freundlich behandelt, aber irgendwie gab es doch auf viele unserer Fragen keine befriedigende Antwort, z.B. kann die Wohnung an Touristen vermietet werden, was ist mit Denkmalschutz, Baugenehmigungen, Nebenkosten, Hausgemeinschaft, Steuern usw.... .

Wir fuhren wieder nach Deutschland zurück, mit der Gewissheit, dass wir noch nicht die richtige Person gefunden hatten, die uns bei der Verwirklichung unseres Traumes wirklich weiterhelfen kann. Mehr durch Zufall stießen wir Ende 2009 auf die Webseite von "Ca'Venexiana" und daraus resultierend auf Andrea Redivo Zaglia von Properties in Italy. Auf seiner Webseite fanden wir einige, für uns sehr interessante Angebote, auch was unser Budget anbelangte und wir nahmen Kontakt auf. Die Antwort kam prompt, in perfektem Englisch, einfach sehr professionell. Einige Wochen und Emails später haben wir uns zum ersten Mal mit Andrea in Venedig getroffen. Neben seiner Professionalität ist er auch noch ausgesprochen nett, unaufdringlich und absolut vertrauenswürdig. Wir fühlten uns sofort gut bei ihm aufgehoben. In diesem Moment wussten wir, wir hatten die richtige Person gefunden!

Gleich die erste Wohnung die wir besichtigten, war praktisch schon der Volltreffer: Ein "casa indipendente", also eine Wohnung mit eigenem Eingang in Dorsoduro, unserem absolut bevorzugten Sestiere, fast 100 qm gross, ruhige aber zentrale Lage, am Ende der Gasse ein Kanal. Nachdem das Appartment als total renovierungsbedürftig inseriert war, haben wir natürlich das Schlimmste befürchtet, nach allem was wir schon gesehen hatten. Doch das Gegenteil war der Fall. Wir waren angenehm überrascht, in welch gutem Zustand sich die Immobilie befand. Andrea konnte uns auf wirklich jede Frage eine Antwort und zusätzlich noch einige unbezahlbare Tipps mit auf den Weg geben. Damit wir die anfallenden Kosten für die Renovierung besser einschätzen können, machte uns Andrea in den folgenden Wochen einen Kostenvoranschlag incl. Umbaugenehmigungen, obwohl er wusste, dass wir ohnehin nicht gleich kaufen konnten, da wir erst in Deutschland den Verkauf von zwei Appartments abschließen mussten. Zusätzlich gab er uns viele wertvolle Informationen zum Thema "holiday letting". Wann immer wir es uns zeitlich einrichten konnten, fuhren wir nach Venedig um die Gegend, in der "unsere" Wohnung liegt, noch besser zu erkunden. Die Begeisterung ist jedesmal gewachsen.Die gute Erreichbarkeit auch ohne Vaporetto, die Nähe des Campo Santa Margherita und Campo San Barnaba, der grosse Supermarkt um die Ecke an der Zattere, die interessanten kleinen Läden und Kunstgalerien, die malerischen Häuserzeilen und Kanäle auf dem Weg zur Accademiabrücke und San Marco. Es passte einfach alles wunderbar.

Während unseres Sommerurlaubs Ende August 2010 erhielten wir die Nachricht dass unsere Immobilien in Deutschland Käufer gefunden hatten. Fantastico! Endlich konnte es losgehen. Wir informierten Andrea und es begannen die Verhandlungen mit den Eigentümern in Venedig. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt kam auch der unvergleichliche Massimiliano De Benetti ins Spiel. Was hätten wir nur ohne ihn gemacht? Mit seiner Ruhe und Besonnenheit hat er es jedesmal geschafft unsere Nerven zu beruhigen, die aufgrund von unerwarteten Schwierigkeiten beim Verkauf der Wohnungen in Deutschland, mehr als einmal blank lagen. Mit seinem Fachwissen und der nötigen Menschenkenntnis hat er in den Preisverhandlungen, als unser Anwalt, das Beste für uns herausgeholt und ist die ideale Ergänzung zu Andrea. Einen Tag vor Weihnachten fuhren wir nach Padua um den notariellen Kaufvertrag zu unterzeichnen und wir müssen sagen, dass so ein Termin in Italien alles andere als trocken und langweilig ist. Irgendwie war es eher familiär und unterhaltsam, es gab sogar etwas zu naschen. Unvergesslich der Moment, in dem wir die Schlüssel zu Ca'Degolin erhalten haben! Wir betrachteten uns ja schon immer als halbe Venezianer, deshalb ist das Gefühl, dort eine eigene Wohnung zu haben, einfach unbeschreiblich schön für uns. Unser 5-jähriger Sohn ist fest entschlossen einmal den Beruf des Gondoliere zu ergreifen. Im Nachhinein erscheint uns der Kauf einer Immobilie in Venedig als absolut unmöglich ohne die exzellente Betreuung durch Andrea und Massimiliano. Zumindest hätte es ganz sicher nicht so reibungslos funktioniert.

Jetzt sind alle glücklich: Wir natürlich - weil alles geklappt hat, die Verwandten - weil wir keinen Betrügern auf den Leim gegangen sind, die Bekannten - weil sie die Chance wittern die Wohnung mal testen zu dürfen, die Freunde die unsere Idee schon immer toll fanden - weil wir den Mut hatten uns einfach auf die Sache einzulassen und Andrea und Massimiliano - weil Sie neue und zufriedene Kunden gewonnen haben. Ende Januar 2011 beginnt der 2. Teil unseres venezianischen Abenteuers: die Umbau- und Renovierungsarbeiten, organisiert und überwacht von Andrea. Wir werden weiter darüber berichten!

