Italians warm to a real fireplace

January 7th, 2010 | by Ainsley |

Perhaps it’s down to the big freeze – or the enduring appeal of coming home to some good, old-fashioned warmth… but it appears more Italians than ever want a traditional fireplace in their dream homes.

The growing trend comes despite the supposed obsolescence of old-fashioned firesides and hearths in the face of modern central heating. In fact the presence of a fireplace in a lounge can raise the value of a property in Italy by as much as 20 per cent, as well as lend it a certain air of traditional charm, research by a leading real estate conglomerate reveals.

The rising demand for old-fashioned fireplaces means around 12 per cent of newly constructed detached properties in Italy are now being built with at least one.

Turin is the city where houses are most likely to have a hearth and chimney – and 7 per cent of homes in the city do. Florence and Milan (6 per cent of homes) follow closely by, and then comes Rome, where 5 per cent of domestic properties are equipped with fireplaces.

Carlo Giordano, head of immobiliare.it, the Italy real estate company behind the figures, explained: “Notwithstanding the many technical and administrative difficulties that installing a fireplace brings, more Italians than ever still dream of having one.

“Their penetration across Italian homes is truly uniform and our fascination with them appears to have found a new lease of life. Now there are fireplaces of every type and many companies specialise in their production, including that of models that eliminate the soot that for so long spelt disaster for walls and household furniture.”

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