Yesterday and today have been a whirlwind of house tours, Italian towns and countryside, and trying to keep a howling baby happy in a hot van. We saw two places yesterday that we had carefully selected after scanning hundreds of listings and thousands of photos on the Housing Department website. We loved both of them, and one of them will be our home.
They are so different, though. One is in the heart of town… and that’s saying a lot when you’re talking about a little Italian town. The other is in the country… and in Italy that means down a dirt road with the music of distant farm equipment and nearby birdsong. How does one decide what kind of Italian life one wants?
Both have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, air conditioning, hookups for washers and dryers, include a working fireplace, and are a 10-minute drive to the base.
There the similarities end.
House #1 is yellow on the outside, has an incredible view, is in the old historical quarter of Motta (literally right under a castle from the 12th century), boasts a phenomenal kitchen with a view of Mt Etna and a fabulous farmhouse table with long wooden benches, is a 5-minute walk to a fabulous gelateria.
But House #1 has hardly any storage, is somewhat isolated on the end of a cul-de-sac (can you call it that in Italy?) that consists entirely of garages, has no garden, and is pretty difficult to get to up winding streets… and a tough parking situation for friends.
House #2 is on a peaceful half-acre a small orange tree orchard, has a couple of porches for outdoor living 8 months of the year, includes plenty of space to garden and keep chickens and a dog, possesses plenty of storage indoors and outdoors, has larger bedrooms, and is more of the country life in Italy that we envisioned for ourselves.
However, House #2 is also seriously isolated (for me alone with Lena during the day), is a little off the beaten track for people coming to visit, would tie us down from traveling around Europe due to a garden and animals, and lacks the gorgeous historic touches of House #1.
So how do you decide?