Ciao a presto,

Henrike und Michael Wochinger, Bayern

Calle Degolin - Dorsoduro - Venedig


Finally arrived!

For many years already, we have been regularly visiting the incomparable Venice, in former times just the two of us, and meanwhile the four of us with our children. They are as enthusiastic about "La Serenissima", nowhere else in the world a town may be experienced in such a light-hearted way. Also we adults - even after the most multitudinous visit - see the town through different eyes each time, because something new and unusual could wait for us again behind the next, still unexplored Calle. The more days you spend in Venice, the more you are getting engaged in the Venetian lifestyle: everything a little bit more slowly, more casual and more relaxed, an excellent place to relax and to leave the "normal" world outside. In the evening, we often sat at the Piazza San Marco and while our children were rollicking on the market place we spoke about how wonderful it would be to own a flat here. Over some years, this desire has changed from a harmless crazy idea into a definite undertaking and after some relatives and friends had called us absolutely crazy, we started to observe the property market in summer 2009. The spectrum ranged from the one-room apartment up to the luxurious floor at the Canal Grande. We would have liked a generous Piano Nobile with Altana or a garden, but in our situation this was unfortunately prohibitive. For gaining a very first impression, we have initiated our first inspections with indigenous brokers in autumn 2009. We have seen almost everything from newly renovated and fully furnished apartments directly from the property developer up to almost entirely run-down ruins. We have been treated absolutely friendly, but anyhow many of our questions could not be answered to our satisfaction, e.g. may the apartment be rented to tourists, what about monument protection, construction permits, ancillary expenses, housing community, tax etc..

We returned to Germany, convinced that we had not yet found the right person being able to really assist us in the realisation of our dream. At the end of 2009, we rather casually came across the website of "Ca'Venexiana" and as a result to Andrea Redivo Zaglia of Properties in Italy. On his website, we have found some very interesting offers, also with regard to our budget and we have contacted him. We received a prompt reply, in perfect English, simply very professional. Some weeks and e-mails later, we have met Andrea in Venice for the first time. Apart from his professionalism, he is also extremely friendly, discreet and absolutely trustworthy. Immediately we have felt to be in good hands. At that moment, we knew we had found the right person!

Just the first flat we have visited was practically the bull's eye already: A "casa indipendente", that means a flat with a separate entrance in Dorsoduro, our absolutely favoured Sestiere, almost 100 square metres in size, a quiet but central location, at the end of the alley a canal. Since the apartment was advertised as totally in need of renovation, we had feared the worst, of course, after all which we had already seen before. But what we saw was quite the opposite. We were pleasantly surprised about the good condition of the property. Andrea was really in the position to reply to all of our questions and additionally to provide us with some valuable tips. For a better estimation of the upcoming costs for the renovation, Andrea submitted us a cost proposal incl. modification permission during the following weeks, although he was well aware of the fact that we would not buy by return anyway, since we would have to complete the sale of two apartments in Germany first of all. Moreover, he gave us some valuable information regarding the subject "holiday letting". Whenever time allowed, we drove to Venice for getting even more familiar with the region where "our" flat was located. Our enthusiasm has grown each time. The excellent accessibility even without Vaporetto, the proximity of the Campo Santa Margherita and Campo San Barnaba, the large supermarket around the corner at the Zattere, the interesting little shops and art galleries, the picturesque rows of houses and canals on the way to the Accademia Bridge and San Marco. Everything just fitted perfectly.

During our summer holidays at the end of August 2010 we received the information that our real properties in Germany had found buyers. Fantastico! Now we could start. We informed Andrea and negotiations with the owners in Venice were initiated. At this time, the incomparable Massimilano De Benetti came into play as well. What would we have done without him? With his calmness and deliberateness he managed again and again to calm our nerves, which due to the unexpected difficulties in selling the flats in Germany were on edge more than once. With his expert know-how and the required knowledge of human nature he made the most for us in price negotiations as our attorney and represents the perfect complement to Andrea. One day before Christmas we drove to Padua for signing the notarial sales contract and we have to say that such an appointment in Italy is anything but dry and boring. It was rather quite family-like and amusing with even some sweets offered. The moment when we received the keys for Ca'Degolin was really unforgettable! We always felt like half Venetians anyway, therefore the feeling of having an own flat there is really indescribable for us. Our five-year old son is absolutely determined to take up the profession of the gondolier one day. Afterwards, the purchase of a property in Venice appears absolutely impossible to us without the excellent assistance by Andrea and Massimiliano. At least, it would not have run such smoothly.

Everyone is happy now: We, of course - because everything went as planned, our relatives - because we did not fall for a fraud's line, acquaintances - since they sniff a chance to be allowed to test the dwelling one time, friends who have been liking our idea since its very beginning - since we had the courage to simply engage in this matter and finally Andrea and Massimiliano - since they have gained new and satisfied customers. At the end of January 2011, the second part of our Venetian adventure will start: the remodelling and renovation work, organised and monitored by Andrea. We will continue reporting on it!

Ciao a presto,

Henrike and Michael Wochinger, Bavaria

Chiara and Leo
Chiara and Henrike
Chiara and Leo



A Venetian Adventure

My husband & I have had vague ideas over many years of buying a home in the South of France, both being lovers of the Mediterranean. We now find to our surprise that we now own a ground floor courtyard apartment in Venice just off the Zattere!

