Updates On Travel To Italy

Volterra
Volterra
Volterra
Volterra

Ciao Amici!

While we continue to wait for Italy and all of Europe to open up, we do get dribs and drabs of information.  Someone on the “Living in Italy” Facebook page posted this update and I thought you would find it helpful. It is from the Minister of External Affairs and International Cooperation.

I basically copied and translated it for you here. You can see the website in Italian at the above link.

“06/15/2020 COVID-19: WHO has classified COVID-19 as a “pandemic” since 11 March. To limit their spread, restrictive measures have been gradually adopted on a global scale since January 2020 (suspension of air traffic, ban on entry, refoulement* at the border, compulsory quarantine, health checks). Based on art. 6 of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 11 June 2020, travel to / from EU Member States, Schengen States Parties, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are not subject to restrictions. Travel to these countries is therefore also allowed for tourism. Before departure, it is always necessary to check any restrictions on entry in force in the country where you want to go. This information is available on the country sheets of Viaggiare Sicuri and on the websites of the Italian embassies and / or consulates of the countries of interest. The return to Italy from the listed countries is allowed without limitations, without prejudice to any restrictive measures provided for specific areas of the national territory.

Until 30 June, 2020, travel to/from States and territories other than those listed is FORBIDDEN, except for proven work, absolute urgency or health needs. In any case, it is allowed to return to your home or residence.

Those who return to Italy from States and territories other than those listed, or who have stayed there in the 14 days prior to arrival in Italy, must still complete a specific SELF-CERTIFICATION ON THE REASONS FOR THE TRIP,  must undergo fiduciary isolation for 14 days and CANNOT use public transport other than that used to enter Italy (for example, on arrival to Fiumicino by plane you cannot take the train to the center of Rome or to any other destination).

Airport transit is allowed: those who enter Italy by air can take another plane to any national or international destination. Car rental and the use of taxis or rental with driver is allowed. “

Truthfully we won’t know when Italy opens for other than the countries listed above until they do. Until then we wait…

Pete and I will keep you as updated as possible.

I hope this helps!

*non-refoulement refers to the generic repatriation of people, including refugees into war zones and other disaster locales.

Calabria Joins The Ranks Of The 1 Euro Italian House Program

1 Euro Italian House
Italian Balcony

Ciao Amici (Friends!)

Chris here from Super Savvy Travelers!” And in the last few weeks over 200,000 of you have heard that phrase on our Super Savvy Youtube channel. 
Thank you! It has been a pleasure being in communication with you all!

Honestly the 1 Euro Italian House trend has just gotten bigger and bigger. A couple of weeks ago, I swore to you that there were none in Calabria that I could find.

Well, it appears that Mayor Michele Conia has risen to the challenge and made 1 Euro Italian houses available in his community of Cinquefrondi.

Cinquefondi literally translates to “Five Fronds” and the village is named for the fact that there were five separate communities of Greek and Byzantine origin that all came together and formed one community during the Middle Ages.

1 Eur italianhouse
Ancient Italian House

Cinque Frondi is located on the bunion of the boot that is the Italian Peninsula. It rides along the crest of the Aspromonte Mountains and affords access  to the sea on both sides.

1 Euro House Cinquefrondi
Cinquefrondi

Mayor Michele, along with many other mayors in the region have been attempting to reverse the depopulation of their towns and villages due to the exodus of young people who have had to leave and look for work in the more populated areas.

He has christened his repatriation project, “Operation Beauty”  and we whole heartedly support him in his efforts.

Cinquefrondi has also advertised the fact that it is a “Covid Free” community in that they were able to side step the COVID virus completely.

In fact, much of Calabria was able to escape the ravages of this virus by shutting down quickly and keeping a close eye on it. I have heard that there was not a single case of COVID in our village of Santa Domenica Talao either so well done to all of our mayors and city leaders in Calabria! You guys did great!

Here is a map of where we are n Santa Domenica Talao for comparison.

Santa Domenica Talao map
Santa Domenica Talao; Riviera Dei Cedri

Now let’s go over some facts about the 1 euro Italian house programs.

Normally if you elect to purchase a 1 Euro Italian house, you have to have a 5,000 Euro deposit. In addition if you do not complete the renovations within 3 years, you will be facing a fee of 20,000 Euros.

