The Househunter: Vintage 70s in Italy

Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog. I hope you have all had a lovely summer. In an effort to prolong that holiday feeling I have a very special househunter for you today which is a fabulous flat in Lerici, Italy, that is complete 70s vintage from the floors and light fittings to the furniture.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

It belongs to a friend of mine who inherited it from her aunt and has changed nothing other than slightly updating the kitchen. All the tiles and light fittings are original 1970s as well as the furniture.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

She has used it as a holiday let for the last few years and is now planning to sell it. There are two double bedrooms and a separate studio a couple of floors below with its own entrance. Currently that’s arranged as a bathroom and bedroom with another storage room but you could easily turn it into a kitchen and make it a self sufficient guest house, so it could be rented separately.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

It’s located in San Terenzo, next to Lerici, and overlooking the Gulf of Spezia and is an area we have been visiting for nearly 30 years. It’s less than an hour from Pisa airport, and you can catch a boat from Lerici to visit the famous Cinque Terre and Portovenere.

views of lerici

The other great thing is that it has its own parking, which if you have ever visited this part of Italy is a dream. It’s located at the end of a small private road and is a five-minute walk from the centre of San Terenzo with its cafes and beach, and about another 15 from Lerici itself – you can walk along the beach to get to it. So you can arrive, park the car, and then walk, or catch a boat, for the rest of the holiday, which is great.

vintage 1970s tiles

In addition, there’s a private beach club directly below the apartment itself (but not within hearing distance) which also has a swimming pool and while it’s madly busy in summer (when you don’t really need it) it’s apparently lovely outside the months of July and August.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

This is one of the most famous and sought after locations in Italy – the Cinque Terre is as popular as Amalfi. It’s known as the Gulf of the Poets – Percy and Mary Shelley had a house here and Byron visited them. DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf also spent time here and the names of the hotels and local pasta dishes often reflect this – pasta of the poets etc!

views of lerici

The apartment and studio is on for €680,000 and the original furniture is also be available by separate negotiation.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

If you wanted to rent it out during the times when you aren’t there, current prices range from €600 per week in February to €1,300 for a week in August. Having rented for more money in less nice places, I can tell you this is entirely reasonable and the popularity of this location means you could do well from it as a business.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

I wish I could afford it myself. I chose aquamarine for my engagement ring to reflect the sea at Lerici and have spent many happy summers on its beautiful beach. Unfortunately the advent of residents-only parking has made it harder to visit in recent years, which is why this flat is a dream.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici

I’m also told that there is land available within the condominal area on which you could build your own pool as one of the neighbours has done. If you are interested in buying you can get into that discussion with the owner.

So, the question is – does anyone fancy it? If you do let me know and I can pass your details on to Federica. Below is a floorplan –the Italians don’t seem to go into for them in the same way that British estate agents do, but it will give you a sense of the layout. The property is 125 sq m or around 1,300 sq ft in total and could also be marketed as three bedrooms, two bathrooms and potentially two kitchens with a generous living/dining room and balcony.

Normally this post is about dissecting the interiors to explain why they work but there’s nothing to add to this. The gorgeous tiles provide all the décor you need (as well as being cool underfoot) so all it needs is neutral furniture.

1970s vintage flat for sale in lerici


I really hope one of you buy it so I can come and visit.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Looks beautiful. We are sat in a lovely rental apartment in Verona at this minute, Italy is the perfect getaway from the wet July and August we have had in our part of the UK.
    A word of warning if you are a UK citizen, thinking to buy in the EU. Fabulous for your own use, but remember you can only spend 90 days in any 180 in the EU (Schengen rules). Also, if you want to rent it our, you will be seriously hammered by tax locally now that we are out of the EU.
    Saying that, as a personal use only bolt hole, this looks a very desirable property in a very desirable location.

  2. Looks great and sounds lovely but for a weekend retreat from UK I don’t think I could live with today’s constant airline delays, strikes, weather delays etc. Maybe a retirement pad for the future when that lottery win comes in?

Comments are closed.