This turnaround began when my husband, an artist, wished to visit Venice to enable him to build up a core of work for his exhibition. As I searched for a place to rent I felt that perhaps we should explore the idea of buying a property in this most beautiful city.

As this was somewhat a last minute decision I was all action, contacting various agencies & companies. To my surprise only one person promptly replied to my initial enquiries…Andrea Redivo Zaglia of 'Properties in Italy'. From then on it was pretty clear that purchasing in Venice might become a reality. It took several trips to Venice before we found the apartment we bought in December 2010. Between these visits numerous emails were flying to and from Italy & England, with countless queries on my part. Probably one of my most persistent concerns was with the phenomenon of Acqua Alta, a pet obsession of mine.

Thankfully Andrea was patience personified in this matter as well as others throughout the whole process. I can't remember a single instance of there being one unanswered query… he has been utterly reliable. We all worked pretty hard on this search & I think it would be true to say that the three of us must have covered nearly all the areas in Venice. I have never walked so much in my life! Well, at last in October we found our apartment.

The purchase process went through without a hiccup with the assistance of Massimiliano De Benetti, and completion day in Padua was a highly interesting experience…I don't think we were nervous at all. It is now early January & we are soon to embark on the second phase of this adventure with the help of Andrea & his team….the renovation of the property. In a few months there should be an update with a review of the transformation.

Richard & Suzette Colson, London, January 2011

Richard Colson's painting 'Grand canal at night'
Richard Colson's painting 'Salute with snow'
Richard Colson's painting 'Sunrise over Salute'
Richard Colson's painting 'Tower bridge'

If you are interested in Richard Colson's paintings, visit:



Cycling on the Euganean Hills or..........

Two years ago we had a holiday in The Euganean Hills. It was spring time and the hills were purple pink with the blossom of the Judas trees. The area is delightful with walks, views and vineyards all on one's doorstep. Padua, Vicenza, Verona and Venice are all quite close and accessible either by road or rail. I was particularly impressed at how the cyclists take over the area at the weekend pushing the motorist into low priority. I started to plan another holiday plotting cycle rides through the hills.

We had been investigating property in Italy for a while and when we had the resources it didn't take us long to settle on the Hills as our target area. I found a small advert for Properties in Italy in Italia! magazine, looked at the website and then fired off an e-mail with our wish list (including bike storage!). Andrea Redivo Zaglia responded almost immediately with a wealth of property information. A short while later he sent us details of an apartment right in the centre of the hills with the comment "I think this may be exactly what you are looking for". We met Andrea and the lawyer Massimiliano De Benetti (Max) in London at the La Dolce Vita exhibition. Both are charming, enthusiastic about the Euganean Hills and speak excellent English. We planned our property viewing trip to the Hills.

On a wonderful sunny afternoon in early April Andrea took us around 10 properties, the viewings interspersed with visits to trattorias and bars for sustenance. As Andrea had predicted the property he had already earmarked was the front runner. It commanded stunning views over hills and had footpaths and cycle trails starting in the hamlet. It is also situated opposite one of the region's leading wine producers! The property had been recently built and required final finishing including floors and bathrooms. This would allow us to finish it to our taste. It also had a discrete garage ideal for storing all kinds of bikes!

Within a week of our visit we had started the negotiations to acquire the apartment. Andrea and Max looked after every aspect of the negotiations and contract work. We made five more visits during the year and completed in early December. Andrea continually kept us up to date on the progress of the finishing work and assisted us during the visits. Each "business" trip actually felt more like a holiday and each time we were able to do a little sightseeing and explore the local restaurants.

We had done a lot of research into buying a property in Italy before launching into the project, scrutinising various books and websites to try and understand the mechanism of the purchase process. After meeting Andrea we never looked at them again! Now I wonder if Andrea knows some good bike shops............

Andrew Fox and Alison Ruff - December 2010

view over Faedo valley and hamlet
Faedo church
Alison and Miriam in Villa Barbarigo gardens
sunset on the Euganean Hills


Giudecca island - Apartment with view!

You will know fairly soon after meeting Andrea Redivo Zaglia that he is both a serious and committed person. Having him on your side to navigate you through the unknown territory of buying property abroad is one of life's great strokes of good fortune. Together with the lawyer Massimilliano de Benetti my experience of finding the right property and purchasing it was made easy and dare I say it enjoyable. After lengthy consultation about the sort of property I was seeking, Andrea took careful notice and showed me a good number to consider, both he and I knew the right one when we saw it. With his fine attention to detail and prompt professionalism everything was taken care of, from being collected personally from the airport to advice on fixtures and fittings, and workmen to undertake alterations. There was never an unanswered email or late returned call, with Andrea he gives his clients everything. The legal journey was a smooth execution too, Maximilliano de Benetti is both personable and effective and I could not recommend this pair more highly.

Louisa - August 2010

sitting room with lagoon view
view from the apartment
apartment exterior
view from the apartment
apartment interior
Giudecca sunset
Louisa in Venice
Louisa painting

Louisa Leigthon Calder is a professional sculptor and painter. If you are interested in knowing more about her pieces of art, visit:




From Israel to 'Judeca'!

