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Building regulations in Abruzzo

Posted by admin on 13 October 2017

Many of you will be working your way through internet websites looking at houses for sale in Abruzzo, for this reason it may be important for you to understand some of the building regulations in Abruzzo. The thought of a new life or a new holiday home can sometimes cloud the realities of what can and cannot be done to create your perfect property. Some of us will not extend our homes, open a B&B or convert outbuildings but for many this could be part of the dream. Our ‘Building regulations in Abruzzo’ blogs, should help you understand some of the laws before you purchase your Abruzzo property.

Building regulations in Abruzzo. ‘Extending your property’.

The following should be used as a guide only. You should always check with your local council to clarify which law/s apply to your property.

Do not presume

It is important to understand that laws change in Italy regularly when it comes to building regulations. When you visit properties for sale with your agent it is important to know that building regulations in Abruzzo and other parts of Italy, can vary from one council to another. There may be regional laws, but some of these may not filter down to some councils. A law could be created at a national level but some councils may not implement them. So rule number one would be to never presume anything. At Vignaverde we are lucky to have a Geometra (like a surveyor) as part of our team. We are up to date with all aspects of planning and can advise accordingly. If you have found an Abruzzo property with someone else our restoration service is still available for you to use.


A number of years ago, Silvio Berlusconi, put through a law called ‘Piano casa’ which is used by many councils today. This allows property owners to extend their houses by up to 20%. Whilst this sounds like good news for those wishing to extend, it is important to know that there are restrictions, some of which we cover below. If you are considering buying a total ruin, there can be local planning laws which allow an increase of up to 35% , if you demolish the existing property and re build. It is very important to get the right advice about the laws where the house is. This can vary not just from council to council but also from zone to zone.

Respecting boundaries & classification of land.

If you are considering building an extension or building a house there are boundary restrictions. These restrictions vary from council to council. Do not presume that a house 1km from another has the same boundary laws. If you are unsure you must seek professional advice. Before boundary laws are implemented it is important to know the type of land you have. Two common types are, terreno agricolo and terreno edificabile, which translate to agricultural land and building land. Knowing the type of land will change the boundaries you must respect. An example of this from our local comune is; Examples. An extension to a property on agricultural land must not be built within 7m of a neighbouring property/land or within 20 meters of a road. An extension to a property on building land must not be built within 5m of a neighbouring property or 5 meters from a road. As this is Italy, there can be variations of the law. So lets break this down further by looking at boundaries to the road and boundaries to neighbours.

Boundaries & neighbouring properties.

An example from our local council law states that you must respect a distance of 7m from a neighbours property if you have agricultural land. And 5m if you have building land. This is what our local council says, however, should your neighbour allow you to, you can build right up to their boundary. You would need this in writing from the neighbour and then the council will grant this. In this case your neighbour has given up his right to build within 5-7m of your property and should he wish to build he would have to respect his 5-7m law plus your 5-7m law. In all scenarios there will be a distance of 10-14m from one property to another.

Boundaries & roads.

Using the example of our local council, should you wish to build a new property or extend an existing one you need to allow a distance of 20 meters from the road. However (there’s always a however) if you are extending and staying within the line of your house walls, you can build to the sides which do not face the road even if it is within 20 meters of the road (see photo below).

In this example you would be allowed to extend your property (using the 20% law) within the yellow area. You could only build towards the road, if, after the extension was built there is still 20 meters distance between you and the road.

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