When looking to purchase a property in Italy you’ll probably encounter a wide array of different housing-related words and phrases. Getting to grips with the local lingo can be a bit daunting when taking such an important step – especially if you’ve got absolutely no knowledge of Italian to fall back on.

To help guide you through the process of purchasing a property in Italy we’ve provided a guide detailing some of the various technical terms you may encounter along the way.

  • Abitabilità (Habitability) – This is a certification that proves that a property is suitable for human habitation, including meeting natural lighting and safety regulations.
  • Abuso edilizio (Building irregularity) – Historically lax property laws in Italy mean that many properties have unauthorised extensions or modifications. Such issues make a property unsellable, but some unscrupulous sellers may attempt to falsify records, so always ensure that a property has been thoroughly vetted by local authorities before purchasing.
  • Accollo del mutuo (Mortgage takeover) – Purchasing a property in Italy also means taking over any outstanding repayments from the previous owner, these are often listed far below market prices so be careful if you spot a deal too good to be true.
  • Agenzie immobiliari (Estate Agent) – Most people will enlist the help of a registered estate agent to help them find the perfect home for them in Italy, just be wary of being pushed into a purchase by those looking to earn a commission.
  • Bombolone (Gas Tank) – If your home uses its own gas supply (as many rural properties in Italy do) then you will need to make sure that you know where the gas tank is kept. You should also look into having it properly checked before committing to a purchase.
  • Camino (Fireplace) – Some older properties may also include a functional fireplace, allowing you to spend your winters curled up next to a roaring open fire.
  • Catasto (Land registry) – This is a survey of the value of your property in order to determine taxation.
  • Piscina (Swimming pool) – The ultimate way to enjoy the glorious Italian weather is to take a dip in your own swimming pool.
  • Proprietario vende direttamente (Private sale) – By avoiding estate agents and purchasing a property through a private seller you may find that there is a little more wiggle room on price.
  • Pavimenti in cotto (Terracotta tiled flooring) – A traditional feature in many Italian homes.
  • Procura (Power of attorney) – If you are unable to be in Italy for the entire process of your property purchase you may wish to grant power of attorney so that someone else can represent you in transactions.
  • Ristrutturato (Renovated) – Many older properties in Italy will likely have been renovated or remodelled in recent years, often in order to improve energy efficiency.
  • Appartamento (Apartment) – If you are looking for a place closer to a city centre in one of the major Italian cities like Rome then you may have to settle for an apartment in one of the complexes found in most built up areas.
  • Box (Garage) – If you drive and want to keep your car out of the elements or just want a bit of extra storage space for some of your stuff then you’ll be on the hunt for a property with a garage
  • Circa (Approximately) – Most property listings will give a rough estimate of the distance to local amenities such a shop or public transport.
  • Giardino (Garden) – The climate in Italy offers the aspiring botanist the perfect chance to try planting some more exotic flowers in their garden. If you’re not a flower fan you probably still want a garden so you’ve got somewhere to chill out with a couple of cold beers in the summer!
  • Bagni (Bathroom) – Multiple bathrooms are a luxury many will believe is well worth the extra money, especially if you have to juggle a mad morning rush with children who need to get ready for school.
  • Stufa a Legna (Wood stove) – No quite as romantic as a fireplace but still a comparatively cheap and efficient way of heating your home in the winter.

While there are other Italian property terms you’re likely to come up against during your search for an overseas home, this brief guide to the basics should help you on your way!