We first came on holiday to Italy back in 2003 - it was our first holiday
together and we chose to come to a small village in the south of
Tuscany, in the Siena region. We fell in love with Tuscany there and
then and continued to pay visits over the years, even getting married
in Siena in 2012.
We’d always loved the idea of having a bolthole in Tuscany for regular
holidays, but having a second home was somewhat out of our reach
financially, besides which it didn’t quite sit right with us - and so it
was that the idea evolved into changing our lives completely and
making a permanent move.
We chose this lesser-known part of Tuscany because it offers
everything we enjoy - we are within easy reach of all the ‘classic’ must-
see sights of Tuscany, yet with the added benefit of being a little way
removed from the tourist traps and we are nestled right in the heart of
perfect hiking and cycling countryside, with a ski resort an hour up
the road, the beach an hour away, and walks and cycle rides available
from our front door.
We left our lives in England behind us when we bought the house in
May 2014 not only so that we could live here in beautiful Tuscany and
welcome guests to our little piece of Italy, but also so that we could
make important changes to our lives so that we could live more in line
with our values, reduce our footprint on the planet and start living
what we hope will turn out to be our dream.
While the farmhouse had been renovated roughly 6-7 years ago, the 12
acres of land that surrounds it had barely been touched. Our plan was
to try to get the land back to its former productivity, using Permaculture principles to work towards a
more responsible lifestyle involving using solar energy to heat water, growing our own vegetables,
harvesting olives, keeping chickens, planting an orchard and so on. We soon found that it is far from a
straightforward process to do any of these things, and the road has been bumpy to say the least,
throwing various unimagined obstacles in our path almost every step of the way. However, we have
relished the challenges, and so far have worked our way through each one as it has presented itself,
slowly learning that none of these things come quickly or easily, and that we have to be patient and keep
working our way gradually in the right direction.
Our much loved British cats, Lucca and Florence, travelled from England to join us in Italy, quickly
coming to feel at home in their new 12-acre ‘garden’. A few months later, we adopted a puppy from a
rescue centre in Puglia in the south of Italy. Reggie acts as a great guard dog, but he’s a softie at heart and
seems to win over everyone he meets. Our chickens provide us with a plentiful supply of fresh eggs. We
set up our first beehive in the spring of 2016 after buying a brand new innovative Flow Hive.
We have recorded our journey and all of its highs and lows in our blog - from day one, finding out that
‘fully furnished’ had been interpreted way too literally by the previous owners of the house, to our
struggles with cars, mistakes with buying the wrong tools, the worst storm in living memory, gradually
clearing and revealing our terraces, and eventually managing to get some fruit trees and vegetables
We look forward to welcoming you to our little piece of Italy - we hope you love it as much as we do!