In Cinquefrondi, the 5,000 Euro deposit is waived but they ask you to purchase an insurance policy in the amount of 250 Euros per year until the works are complete.

The 20,000 Euro fee is in also effect in Cinquefrondi if the works are not completed in three years.

So it appears that the community has tried to sweeten the pot dramatically in order to bring people in.

Maratea
Ancient house in Maratea Centro Storico

That said, is a 1 Euro Italian house for you?

In addition to the factors listed above, there are other factors you need to consider.

  1. The houses available for 1 Euro in Cinquefrondi are very old and are located in the ancient part of the city.  These ancient houses lean on each other. What happens to the structural integrity of the building as a whole? Can you fortify your house so that it doesn’t fall if the others never get renovated?
  2. Does the housing market in Cinquefrondi support a renovation cost of 10-20K Euros that it will cost to renovate one of these places.
  3. How can you protect yourself if the builders get backlogged and it takes longer than there years to renovate?

None of these questions are designed to put you off the 1 Euro houses but merely to have you take a look and see if this will work for you.

In any case I would definitely run everything by an attorney because he will know what questions to ask and what points to clarify in a contract.  We highly recommend Nic Metta at Studio Legale Metta for this purpose.

This may be the deal of the century for you so check it out thoroughly!

Now I want to give a shout out to Dave and his Youtube channel Dauv0. Dave is in Mussomelli (Messina) Sicily and has his finger on the pulse of everything about 1 Euro houses all over Italy. We will be teaming up with Dave for some really fun and exciting projects so stay tuned to both of our channels. You are going to love it!

If you are looking for a 1 Euro Italian property. You need to watch our video on the subject. This will give you the truth abut 1 Euro Italian houses.

AND if you are looking at purchasing a property in Italy and/or moving there you MUST study our online video course and Ebook. It gives you EVERYTHING you need to know about purchasing a home and/or moving to Italy.

You can also get your personal Move to Italy Action Plan/Checklist here.

Free Action Plan/Checklist
Free Action Plan/Checklist

Caio!

Chris

Everything You Need To Know About Purchasing Your Italian House

Purchase property in Italy

Everything, EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Buying Property (For As Little As 1 Euro) And Moving To Italy; Avoid The Pitfalls That Could Cost You Your Dream!

Ciao Friends!

Congratulations on your plan to purchase property in Italy. The rise in popularity of the 1 Euro Italian houses has enticed many people to start looking at making the dream of owning property and possibly living in Italy a reality.

BUT There are so  many possible pitfalls!

You are dealing with a completely different property purchase process, a completely different building and renovation model, you don’t know the language and worse yet, you don’t know what questions to ask your attorney and tax specialist. And having them educate you can be hugely expensive.

As you may know, I have literally done YEARS worth of research on purchasing properties not only in Italy, but also in Spain, Greece and other European countries. With my husband, I have successfully bought and renovated several properties in Southern Italy.

In my experience as a real estate expert, here are just a few mistakes I have heard, read about or experienced myself in various different countries:

*When we were first looking at properties, we were approached with an offer to purchase a property for 120,000 Euros. 10 years later that property NEVER got built. Had we paid, we would be out 120,000 Euros.
(POSSIBLE LOSS 120,000 Euros)

*A person recently came to me with an offer to purchase an apartment for 10,000 Euros. The contract turned out to be a rental contract that guaranteed the BUYER ongoing fees! She would not have owned the property at all!
(POSSIBLE LOSS 10,000 + 1400 Euros per year + other possible fees as yet undetermined!)

*A property “renovated” by a friend of the agent that was completely messed up. That property is STILL on the market 10 years later for almost half of what the buyer paid to renovate it.
(POSSIBLE LOSS 100,000 Euros)

*A property in Spain where the buyer purchased and moved in, only to find that the builder had not gotten the required permits and the place was torn down. Of course, the builder was long gone.
(ACTUAL LOSS  325,000 Euros)

Obviously this is only a partial list of the pitfalls I have seen.
And without someone who knows and has been through the process to guide you through it, you could make some very expensive and heartbreaking mistakes.

Since purchasing our house in Italy has been such a life changing event, we want to be able to share our knowledge so that you can avoid the pitfalls and obtain your dream.

