San Gimignano Property Market and Real Estate Guide

(San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy)

Aerial view showing the centre of San GimignanoThe medieval walled hill village of San Gimignano is located in Tuscany, one of northern Italy's most popular tourist destinations. Famous for its medieval towers and architecture, the village attracts over three million visitors annually. Access to San Gimignano is primarily by bus from the nearby town of Poggibonsi, as there is no direct train connection.

Enclosed by the city walls, the little town is a pedestrianised area with car parks provided on the outskirts. San Gimignano is small enough to walk everywhere, although an electric shuttle bus runs between the main square and the two ancient city gates. As well as a host of medieval buildings, San Gimignano has a good number of shops, trattorias and restaurants, and the Piazza del Duomo is home to a weekly market.

In the San Gimignano region between Florence and Siena, property prices have risen by over 40 percent during the last few years, influenced by incomers from elsewhere in Europe. However, bargains can still be found, particularly if renovation is necessary.

The somewhat scarce housing stock in San Gimignano and its surrounding area ranges from converted apartments in ancient buildings to stone cottages, with farmhouses outside the village suitable for renovation. Luxury rural properties with land command a huge premium. Given the small size and historic nature of this little town, it is unsurprising that properties are rarely for sale inside the city walls and are comparatively expensive.

Image showing view over San Gimignano

Renting Serviced Apartments

Although there are a good number of short-term holiday rental apartments in San Gimignano, serviced apartments are rare and mostly located outside the city walls in converted old buildings. Within the city walls, self-catering apartments are available, and it may be possible to arrange for maid service as part of the rental. Prices are more expensive than comparable hotels.

Buying Apartments and Houses

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in San Gimignano, although the purchasing process can be convoluted, and should not be undertaken without a public notary's involvement. A legally binding initial contract is prepared by the notary, signed by both parties, and the initial deposit of 20 percent is lodged. Comprehensive searches take place, and the buyer must open an Italian bank account into which the full purchase price must be transferred to comply with money-laundering laws.

The buyer must also obtain a tax code at a local tax office. The last stage is the signing of the final contract and the handing over of the balance of the price. Charges run at ten percent of the agreed price - the buyer pays sales tax on the declared value, (less than the agreed price), and realtor commission is three percent.

Real Estate Agents

There are no estate agencies in the town as such, but several UK based agencies deal with the area and there are agencies in nearby towns who list San Gimignano properties if available.

Those searching for properties in San Gimignano should check out the following estate agents:

Casa Tuscany
Address: 205 St. Matthew's Gardens, Cambridge, CB1 2PS, England, UK
Tel: +44 01223 360 523
Casa Tuscany is registered in the UK and has an interesting and comprehensive website.

Alfa Immobiliare
Address: Via Ferruchio 58, Castellina in Chianti, Siena, IT-53011, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 0577 74 0326
Alfa Immobiliare is located in the area of San Gimignano and deals mainly with upscale properties.

Agentzia Immobiliare Milianti
Address: Via Guarnacci 10, Volterra, Pisa, IT-56048, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 058 885 5578
This upscale agency specialises in properties within historical locations, such as San Gimignano and neighbouring towns.