April ’23.  My husband David and I signed the contract at the notaio in Camucia di Cortona which made us the owner of a house in the hills of Montanare, a hamlet without shops 15 minutes from the medieval town of Cortona. The ´keys` consisted of a basket full of least 50 copies in as many different sizes, and with that: Casa Faulle was ours! Fun fact: until that morning we had not yet seen the house together.

Our buying-a-home-in-Italy-process had been a brief one. Sure, we know Italy well and David had been scrutinizing real estate websites for quite some time, but never had we (like most people do) embarked on a trip to Italy to visit different regions…; to get a feel of what was on offer, to study the process of buying a house in Italy…. Instead, we had travelled to Cortona once, a few months earlier, to visit just one specific property, and had decided to buy it more or less on the spot; The fact that we had seen a version of my late mother’s Renault 4 driving towards Cortona had been the perfect sign and all we needed; ) Unfortunately, despite the acceptance of our offer, the owner decided to sell it to someone else, using our offer the drive up the price. My faith in signs suffered considerably and David decided to cancel all the real estate news-letters. It would have been too early anyway, we  told ourselves.

Until David asked whether I could make time for one more visit, just by myself this time, to go see one more property in the same region. If I wouldn’t like it, that would be it, we agreed. And we would postpone the whole idea for a year or 2, until our youngest daughter would have left home. And guess what: I didn’t like it. It was a neglected property on the top of a hill, and the road to get there was long, steep and in a bad condition. “A ‘huge’ project” the real estate agent had uttered quietly. Despite what we had said, David, however, did not take no for an answer, and travelled to Italy to see the place for himself.

Fast forward: after the municipality of Tuoro (Umbria) informally approved of some structural changes and David had assured me that – despite that fact that I speak Italian and he doesn’t – he would be leading the project for us, we bought the house last April. Or rather: houses. All 3 of them. A tiny borgo that needed a lot of attention but – thanks to the long steep road –  had excellent views and great potential.

3 months have past since April, and already a number of friends that happened to be in the neighbourhood have found the courage to conquer the steep dirt road to check out the place! David and I have planned our second visit together for next week. We’ll stay again at the friendly Locanda Del Molino, basically our new neighbours, and it already feels like home!