For that reason Pete and I have gotten down to some intense research and answered every question we could possibly think of. Then when we were almost done we asked for YOUR questions so we could be sure we addressed EVERYTHING you needed to know.

We also had to pull in all of our experts from the legal, real estate, and economic fields so that we could be sure of giving you the correct data.

And we did it!

Welcome to “Everything, EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Buying A Property And Moving To Italy; Avoid The Pitfalls That Could Cost You Your Dream” online course and Ebook!

This online course is designed to be light but also packed with vital information. The Ebook can be printed out and tabbed, highlighted and notated so that you know EXACTLY what to ask you legal and tax specialist so you save time and money getting EXACTLY the advice you need from them.

And since our passion is to help others find their dreams, we purposely priced this offer at LESS THAN YOU WOULD PAY FOR HALF AN HOUR WITH YOUR ATTORNEY.

Attorneys and tax professionals are vitally important but they can be expensive if you don’t know what questions to ask them.

We knew you would love this course but that you also would want to know how to book your perfect BNB for your property viewing trips.

Staying in a hotel is not an option because you won’t get a feel for what it is like to live in a town or village unless you LIVE there even for a short time. So we created “Your Guide To Finding The Perfect BNB For Your Property Viewing Trips” Ebook. This little gem helps you create your viewing trip experience so that it matches as closely as possibly your actual living experience so you can make the best choices possible.

This Ebook is a FREE GIVEAWAY that comes with your course.

AND since we know that finding your perfect property takes time and that you may spend way too much time filtering through properties that will not work for you on real estate websites, we created your “Find My Property Dream Checklist” Which ALSO COMES FREE with your course!

With all this area information we feel that we will send you out into the world of Italian real estate armed and ready for anything!

And all for less than half an hour with your attorney!

Click here for details on how to get this vital package of information!

And write us with any questions you might have! And subscribe to our Super Savvy Travelers Youtube channel because we will be continuing to post super valuable content for those looking for properties or who just love Italy!

Happy House Hunting! We will see you in Italy!

XO Chris and Pete; Super Savvy Travelers, LLC

More Truth About 1 Euro Italian Houses

Italian hill town
Italian hill town

Ciao Amici!

A couple of days ago I was searching online for more 1 euro Italian houses for my online course. I have created a special Ebook that tells you where to find them!

But I noticed that there were not many at all in Calabria so I asked our town architect and historian, Antonello Lucchesi if there were any and he sent me back some very interesting information. Antonello deals with sales and technical assistance for notarial deeds as well as handling renovations and designing beautiful houses.

Italian hill town

Here is what he had to say about it:

In Italy, the houses and land are registered in the land registry and they are identified with a number on a map.

Each home has a value which is multiplied by 126 (which is the coefficient or factor for non-residential houses in Santa Domenica Talao) and this gives a value.

This value MUST be declared in the deed of the notary, proving that payment was made by bank transfer or check for taxes to be paid to the State based on that value.

In the event that these taxes are not paid and the minimum value is not declared, the Office called the Revenue Agency can carry out a tax assessment asking to pay the unpaid taxes plus penalties and interest.

Antonello brings this to our attention so that we understand it and take it into consideration when looking at a 1 Euro Italian property, or any property, and that there are tax consequences.

While Santa Domenica Talao a supply of ruins, they are not valued at zero with the above formula so this has to be considered in the asking price of the house.

Antonello let me know that many of the houses in Santa Domenica Talao have been listed on agency websites but that none are exclusive listings. He can offer any of them at any time.

He has suggested that we work together to bring you videos and photos of these properties so that you can have a realistic idea of what they look like.

Antonello can provide floor plans and even renovation suggestions and estimates with the local builder. I think this is a great idea and we will be working on this when we arrive back in Italy.

So this is why you don’t see 1 Euro properties everywhere. It is also something ask about if you do purchase one of these properties.

I hope this helps!

XO Chris

What is the Deep, Dark Secret To Great Italian Cooking?

Olive Oil Pouring
Olive oil

Lunch!

Ciao friends!

If you have followed me even a little bit you know that Pete and I are HUGE foodies! We honestly would go to the ends of the earth for a great meal.

That was one of the reasons we purchased our home in Calabria, Italy ten years ago. Obviously there are a million reasons, but the food in Calabria is the very best in the world (in my humble opinion).

