House hunting in Italy part three


As you know by now, Frank and I are on the hunt for a property in Italy (read more here). We have lived on the Italian Riviera every summer for the past 7 years, our flat is amazing(!) but it’s time to move on to a house. We want a place where we can have a vegetable garden and where I can conduct styling workshops and cooking classes all summer long. We’ve decided to sell our flat, although parting with it will be bitter sweet. It’s an amazing place with an amazing view, and we love the fact that we can just walk into town in 1 minute’s time, and we love our neighbors.

This weekend I spent time with one of my oldest and dearest friends Forrest, in the Lunigiana as you you might remember from previous posts. He and his partner are trying to convince me to have an open mind and look in their neighborhood. So we took a little time and tooled around the countryside to see about some possibilities.

Buying real estate in Italy is complicated, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Along with the very complicated rules, laws and regulations, there are many pitfalls that a foreign buyer can fall into. So, it is important to surround yourself with trustworthy people, knowledgeable about buying in Italy. It’s a great buyers market here right now, but the economy is depressed and so be aware, there are people desperate to sell and therefore one must be extra careful.

For example we had our sites set on residence that was once the summer home of a Marquee in Genova and his family retreat. An incredible property with an amazing garden and beautiful views. The seller was eager for us to buy it. Once we checked into all the facts, it turns out he wanted to sell, but his entire family of 12 needed to sign off on it as well, this is something he neglected to mention when negotiating with us. Good thing we were already clued in, and knew that our lawyer (called a Notaio here in Italy) had to clear the deed first. So unfortunately we had to move on, since he was the only one in the family wanting to sell the property to us.

Buying here is daunting and can take years, so I suspect I will be posting about all of these adventures for at least the next 2 years. It’s a journey and an adventure, patience is key.

As they say in Italy, “the house will find us” and not the other way around.

Here are a few shots of some things I saw in Lunigiana, I will continue the hunt and take you along for the ride. It’s going to be bumpy, and winding road, just like the back country roads of Italy, where we will likely find our new Italian home…ciao for now … xo

IMG_4672 IMG_4767 More house hunting: part one | part two


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