I want to share with you the incredible experience I had during the 6 months process of buying an apartment in Giudecca, Venice. It was an amazing experience because against all the incertitudes, fears and insecurities accompanying the purchase of a property abroad, the process itself was very 'smooth', clear, quick and without any unexpected developments. All this was possible due to the high professional competence of Andrea Redivo Zaglia, the owner and manager of ''Properties in Italy''. From the first 'internet – contacts' till the final stage Andrea proved his efficiency, his reliability and a great knowledge of different aspects concerning the act of purchase. It's difficult to describe in a few words Andrea's genuine gentleness, patience and willingness to help no matter what - to understand a specific issue or to buy furniture at Ikea's. As I mentioned to Andrea himself, it was indeed my luck to find him and so the theoretical and improbable thought of buying an apartment in Venice from the far away Israel – became a reality. My appreciation goes also to the constructive collaboration between Andrea and the lawyer De Benetti, collaboration that facilitated enormously all the procedures. To this excellent team – my whole-hearted gratitude!

Lydia - Israel - October 2009

lagoon view from Giudecca
Giudecca island at sunset


A Venetian flirtation…

It began, as most great loves do, with a flirtation. We had a three day stopover in Venice before heading off for a week in Tuscany. Having never been to Venice, let alone Italy before, I had no idea if three days, or three hours were sufficient to "see" Venice. By pure chance and luck, we rented a lovely canalside apartment in Dorsoduro called Ca' San Sebastiano that provided the perfect backdrop to what ended up being a memorable and happy holiday weekend. But it just wasn't enough. As we packed to leave, I felt as if we somehow hadn't had enough time with la Serenissima. The mystery and unbelievable beauty of this unique and incredible city had only been barely touched. Upon our return back to the States after our Italian vacation, I wrote to the owner of the apartment where we had stayed in Venice to thank him for his hospitality. Of several different places we had stayed during our Italian holiday, the apartment in Venice had really made an impression with us, and I wanted to compliment the owner on his lovely home. I ended the email with a somewhat casual and spontaneous "Please keep us in mind if you should ever want to sell..." The truth is we had been considering buying property overseas for about a year, but hadn't really committed to where that might be. We'd thought of England, Scotland, even Poland where we had family, but the idea of actually buying property outside of our home country (or for that matter in a language we understood) had always just seemed too daunting, too impossible. So the idea, the dream, stayed where those sort of dreams do, hiding behind reality and the every day routine of our non-holiday life. When Mr. Willis, the owner of Ca' San Sebastiano, responded to my email, he mentioned that while he had no plans to sell his beautiful apartment any time soon (as he had recently bought and restored it), he believed there was one nearby for sale. He gave me the contact information for Andrea of Properties in Italy and suggested I write to him to inquire. I remember my first thought to this suggestion was how I couldn't possibly follow-up on the idea. We had just returned from two weeks in Italy. If there had been an opportunity for finding something there, surely I had just missed it. Still, I couldn't resist the temptation to visit the Properties in Italy web site for a peek. I spent a couple hours looking through the properties they had on offer and reading the stories of other clients who had found their dream homes through the help of Andrea and his team of partners. Thoughts of Venice and our too-brief visit there kept niggling at me, prompting me to send off an email to Andrea, introducing myself and inquiring about the service he provided. Who knew? Maybe someday, years later, I could return… I remember telling Andrea in that email that I was in no hurry to purchase any particular property. That I even expected it would take months or years to find my perfect property, if it even existed. In the meantime, I intended to check around elsewhere; Tuscany (which we had also enjoyed), the UK where we had spent many holidays before, even further afield. Andrea responded promptly and professionally and his email answered a lot of questions, making the idea of buying property overseas seem a little more achievable. He sent me information about this particular apartment that was, as it turns out, just adjacent to and in the same building as Ca' San Sebastiano, the place where we had stayed on holiday. In the meantime, David (Willis), Ca' San Sebastiano's owner, provided assurances about his own recent experience purchasing his property in Venice and working with Andrea, Massimiliano, and Properties in Italy. I combed the internet looking through different properties, not just the one Andrea had recommended. But from 4,000 miles away and only photos on the internet, it was impossible to tell what I was looking at, where anything was located. I asked endless questions of Andrea and with each response from him, the possibility grew more and more tangible until I finally had to decide if I was going to abandon the idea altogether, or take a chance on it. I knew if I didn't go to at least see the property (and others), I would always wonder if I should have. So I returned to Italy and to Venice little more than a month after I had left before. Andrea spent the day with me showing me different properties available in the area near where we'd stayed, including the one he'd first recommended to me. It was a wonderful location, in a quiet part of Dorsoduro not far away from the popular areas of Campo Santa Margherita and the Accademia. It had a private courtyard and boat mooring, two bedrooms and even a fireplace, but it would need quite a bit of renovation to bring my idea of what the apartment should be like in terms of renting it out when I wasn't in Venice to fruition. Andrea assured me he had the very best people to handle the task, no matter how grand or small I chose. I went home to the States to decide if I really wanted to make an offer on the property. I kept telling myself I must be crazy even as I talked it over with my family, weighting the pros and cons. Finally throwing caution to the wind, we made an offer to buy the property. There was a little back and forth of negotiation but I set in my mind a figure that if we could not agree upon it, I would simply tell myself this property, this time, wasn't meant to be. It was at this point we first met the inimitable Massimiliano, who handled all of the negotiation and legalities of making a purchase offer. Max was both adept and professional and took us skillfully through the process by way of a flurry of emails and faxes, finally delivering us the good news that the seller had accepted our offer. That "crazy" dream we'd had suddenly became a reality. I took another trip back to Venice in late November to sign the paperwork (which Max painstakingly translated for me), and walked me through a whirlwind process that ended up with me holding a set of keys in my hands. I was duly baptized by Venice the very day after taking ownership of the apartment during the worst acqua alta in over 30 years (but it did NOT, as Andrea had repeatedly assured me, rise high enough to flood the apartment). The renovations were agreed upon and I am thrilled to tell you that my family spent the first weeks of March, 2009 in our new Venetian home - which dear Andrea even helped me to christen Ca' Venexiana. To keep myself busy during the renovations and waiting, I created a web site ( and started learning the ins and outs of renting out a holiday apartment. The response has been phenomenal. Even before the renovation was completed, we were nearly fully booked for the first four months. Since adding the new interior photos, our bookings have even increased and are now solid through October and into November with inquiries already coming in for next year! I couldn't be more pleased with the attention to detail and quality of the renovation that was done. My family owes Andrea, Max and everyone else who are a part of the team at Properties in Italy a huge debt of gratitude for being so patient, so thorough, and so understanding of our anxieties and wishes. Without them, this would have been a dream that never would have come true.

