So what's the commute like nowadays?
Did we start off wanting to buy two properties in Montepulciano? No.
Did the Universe present an opportunity to do so? Yes.
Were we crazy enough to jump at that opportunity? Also yes.
Are we generally crazy? It's a hat-trick!
The House is called Buon Vento, i.e. Fair Winds (a nod to Niall's parents house back in Tramore, Ireland). A 6 minute drive from Montepulciano and a million miles away from the homes we are used to living in. We now basically live in the middle of the woods with a family of cinghiale (wild boar) for neighbours. Not very convenient when you're out of milk.
The Vineyard is called Poggio Golo - 'Poggio' means hillock and 'Golo' is the name of the bird that is native to the area. It's in a zone called Cervognano, on a street with three other wineries (so if you ever wanted to winery-hop...you wouldn't be the first ones), has two villas, olive groves and 6 hectares of vines.
In both cases, the old owners were in their late 70s, had had enough (for different reasons) and were ready to exit.
Given that we landed in Milan airport and found out that the owner of another winery (that we thought we were buying) had pulled out, the scramble to find a house was immediate. So how long did it take from the time that we saw Buon Vento (we call it 'BV' - how hip are we?) to moving in? A mere 17 days. The quickest Italian real estate deal in history.
Poggio Golo (yep, you guessed it, we call it 'PG') took longer thanks to good ol'-fashioned bureaucracy and general 'magari-ness' (aka we hope/let's see/inshallah/mañana).
They are about 15 minutes away from each other - and the quickest way is on a white, unpaved road. A very different type of commute now.
Like all other relationships, falling in love with BV and PG was easy - maintaining them (through TLC and upkeep) is a little more shall we say 'interesting'.
We embarked on doing up each of the two properties in 2021 - in our now famous naivety we thought we could do both at the same time and keep our sanity. Turns out it was an either/or.
PG is basically done and we've had a great couple of years of welcoming guests from around the world to the Villa at PG. There was one unfortunate incident with some hunters in the area but the less said about that, the better. We're kidding of course - the guests didn't hurt the hunters.
BV is in the process of being done (and we hope we're close*) but every now and again the Italian government decides to play with us and thrown in a new requirement or take away an incentive that existed before - because hey, we don't have enough things to do in a day. Tell the saga to an Italian and they will invariably shake their head and say either 'la burocrazia!' (the bureaucracy) or 'piano piano arriviamo' (literal translation: slowly slowly, we arrive). Arrive where is another matter.
Paari & Niall
* We must be close - all we have left to do is install solar panels, buy the photovoltaic cells, erect the frame, install a charging station, connect the new heat pump, connect to the grid, have it all signed off by the authorities and oh also change one flashing lightbulb.