Winnifred's activity

Questions Asked

Hi Silvia Donati - author of this great article.

Fri, 09/06/2013 - 04:40

If you feel like a day out/ weekend away please do come and visit Polinago (in the Appennine about an hour out of Modena and at 800metres - the weather is stunning) and support the people of San Felice, a town hit by the first earthquake in May.A

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:35

Unfortunatley as part of our ruin was lacking foundations we have had to demolish the house to rebuild.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 20:34

Having read a number of posts and comments on this site which constantly bemoan the lack of professionalism and honesty of Italian real estate agents, the Italian legal system and the general issues surrounding the purchase and restoration of hous

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 03:34

Hi Everyone We will be settling on our property in November after many years of dreaming of a house in Italy.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 18:34

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.

Sat, 06/27/2009 - 23:40

Comments posted

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 10:24

Hi JulseyWe moved over with a 40' high top container and half a 20' ontainer. We used Wridgeways to move us. They were great and explained everything and the only things we didn't take was the contents of our wine cellar as we would have to pay duty on the wines. Unfortunately we understood that our goods in the half container would be separated from whatever else was in there. That container went to UK and the contents arrived about 4 months later and in a mess with broken boxes, stuff missing and very unhelpful UK staff.Too late to claim on our insurance and I just told myself it was only "stuff'. Our big container arrived in perfect order, beautifully packed and nothing missing ( having said that, you couldn't slip a piece of paper between things it was so tighly packed).We even took our matteresses which were all beautifull packed, no humidity in them - perfect. The packers will not pack any liquids to go into the container and we believe that we could not have replaced the goods of a full house with what it cost us in transport. You will have to be patient changing all the electric plugs, but initially we used Australian power boards on which we changed the plugs to Italian style one.Looks like a lovely area you are moving to. We are in Polinago, our nearest large towns are Pavullo nel Frignano in the mountains and Modena is our capital. Once you are settled, do get in touch and come and visit us. Happy to answer any further questions you might have and you can contact me direct at (we run a small B&B here and have mainly Australian guests).

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 13:53

Rosemaria  have a look at  We would be pleased to see you in August. While it is warm here in the mountains during the day, the evenings are pleasant and nights cool. Lots of festivals, sagras etc along with all the other past times we describe on the site.

Answer to: Thankyou
Sat, 07/21/2012 - 03:20

Hi, I have gone to the website but there is no shipping to Italy, and to pay to have it sent to Australia and then sent here becomes somewhat expensive. Can we purchase directly from you?  We would love to support you.

Mon, 05/30/2011 - 04:02

Thanks - what a wonderful photo! I love the hand grenade at the waist of the fellow on the left (your relation).

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 05:47

Hi Centauro Thanks for all your information. We arrived to a similar conclusion over dinner last night and probably a few too many reds. We scoured the web and finally found photos of the British Mills bombs only that our 'expert' friend believed that one is a 36M and the other 3 are No.5 Mills bombs. I can't remember which, but he also maintained that one type could be screwed to a rifle and launched in that manner. It is all quite fascinating and I enjoyed reading about your personal stories in the village. I have also contacted our sindico who is very helpful to ask him about the history of the area at that time. Sadly I couldn't get your photo to open. Will let you know when and if we hear more - we are currently still in Australia and will get to Polinago in late June. Hopefully it will all be settled and work can continue on the house!

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 19:32

Thank Centauro If you have a look at our website and photos of the demolition you will see the grenades - looks more like the US one but a little different.  We are still waiting for the bomb disposal people as they now need to check the site to see if there are any more little 'surprises'. The website you mentioned also looks interesting. 

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 10:45

Yes,  regarding the underpinning of the house, we agree that it would have been best to try to keep the house but we were advised that it was better this way, some of our walls were in a very precarious position and the comune also allowed us an extra 20% of footprint. We have at least retained the stables which will give me my dream kitchen with pillars and vaulted ceilings. Thanks to everyone for your answers and we are seeking out the books and will get in touch with the professor when we are back in Italy next month.  We appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 08:07

Hi Robin This will be our home but the building lends it self to allow us to rent out four rooms and bathrooms as a 'home stay' with our own quarters above the stables. Therefore we are making decisions as the whole house will be our own home.  The layout is such that we will be able to close portions off when there are just ourselves in the place, therefore saving on heating and electricity in general. We have indicative plans (not costed at this stage) from our geometra who is also an architect. We return in November and will be spending several days with him sorting out formalised and costed plans. We understand from him that we are looking at anywhere between 750 - 1200 euros per square metre depending on the quality of the finish required. Last May he took us to visit a similar project he is working on for an English family, which is at the 1200 euro end of the spectrum and not entirely our cup of tea (home theatre, kitchen with a two storey void, travertine floors etc). We have decided that there will  be elements which we don't wish to scrimp on such as energy efficient heating.  Having watched probably too many episodes of Grand Design we  will be moving to live permanently in Italy and while the geometra/architect will be project managing we intend to be on site assisting with labour.   My husband doesn't speak Italian, but fortunately I do and have lived in Italy and with Italians.  Never the less we know that there will be moments when we may be ripped off, but it happens here in Australia as well.  Builders are builders and there is good and bad everywhere. Basically you need to do your homework, ask the questions etc.  I also think it helps to have  a pretty clear idea of what we want and don't want. I have been looking at houses for sale on line for the last 10 years and visited Italy looking at real estate  before we bought so do suggest that you don't rush into it and do what is right for you. We will be living in Polinago from the middle of 2011 and I hope to start blogging on in the near future to keep you up to date on what we are doing. Good luck with whatever you do. Winnifred

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 01:55

Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. Fortunately our geometra is also a qualified architect and we have been to see a similar project on which he is currently working.  We have spoken with the comune who were very positive (I think they are happy to see our money) and we will be living on site.  I visited a site which advised we were low category earth quake area but will certainly be ensuring we meet all the requirements. We will keep you posted.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 07:30

Hi Joy Yes we will be back for good in June 2011 and intend to very hands on.  Our geometra is also a qualified architect and we have visited one of his buildings with a renovated stable similar to ours, so it was good to see the quality and finish of his work. My husband David is looking forward to being the labourer on site, and hopefully we will have a garage with flat above built, and hopefully complete before we arrive.  Other wise we will rent something nearby until that is finished.