Jaclyn Reding - March 2009

Ca' Venexiana - avant / après restauration

the living room - before
the living room- after
the kitchen - before
the kitchen - after
the bathroom - before
the bathroom - after
the courtyard - before
the courtyard - after

For more information about Ca' Venexiana or to reserve it for your holidays in Venice, visit


A property on La Giudecca!

The beauty of Venice has enthralled my husband for many years, yet he still had to experience seeing the City during both 'l'acqua alta' and in the haunting fog that comes during cooler climes. We finally came to the decision to purchase a property in 2007 but it was not until 'La Dolce Vita' exhibition at Olympia, during 2008, that we met Andrea Redivo Zaglia from Properties in Italy, and the process began. I was quite nervous about the whole procedure as I had read and been told by many people that buying property in Italy was a difficult and lengthy process, filled with many unexpected pitfalls, 'red-tape' complications and hidden costs. Our requirements were to purchase a 2-bedroomed property on La Guidecca and one that did not require a great deal of maintenance. We had no plans to rent the property but wanted something that we could us a base for exploring Italy and 'lock-up and leave', without thinking about it between visits. Following our brief meeting, Andrea sent us some properties, by e-mail, to consider viewing. Within a few weeks, we flew out to Venice and spent one day with Andrea, viewing 6 or 7 properties. It was not difficult to weed out those that did not interest us and we made a very quick decision. The selection of properties were varied enough to clarify our thoughts and we selected the first apartment that we had viewed that day. The purchase itself was made incredibly easy, both by Andrea and Massimiliano. Massimiliano patiently translated into English any legal documents, including the rather long purchase contract, and explained all pertinent matters to us. It took only 3-4 months from the initial agreement to the equivalent of 'exchange of contracts'. Andrea and Massimiliano organised all the contractors that we required for painting and electrical work, even for hanging pictures and mirrors. Andrea even offered to drive a friend and I to Ikea, in Padova, and waited for several hours whilst we deliberated over various bathroom furnishings. The entire process was made so incredibly easy and stress-free that I cannot speak highly enough of Andrea, Massimiliano and their network. They deserve high praise! Being based in the U.K., I greatly prized the efficiency of communication. The ability to pick up the telephone or type e-mail at any time and know that we would receive an immediate response, to resolve any worries or organise any additional requirements, was quite wonderful. We were treated with courtesy, professionalism and patience throughout the process and a great deal of kindness and understanding. We are both extremely happy with the wonderful service that we have received and continue to receive through Andrea's willingness to assist with any problems and the open lines of communication that we continue to enjoy. When the time comes to purchase another property in Italy, we will, without hesitation, ask Andrea to help us.

Gillian and Ton Tjia - Surrey, England

Gillian Tjia
Ton Tjia and their children




Rebecca Bancroft from Manchester owns a conjoined pair of two-bedroom houses in the Euganean Hills of the southern Veneto. She and her partner make regular visits to one house and rent the other to a long-term tenant. "We love everything about Italy - the food, the climate, the people," she says. "We decided on buying in the Veneto because there were direct flights from Manchester to Venice. I was thinking about Asolo in the north of the region. Then we met Andrea Zaglia from Properties in Italy at the Viva Italia show in London, and he told us 'Asolo is very nice, but you're going to love the Euganean Hills.' So I said let's have a look. He arranged a weekend for us, drove us around the hills and we just fell in love with them. Asolo is beautiful, but the area around it is very industrial - whereas the Euganean Hills are a large, unspoilt area full of beautiful villages. "A friend who'd bought a house abroad advised me to make a list of five criteria and stick to them, rather than falling in love with a property and buying it even though it didn't tick all the boxes. It was good advice, but I ended up buying this wonderful terraced house when I had always said I wanted something detached! It's split down the middle into two homes. The German couple who had owned it before us had beautifully restored it. It works out brilliantly having a tenant in one half because there's constantly someone there to keep an eye on things, and we've got rental income. "When I think about our whole experience of buying in Italy, sometimes I have to pinch myself. Nothing went wrong. And to have found an area so beautiful that we've never even heard of is incredible. Andrea has gone above and beyond what you'd expect an estate agent to do for you. If there's a problem, say with the heating, they'll find us someone local to deal with it - all for no further expense. We've constantly been surprised by how wonderful they've been. "The climate is obviously warmer and sunnier than in England. We went out for Easter this year and were eating lunch outside even then. Humidity's not a problem because you're in the hills. It's sort of a microclimate. The weather's very different to Venice. The greenness in spring is incredible. It's nice that we've only heard English spoken there once and German once. We tell Andrea 'you must stop trying to get people to come here!' We want the hills to remain a secret, but there is a trickle of people coming in. I think the area has as much to offer as any part of Italy."


Lisa and Rebecca

Location, Location, Location………..or The Persuasion of Properties in Italy!

