We have really arrived

UMBRIA, Italy— We are here in Bella Umbria. Easiest trip. The Maine to Umbria connection often runs 20 hours door-to-door. Certainly it does by the time you factor in arriving early for international flights, trains, buses to the airport, rent-a-cars and all. But this time we cut it really thin, thin, thin in Paris and made the whole trip in 18 hours. In spite of an adamant Air France ticket taker going, “non, non, non”. We were looking at (and I will admit pointing at) the bus getting ready to take our planeload of fellow passengers to the plane and we kept saying, “yes, yes, yes, please, please, please.” I think eventually, having no checked baggage convinced him letting me on the plane was a good call. Whew.

I always like an aisle seat and I have that on file with our travel agent. But for the short hour and a half early early a.m. hop from say Paris to Florence I am thinking of changing the request to window seat forward of the wing. Sunrise over the Alps in winter when you find yourself sort of dopey from being up all night is a rather out-of-body experience. One minute you are in a foggy little sleep coma, and the next, you suddenly wake to dramatic blue gray mountains of granite pressed right up against the windows, long dark shadows on snow whites and the pink rays of dawn poking between the peaks and spilling out over sky and snow.

Arrived to the town bells ringing twelve noon and to a warm and toasty home. That is a welcome in and of itself. Our friend Anna has the house spotless and has turned the heat on for us a day or two in advance. Her cousin-in-law is our good friend Bruno and he was one of the first people we saw. And snapped. I have been in town for one quick loop to the cafe to wave hi and try to convince my mouth/brain to remember how to form Italian-like words in my sleep deprivation state. Got updated on many business, health and gossip fronts already. And have already been invited to dinner tonight. Must have said something right

I’m leaving Monday, Jan 31st for Umbria!

While I am in Umbria, I plan to work around the house, test out our new Italian woodstove, drink buckets of Aldo’s cafe, visit friends, and, of course, see lots of new real estate.

I am counting the days. Can’t wait. As they say in Italy “non vedo l’ora.” My intent is to do a daily blog of the trip. We’ll see how this experiment works out. Have digi camera will travel. Flying into Firenze and working my way down to Umbria. Coming around the last corner when our house first reveals itself never ceases to thrill. Surprises us with a big dose of “welcome home” every time. The photo here is what I’m leaving behind in snowy Maine.

While I am in Umbria, I plan to work around the house, test out our new Italian woodstove, drink buckets of Aldo’s cafe, visit friends, and, of course, see lots of new real estate.

Giancarlo has just sent me his list of new properties that I hope to see in person right away. See if there is anything in this list that grabs your attention. More news on all of them as it becomes available. Note that these are in the works and prices not firm yet. This is very much a sneak preview!

• 9th Century Villa 6 km from Castiglione del Lago. Approx 500 sq.m, approx 400.000 euro. Habitable,small garden
• Terraced old property near Pescia
• Restored farmhouse near Gioiella 125 sq.m,- furnished- approx 200.000 euro. I’ll see again with the owner on Friday
• End house of a row of houses, very old property near Sanfatucchio. Habitable, approx 100 sq.m, garden with shed 120.000 euro estimated price.

He’s also very keen on a new property south of Panicale and near Tavernella. It is on our site under the top bar at the far right in the heading “This Just In!” That is my section of good intentions where properties sit for a second while I get their photos organized for the regular web pages.

If there is anything I do for you while I am there on the ground in Italy in February, let me know.

OK, See you in Italy!