We apologize for the radio silence these past few weeks. It coincided with the Easter holidays, the last big rush of builders, and a short trip to Italy.
Ever since we first met nearly 30 years ago, we’ve dreamed of owning a place here, and this is the culmination of that long-standing dream. By the way, you might want to take a look. Most of the photos posted here were taken when the family was still living there. We purchased some furniture from them but the current decor is quite dilapidated and everything needs updating.
It was almost exactly a year ago that I first saw this house in a small village in the Turin hills. It was our second home-hunting trip, and although we had already seen Liberty-style villas, remote farmhouses, and country mansions, this was last on our list. In order to get the most out of our weekend viewing trip, we were very focused on our online searches. The day before I was scheduled to meet with a real estate agent, I drove outside to see it.
When I got off the rental car, it started to rain. The house was on the corner and we headed in different directions, looking through the fence to see what it looked like inside. We both had wet faces and it wasn’t raining.
The next day, as planned, I met a real estate agent and wandered inside. It had been sold in 1964 by an elderly resident who had moved in with her husband and her first child, the five children. She currently lived with her 22-year-old granddaughter, who took care of her until her house was sold.
It is no exaggeration to say that I fell in love in an instant. Also, it’s fair to say that she spent six months trying to talk about themselves. We were looking to sell our London townhouse and move into a small cottage, so we were in no position to make an offer anyway. Spaces for holiday leasing, interior design trips, location shoots, branded events, cooking schools, and writers retreats need to make a living. For every argument to the contrary, there was another, equally compelling argument to pull us back.
The house has its back to the hill and has gardens on both sides instead of the front and back yards. One of the quickest things I learned from previous viewings was that it’s much easier to maintain without grass. No need to come on a weekend and spend a whole day mowing the lawn.
It is also split in two so that the door between the top floor and the rest of the house can be closed. After lengthy discussions with the architect about reintegrating the space, he decided that the three-bedroom self-contained flat, complete with a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a living room with valley views, would save money on rent and utility bills. I’ve noticed that it’s great for saving .
As I say, it was bigger than we had planned, but every time we objected, the house kept us coming back. It took years. Home was waiting for us. I took my sons to see them over the summer and my grandmother, who had fully recovered from knee surgery, welcomed them in, and my granddaughter told me how happy we were to be able to buy a house. . A neighbor stopped by to see us. A handyman who had worked for the family for years came in with his wife. The house was singing to us.
We kept looking online, trolling through hundreds of pages to find something else… smaller, prettier, prettier. But there was nothing. A smaller house would have cost more. An apartment in Turin was out of the question. This big house was the most affordable we had seen. A song of possibilities and dreams. Earning power and a sweet life. Like the old siren song, we were powerless to resist. The location was perfect too.
Approximately 30 minutes from Turin airport, 1 hour by train from Milan and 6 hours from Paris by TGV (around £25). Turin is a beautiful city filled with art galleries and museums, stunning churches, including the Shroud of Turin, and countless bars and restaurants. Home to cinzano and martini, he invented the idea of taking an aperitif with a series of small snacks, including tramezzino (small triangles of white bread filled with combinations of tuna and olives, ham and artichoke, mortadella, etc.) claims. cream cheese and pistachio. Close to Alba, the center of the truffle trade, the local wine is Barolo.
Once the seat of the Italian royal family, it has large elegant squares, monumental buildings and industries. The former Fiat factory where the original Italian Job filmed mini cars racing on the roof of his truck is now a stunning mid-century hotel. All of this is nothing for someone who used to live in London where he is a 40 minute drive from home and it takes him an hour to get anywhere.
Torino, you stole our hearts. But still not. The first is wiring and piping. A bathroom to replace and a kitchen to redo. And gallons of paint and wallpaper rolls. Moving furniture from a warehouse in London to a room in Italy.
And we will see how this noble old house sings again.