julia G.'s activity

Questions Asked

Hi can anyone give me some advice on purchasing windows for our house in Italy. We are obviously looking for good quality at a good price. I have already been advised against using wood due to the extreme temperature changes.

Thu, 09/12/2013 - 12:18

Does any body know if adapters for refilling red calorgas bottles can be purchased in Italy. If so where?. We have found that we can get the small blue camping gas bottles refilled but have so far failed on the red.

Sun, 07/21/2013 - 17:27

WE are renovating and thinking of a new heating system we may have the chance to be connected to mains gas, I wondered if any of the community may have opinions as to the cost comparison to the pellet system etc.

Wed, 04/03/2013 - 18:16

my name is Julia I am new to the forum, I am interested to know if anybody has any information on building grants( for renovation) available in the piedmonte region.

Tue, 11/20/2012 - 17:45

Comments posted

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 15:31

Hi I just read your enquiry about costings for house renovations, my blog may be of some help to you. It is on facebook, Casa del Roseto my Italian dream. It is a compete diary of postings of our renovation in Piemonte, and we have certainly had a mammoth restoration. It is alsmost complete and it has taken us over 5 years. I wanted to give other souls who were considering something similar an insight into what it entails. If you manage to read it and there are any questions that i can help with please do ask. Julia

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:39

Yes contact me through the Casa del Roseto site that will be the best way forward  julia

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 06:28

Hi once again The gpl question, I believe the installation is free  they make there money on the gas purchase so shop around. We are just about to go down this road ourselves however not for our living accomadation. We fitted a large efel wood burning stove, which provided cooking facilities on top. It heats well over 100 cubic metres downstairs and the chimney goes through our upstairs bedroom so we get a heated brick  wall. As I am not keen on heat in the bedroom it is completely adequate.  The heat does actually rise through the cotto tiles on the ceilings  so we also have heated floors upstairs.  The efel is also quite a handsome beast in our living room it is so cosy on winter evenings. In fact we were so impressed that we bought another secondhand for our sitting room in an other part of the house. It is slightly smaller band enamelled a beautiful green. You will see pictures of this in due course on my site.We are going to use Gpl just for secondary heating if we have guests, or if the temps get sub zero. For hot water we are fitting a solar panel system and again secondary electric boilers and gpl.We have considered this greatly and this is the best method and cheapest for ourselves. By all means if you are in our area we are happy to meet.We do have a friend who is an architect he lives in Milan and has another house close to here. He is Irish and completely understands the dilemmas that we all have with the language barriers etc. It may be worth you getting a second opinion from him before you start on this adventure. .He is certainly very honest.Hope this is some help

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:02

Hi you have certainly done some research.Firstly by Asti I actually meant the province, it is a huge area which covers as close to Govone only about 10 minutes from the centre of Alba. We are close to the town of Nizza monferrato famous for its production of Barbera. This area was given Unesco status two years ago and it is amazing how the tourists are flocking in to experience the wines etc.especially the Swiss and Northern europeans. No doubt with your knowledge of wine you will be aware that Barbera is growing in importance and popularity and in fact we live close to some of the best cantinas in the area. They took various medals at the countries most prestigious wine festival in Asti "The Douja d'Or "which of course would be on your list of must do for any visitors.Now re the house the area South East of Alba was originally completely vineyard so the old houses big and small have lots of character. Prior to buying our house 6 years ago we saw numerous with all these things in various states of repair. You have no doubt seen the pictures on my blog site www.juliasitaliangarden.com  or my Facebook site Casa del Roseto.our house is big and oozing with character even the old vasche in the cantina where supposedly used by the partigiani to hide from the enemy during the war. I don't doubt this, they were built like war shelters even a nuclear bomb would not have flattened them it took weeks of road drilling to clear it out. Our cantina is huge we had a party last week seating 25 easily but our friend has bought a little end terrace house in the village. It sits high above the roof tops looking towards the peaks of the Alps it has rustic ceilings and a beautiful perfectly formed cantina for this little gem he paid in the region of 20,000 and his renovation cost is predicted to be around 70,000 it needed a new roof. It really depends on what he is willing to spend on a holiday home. The garage I would feel as long as there is some shade for the cars I really can't imagine any possible client choosing your house over one in another area due to a garage. A swimming pool that is another story.Hope all this helps. By the way Dogliani sound a good prospect you are just going to have to bring the purchase price down and be prepared to work yourself on the restoration you can really bring your costs down to budget. Be prepared to negotiate hope this helps by the way where are you from? Julia   

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:18

Hi I live in Piemonte in Asti province, when we searched for our house we did look in that area. We discounted it as it tended to be a little isolated, houses where also cheaper than our area but the farther you go from the main towns the more difficulty you will have with resale and also less popular for holiday lets. Although that was 6 years ago and things may have changed since. Mind you the change is that there is fierce competition out there everybody is renting houses on air b and b.the estate agents will tell you there is a shortage in fact they will say what ever you want to hear.I completely agree with everything the others have said many of our friends are sitting on negative equity after spending too much on the refurbishment.  I would really think hard as to why you are buying the property. I also have friends who spend all their holidays grafting in their holiday homes. Regarding the cost of renovating around here they work at 1000 euros a square metre. Obviously you can do it a lot cheaper but you have to be prepared to do as we have done live on site , labour , project manage etc etc. I have a blog site but have actually just started a new facebook site " Casa del Roseto. My italian dream " It is telling the story of the renovation through pictures. It may be some help to you and if you have any questions please ask. By the way our house was a complete wreck there is nothing we have not touched but it is over 300 square metres on the ground floor we have 3 floors so I will leave it with you to estimate the area we have been working with.I guess we are a little crazy. Hope this helps with your dilemma. Julia 

