I have a town home in a small village close to Lanciano that I rent out as a holiday let when I'm not there. It is just to the side of the villages piazza.
I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for - in terms of buying vs renting, I think it matters where you are first within your own economic means. I've not really seen the market in my area go down despite the slumping Euro. Ultimately, I would encourage you to go often and see what area catches your heart, meets your needs and makes the most financial sense.