Latest News & Views

foto of ElsBeing Dutch, going on holiday when I was young mostly came down to this. You would head for a sunny Southern European destination whilst dragging this big “thing” behind your car. Travelling like a snail, your own little house on your back, having to be extra careful when coming down a mountain…

I never enjoyed a summer holiday more than the one at a campsite near Malcesine. Where a hammock, Italian ice cream, plenty of sunshine, a pebble beach, an air mattress and my new best friend Cardia van Bemmelen provided all the fun a 7 year old could wish for, back then the main tourists in those days seemed to be mostly Dutch.

Early seventies Lake Garda was as beautiful as it is today, with charming villages, lemon trees and exotic flowers everywhere and crystal clear blue waters – perfect for swimming. But it had yet to be discovered by mass tourism. I would say that Lake Iseo today reminds me of those times.

When my husband and I decided in 2010 to look for an apartment in Italy we focused on Lake Garda. After visiting it only once, he was smitten too and could see us spending many a holiday there. It did not take me long to find Madeleine Morgan’s Dreamhomes and then our journey really took off. And it was Madeleine who introduced us first to Lake Iseo.

Like many people, I had visited all the larger north Italian lakes (Maggiore, Como, Garda) but not Lake Iseo. Each lake has a personality of its own. Compared to Garda, Iseo is much smaller, more secluded and less polished. It seduces you quite differently. If Lake Garda is the extravert spontaneous girl, Iseo is her more serene, mysterious sister. It was its “inspiring authenticity and grand beauty” that made world famous artist Jean Claude Christo select Lake Iseo as the location for “The Floating Piers”, earlier this year.

Lake Garda has a sub-mediterranean climate. This basically means lovely mild weather but a few more rain showers in summer than say, the Amalfi Coast.Lake Iseo’s climate is alpine, with olives and horse chestnuts rather than lemon groves and palm trees. Summers are very sunny but generally a few degrees cooler than Lake Garda.

Iseo also borders the Franciacorta wine region, famous for sparkling wine made in the Champagne method. Franciacorta was recently hailed by international wine connoisseurs as Italy’s best new sparkling wine, and chosen as the “Official Sparkling Wine” of the Milan Expo 2015. Needless to say that interest in the region is starting to soar.

Back to 2010. Madeleine showed us many appealing apartments, first at Lake Garda and then at Lake Iseo. And I cannot deny we were more than a little pleased to find that at Iseo, we could get substantially more for our money. Iseo has not got the star power of sister Lake Garda – yet. But the quiet beauty, authentic atmosphere and wonderful restaurants with both delicious and very affordable food, certainly made us fall in love with her.

Article by Elisa di Solto  – 10th September 2016

me and mollyWell what can I say about this one, we have gone full circle with the craze for purchasing property in Spain in the 90’s and up till 2007 it was the hip thing to do, right up until the enormous crash bang and wallop, back down to earth, with the property crisis that hit in 2007/2008. Spain was left devastated with many properties left to the banks due to unpaid mortgages and bankrupt developers were lining up to return their hard earned cash to the bank and start again.

But today there is light Spain has tidied up their act, they have reinforced new laws that protect the buyer from rogue developers and agents, and due to the low property prices are seeing the good old tourists flock back to purchase the many bargains available on the market. Properties can be had from as little as € 40.000,00 upwards, many old properties are being restored and refurbished and the developers have returned to build an array of affordable modern properties on the available land with spectacular horizons.

Its official Spain is on the up and up with record sales of +12% in 2015 and tourism rocketed to over 74 million this year alone.

From Majorca to Minorca, Almeria to Alicante, Valencia and the Costa del Sol there are flights galore every day from all over Europe which facilitate the arrivals of the tourist, add to that the 320 days guaranteed annual sunshine and the allegria, sangria and paella, and you have a recipe for success.

Spain is great for those who don’t have to learn the Spanish language because there are enormous expat communities offering a home to home life style and plenty of retired pensioners from all over Europe soaking up the good life from October to March and renting their lovely homes from April to September so they can afford their great life style in the winter months.

Spain is a great family destination because it caters for the tourist as well as the golf player and the sun worshipers. There is something for everyone in this great country so what are you waiting for go and explore and report back!!!

Madeleine Morgan – 30th September 2016