The Italian Almanac - Airports & Real Estate

Falconara airport

Italian News - May 21

The explosive growth of budget airlines has introduced millions of passengers to some of Italy's lesser-known airports - and to several real estate markets that are just as far off the beaten track. Travelers now frequently bypass Rome, Milan and Venice to land in small cities like the Adriatic communities of Brindisi, Pescara and Ancona. And the influx has been accompanied by a corresponding rise in property development and investment in the surrounding regions like Puglia, Abruzzi and Le Marche.

"We flew 7.5 million people into Italy last year. Those are huge numbers," said Peter Sherrard, a spokesman for Ryanair, one of several low-cost carriers that serve the Italian market. "While the upswing in airports like Rome and Milan may not make much of a difference, when you've got an increase of, say, 200,000 people flying into Pescara, the effect is certainly felt."

Real estate agents agree. "Six years ago the airport in Ancona was little more than a shack," said Lorenza Capanara of the real estate agency MCH, which is based in Amandola in Le Marche. "Now it's become one of the nicest airports in Italy. We have seen a enormous increase in tourism in general, but in people looking for houses in particular."