Our holiday home in Umbria, Villa Montegabbione, we have bought in 2019. The house is a farmhouse from 1910 with large rooms on the ground floor where the stables used to be and a real winemaker cantina. The living area is on the first floor. The stables are now being renovated and transformed into a big luxury apartment.
Holiday home in Umbria, fortunately no ruin
A beautiful house, which is certainly not an ruin. It has walls, a good roof, but for the rest the decoration was rather retro. The kitchen consisted of a vintage wood-burning stove and a crunchy cupboard set with a countertop and is part of the large living room. There were even hooks in the ceiling for drying the meat in the older days. Fortunately the bathroom was quite modern. This one had a bath and shower but had a look from the 90s. And with a typical small Italian shower cubicle.
Adventure at the notary
After the negotiations, all the paperwork had to be prepared first. Two months later everything was prepared and we went to the notary. He is normally based in Perugia, but he also has an additional office in Tavernelle, near Montegabbione. We had expected a large stately office. That turned out not to be the case, far from it. The notary was hidden in an inconspicuous street.
We were parked in the waiting room and were allowed to sit on a pair of worn office chairs. A half-dead plant stood in the corner and the wall was marred by peeling paint. Following good Italian practice, the notary himself arrived 45 minutes later. It became busy in his small office, our real estate agent, the real estate agent, the owner of the house, the notary himself, a translator (compulsory), a witness and the two of us. The whole spectacle could begin.
And it was a spectacle. It is customary for the notary to read the entire contract aloud and the translator to read the English version. Before they started, they had to put a few things in the document and we watched. The notary used the 2-finger typing system, so that took a while. Eventually 2 hours later, which was still fast, we heard from our real estate agent, we could receive the stack of keys. Now everything was official!
Left treasures in the holiday home in Umbria
Now that we were the owner of our desired holiday home in Umbria, we were able to get started right away. The first action was a major cleaning.
Although we had agreed with the real estate agent that the house would be delivered empty, with the exception of some usable furniture, that was not the case. Everything was as we had found it the first time. From other experience stories we had already learned that this is no surprise in Italy. That’s why we forgave the 85-year-old salesman, a friendly man. After all, we no longer saw him lugging furniture himself. And removing junk is not cheap in Italy. That must have been a reason.
We ended up with some nice treasures. Such as beautiful wine carafes and a beautiful old chest of drawers. I immediately put this in the chalk paint.
Cobwebs and all purpose cleaner with lime scent
The house had been empty for 10 years. So cleaning gloves and vacuum cleaner on and off we went. The cobwebs from the haunted house at the fair were nothing. But that wasn’t the worst of it. What do you think of dead insects, cat shit from stray cats and loads of dust. At one point I almost stood outside puking because it was all just too much. If I now smell the all purpose cleaner with lime scent, which I used then, everything will come back.
A habitable house emerged among the dust layers. The bathroom turned out to be better than expected for temporary use and the boiler eventually worked.
We had discovered that the Ikea even delivered furniture in Montegabbione. That is why we have learned the most relevant sentence in Italian ever. “La prima casa al destra, dopo il cimitero”, the first house on the right after the cemetery. The address of our holiday home in Umbria was not recognized by the powerful Google and other navigation systems.
Then we could start living in our house in Umbria. All this thanks to our Swedish friends, the cleaner with lime and the working boiler!