Islands for Sale in Italy: Purchase Tips

Islands for Sale in Italy: Purchase Tips

Italy is a Mediterranean country surrounded by the Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Adriatic seas. It expands across the Apennine Peninsula and comprises about 450 Italy islands. Every year, numerous tourists from all over the world visit Sicily to admire its rich culture, discover its history, enjoy the breathtaking scenery, taste some delicious pasta or climb Mount Etna. You can not only enjoy the beauty of Italy and the surrounding islands but also buy your own private island in Italy and start a new page of luxurious life. This article is for those who are interested in the islands for sale in Italy.

Italian Islands for Sale

This beautiful country owns 450 islands, but only about a dozen of them are put up for sale. Among them, there are Island of Ottagono San Pietro in the Venice Lagoon, Island of Sirens (which was recently sold), Isola Ravaiarina in the Lagoon of Grado, Santa Maria Island and Isola delle Femmine in Sicily. Many islands for sale in Italy are located in the Venetian Lagoon, including the Italian Island of Ottagono San Pietro. The real estate of the Venetian Lagoon islands, as well as the islands in other areas, attracts the attention of buyers and tenants from around the world due to its historical and cultural heritage.

italian islands for sale map
Islands for sale in Italy on the map

Yes, Italian islands for sale usually have an interesting history. Many of them have preserved cultural monuments, castles, and fortresses. Some of them were artificially constructed during the war. In addition to that, Italy generously offers romance, incredible scenery, a pleasant climate and a special flavor.

Italian islands for sale are conveniently located, so you can get to your property either from the nearest airport or by boat. On many islands, electricity is produced by a generator, and rainwater is recovered for domestic use.

The climate of the Italian islands

Italy’s climate is very diverse. Most of the country lies in the subtropical climate zone. The north of Italy finds itself in the temperate climate zone. The climate there is transitional from marine to continental.

In northern Italy, on the Padan Plain, the climate is transitional from subtropical to temperate. It is characterized by hot summers (from +22°С to +24°С in July) and cold foggy winters (about 0°С in January).

The climate of the island part of Italy is subtropical Mediterranean. During 2/3 of the year, there is a clear blue sky, summers are hot and dry (+26°С in July), and winters are warm and mild (from +8°С to +10°С in January). Snow falls very rarely, except in the mountainous areas of the Alps, where it lies at altitudes of more than 1500 m for up to 200 days a year.

In the south of the peninsula, dry hot winds from the Sahara – sirocco – blow from March to October. During this period, the temperature rises to +35°C.

In most parts of the territory, the summer is very warm and dry, and July is the warmest month. Autumn is usually rainy. Winters are cool and humid (which leads to frequent fogs) in the north and milder in the south. In the provinces located in the foothills of the Alps, the climate is mountainous. Summers are cool and winters are cold and snowy.

The climate of an island depends on its location. However, an island may be windier due to the surrounding water and the lack of mountains protecting it.

Italian seashell coast
Private Island Beach in Italy

Buying a private island in Italy

If you want to buy an island in Italy, you need to know many nuances of the law and the Italian real estate market. Here are the basic ones.

  1. Foreigners have the same rights to buy real estate in Italy (including the islands) as Italian citizens. You do not need any additional government authorizations or Italy residence permits to make a purchase.
  2. Italian islands for sale are available to foreigners on a freehold basis.
  3. Purchase and sale agreements can be executed on behalf of an individual or a legal entity.
  4. The responsibilities of a real estate owner in Italy include timely payment of utility bills (Italy islands are mostly equipped with basic communications) and annual taxes.
  5. You do not have to hire a realtor to buy real estate. However, we still recommend enlisting the support of a professional to purchase an island in Italy.
  6. When looking for a realtor, be sure to check his/her license (patentino di agente di affari in mediazione) and insurance, without which the realtor cannot provide services in Italy. Also, analyze the reviews about the realtor or the company.
  7. Unlike the U.S., where the realtor represents the interests of the buyer, in Italy, the realtor acts as an intermediary between the buying and the selling counterparties, i.e., the same agent represents the buyer and the seller.
  8. To buy an island in Italy, you must have a notary who seals the purchase contract.
  9. In Italy, it is the buyer who pays for the services of a notary and all taxes related to the purchase.
  10. Even if you use the services of a realtor (optional) and a notary (mandatory) to make a purchase of an island, you can also seek the help of a lawyer. A real trump card would be a lawyer who speaks both Italian and English (or, you can have your own lawyer and translator). The lawyer will check all the existing debts of the seller related to the island, property rights, local restrictions on the planning and development of the island, etc. If necessary, a specialist will accompany you throughout the purchase and sale process.
  11. Italian lawyers generally charge 4-6% of the purchase price.
  12. Closing costs in Italy can reach as high as 20%.
  13. Please note that in Italy, all debts remain with the island and not with the owner. Thus, if you buy an island with debts, you will have to pay them. That is why it is so important to check everything before buying the islands of Italy.
  14. The island’s development may depend on many nuances governed by law. For example, numerous Italy islands belong to a conservation area, so construction on them can be significantly restricted. All such nuances need to be checked before proceeding with the purchase as well.

There are also other aspects of Italian law that can be best explained by local realtors or buyers.

You might find it interesting: Main Reasons to Buy a Private Island in Spain

Italian Island for Sale, Italian landscape
Italian Landscape


Buying an island in Italy has many benefits:

  • Pleasant climatic conditions.
  • An interesting history.
  • Proximity to civilization.
  • No restrictions for foreign buyers.
  • Freehold basis.

However, there can also be a lot of red tapes when it comes to real estate, especially buying an island in Italy (European islands). That’s why you should explore the Italian market very well as well as all the issues related to a particular island. The best solution would be to enlist the support of a notary, whose participation is mandatory, as well as a realtor and a lawyer, who, although being optional participants in the buying and selling process, are very desirable, especially when it comes to an island.