Back in Italy


After this trip we agree that Bergamo is not a good option for flights. RyanAir in all its glory but it won't be that cheap in the end and it's an incredibly tough drive from Milan to Vasia. It will be Nice in the future. That will be nice.

We install ourselves in Ott&Karl's house in Torre Papone and early the next day we will meet Barbara at the house. When we drive into the village, the first people we meet are Franca Saluzzo and Sig. Armando. Feels so incredibly cool at the same time as we can't communicate at all...we have to learn Italian.

When we meet Barbara, she has both bad and good news. We'll start with the good: It turns out that they found a will in SanRemo that shows that the Saluzzi sisters actually inherited the whole house. It's good because then we know what we're buying.

And the bad news: Registering this and getting all the information in correctly will take at least two to three weeks. So we won't be able to sign a contract this week.

Hmm. This means that at least one of us will have to come down again in two or three weeks. If we can't fix someone with a power of attorney. So we think that Helena might be able to help us.

Before we step into the house, I have to tell you about Helena. It is Karl's sister who lived in Italy for nearly 30 years. She has been a fantastic help and interpreter in our various decisions, thoughts and naive dreams. She has encouraged us and believed wholeheartedly in the project and also helped us with lots of good advice on how to proceed. Helena has been invaluable.

So we call Helena. Again. Could she possibly consider coming to Diano Marina and signing the contract if she gets a power of attorney. That is actually a lot to ask. She answers yes. So, she's so amazing.

We step into the house. So much has happened since we were last here. Then we would just look at it. We could never believe, or perhaps even hope, that we would actually buy the house. There is so much to do. It is big. It's the decline. The roof is bad and it's raining. All chimneys from stoves are rubbish. It's full of a hell of a lot of rubble that needs to be hauled away. We don't even know if the electricity is working. Or the water.

And above all – we don't speak the language. But what the hell... We love the atmosphere in the house. It really could be our home.

In the afternoon, Barbara's construction guys come to take a closer look at the roof. At our first meeting they said around €17,000 for the roof. Now it's starting to approach €40,000. We have to think about that further.

At least we get the keys and will have access to the house all the days we are there. One. Armando has moved out but it's still full of his clothes. We also note that two stoves are gone and that they are still collecting things in the basement. It's not ours yet. We thought we were going to sign a contract but nothing came of it.

During the week, we meet both Swedes and French. In Torre Papone we meet Elisabeta and Peo. We have a coffee and dinner and the next day they visit our house. A lot of Swedes live in Torre Papone and Pietrabruna. It feels very good to have them around but to still live in a village where we are the first Swedes. Louis told me that.

Louis and his wife are absolutely our closest neighbors. They have their terrace just on the other side of our glass veranda. They offered us a drink and it was incredibly nice to listen to their stories. He has been in Vasia on and off for 60 years so he knows a lot about the village and our house. We will see more of them. Next time we offer a drink.

With almost 30 degrees, we treated ourselves to a lot of time on the beach, several ice creams and well-deserved relaxation. We have been struggling with moving, renovating, cleaning and organizing pretty much non-stop since mid-June.

At least on September 9th we were able to meet Notaio Lucia Trucco in Diano Marina to arrange a power of attorney for Helena. There was a mouth guard on and pretty much the entire contract was read through. There were two witnesses and an interpreter. Lucia spoke very good English so the interpreter's involvement was a little unclear. However, it was not her dress that left little to the imagination.

On Saturday, September 10, we left Vasia and drove to the airport. On the way we stopped for a quick lunch at the home of Helena and her husband Roberto Monti in Arenzano together with Elisabeta (Roberto's sister) and Peo. They live in an absolutely fantastic house with two dogs and Papone – the turtle...