26 achievements and disasters during the last two years of living in Italy
Unbelievable but true - we are two years in already.
So here, in no particular order, is a list of some of the achievements, disasters and memorable events over the last two years. We will let you figure out which is which.
Arriving in Milan airport only to find out we had no home to go to. Hint: this wasn't an achievement.
Being served a cappuccino without asking for it, on the morning of the 7th day after our arrival in Italy, at Caffe Poliziano, after the grumpy waiter realised we were here to stay. Vinceremo! (We will win!)
Realising that we would have to also register our dogs, Max and Milo, with the local Comune (Municipality) and that they would have to be ID-ed. That was a fun trip. Not.
Discovering a strange man in the fields surrounding our house, realising he was looking for truffles and cutting a deal with him (basically, if he finds anything, we get 0.0000003% - yes, we are dealmakers extraordinaire).
Designing labels for our wine and conducting an online poll. No, yours didn't win. :)
Pretending to laugh along when we made our many many language gaffes (eg: saying"we are two dogs" instead of "we have two dogs").
Being screamed at by a crazy Italian, his mum and his dad, when they turned up at the agriturismo claiming that it belongs to them. We were hosting a party with 25 friends at the time.
Tasting food made by some of the best local Tuscan private chefs, so we knew what we were recommending to guests of the agriturismo. Well, someone had to.
Creating a new type of team meeting - one that includes Cosmopolitans.
Scrambling for jumpers and coats when the radiators at home failed to work on the only night it was -4 C.
Watching the dogs experience snow for the first time. Of course it took some convincing for them to go out.
Packaging olive oil produced from the trees at home, as Christmas gifts for family and friends. Some made it, some didn't. Surprise, surprise.
Single-handedly doubling the Irish and Indian population of Montepulciano.
Becoming Superhosts on Airbnb - 16 x 5 star reviews... and counting.
Being asked by a Japanese journalist based in Italy to feature on Fiat's promotional material in Japan, to show off our 100% electric Fiat 500. Not sure what the article actually says...
Distracting (read: serving Prosecco to) guests at check-in while the cleaning staff finished the last bits inside the agriturismo, and then entering through the main door while the staff exited through the back door. We made it just in time. You can't make this stuff up..
Being known by our first names pretty much everywhere we go in Montepulciano: Paris and Kneeaal. Close enough - we'll take it.
Supervising a video shoot at the agriturismo, to promote the Villa and roping in our friends to be the actors (yes, we're still friends - just about).
Being introduced to the concept of 'apericena' (aperitivo + cena/dinner). Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
Becoming masters at Italian bureaucracy. Residence permits - check. Covid vaccinations - check. Registering with vets and doctors (yes, we did it in that order) - check. Building permits - check. Superbonus - check. Bring. It. On. Italy.
Hosting the wedding reception of one of our team members/farmers at the agriturismo.
Watching a very enthusiastic Queen tribute band sing (he really did think he was Freddie) while sitting on a bale of hay in the middle of a vineyard.
Refurbishing and renovating our home and the agriturismo at the same time (and thinking not much could go wrong - suckers - still paying the price for this one).
Tasting the first Rosso di Montepulciano (wine) produced by us.
Delivering pizzas to guests arriving late at the agriturismo - and thereby making good use of all the law degrees we have between us.
Becoming the 77th members of the Consortium of winemakers in Montepulciano. Yes, we did some real serious stuff too.
Paari & Niall