Having been regular visitors to Venice for about twenty years, we decided one sunny afternoon, over a glass of grappa in the Campo San Polo, that it was time to look for a flat of our own. This was 2004 and it was to take until January 2007 to achieve our goal. Buying in Venice is not easy, especially when we firmly stipulated that 'our' flat simply had to be in Dorsodoro and preferably as near to Campo San Barnaba as possible! Following up a small advertisement in one of my Italian magazines, we met up with first Max and then Andrea and viewed many flats together over the months, efficiently guided and advised, but nothing was just right……….. By now it was May 2006, when an e-mail from Andrea arrived, suggesting a flat to be completely restored and fitted out, but - oh dear - not in Dorsodoro! However, trusting his intuition, we were there two days later in an utterly peaceful Corte, three minutes from the Rialto Bridge, five from the Market, ten from St. Mark's, ten from the Station, ten from the Fondamenta Nuove….what a position, as our guests constantly remark! Amongst the rubble, we had to imagine the exposed beams and restored terrazzo flooring and how we would make it 'tipico' but we decided to go ahead, soon getting a feel for the area with its small specialist shops, cafes and restaurants where you soon become known and where everything really is 'just round the corner'. The purchase was not without its problems, but Andrea and Max worked hard and conscientiously in our interests and most certainly have done so ever since. Lettings have proved very good indeed, through an Italian agent, an English one and business and personal contacts. 'Properties in Italy' are courteous and capable and I thoroughly recommend them.

Jane MacInnes - August 2008

For more information about Ca' Amadi or to reserve it for your holidays in Venice, visit


Ca' Amadi - the 'campo'



Peter and Phyllis Davies achieve their dream in Venice.

We've been regular visitors to Venice for many years as tourists but also because Phyllis is a painter and the city has been the inspiration for much of her work. As she said in a recent exhibition catalogue "although my work is varied, it is to Venice that I return again and again. The light, the pattern, the vibrancy and vitality of the city leave their mark on anyone who visits". So it's no surprise that we've often toyed with the idea of buying our own apartment. But it always seemed so full of unknowns. Could we control the costs of buying? Who would be checking all the legal work? What would the running costs be? How could we arrange and supervise any building work? How would we register for local taxation and utilities? What's a codice fiscale and how do you get one? Etc etc. We visited a few local estate agents and, frankly, were unimpressed. We also heard cautionary stories from other second-homers that had received a basic service but then had been left to fend for themselves after the purchase was completed. And then happily we met Properties in Italy at the La Dolce Vita show in March 2007! Immediately we felt that we were getting clear answers from a team that was attentive and seriously customer-focussed. Over the next couple of months we followed up by email with other questions. Buying in a foreign country involves putting a lot of trust in your local agents and we judged that this was a team that we could trust - everything subsequently has borne that out. So when we planned a programme of apartment viewings, in the following August, we decided to work only with Properties in Italy and didn't use another estate agent. The result was that by December we were the delighted owners of just the right property in Giudecca. The whole buying process was not stressful and actually we were looked after so well by Max and Andrea that it was an enjoyable journey. But what has really impressed us is the "after-care". This has ranged from selecting, organising and supervising builders, to representing us at condominium meetings, even to purchasing palms and tuscan terracotta pots and installing them on our terrace. Nothing has been too much trouble for Max, Andrea and their network of specialists. We have the comfort of knowing that if a problem arises they will be responsive and helpful and stay with it until it is resolved. So now we are thoroughly enjoying our second home in Venice. Phyllis is getting the new studio equipped and I'm beginning to think about a small boat. Our sincere thanks go to Properties in Italy for helping us achieve the dream.

Peter and Phyllis Davies - July 2008

Judeca Nova complex - Venice
Peter and Phyllis celebrating with their family in Torcello island
Phyllis Davies's painting 'The Moor'
Phyllis Davies's painting 'Salute'

If you are interested in Phyllis Davies's paintings, you can contact her at:


A property with courtyard in Venice!

We met Andrea at the Dolce Vita exhibition in 2006 and immediately formed the view that here was someone that knew his business, was trustworthy and understood what we wanted. Meeting Andrea enabled us to turn a “pipedream” of owning a property in Venice into a reality. We searched for a property with outside space, ideally a courtyard, in the Dorsoduro area. Through various visits, e mails and telephone conversations the search progressed and had taken the best part of 12 months before Andrea found us what we had been looking for. His e mail giving us the details was certain that this was the right place for us and this has proved to be the case. We met Max as the legal process for the purchase set off and everything was handled efficiently, calmly and with no surprises. We are now the proud owners of a lovely 2 bedroom house with private courtyard in Calle dei Guardiani, Dorsoduro, which is predominantly a buy to let investment, as long as we can keep the family and friends from filling up all the available slots! We upgraded the courtyard turning the space with potential into the major selling point of the property. Once the building work was completed, Max and Andrea joined us one Saturday afternoon for the planting of the courtyard. Andrea has wide ranging gardening skills and was very much in charge of the operation, Max the lawyer and I were the labourers acting under his direction! It seemed to us to sum up the whole exercise and the journey we had been on. From the Dolce Vita meeting to the completion of the garden in the courtyard together with our friends Andrea and Max who have been invaluable throughout.

Josh Herlihy - June 2008

the courtyard - before
the courtyard - after the upgrade

If you wish to know more about the holiday house Ca' dei Guardiani see their web page.


