06/27/2009 - 23:40

Hello from a wintery Canberra.  We will be visiting Italy again next April/May with a view to looking at properties.  We need  to decide where we will evenutally purchase a place to partially restore and spend our time between Australia and Italy.  In the meantime it would be lovely to be in touch with others with similar thoughts and ideas and to be able to ask questions of those of you who have much more experience than us


Hi Valentina, I too hope you will come to Australia one day, but be prepared for a very different country and society.For me the difference is the historic buildings and way of life in Italy.  Australia is so young in regard to buildings and culture; with a society which is a cross between UK and America - relaxed, open and friendly with (I hope I dont offend anyone) a little more worldliness than the USA. On the other hand, we have a natural heritage that is amongst the oldest with an indigenous culture which is at least 40 - 60,00 years old and when one travels to places in Central Australia absolutely awe inspiring.Nevertheless, I have loved Italy since I first went there in 1972 as a young traveller.  I remember writing home to say 'my soul has arrived home' and that feeling has never left me, regardless of living there, many, many visits backwards and forwards, and my two lovely half Italian daughters.I hope that you will come here one day and am happy to answer any questions you may have.Have a wonderful day.Winnifred 

Hello Winnifred and welcome from another Aussie who has been living in Europe for many years. Travelling between Italy and Australia is going to be your major problem if you wish to go from one country to the other on a regular basis. Try to find a place near an airport with good connections so that your travelling time is reduced as much as possible. We purchased an old watermill in Northern Tuscany and it is very well located. It took us quite a while to find what we wanted, but it was  all worthwhile. Also, you will need a place that requires little or no maintenance  as you are going to be travelling quite a lot. Which are your favourite regions? Do you have family ties with Italy? Just ask all the specific questions you wish and we will all try to help you.Best wishes with your plans,

Hi GalaSorry for not replying sooner, but have been flat out with work. Thankyou for your welcome and helpful hints - I am envious of your watermill!!  We are looking at doing a 'project' (probably more fool us) and contemplate living in Italy for at least 12 months to do so.  We love southern Emilia Romagna/northern Toscana and have seen some wrecks on line.  We will be in Italy next April to go house hunting and have already seen a place of interest in the small village of Cinquecerre about 20kms from Castelnovo n' Monti. We are looking for something preferably in a village so that it hopefully locals will keep an eye on it.I was married to an Italian and consequently have citizenship although my current husband doesnt and we will visit the embassy in the near future to see if I can obtain it for him. I have two daughters who also have dual citizenship so it is most helpful.  I am still very close to all the Italian relatives and have a good relationship with them but they all live in Roma.Thank  you Gala for your kind offer to answer questions, and I am sure I will have many.  This site is great - as today I have learnt a great deal about buying a car!!!Best wishes from a cold Canberra winter's evening.Winnifred 

Welcome Winifred. I see you are not of British decent Are you retiring to spend half and half home and in Italy?  I expect through your ex husband you know quite a lot about the Italians and their culture.  My late sister emigrated to Wollogong, NSW in the sixties and spent 10 years out there. She regretted coming home. Becuase I lived in Sardinia for 3 years when I was younger I have never got the experience out of my blood and long to return when I retire.  This website is great because we are a global community all sharing the same passion.  I despair at the stereotyping the italians endure from most the Brits I come into contact with on a daily basis.Still if they are not interested in learning about the Italians and Italiana then it's their lossHope your plans go well.A presto!  

Thanks Conrad - it is great to hear that I am not unique in dreaming of living once again in Italy.  Yes, once we have a place we would like to spend half our time there.  Australia is a magificient country but one can never choose where your heart will go.  I can relate clearly to your desire to return when you retire.I agree with the stereotyping of Italians by many - we have also done it to the Brits.  I have met many wonderful British people during my travels and two of my dearest friends are British, but interestingly also have their hearts in Italy!!!So Conrad - let's see who gets there first?   You do have a distinct advantage in that you live a lot closer!!!Ciao a prestoWinnifred

For better or worse Britain is changing. I am nigh on 50 now and have seen so much change in my life time.  It is now very much multi-cultural and on the whole we all get on with each other. There are a minority that are homophobic and  are blatantin their biggotted and often racist views but most of us are decent folk who despise their kind. We will always have that light hearted animosity between Austrailia and England but Austrailians are loved in this country. They usually beat us at cricket and rugby and make sure we know about it.   We have a great respect for Austrailia and Australians and many would love to live there.  As regarding Italy. I will probably work for the next 15 years and then retire in Italy. Although Sardinia is a beautiful islandI think we would like to retire on the mainland.  Yes we have the advantage of being closer and the low cost airlines have made it possible to travel relatively cheaper nowadays. Our plan is to try and visit every region and hopefully when it comes to retirement time we will make the right decission.Kind regardsConrad.

In reply to by Conrad

I think you are doing better than us at the moment in the Ashes but I know we couldn't stay on top for ever. We have plans to go to Italy in April 2010 as several of us are hitting the big 60 next year and we will celebrate in style.  We are renting a house from a Brit in Montone (northern Umbria) and then looking at somewhere near the Cinque Terre. We will be looking at realestate while we are in Italy as the plan is to spend 2012 working on a 'project' if we have found a place.  We have seen a semi ruin, or should I say 'project' on  a website in the mountains of Emiglia Romagna in a small village which appeals to us as we could also rent it out.  We like the area as we stayed in a delightful little B&B last year in a little town called Aquaria Al 211 the internet, and spent several days driving around the area. I also like the look (on the net) of Piemonte but would still need to visit there.  Northern Toscana is also delightful.  I am reluctant to go south of Roma, again the distance, but also it is a dry as Australia and we have enough of that here.  But let's see what the GFC does in the next few months and for the moment will keep on dreaming.  Anyway, the right thing will come at the right time and in the meanwhile, it's off to work again tomorrow.Have a good weekWinnifred

Hi Winnifred.  I will send you a Personal Message with details of an estate agent near Cinque Terre that I can thoroughly recommend.

Winnifred!We have been  searching for a property in Emilia Romagna / Northern Tuscany for a while, and would like to point out the climate difference between Emilia Romagna and Lunigiana, which has made us focus on the Lunigiana side of the mountains, which has less rain and snow, and higher temperatures in the winter.I'll PM you with some details about the areas we have been researching (we've just made an offer on a property around Pontremoli). Erik