For years, Sarasotans have shown their love for Italy by visiting in droves. Now, its the Italians turn to visit us (and maybe invest too!).
I recently talked with Giorgio Orofino, who owns Stay and Visit Italy Orofino Tours (www.StayandVisit.com). The company, which is based in Sarasota, is a major provider of travel tours to Italy and serves customers from all over North America.
The company has multiple tour groups that leave the U.S. to visit Italy EVERY SINGLE DAY (that is a lot of tourists!). It offers great rates (starting from $499), because it owns one of the largest hotel/resort chains in Italy.
Mr. Orofino, who is also an international business lawyer in Italy, also runs ItaliaUsa (www.ItaliaUSA.it). This company offers business, legal and investment services to Italians in US and to Americans in Italy.
Mr. Orofino reports that there is a large interest among Italians to invest in Florida real estate.
He says, “I have many investors from Italy interested to buy real estate in Florida. I am putting together a large group of buyers now who will buy under a sole company name.”
Mr. Orofino expects to begin the investment activity sometime between now and 2010, whenever he feels that prices have reached the lowest point.
If all goes well, I hope to hear a lot more Italian being spoken in Sarasota in the coming months.