For many seeking to own a home in Italy, the classic fantasy runs like this: in a gorgeous stretch of countryside, you buy a cheap pile of old stones that used to be a farmhouse. Centuries-old, but abandoned long ago, it is a blank canvas for your property dreams. You design your perfect layout, resurrect charming period features, and watch dedicated local craftsmen use fine traditional materials to bring the whole building back from the dead. You landscape the grounds, tend the fruit trees, put in a pool…
While the scale and specifics of every restoration project is different, over the last four decades or so many thousands of foreign buyers have made a romantic dream like this a reality. (And only very occasionally has their dream become a bit of a nightmare.) The original building might have been a total ruin, a standing structure with four walls and a roof, or a nearly habitable house needing only minor work – but the end-result is a custom-made home, all the more loved by its owner for the personal input involved.
WHY DO IT?
You could of course buy a newly-built home in Italy and start enjoying it straightaway. Likewise an old property that someone else has already restored. You wouldn’t have to worry about design or building work, planning permissions, living with mess and uncertainty, worrying about unexpected costs. So why do a restoration? Well, if you already have the dream, you know why.
How often do you get to design a home to suit your taste and requirements? There’s an immense satisfaction in choosing the layout of rooms, building materials, fittings and finishings. And there’s the great sense of achievement that comes when you finally see your ideas actually become a completed physical building in front of you – an enduring testament to your vision and your efforts. You’ll have brought an old, neglected home back to life, and given it a whole new future.