Enjoy The High Then The Super-High Season With A Venetian Fly-To-Let

To begin at the beginning, I had been a restaurateur for many years, having originally sought out the catering industry as a challenging alternative to a previous career in theatre that I felt had run its natural course. Food was something I'd always been passionately interested in, and buying a charming 16th century restaurant in a sedate and picturesque Welsh borders town seemed like my idea of heaven, a far cry from the hell that is often the stage. Running a restaurant was enjoyable, though extremely hard work, and last year I decided it was time for another career U-turn. I wanted a somewhat easier way of earning money than cooking for the 5,000, so I turned my attention to the potential of property. As I was also moving back to London, this seemed like the most obvious place to invest, but I quickly figured the kind of price achieved by my good-sized restaurant would buy me little more that a cramped flat in some obscure London borough. Besides, London didn't seem to be the kind of rat-race city that I could imagine spending the rest of my days in, more of a necessary stopgap than any kind of long-term retirement home. When I honestly contemplated where I wanted to be in, say, 10 years time, I imagined a lazy life in Italy, specifically Venice, a city I'd visited frequently and loved for many years. And the more I honed in on this idea, the more it also seemed like a wise investment strategy. On the face of it, of course, this wasn't the case at all. In fact, when I informed friends of my would-be plans, their immediate response was one of incredulous wonder. "Invest in a city that's sinking? Are you mad?" was the rather unanimously overwhelming response. True, Venice is built somewhat precariously in the lagoon waters of the northern Adriatic, and does occasionally experience what is locally referred to as acqua alta (literally "high water"), at which point the sandbags come out, as do the Wellies, plus the raised walkways that enable dry carriage around the city. But the Venetians simply take it all in their stride as a fact of life. But consider too the vast inflatable dam that's being constructed at the mouth of the lagoon - something akin to the Thames Barrier but much bigger - an unprecedented engineering phenomenon that will protect Venice from rising waters when it is completed in 2011, and you quickly realise that there's far too much invested in Venice for it to be any kind of ill-fated Atlantis. From a fly-to-let perspective it's virtually unrivalled anywhere in Europe, with no actual low season, just a year-round high season and then a super-high season for Christmas, Carnival, the Venice Film Festival and various other dates scattered across the calendar. Venice, it seemed, was a veritable goldmine waiting to be tapped. Of course I realised the competition would be fierce, but having spent numerous holidays in invariably dreadful (and never cheap) short-term holiday accommodation, I was fairly confident that I could put together a stylish holiday let package of my own that would put others to shame, even on my fairly moderate budget. Then I could let it out to cover the mortgage, maintenance, cleaning and management costs, and use it myself when it was empty. Perfect. As serendipity would have it, about the time I was beginning my investigations, Olympia in London was staging a 5-day event called Viva Italia show to promote the Italian way of life lock, stock and barrel: fine food and wine, cars, fashion and, of course, property. It was here that I made contact with the excellent Properties In Italy company who would eventually guide me through the whole process of buying in Venice. Although I was a little unsure what exactly I was looking for, I duly made my arrangements to fly out for an intensive session of viewing. The Low-Down On Venice The Venetian lagoon is a geographically complex cluster of many islands, but for investment purposes life centres around the half-dozen sestieri (or districts) where most tourists invariably spend most of their time, a strange fish-shaped pocket of reclaimed land that is linked to the mainland by a mile or so of road and railway. Divided loosely by the inverted S-figure that is the Grand Canal, these sestieri are Santa Croce, San Polo and Dorsoduro to the west and Cannaregio, Castello and San Marco to the east. The last of these, San Marco, with its awe-inspiring Piazza, Doge's Palace, its namesake Basilica and 1,000 other sights, must rank amongst one of the most frequently visited square kilometres of land anywhere in the world. Having said that, it's still very easy to get off the beaten track and lose yourself in its atmospheric labyrinth of passageways. Still, for my liking San Marco felt a little too obvious a place to invest, and considering that it's 99% geared towards milking tourists of their money, not the cheapest of places to get a foothold in. An apartment looking out onto the Grand Canal, for example, could set you back as much as £4m. A nice idea, but more than a little out of my depth. Besides these 6 main districts there's also the other lagoon islands to choose from: Giudecca, just 1km south of San Marco, offers affordable new-builds, but feels strangely out on a limb, whilst Murano and Burano, world famous producers of glass and lacework respectively, make for cheaper alternatives, but if lace lacework and glass aren't really your thing … well, what's the point? Back in Venice itself, the remaining 5 sestieri all have their individual style and atmosphere, too: Castello feels authentically Venetian, but is perhaps a little too quiet and off the beaten track; Cannaregio and Santa Croce are both interesting areas, but don't have quite enough tourist cachet. Which leaves San Polo and Dorsoduro, both of which were ticking all the correct boxes in my head: vibrant and lively, a fair share each of Venetian must-sees, yet with quieter pockets away from the main tourist drag. Having narrowed down my search I felt confident that my trip to Venice would bear fruit. And indeed it did. Over the course of 3 days, I viewed a dozen or so apartments, a wide range that encompassed those requiring full restoration and others that were fully restored and furnished and already had permission to let. What is so unique about Venice is that every single building is different. Eventually you have to consider each on their individual strengths alone, as making comparisons can often cloud the matter further. Costs can vary dramatically, too. Basic rates begin at around €4,000 per sq mtr, although fairly basic fare in San Marco can command as much as €8,000 per sq mtr and those precious locations on the Grand Canal can often reach the €10,000 mark. As a guide, 2-bedroom apartments can range from €350,000 to €600,000, with factors such as the floor and the location holding quite dramatic sway over price. Given the limitations of space in Venice, a balcony, small courtyard or even just a picturesque view can all have an impact on price. And despite the looming threat of acqua alta, you mustn't disregard cheaper properties simply because they're on the ground floor. All you need to establish is the height above sea level and then remember that the lagoon waters reach a height of 1.3m above sea level just once or twice a year. (The highest recorded acqua alta was 1.9m back in 1966.) Like I've suggested, the great thing about Venice from a fly-to-let perspective is its year-round high season, attracting a strange melange of honeymooners, film buffs, art historians, pilgrims or those simply "doing Europe". The Lido is just a brief vaporetto (or waterbus) ride away, so you can also get your stint on a beautiful stretch of beach. Such heady pulling power ultimately means that the holiday market is very well oiled, with no shortage of established agents organising your bookings, check-ins, check-outs, maintenance and cleaning for very competitive fees. And an empty week or two simply means there's a handy window in the calendar for a discounted trip for friends, family or even yourself. For me Venice is the definition of having your cake and eating it. So what can you currently expect to gain on the Venetian property market? Well, once again, location very much determines exact prices, but a 2-bed apartment typically yields between €900 and €1,200 per week, and even more during the super-high season. Taking into consideration the costs of managing the property remotely, you can expect a healthy annual yield upwards of 6%. The overall picture is rosy, too, with property prices rising by 8% to 10% annually across the region. Thus equipped with a low-down on Venice that extended beyond the well-thumbed pages of my Rough Guide, I finally honed my search upon just 2 apartments, one each in San Polo and Dorsoduro. And The Winner Is … Don't get me wrong, the San Polo apartment was out of this world: 1st floor, 3-bedrooms, vast balconied living room overlooking its own romantic stretch of canal, all within 5 minutes' walk of the Rialto, but the refurbishments it needed would definitely have pushed my budget to breaking point and beyond. On the other hand, the Dorsoduro apartment was on the ground floor and therefore considerably cheaper, despite its generous size. It was also higher than that all-important maximum flood level. Although it didn't have a balcony or courtyard, it was detached on 3 sides (one canal-sided) and therefore enjoyed this amazing sense of space and light. In terms of actual size, it extended to 100 sq mtrs, comprising a huge living room, 3 bedrooms (one vast; two good-sized), a spacious kitchen, plus a bathroom that desperately needed enlarging somehow. To get it up to holiday-letting scratch, the apartment needed refurbishing throughout, but there were many amazing details in place that I wanted to retain, amongst them filigreed plasterwork on the ceilings and beautiful Murano glass chandeliers in every room. When my offer of €336,000 (€12,000 below the asking price) on the apartment was accepted, I used the remainder of my budget (€70,000) for renovations, an extensive 2-month programme of work that saw the apartment stripped right back to the brick, before being fully re-wired and re-plumbed under pristine plaster and beautiful new floors. Properties In Italy had put me in touch with an excellent engineer/project manager who oversaw every aspect of the renovation work. By the time the apartment has been fully furnished I'll have spent in the region of €430,000, but already, as I write, and before all work is fully finished, I have bookings to the value of €12,000 and enquiries coming in on a daily basis. The agent I'm currently dealing with is suggesting occupancy rates of up to 80% per year should be wholly achievable. And in the wake of the recent flooding that has caused so much misery and destruction in the UK, I cannot help but feel a certain smug satisfaction when I think of those who initially pooh-poohed my idea of buying in Venice.