And in Calabria, I am a great cook. I wow myself with almost every meal I make and I get wowed by every meal I eat there no matter who makes it.

So I knew that there had to be a SECRET to great Italian cooking.  And there is!

I looked long and hard and finally found it! And it was so simple!

Calabrian Cuisine
Calabrian Cuisine

Even the best and freshest ingredients will fall flat in your dish if you don’t start with a really good basic ingredient and in Italian cooking the most basic ingredient is the super high quality, Italian olive oil.

Once I stumbled on that bit of brilliance, I started looking in my kitchen in California at the olive oil I had been cooking with. I thought to myself, Hmmmmmm, I bet that is not the best I can find.

And that, my friends, started me on a quest to research and find the BEST olive oils in the world and learn everything I could about them.

As I researched, I ran into so much false data and contrary facts. Everyone it seems has an opinion that they defend to the death even when it conflicts with everyone else’s opinions.

Chris Olives
Olive Market

I had to go back really far into the past before all this weirdness began to find the correct data. And again I found it, this time in an obscure little book written by a Spanish olive nerd living and working in Italy in 1900 by the name of Dr. Alejandro Bizzarri.

Dr. Bizzarri wrote down in almost excruciating detail EVERYTHING that had to do with the cultivation, the harvesting, the pressing, the storing, and the transporting and selling of olives.

His book is part chemistry, part physics and part agriculture. I got it and translated it, pulling out the parts that I knew we all needed to know here in 2020 to understand, use and cook well with any olive oil.

And I took these golden nuggets of information and compiled them all in an easy to read and entertaining FREE Ebook so that you can have fun and learn about EVERYTHING OLIVE at the same time.

Foodie’s Guide to Decoding Italian Olive Oil Ebook

Since we understand that many people learn more visually, we created an online course of seven high quality videos, each one packed with vital information from Dr.  Bizzarri’s book. Here is where we debunked the myths and dispelled the mysteries of everything olive.  We also picked out a bunch of frequently asked questions to answer that I know you want to know because so many people have been asking them.

slowfoodrenaissance.com
Foodies Guide to Decoding Italian Olive Oil Video

By then I had REALLY been bitten by the olive bug and I had to learn more!

So Pete and I ordered five of the top ranking Italian olive oils on Amazon.com. It was like Christmas when they arrived! We then researched the best way to taste them and compare them.

Video Comparison 5 High Quality Italian Olive Oils

Then we created a video, side by side comparison of these five top ranking Italian olive oils and we were blown away by what we found! Each one was so different but so delicious! We loved the unfiltered ones for salads and pestos. Learning this was like opening a huge door to a completely different world of food and cooking. Who knew that one of the the oldest and most basic ingredients on the planet could create such a change in our every day lives?

So having tasted all of these magnificent olive oils, we decided to create a new and original recipe for each one of them.

5 Best Mediterranean Recipes Video Series

We created a video series of cooking classes, one for each recipe featuring one of our Italian olive oils. These recipes were amazing as they each were created with a high quality Italian olive oil in mind.

Italian olive oils
5 Best Mediterranean Recipes Ebook

In order to make it easier to purchase the other ingredients and follow the recipes, we then created an Ebook containing these recipes.

And, since we know that once you start in on this path, like us, you will be transported to true olive nerddom, I added Dr Bizzarri’s book from 1900, translated and annotated by me so that you can understand everything he was saying.

Dr. B's book
The Oil Of The Olive

Pete and I had so much fun creating this package of Olive Mastery for you and we are so excited to make it available.

To start on your journey go get your FREE EBOOK right now. And welcome to a new life of great cooking and eating!

XO Chris

 

The Truth About Leaseholds In Italy

Italian hill town
Italian House
Photo credit Pixabay

Ciao,

I am so blessed in that I get mail every week from people with various questions about purchasing property in Italy.

A few times now I have received requests for information about leasehold estates vs freehold estates.

In California real estate, a “freehold estate” is one that is owned outright. A “leasehold estate” is a lease or rental.

Italian village
Photo credit Pixabay

In Italy and in the UK there are certain leasehold estates that to us might be similar to a co-op except that a leasehold is really just a long term rental.

It seems that certain real estate agents in our area of Calabria are now offering leasehold estates and the prices seem very low. On the surface it looks too good to be true.