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:40

Hi I do mot have any experience of catching trains in Alba so  am unsure what the train service is like especially to Torino. It would be worth you checking on trenitalia website. Certainly the trains from Asti can get you around the area. You can even travel down to the coast for a day visit ,  although there is certainly enough to do around here. All the towns are beautiful but as I said quite different. I couldn't advise you which one to stay in. It really depends on your requirements and budget.I suspect from Asti it will be easier to travel around the area without hiring a car. We live close to Nizza Monferratto in the heart of the barbera wine region, it is a quaint old market town again with a station , with trains running from Asti to Aqui Terme. Just as Connor says to really appreciate the area and visit the little villages a car would be beneficial if only for a couple of days.Out of the towns the roads are quiet with not too much stress, these days we find ourselves struggling with the traffic when we drive to Torino.Hope that helps.

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:07

Hi I live in Piemonte close to Asti, in the Barbera wine region.Firstly Torino is a very beautiful elegant city with many palaces , museums galleries and designer shops etc.etc. As you walk through the centre you get fleeting  glimpses  of the towering Alps beyond which seem to be strategically positioned at the end of the avenues. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy when every I visit I always feel very special. . There are certainly many things to see and do,  the peripheral towns situated on the hillside are also worth a visit to get the amazing views of the city. I am sure that there must be someone on this site who could give you a list of places to visit.regarding an optimum location for touring, try and find accomodation between Alba, Asti and the town of Aqui Terme. The three towns are all beautiful but very different. Alba is home to nutella with the famous Barolo wines in the vicinity. It tends to be the most expensive of the three towns, with tourist prices. Asti is home to Barbera and the oldest palio in Italy (unfortunately for you it is in September) and Aqui Terme Is an ancient spa town where you can swim in the healing waters! Both towns tend to be more reasonably priced. During the summer there are many festas and you will find lots to visit.The surrounding countryside is carpeted with vast areas of vineyards and hazelnut groves it is superb.Colourful villages are perched on the rolling hillsides. To see these villages you would need a car. local transport is good and certainly there is a train line between Asti and Aqui terme. From Asti the trains run every 30 minutes to Torino.One consideration it is very hot here in August temperatures often reach into  the high 30/ low 40. It is also the Italian holiday usually the first two weeks of August so some local transport timetables can change. Hope this is some help if you have any further questions please ask. Julia     

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:50

Hi we brought a little puppy over from the UK about 4 years ago. While we waited for all her vaccinations etc for the passport she lived with my mum in the UK. So we decided to insure her with a pet plan in the UK which could be used out here. I used an Internet site I think it was go compare and checked all the different plans available. I found a couple I thought offered all I needed then contacted them saying I had a holiday home in Italy and would they cover me for travel abroad. I found one who would cover me without any problems or limitations.e.g. No restriction as to how long we were away from the UK. They informed me that if she required any treatment I could either pay the bill at my vets here and claim a reimbursement from the insurance company or with my vets permission send his bill to the insurance company. A couple of years ago I cancelled the policy so unfortunately can't remember which company it was with. I would suggest it would be worth contacting your insurance company and enquire about the cover whilst abroad. 

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 12:55

Hi I completely endorse Steves comments, I have a background in horticulture in the UK and found very quickly the best way forward was to watch the neighbours, they have generations of knowledge of how to deal with the various conditions which as Steve says are very different to each location. Within my own garden I have quite different soil textures. We have practised a rotation splitting the orto into 4, squares. My best advice is to decide exactly what you will use in the kitchen and learn to grow them first. Do not be too ambitious. We use both seed and young plants although  I have found at times the drought and heat  cause germination problems.It is difficult to advise without knowing your location do you get frost if so wait until the frosts subside then as the soil warms start planting. For spring we purchase small plants of tomatoes, peppers, salad crops,parsley and celery.We sow seed of beetroot, radish, French beans,basil,courgettes and nasturtiums..Basil I sow in the ground and in trays. You just can't get enough.French beans are the best to plant we have tried others but it is to dry for the. Make the planting holes and sow at least 3to 4 per hole. It gives a dense row of beans.Beware with the courgettes my first year here I sowed a full row and like Steve with the squash we were eating them throughout the summer. I even made courgette cake. You will only need one or two. Plants.We also plant seed potatoes and onion sets.Later in the season we plant leeks, cabbage , cauliflowers etc. Our garden is organic so we use all types of companion planting and natural remedies for feeding and pest control.Always dig your green household waste into trenches and plant your tomatoes above it.There are a multitude of gardening books to choose from but I feel  the best book you can buy is the RHS Encyclopaedia of gardening it has most of the answers. Hope this is helpful like Steve if you have any further questions always happy to reply.  

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 17:28

Hi Ian,Thankyou for your kind comments, I am pleased you have found an area you wish to settle in. It was probably the best time to view as I guess now is the worst time to see anywhere here, we also bought our house in January, 5 years ago . We felt if we liked it at its worse it could only get better and it certainly did. Do not worry about the spelling mistake with  my name I couldn't allow Ugo away with it because he felt the need to make a derogatory comment about my original message to you. Wish you all the best with your new home.