Many thanks for the replies (and for the many views).
Parrot - I'm interested to know more about the bank fees you mention. Our mortgage is in the UK, and we're planning to transfer the money (through an FX broker at pretty close to mid-market rate) direct to our Lanza solicitor (who we have already engaged). Please tell me more.
We are at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuation so am watching the £ to € rate with a lot of interest
I agree totally with your comment about "fixer-uppers" - we were shown plenty of these.
Running costs - we've done a reasonable amount of research so think I have a reasonable handle on costs of cleaning / linen / pool / electric / water / wifi / TV / community charge / insurance / welcome pack / council charge. What have I missed? Maintenance costs are a little harder to pin down, and will obviously depend on how frequently the villa is let. We're buying the place furnished so don't have that issue in the short term, although we will upgrade over time.
What I'm really keen to learn is how many weeks we can expect to let if out for if we work hard at it. In the quiet periods I'm guessing it's quite hard to compete against the AI hotels as well as the agencies with annual contracts? Appreciate any input from the regular local posters on here or those experienced at weekly letting.
Also interested in feedback on marketing methods - owners direct and/or other sites and their relative successfulness.