The consequence of meeting Our German Blog Fans/Friends and seeing their hill-perched house & acreage, plus the ongoing adventure of rustico hunting with Our American Friend has caused me to Pause & Reflect upon our finding, buying and re-building Il Poggiolo.
We needed all the umph-pah available. The search for a house in the Lunigiana was not particularly fun. The hope of finding something charming which would click kept the two of us going. Mostly me. You was along for the ride. So many houses were a God-awful waste of time, ugly, expensive too… why people think they have La Reggia di Caserta http://reggiadicaserta.beniculturali.it instead, offering a shit-hole and asking a shit-load of money for it, was amazingly annoying to me… and full of defects of one sort or another… Yes… it’s… um… charming… but… it’s on a highway! Naturally, the photos avoided that detail.
Like Our American Friend, we too had suffered the delusion of falling head-over-heels in love with an amazing house in Castiglione del Terziere, an historic village above Villafranca in Lunigiana, and its failed acquisition. The house? Imagine Frank Lloyd Wright collaborating with Giacomo il Falegname. Did FLW ever collaborate? Our offer collided head-on with a lunatic American-Italian owner and his equally quixotic Italian-only real-estate agent… AND his dumb Italian wife! Sorry, but she was. The A-I owner was asking Euro 650,000!!! He had clipped Euro 150,000 from the original price in the months prior to our arrival on the scene. Our Notary Public, an expert in property values, said not to offer more than Euro 350,000. It was rejected as an insult. The owner’s best offer was to sell the house to us for Euro 600,000 and the closing in 5 years, so he could avoid a capital gains tax. Oh, really? We countered. He rejected. We countered. He rejected. The final collapse of negotiations weeks later… I was walking Moses in small park in Genoa in a sunny day’s wind storm talking on a cellphone with the recalcitrant real-estate agent… made me ill. Literally. I took to my bed with bronchitis for a week. Then, came the depression. I do not mope well. Too big. A burden to the world and to You too. I moved on. By the way, the house is still for sale in 2014 and below the price the owner rejected as an insult. Just looking at the above photo makes me sad. We could envision living in it!!! Yep, that bad. It stings.