My House in Umbria…Heaven on Earth

 

House in Umbria

Dining al fresco – with a view that makes me keep pinching myself.

Welcome to my home away from home.

I’m a lucky man. When I made the journey from a life in the States to a permanent life in Italy, I purchased a house deep in the hills of Umbria, the rich, wild and earthy “green heart of Italy”. Talk about a respite from the noisy and busy pace of life in a larger metropolitan area!

If you’re looking for peace and tranquility, Umbria is an effective remedy.

Why do I call it “my home away from home”? Well, just over a year ago we moved north to Treviso, where we reside most of the time. Treviso is also pretty damn wonderful, but for different reasons. And, living in a city of over 80,000 people, it’s a contrast to the rural life in Umbria.

Just a week ago, we packed up the car (cats and all) and pointed our car south for the three-and-a-half-hour drive to our “country home”. We both needed to relax and “be still” before a very busy month ahead.

Take a virtual tour of my house in Umbria.

I’ve shared so much of my journey to building a life in Umbria. But, I realized I’ve never shared with you, my loyal followers, the house that got the Italian adventure going in the first place! Time to remedy that.

House in Umbria

The two houses

Our home is really two houses.

See the door on the right? That’s the first, sweet little house I bought many years ago. Then, three years later, I purchased the house on the left. It had been sitting empty for over twelve years when I undertook a full-scale renovation from afar.

Both houses have origins of at least a couple hundred years. It’s hard to ascertain exactly. But, suffice it to say, both houses used to have livestock on the lower levels, with the families crowded into the spaces above.

Today, this set-up allows us to have guests in the smaller house, while staying in the larger house. Both houses have appealing aesthetics, and we’ve yet to have guests who leave without swearing they have to return – and soon!

Shall we talk about the view?

Yep, the view is hard to beat. Imagine mornings taking breakfast outside in this kind of setting. Or summer evenings, watching a lingering sunset laden with brilliant colors. Frankly, I never could’ve  afforded this kind of view back in California!

House in Umbria

A panoramic view into the valley and surrounding mountains

 

The guest house is bathed in light!

This house had been masterfully re-imagined by a woman who was to become a good friend. Talk about a great use of space! There are times I long to move back into this house for a few days, since it contains so many fond memories of my first days in Umbria. I remember several Thanksgivings here with friends, and the wood-burning stove working steadily to keep the house warm and cozy.

The “big” house combines Umbrian farmhouse aesthetics with modern touches inside

As a follow-up post one day, I’ll share the before photos of the transformation. Suffice it to say the house was a cave of darkness before the interior was opened up and a few windows were added in strategic locations (thanks to my dear, brilliant architect friend, Steve).

And, if you’re ever looking for a getaway…

Because we spend most of our time up north in Treviso, we’re now making our houses available fo occasional visitors.We’re not looking to turn this into a full-time business, but we’ve decided it would be a shame to not open them up to people to come and experience the beauty and respite that this setting offers.

We’ve also listed the properties with a local real estate agent, though we’re in no hurry to sell. We’re considering it more of an “exploration” as we look to simply our lives. If you know of anyone who might be interested in buying a sweet Italian vacation home, let me know and I’ll point them to the agent who makes the entire process surprisingly easy. The houses are being offered together or separate.

I hope you’re enjoyed this peek inside the Umbrian side of my life in Italy. If you want more information, just let me know!