So since people are wondering whether these leaseholds are a good option in the Italian real estate market, I did a bit of research and here is what I found.

How a leasehold works:

A leasehold is basically a long term rental. The “purchaser” has purchased only the right to live in the unit for a set period of time. The land the units are on is owned by a landlord or” freeholder” who charges rent for it and, through management company, maintains it.

One of the issues according to an article in The Guardian is that the landowner charges a fee for the maintenance of the communal areas. He or she can also charge for any work being done, decide who does it and how much it will cost. The leaseholders then have to pay for it.

The Guardian is a magazine in the UK and it discusses the situation specific to the UK however when we asked Ivan De Luca from Agenzia Immobiliare Casabella in Scalea, Italy, his concerns were similar.

Italian house
Photo credit Pixabay

In looking at the apartments that are available in our area under these leasehold contracts, it is unclear exactly what the situation is. It appears to me that these are individual apartments that are rented out with all of the rent paid up front to the owner of the property,  but then monthly fees are paid to the management company.

The fees are not fixed and you never know when they will go up.

In addition, Ivan De Luca of Agenzia Immobiliare casabella warns that there may be hidden fees that you don’t find out about until you have paid the purchase price.

In short you are at the mercy of the property management firms. If they raise the fees you have no recourse.

Additionally property management agencies are highly variable in terms of honesty and ethics.

Another issue that concerns me greatly is the fact that it does not appear that a notaio is involved in the purchase of the rental contract.

In one of the ads I read for a leasehold through an agency, they recommended using the same attorney for the buyer and seller which could be a conflict of interest.

The role of the notaio in property purchases is clear.  He is the one who makes sure everything is done according to the law. He makes sure the title is clear and that everything is in order.

There is a larger degree of safety in a transaction that goes through a notaio.

In a lease hold, you may not even know if the person leasing it actually owns the property as it appears to me that  no title search is done. And you don’t know if any other encumbrances exist. In short you may buy the perfect property only to find that someone else has  certain rights to it that you were not aware of.

You also do not know if the property management agents are honest. I hate to say it but I have heard of some shady deals in our area. The agents there may all be honest but you don’t know for sure.

And the Italian court system is painfully slow so that by the time you went through the courts on something like this, you will have paid out more money in expensive attorney’s fees than you would ever get back.

According to Ivan, a leasehold option may make sense in a very expensive city like Monaco or London where property prices are really high but in Calabria where you can purchase an apartment for very little money, the risks outweigh the potential benefits as you may be buying a bagful of headaches.

If you are looking for a property in Calabria, especially in the Riviera Dei Cedri regions (The prettiest place on earth) please contact us. We have purchased several properties there and have done renovations. We love to share our experiences and new found knowledge with you.

Hope you found this helpful!

Chris and the Gulf of Policastro at sunset
Chris and the Gulf of Policastro at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

When can we go back to Italy?

 

                          Photo credit Pexel.com

 

Ciao friends!

If you are like me, you have been watching news reports like a hawk to get some idea as to when we can all head back to Italy.

We are all hoping that sometime this Summer Italy will open up and be back to some form of normal even if it is with social distancing, masks and other paraphernalia.

Happily someone sent me a link to the Italian Ministry of External Affairs website which gives a pretty complete rundown of the rules as they apply now during phase 2.

In short, you can travel to Italy under some circumstances but the country is not open to tourism yet, at least for those outside the EU.

That said, here are the restrictions as outlined on the website. I copied and pasted them.

