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It all starts somewhere

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Many people have asked how we found our small home in a medieval village in Tuscany, I initially reply that Montieri found us.

My wife and I had been debating where we could retire, the easy option would be the UK however neither of us were enamoured with that idea.

Then during a family summer holiday we embarked on a train journey from Rome to Venice, winding through the Tuscan or Umbrian countryside my mind wondered to maybe one of these small villages would be nice to explore as a retirement option, after a while my wife who was mesmerized by the scenery that zipped past said "wouldn’t it be lovely to own a house in one of these villages", that started a chain of thought and discussion to explore the option of looking for a small, friendly village with a house in the middle of the village….not the foreigner in the outskirts or the one that bought the farm or mill, to integrate, learn, explore and be part of the community.

After returning home and registering on some web sites after 18 months I received an email for a wonderful "too good to be true" property, cosy, homely, wooden beams, solid stone façade, terracotta floors and in the middle of the historic centre of the village. I contacted the owner and asked the pertinent questions, the owner answered all favourably, in my mind it was still "too good to be true" and I was fishing for the catch, I must have infuriated the Berrettini's with my questions and calls, they were wonderful, very honest, sincere and helpful. By the end of the week I had to show the house to Leena, she immediately said "buy it", she insisted that I called the Berrettini's, who very graciously stated that February was a cold month so we should consider coming when its warmer, they stated that they would give us first refusal on the house should there be any other interest.

Roll on April Leena insists that I go see the house, the Berrettini's offer the house for me to stay in so I can experience the house and explore Montieri and the surrounding area. Wow what a few days the house was exactly what we imaged a small, rustic, cosy home in the middle of a medieval village. The church bell chiming on the hour every hour day and night, the food, the wine, the scenery, the forest, the surrounding towns, villages, lakes, abbeys, churches and importantly the honest genuine people all sealed the deal, we immediately bought the house. The Berrettini's have become our fondest of friends, they have helped us in so many ways.

That summer we stayed in the house as a family for the first time, within 48 hours some village teenagers knocked on the door and took our boys out, that was it they were out exploring the village and making new friends. Leena and I also made some wonderful friends we socialised in the bar and Florida pop up outdoor club, were invited for meals and I cooked a curry for our new friends, we have embraced and have been embraced by the community and we feel we belong to Montieri.

We enjoyed our first Tuscan Christmas this year, it snowed and the result was a picture post card it was wonderful.

We have explored some fabulous Tuscan cities, small towns, villages, beaches and some superb small wineries enjoyed amazing cuisine, drank some lovely wine and enjoyed a musical extravaganza Andrea Bocelli at Teatro del Silenzio. We have so many wonderful memories and have many more to come.

Our Tuscan experience has all in all been one of positives, family and friends that questioned our sanity for buying a home in Italy have now visited and now agree we are sane and made a fabulous decision.

People asked if it was a good investment, I reply it was a purchase from the heart, it's our home that gives us so much serenity, love and satisfaction.

Tuscany that has captivated our hearts, souls and minds, we have a thirst, an unquenchable desire to return the moment we leave.

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