With so much happening recently I thought it a good idea to catch you all up.
The Sydney Morning Herald
After some conversations with a journalist we were recently featured in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Yes we bought a bargain abroad and I still can’t believe the price we got our house for. I wouldn’t think many could say they got a cheaper liveable house in Italy than ours. After the story went live we had many new visitors to the blog and I’d like to welcome you if this is your first time here.
Journalist Christine Long…
Lisa and Sam Chiodo have done more than dream about buying European property. The Australian couple and their two children moved to northern Italy in March after they snapped up a ”liveable” three-bedroom house for €8000 ($11,500). Lisa says they found their mountain home on an Italian website while they were still in Australia, by tapping ”cheapest house in Piedmont” into a search engine. Although the Chiodo’s are old hands at the renovation game – this is their 12th project and their second in Italy – they found buying in Italy isn’t straightforward.
”In Italy the majority of houses are sold privately and often with only a sign saying: ”Vendesi” to let you know the property is for sale,” Lisa says. ”Often it is through word of mouth and most locals know which houses are for sale.” As she shares on her blog, Renovating Italy, it helps to have a local who can negotiate for you.
Visitors…. Mum’s …and the Trattoria
Since my last post we have had two lots of visitors from Australia, all long time friends and it was wonderful to be able to show them our little corner of the world. This has meant a stop to the renovations so we are a little bit behind. We are still waiting for the window guy to come back and remeasure, if he doesn’t get these windows done soon we are seriously going to freeze through the winter. The heater is still to be installed but at least it’s in the room, it’s starting to get cold here in the evenings with extra blankets on the beds and a hot water bottle for me (I feel the cold).
We’ve also had a play date after school at a new friend of Carina’s. We spoke English all afternoon and I realized how strong my Australian accent is, it was a gift beyond words to be accepted and included by the Mum’s and asked around for the afternoon. This was something I did many times in Australia and I missed having conversations with the other Mums about the kids and school life. Especially with Luca having the Autism and the drama and mix up with Carina those few days before starting school this was such a gift for me. Moving to another country is wonderful but it takes some time to feel like you fit, especially when children are involved.
I also had lunch this week with a lovely Canadian friend Marj at the Trattoria in town run by a fabulous woman who has been here many years from England. Seeing her always gives me hope that one day I’ll be an old hand at all this, know everyone by name and be at ease conversing in Italian. I’ve been walking up and down the mountain to be with the kids at lunchtime, so am getting fit and love the sense of independence I get just from having broken conversations along the way.
Both our children have settled well into school, the teachers are kind and I see them giving hugs as the kids come in the gate. It’s a very small school and classes are much more personal than we had back in Australia. Everyone knows who we are and I often hear the word ‘Australiani’ as I pass, this is usually followed by someone stopping us to say ‘ciao’ with lots of smiles and nods from both sides.
The house in Liguria is for sale
Many of you will know that we bought this house in Veravo some years ago while still living in Australia. It was the dream that kept us focused on our goal of returning to Italy. My husband Sam set off on an epic trip with a friend of his to find us a house way back in 2010, on the very last day before returning to Australia they found our house in the village of Veravo, Castelbianco. Surrounded by mountains and only a short drive to the beaches of the Italian riviera it seemed perfect for us.
It will be a beautiful restoration, and a perfect place to live out the Italian dream, and I know that the right person will fall in love with it’s possibility just as we did. It needs a total renovation and is spread over three floors, with terraced gardens and a huge terrace that overlooks the valley. The surrounding villages are just beautiful and the nearest village of Colletta has been totally restored. Unfortunately our hearts are well and truly here in the wild mountains of Piedmont and another big project is just out of our scope right now. If you are interested please be sure to contact us for details.
The trip to France
Last week Sam said ‘Let’s go for a drive’ and we ended up over the border and into France. The drive was incredible, and once we crossed the mountains it was as if we’d landed on another planet the contrast was so stark. We spent the day at a fortified city, Carina and I took to the back streets leaving the boys to follow along behind us. Incredibly beautiful and just so ‘girlie’ it was some much needed Mum and daughter time, and a chance to share this beautiful country with my little girl who has a French soul. That night we ended up meeting our Aussie friends in Pinerolo for gelati and a night market, I feel as if I haven’t stopped for weeks.
Now it’s time to knuckle down and get the house sorted before Winter sets in, to get some routines in place for the school year ahead, and to focus on my writing. Oh and restore that gorgeous chest of drawers x
I hope you’ll come along with us as we create this new life in Italy, we’d love to have you. x