  • Which rules apply to persons travelling to Italy from March 28?
  1. Before boarding, the carrier’s staff is required to check the self-certification (to download the form) setting out the following detailed information: the reasons for travelling to Italy (health needs, work requirements, reasons of absolute necessity), the place of self-isolation for 14 days, own or otherwise private means of transportation used to get to the place of self-isolation and a mobile/land phone number. The reasons of “absolute necessity” are as specified in the FAQs previously posted on the website.
  2. All persons entering Italy, whether at an airport, ferry port or railway station, must avoid using public transport and must therefore make arrangements to be picked up, take a taxi, if and as allowed, or hire a car, with or without a driver.For airport transits and for the rules that apply to pickups at the airport, port or station, please consult the specific faq.
  3. All persons entering Italy are required to self-isolate, including persons with their own transport. Persons travelling to Italy for work may postpone the start of the self-isolation period by 72 hours (which can be extended for a further 48 hours), albeit only if strictly necessary.
  4. All persons entering Italy, including persons with their own transport, are required to report to the local health authorities on arrival at their destination.
  5. All persons entering Italy may self-isolate either at home or other place of their choice.
  6. If a person entering Italy has no place for self-isolation, or is unable to travel to their place of self-isolation (if they have no-one to pick them up, if there are no available hotel rooms, etc.), they will be required to self-isolate at a location established by the Civil Protection Service, at the interested person’s expense.
  7. The above rules do not apply to the following persons: cross-border workers, health services personnel, passenger/freight transport crews.

Phase two is still pretty strict but the statements I have seen from Italy’s culture and tourism minister, Dario Franceschini, indicate that he and his team are looking at opening the country up for tourists and are in conversations with other EU countries to see how they can safely make that happen.

While they are only looking at EU countries right now, I am sure other countries will be evaluated soon and we will have the answer to our question, “When can we book?”

Right now, there is no answer to that question but as we get information and sift through the facts versus the fakes, we will know more.

I have also asked our mayor in Santa Domenica Talao to keep me informed and he said he would let me know as soon as he hears something.

It is clear that Italy is picking its way right now after being blindsided by this vicious virus and they want to ensure that they don’t lose any more citizens. Their population tends to be on the older side so they want to take every precaution.

Still, it is our hope that by August we can all go back. We can’t wait. There is so much happening there.

Stay tuned here and I will share whatever information I get.

Meanwhile stay safe and keep making plans!

 

The Truth About 1 Euro Italian Houses

Italian house
Photo credit Pixabay

 

Italian house
Photo credit Pixabay

Ciao!

I hope you all are following us on Youtube! We have gotten some really great traction over there and some of the videos are really taking off!

We are trying to put up informative and fun content that we know you want to see and it looks like we are succeeding so thank you if you have gone over and watched any of them.

By far the most popular video on YouTube is the one where I talk about the 1 euro Italian houses that are so popular nowadays and whether or not these are a wise purchase.

This video is up to 7,400 views and just keeps climbing. The other popular videos are the ones featuring our house renovations and several other renovation projects in our village of Santa Domenica Talao.

Every week I get several letters from people asking about purchasing a property in Italy and wondering if they can make their Italian dream come true.

Italy street
Italy street, Alexander Nagelstad

Now, these 1 euro Italian houses have gotten everyone’s attention. It is a BRILLIANT marketing campaign.

But is it a good deal?

Well, it might be but here are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

The homes that are selling now for 1 Euro are abandoned and have been for a long time.

First of all, let’s go back several generations and find out why these towns and villages are abandoned in the first place.

Seaside town
Seaside town

Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s many Italians, especially from the South. left their homes in Italy for the dream of a better life in America.

Life in the rural districts was difficult back then. The weather was capricious and one never knew whether the next year they would still be able to eke out a meagre living. Many left with the idea that they would be back after seeking their fortunes but they never returned.

Over time the properties that would have been inherited by the sons and grandsons fell into disrepair and ruin.

This was a long time ago and many of these properties are in pretty rough shape. Generally these are the 1 Euro Italian houses.

Most of them are found in the historic centers of so many hill towns and seaside villages. Some are wedged in between other houses that have been cared for and perhaps renovated and most are in a pretty severe state of disrepair.

Italian house
Guillaume Meurice

So that said, are they a good deal?

Well, it depends on so many different factors.

One of them is the state of disrepair. If the walls are intact and not crumbling due to a roof failure, it will be less expensive to fix up than one that has had the roof fail completely letting water leak into the walls and destroy their integrity.

Once that occurs, there is substantial repair needed and sometimes you may have to take the walls down to the foundation and rebuild them from the bottom up.

In the case of a house that is seriously damaged, make sure you get a good inspection and estimate on the repairs in writing before you purchase it.

A better purchase would be a house that is still pretty much intact, only needing cosmetic repairs like new floors, windows, kitchens and bathrooms. These are not generally for sale for one Euro but many times they are really inexpensive because there are so many of them.

