Located just north of Rome’s historic center and off the main tourist trail, Pinciano is a magnet for wealthy working professionals and has one of the city’s busiest property markets.
Here the streets are wider, the pace of life less hectic and handsome homes and embassies give it a refined feel. Villa Borghese, Rome’s most famous park and the heart of the neighborhood, provides just under 200 acres of green space.
Prices in the city are 30% to 40% below their peak in 2008, depending on the area, said Riccardo Di Loreto, of Engel & Volkers Market Center in Rome. “Values in Pinciano have not been hit as hard as other areas, with falls of only 20% to 30%,” he said.
When the government introduced increased taxes for luxury properties in 2011, many properties in the neighboring area of Parioli were reclassified and subjected to higher rates of tax. This was because buildings in the area are of newer construction and have more modern facilities, according to Mr. Di Loreto.
The majority of homes in Pinciano do not fall in that category because of their age, he said. “Interest in Pinciano area has increased since the levy was introduced. Buyers became more interested in Pinciano as it is more central and greener and property taxes are lower.”
There are lots of people searching for homes in the area, Mr. Di Loreto said. “Such is the demand that people find it difficult to find a good property. When things go on the market, they get sold within weeks, and when people buy here, they tend to stay.”
Pinciano is located northeast of the city center in the district of Muncipio II.
Viale Bruno Buozzi lies near its northern edge and its southern edge is by Via Vittorio Veneto, one of Rome’s most famous streets, whose nightlife attracted the rich and famous in the 1950s and 1960s and was featured in Federico Fellini’s classic 1960 film “La Dolce Vita.”
Viale dei Parioli makes up a large chunk of its western border, and Viale Tizano, which leads to Via Flaminia, are on its eastern border.
A large part of the neighborhood comprises Rome’s most famous park, Villa Borghese.
Pinciano’s housing stock mainly consists of four-, five- and six-story stone apartment buildings. The area was first developed in the 1920s and an expansion took place around 20 years later, so most properties date from those eras.
The area is known for its large apartments and, unlike in the historic center, on-street parking is plentiful.
The buildings are not historic but they have character, Mr. Di Loreto said. “People love their high ceilings, and large windows and reception rooms.”
Most apartments on the middle floors have small balconies, while those on the top and ground floors have terraces and gardens, respectively. Streets such as Via Mercadante, Via Dei Tre Orologi, Via Delle Tre Madonne and Via Giovanni Paisiello are expensive and sought after because they have views of the Villa Borghese.
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There are no new build developments in the area, agents said, but many homes have been renovated. These command top-end prices and sell in a short amount of time, Mr. Di Loreto said.
Rupert Fawcett, a partner at Knight Frank’s Italy office, noted that the redevelopment of existing buildings into luxury apartments is not common in Rome, but he said he thinks that is going to change over the next three to four years “as there is definitely a market for it.”
Pinciano is one of the highest value areas outside of the city center, according to agents.
Properties cost on average between €4,500 and €7,000 (US$5,310 and US$8,261) per square meter, said Danilo Orlando, of BeLiving International Properties, an associate of Savills. “This is lower than the historical center, which ranges from between €8,000 and €10,000 (US$9,441 and US$11,800) per square meter.”
The most expensive homes cost around €8,500 (US$10,000) per square meter, Mr. Di Loreto said. “The average price is €5,500 (US$6,491) per square meter, while the lowest is €4,500 (US$5,311) per square meter.”
Mr. Fawcett gives a higher estimate. “Buyers buying at the top end of the market pay €16,000 to €17,000 (US$19,000 to US$20,000) per square meter and the average price is €11,000 to €12,000 (US$12,981 to US$14,161) per square meter,” he said.
Prices range from €7,000 to €15,000 (US$8,261 to US$17,702) across the neighborhood, said Diletta Giorgolo, head of sales for central and southern Italy at Italy Sotheby’s International Realty, giving a broader range. She added that prices are similar to the central area.
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What makes it unique
Located away from the historic center, it has a more relaxed feel and is positioned on a hill, which provides views over the city and Villa Borghese.
The characterful, spacious homes with street parking, along with the abundance of green spaces within the neighborhood, are a big draw for families. The size of the park means residents can always have a patch of green to themselves.
Being well connected to all parts of town by public transport is another plus. From the southern end, it is a 30-minute walk to Piazza di Spagna, home to the Spanish Steps, or 10 minutes by taxi.
Within Villa Borghese’s grounds are a number of elegant buildings, including the Galleria Borghese, a handsome white stucco villa that houses masterpieces by Caravaggio and Titan, and landscaped gardens designed in English style.
Bruno Brunelli / Getty Images
The area is full of elegant dining spots, which serve locally made and sourced food, and wine bars. As Mr. Orlando puts it: “Pinciano is not full of run-of-the-mill trattorias. The dining options are expensive.”
If you like Michelin-star dining, Metamorfosi is a must. The more affordable yet upmarket pizzeria Proloco Pinciano and Plancha, a Mediterranean and Italian fusion restaurant, are well liked.
Al Ceppo, which offers Italian fine dining, and Molto, a chic Italian eatery, are both in the neighboring area of Parioli, which is within easy walking distance.
The area is not home to private schools but there are some nearby. These include St. George’s British International School, which educates children aged from 3 to 18, and the Rome International School, a private co-ed English-speaking day school, which offers children aged 2 to 18 an international education.
There is also the American Overseas School of Rome, a private school for students for all nationalities from levels kindergarten to Grade 12, and Marymount, an English-speaking American college preparatory private school for students aged 3 to 18.
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Who lives there
Pinciano is an expensive place to live and therefore attracts affluent and high-net-worth individuals, according to Mr. Fawcett.
Residents include high-ranking employees at the embassies, along with heads of businesses, entrepreneurs, lawyers and politicians.
There are a growing number of international buyers, who like the area for the same reasons as their Roman neighbors. There are a mix second-home buyers and expats who have relocated to the city for work. However, it is still predominantly a local market.
The Italian film director Federico Fellini, and his wife, actress Giulietta Masina, lived at Number 110 Via Margutta, a picturesque, cobblestoned street on the southwest edge of Villa Borghese in the district of Campo Marzio, not far from the Spanish Steps.
A hub for the arts since the 19th-century, composers Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt, Giacomo Puccini and Richard Wagner lived and worked on Via Margutta, which is just outside Pinciano. Pablo Picasso and Truman Capote are also former residents.
But the area only became internationally famous in the 1950s when it featured in the film Roman Holiday, which starred Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
The market in Pinciano is fairly stable and agents said that they think this will continue over the next 12 months.
Mr. Fawcett said that there have been some moderate price increases from between 0.2% and 0.3% in Rome’s prime areas. “There is stability coming to the market,” he said. “The volume of sales has been rising, with buyers taking advantage of price falls.”
“The bottom of the market has come and transaction levels are picking up,” he added.
We are recording high demand for Pinciano, Mr. Orlando said, adding that his office is “seeing more activity and levels of demand, and transaction levels are increasing.”
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