David Wills - September 2007

Further research: For more information about Ca' San Sebastiano or to reserve it for your own property viewing expedition, visit


Ca' San Sebastiano - avant / après restauration

the sitting room - before
the sitting room- after
the kitchen - before
the kitchen - after
the bedroom - before
the bedroom - after



A property in the Euganean Hills

Properties in Italy with Paul & Karen Sanham at the Hard Rock Café in London

It has been a dream of ours for the last 5 years to buy a home in Italy, but no one has ever found us a property within our specification, price range or in the right location.

We met "Properties in Italy" at the Dolce Vita exhibition in April this year. We left our contact details and the type of property that we were interested in and within a few weeks we had received some details of properties that matched our criteria. We then made arrangements to go out for a viewing. Nothing was too much trouble, Alessandra even managed to host us for lunch even though her first baby was due within a couple of weeks.

We had always been looking in the Veneto region, but it was the stunning beauty of the Colli Euganei that made us decide to buy in this area. One property particularly stuck in our mind, so we went back for a second viewing and our excitement was more intense than our first viewing. We needed a lot of vision as the property was still being built, but it felt so right and the location was perfect, nestled into the hills with stunning views all around. Arrangements were made to meet the family building the house and we put in an offer, we had to wait a nail biting 2 days to find out if our offer had been accepted. Within 4 weeks we met Andrea and Max in London and signed our Preliminary Contract over a celebratory dinner in the the Hard Rock Cafe.

Although it is very daunting trying to understand the minefield of burocracy surrounding buying a home in Italy, "Properties in Italy" have all this under control. Every question or concern we have had Andrea & Max have been there at the end of the phone or e-mail giving us the answers and guidance that we need. What we have found in our experience so far with "Properties in Italy" is they take the time to listen to your requirements and concerns. They do not give you the 'hard sell' they want you to be 100% certain that you are making the right decision in buying your dream home. Every aspect of buying a home in Italy is taken care of by "Properties in Italy", it takes the pressure out of the whole process.


Finally it is also nice to know that in the meantime we have made new friends.

Paul & Karen Sanham

Proud owners of a beautiful house in Faedo





Properties in Italy di Andrea Redivo Zaglia
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