ARCHITECTURE ITALIAN
Architecture Italian

Also kitchens and bathrooms are very inexpensive tp purchase in Italy, especially in the South. Ikea does have branches in Italy where you can purchase DIY kitchens for not very much money.

Another factor that you want to pay attention to in shopping for your Italian house is that in many villages, there may be one architect and one builder, You have to make sure that you can work with them and that they are honest and reliable.

Talk to others who have gotten renovations done in your village and ask them about their experiences.

Bear in mind that the houses for sale for one Euro are not anything like any houses we have here in America. Many of these houses were built centuries ago with whatever building materials they had to hand.

Centuries old walls may be made up of old roof tiles, bits of rock, mortar and sometimes even wood canes like the ones we found holding up our ancient roof. Miraculously we have not had leaks under that part of the roof as the wood canes are black with age and somehow still standing.

Honestly there is so much to finding and purchasing your house in Italy. It is very difficult to put it all into one blog post.

Do go watch our Youtube video and stay tuned as Pete and I are putting together a consultant package for those who are interested in having experienced help in this area.

Once you have your dream firmly in place, it is time to begin!

 

 

 

Foodie’s Guide to Decoding Italian Olive Oil

Chris Olives
Olive Market
Chris Olives
Olive Market

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited!

But I have to divulge a BIG secret to you about myself.

I have spent a lot of time in Italy and done a lot of cooking and eating. In fact I am quite a foodie over there. I have a nose for the best restaurants and the amazing chefs that I seem to be able to find all over Calabria

And I love to cook. So I would spend mornings in the markets in Italy finding the best and freshest ingredients. I would have Nunzia save me fresh eggs just scooped from underneath an unsuspecting chicken. And I would find the sweetest fruits and tastiest vegetables all ready to be enjoyed.

Market day
Market day

I would gather all of my bootie and come home and cook.

And my dishes were fantastic! In Italy I am a great cook.

So it was a huge mystery to me as to why, when I came home I was a mediocre cook. I still looked for and purchased the best ingredients. I still took care to make things correctly. And don’t get me wrong, the dishes were good, they just weren’t Italian.

Now full disclosure here, I am not Italian by blood, I am in spirit and one thing I do know is great cooking.

So recently I started really looking into something that I knew was missing here and that I could somehow find and incorporate into my dishes to make them truly authentic. .

Beautiful olive tree
Beautiful olive tree

And then I figured it out!

It was the most basic and probably the oldest fresh ingredient in Italian cooking.  It is the one thing that no Italian table is ever without.

What was missing was a really good Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. That was it! I knew I was onto something!

But as soon as I started looking for true facts on the subject of olives and olive oil, I ran into so many contrary facts, ideas, and opinions that I could not figure any of it out!

Olive Oil Pouring
Olive oil

I knew I had to go to the source to get really good information and I found it in the most unlikely place!

In my travels I stumbled across a book written in 1900 in Spanish called “The Oil of the Olive” By Dr. Alejandro Bizzarri, probably the world’s first real OLIVE NERD.

And I knew I had found it.

So I translated Dr. Bizzarri’s book from start to finish, read it all and culled out the really useful information that would help us in this day and age. (I left out the bits about how many olives were exported from Argentina in 1899. We don’t need that particularly.)

And I was enchanted!

Dr. B's book
Dr. Bizzarri’s book

Dr. Bizzarri covered everything from the cultivation to the harvesting methods to the pressing including intimate details of how to clean the presses, and what to do if your olive oil comes out smelling like animals or tasting like worms. This man was a true nerd and I am quite proud that I found him.

In short, Dr. B gave me everything I needed to pen my olive video and ebook that I now proudly call “Foodie’s Guide to Decoding Italian Olive OiI”.

slowfoodrenaissance.com
Foodies Guide to Decoding Italian Olive Oil

After completing that I had to jump head first into great olive oils so I ordered five of the top ranking Italian olive oils on Amazon.com.

We created several other really fantastic products including a video side by side comparison of the five Italian olive oils we bought. We were amazed at how different each one was and in short, I will NEVER go back to mass produced olive oil again. I have been spoiled for good!

On top of that we created special recipes for each olive oil we tried which was so much fun and way beyond delicious. We also made these available on video and in ebook form.

