Il Casale di Mele

I am very pleased to share that we are now the proud owners of I Casali di Mele…… Casale di Mele Rosse and Casale di Mele Verde, two beautiful farmhouses in the heart of Umbria. There were many times when we wondered if this would even be able to happen for us over the past four months, but with the constant help of a very able and talented real estate team from Apta Domus, it is now a reality.

We just spent a whirlwind nine days in Italy, finally closing on the houses this past Tuesday. The closing took most of the day, and was quite tiring, but at the end of the day we moved into our own Umbrian farmhouse.

We were both completely drained after months of worrying, but at the same time extremely content as we embark on this latest adventure in the heart of Italy. As I wrote a few months back, our plans are to live in the one house and rent out the second house to guests. (See rental house in photo above)

Although at the time we moved in, both houses were pretty empty, in our typical organized style, we managed to get a good start on furnishing both houses in the few days we were able to spend living in them. We plan to return to Umbria for two months after spending the holidays with family, and to get the rental house completely decorated in time for the summer season. We are already working on getting the website completed so we can start to take bookings for next year, and hope to get it launched over the next month or two.

Umbria was quite wet and cool when we arrived and although we did have a few gorgeous days with clear blue skies, most of the time we were in Italy was spent traipsing around through the rain and fog. Our two houses sit up on a hill down the road from Piedicolle and it was amazing to us that often when we were enjoying clear skies while just below us was covered in fog.

The scenery in Umbria at this time of year is gorgeous, with the misty hills covered in a mix of sage green colored foliage from the olive trees, and a beautiful mosaic of colored deciduous trees. It was a bit of an adjustment going from sunny Florida to the cool, wet weather we found in Italy, and we found that we needed to have a fire going from the time we woke until we headed off to bed to try and stay warm. Since we have learned how expensive it is to heat any house in Italy, I expect we will go through a lot of firewood this winter!

Buying property in Italy can be an adventure, but it is definitely possible. We were extremely lucky to stumble upon a wonderful real estate team from Apta Domus led by Bruno Coleschi, along with his associate Carla Berghi, who is fluent in English. Their offices are in Sanselpolcro, Tuscany, and they really did walk us through each and every step in the process of buying real estate in Italy.

They did everything with us from day one helping us to understand how the process of buying property in Italy is done, to taking us to the bank to set up an account. We had heard horror stories from other foreigners buying property in Italy who were all but abandoned by their realtors once the contract was signed and the realtor’s fee was paid. The folks at Apta Domus were the complete opposite and always answered every question we asked of them (and there were many!) very quickly. By the end of the process we felt very comfortable with our realtors, and were even told that now that the deal is completed we are still considered family, and that we can contact them for any help we need to get our houses set up.

Check out a link to their website below with many other properties for sale in Italy. It was through Apta Domus that we also met the builder of our houses (they are 4 years old), and he too has taken us under his wing and treated us like family, giving us great advice and hooking us up with services needed at the best costs. In fact, this builder is presently building a small community down the road from us called Monte Castello Estates. To find out more about this development, check out the site by clicking on the banner at the left.

We are very lucky that we found these two houses in the location that they are which is so close to the main highway in Umbria but still have the feeling of being on your own in the country. Having explored the area over the past few trips there, we have been able to find the best little local places to eat and where to buy local products, and are excited to return to Umbria to set up our kitchen in order to start cooking upon our return. It will be an adventure living in Italy, but one that we both are excited to begin. We have always loved Umbria and it’s people and are looking forward to fully exploring this region in the future.




Deborah Mele
December 2008

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