I will begin regular blogs again this week. In the meantime, I want to highlight some of the website updates added since my last blog. Under beach towns, the pages for each named town has a picture gallery. The same has been added for Hill towns up through Maratea. Also please note the Local Markets page (under Cilento Lifestyle) has photos and write-ups. Under food, there are some bar, pasticceria and restaurants written up (many more coming). Enjoy! All photos shown on our site have been shot by us. In the rare case that this is not true, you will see a photo credit.
So, there we were, having just learned that Villa Velina was not a timeshare. The next week we were in a mental frenzy as we turned the possibility of owning a home in Italy around in our minds. We corresponded further with Luisa, the realtor from Property Organizers, and gathered a bit of additional information, including some more photos.
Don’t get me wrong. This information was not to help us make a decision; our decision was already made. As soon as we had received the “not a timeshare” confirmation, we looked at each other and said “let’s move forward with this until we hit a roadblock”. This additional information was just due diligence, to the extent one can call remote property investigation “due diligence”.
The unit came with all walls and floors finished and a completely outfitted bathroom. As you can see, the “kitchen”(cucina) was a tile wall with gas, water and electrical hookups. We were completely expecting this having previously overdosed on House Hunters International.
The large picture at the very top of this blog, shows the two available units on the top floor. We were liking the one that faced both the ocean and mountains (red arrow pointing from it). We also “Google Earthed” the local area and tried to locate the property using the address we had been given. Although we were able to locate several Via San Nicolas in the area, we could never find a property that looked like the property or views that coincided with the pictures we had received. A few days later, we received GPS coordinates from the owner’s daughter so we could confirm the exact location. Ahhhhh, now we could tell why we were not successful with our previous attempts. Not only was our Via San Nicola on a hillside on the opposite side of the valley from the one we had been “traveling”, but we could now also see that the property was perched high on a hill. Getting to this lovely location could not be accomplished via the normal “Via”. This would involve a mile long strada bianca (dirt road) and a long private driveway.
So, now we were ready to commit (or be committed). We asked Luisa what we needed to do to reserve the property. The answer was “send a deposit”. Normally, buyers would go view the property in person at this point, however, this was March and we would be traveling to Italy for our honeymoon in May, so we opted to pay the deposit (site unseen) and Luisa would take us to see it while we were in Positano three days before we settled on the property in Rome. To be continued . . .
Well, this is my first official blog on Mezzogiorno Living! At first, I am going to tell a multi-part story about how we came to be where we are and love The Cilento and Mezzogiorno as we do! Thanks for joining me and I hope you stay for the journey!
The photo above is of George and I with all of the wonderful people who we first met at settlement when purchasing Villa Velina. There is much romanticized about Italy in movies and the stories we have all heard, but how much of it is really true?
Well, I can tell you that the movie Under the Tuscan Sun is definitely a romanticized version of a true story. Apparently, Hollywood didn’t think the cool things Frances Mayes did were interesting enough to sell without changing her marital status. Also, Frances didn’t just jump off the bus, like in the movie, and buy a house in Italy; she and her husband had vacationed in the area for years before taking the plunge.
While planning our honeymoon and looking for vacation villas, I inadvertently happened upon a site that was not a rental site, but rather properties for purchase. All of a sudden, these pictures were in front of my face for an unbelievable price.
I showed “my find” to George, saying “I know we are only looking for a rental and there is no way we will do this, but just look at this price – it must be a timeshare. Should I just write the realtor and ask?” I said this thinking that when we learned it was a timeshare (which we are very against), that would be the end of it.
Already, our minds were working overtime about the possibility of doing the impossible. We had perhaps, watched one too many episodes of House Hunters International, and if you have already read our “About” page, you know that our love for Italy had us set up for adventure. Luisa (the realtor) answered back almost immediately, telling us that this property was not a timeshare, but simply an outright purchase and ownership.
Stay tuned for the next episode . . .
I am working hard to build out Mezzogiorno Living’s permanent content. Please check out the “About” and “Villa Velina” pages and let me know your thoughts. There is also a restaurant, pasticceria listing and an event, each with an entry to give you an idea of our format. Every menu page will contain permanent content, including lists of recommended restaurants, etc.
Regular blogs will begin on December 1st!
We should be live by 12/1/15 . . .