And, if that were not enough olive fun, I translated and notated Dr. Bizzarri’s book for you as well. Let me tell you, that was time consuming but with the annotations, it is really fun to read and honestly there is nothing that I can think of olive related that is not in that book.

You are going to love it.

Olives through the window
Olives through the window

I also included a couple of surprise bonuses but I will wait until my project is ready to launch before I tell you what they are.

All in all, Pete and I have been in Olive Wonderland for the last several weeks! I can’t wait to release this so you can join us there! I see many olive related happy moments in our future!

Chin-chin and I will see you in the piazza!

 

Why is this Corona Virus Making us so Unhappy and What Can We Do?

View fro Santa Domenica Talao
View from Santa Domenica Talao

Ciao friends,

I have to say that I woke up sad today.  It is very unlike me to wake up sad so it took awhile for me to really analyze why I was feeling this way and once I identified it, I felt a lot better.

Here it is:

Easter has been cancelled this year for all intents and purpose. We are all on lock down and there are no big meals prepared with and for our loved ones.

There are no Easter egg hunts, no beautiful Easter dresses on the ladies at Easter mass.

There are no flowers and no music. There is no feeling of renewed life that we can share with each other.

There is no thanking God with all of our loved ones present that Winter is over and a new beginning has arrived in all its glory.

I know enforced isolation is necessary in these highly unusual circumstances but it can be very damaging to us spiritually if we do not know how to combat it.

People are all different but two of the most important things we have in common are communication with each other, with life, with the world around us, and aesthetics, a love of all things beautiful.

And everyone I know who travels does so for these two reasons.

Think about it. When we travel somewhere to see the brightly colored markets in Turkey or when we head to Italy to taste the amazing cuisine, we are looking forward to communication to this new (to us) world around us.

When we walk in the evening Passegiatta we look at each other and smile. We are communicating. When we order our dinner in faulty Italian and laugh at our pronunciation and grammar mistakes, we are communicating. When we study history, we are communicating with the past. It is all about communication.

We also look to the aesthetics, the stunning buildings, the amazing art work, and the cultural rituals and practices that we find beautiful. We pay more in hotels for a room with a beautiful view. Again, it is all about communication and aesthetics; communication and beauty.

So it is no surprise that we become edgy and upset when we are denied communication with each other and the world. We also get upset when we are denied the opportunity to see or even create beauty.

So cancelling a holiday such as Easter can give us this reaction of sadness and upset.

So what do we do about it?

Create something beautiful

One of my favorite ways of fighting the blues is to create something beautiful. In my case I have spent a lot of time creating our new Facebook group “All About Italy” which is a group of people who love Italy. It is a great group who freely share beautiful photos and videos, recipes, thoughts and ideas.

For this reason the page itself is very aesthetic and the group is in really nice communication with each other.

If you love Italy feel free to go and join.

Really work to stay in communication with your friends and family.

When  we start to feel down, we tend to with draw. This just makes the problem worse. Pick up the phone or better yet, schedule a FaceTime session with your kids. Write letters and emails just to stay in touch. Check on your relatives. You will feel better.

Plan something great for the future

Our village in Italy is in lock down right now but soon Summer will come and the sharp sunlight will creep through our windows in the morning, waking us up with the promise of so many fun and exciting things.

There will be coffees and cornetti  in the piazza with friends.

There will be parties on the roof terraces overlooking the sea where we laugh together and share stories while sipping perfect Prosecco and munching on Italian snacks.

There will be exciting days spent designing and starting on our new BNB in the piazza.

There will be endless opportunities to discover new treasures. I hear that there is a specialty farm that creates the most perfect ricotta near our village. We need to explore this!

I also found that there is an olive farm below us turning out highly crafted olive oil for us to explore and enjoy.

Pete and I have so many projects in the works and it does make us feel happy and excited to talk to each other about them and create them day after day.

If you need some ideas go check out the Super Savvy Youtube channel. We have some very cool content there and I am sure you will find some ideas to jump start your creative flows.

I know this is a tough time but I also hear great news for the coming weeks. This will not last forever and we will come out of it stronger with a renewed love of the things we might have taken for granted at some point.

Meanwhile Hang On! and work to create opportunities for beauty and more communication. This will make you feel better and it also helps those around you more than you can possibly imagine.

Sending all my best! See you in the piazza!

XO Chris