My House in Umbria…Heaven on Earth

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!



By |2019-01-27T08:17:21+01:00June 15th, 2017|Buying Property in Italy, My Life in Italy|20 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Gaye HART June 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Lovely. And, coincidentally, later this year I will be a spending a week in Umbria (although not at your gorgeous house and then (b) spending a week in a Treviso. Thanks for your blog. It is a pleasure to see and read.

    • Jed June 18, 2017 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gaye. I love coincidences! You can’t go wrong in either place. In Treviso, if you’re in the mood for good Neopalitan-style pizza (or the best mussels in a pepper sauce and other seafood) La Caprese is a great place. Also Le Beccherie, widely considered the birthplace of tiramisu, is a wonderful place in the city center. There are plenty of other great restaurants, as well. Jed

  2. Ronnie Durst June 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    This is really beautiful and it looks so peaceful. I am excited for you both. Please stay in touch.

    • Jed June 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ronnie! Great hearing from you. Let me know when you’re on this side of the pond.

  3. royane June 18, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

    how nice of you o share photos ! Just beautiful! We are as you know, in southern Italy and may have the opportunity to expand as you did. Seriously thinking about it.

    • Jed June 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Royane, Italy offers so many wonderful areas that it’s almost impossible to just choose one place!

  4. Tammy June 17, 2017 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Che gioia! I am veryyyyyy tempted to call your RE Agent. I have no idea what the real estate market is in Italia but sai che sogno di trasferire un giorno. What better time than the present for me to get a feel for what the markets like in that area. Beautiful job. I’m very happy for you and Simone. Un’abbraccio.

    • Jed June 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Ciao Tammy! As part of your “leg work” and research, I’d be happy to put you in touch with my RE. As a favor to me he certainly could help you get the lay of the land as far as what is involved. Just let me know and I’ll make introductions.
      When will you be back? Baci, Jed

  5. Ellen Griffith June 16, 2017 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Amazing! What a beautiful home and view! I am coming to Italy in September but flying to Milan and headed to Cinque Terre…hope to return in April but only to Rome. Perhaps one day to connect with y’all. Thanks for sharing…so lovely!

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:09 am - Reply

      So glad you enjoyed the tour! Hopefully we’ll be able to connect in Italy before too long. xoxox Jed

  6. Joee Balestrieri June 15, 2017 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    I am usually not a jealous person…usually I am happy for others, but I must admit that I dream of living in Italy where my grandparents immigrated from and because I closed my interior decorating business to be a full time caregiver to my 13 year old son (he has DUCHENNE Muscular Dystrophy) I turned a little green while reading this post. Everything is lovely. I got tears I’m my eyes looking at your view…literally. I left my heart in Italy last spring when I took my son on his dream trip. I believe he is taking the last steps he will ever take. He and I are in a hotel near a research hospital doing a million tests to enter a clinical trial of a promising new drug. You might remember that I am one of Manu’s students in my long journey to learn to speak Italian, but I have been distracted because of my son’s health. This particular post really touched my heart. Grazie mille Jeb.

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:18 am - Reply

      Thanks for writing Joee! Glad you liked the post and taking a “walk-thru” of my Umbrian home. I’m so glad to know you were able to bring your son to Italy on his dream trip. Godspeed to you on your journey as you care for your son. Sending you both my best thoughts. Jed

  7. Steph Coombes June 15, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Looking very lovely my friend. Are you here now to visit our sweet house in Molino Vitelli? Selling?? Oh no ????

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:11 am - Reply

      Thanks Steph! I’m traveling right now, and will be back in Treviso tomorrow. I’ll be heading down to Umbria in the next couple of weeks and I’ll let you know! Baci! Jed

  8. Robin Fink June 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Dear darling Jed,
    Such sweet photos of your wonderful homes, and how you have enjoyed them. We are happy you and Simone are taking a break and enjoying your escape in Umbria. WOW- we are having a hot summer {Umbria}, but this afternoon’s rain shower was a wonderful respite. Wonderful if we could see you… Robin and Markus

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:15 am - Reply

      Ciao Robin, I’ll be back in a few weeks. I’m sure the summer will continue to be a sizzler. Hope to see you then! xoxox Jed

  9. Barbara Brown June 15, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    such stunning homes Jed! looking forward to the ‘before’ photos. much love, Barbara

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:14 am - Reply

      Thanks Barbara, I’ll be sure to share the transformation. I always love hearing from you! xoxox Jed

  10. Jill June 15, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Lovely presentation of your Umbrian Estate, I’m tempted!

    • Jed June 16, 2017 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Grazie Jill!

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