Two years ago, almost to the day, we spent our first night in our big, scary new house in the Italian countryside (you can read about it here). It was dark, cold and damp as we huddled by the fire, drinking Dolcetto, eating pizza and trying to decipher the German labelling on hundreds of keys.
This week, with the renovations still moving along nicely, our part of the house finally became habitable once more and we were able to spend our second first night there.
It was a bit different to last time… thanks in no small part to the presence of heat, light, hot water and furniture, but also because we were in a completely different part of the house. What is now our home was previously almost entirely agricultural. Our living area was a stable, our entrance hall a garage and our bedroom a hayloft. We’ve tried to keep as much character as possible while also introducing a few modern comforts, such as underfloor heating, LED lights, solar-powered hot water, a state-of-the-art kitchen and some lovely big windows. I’m reliably informed that the look we’re going for is called modern rustic. Or something like that anyway. Right now it’s more building site chic.
Not everything has changed though… we celebrated, as is now tradition, with a bottle of Dolcetto – this one kindly given to us by our builders as a house warming gift – and a pizza and I still haven’t worked out what most of the keys do.
There’s a bit of finishing still needed, (ok, there’s a lot of finishing still needed) but it feels amazing to finally be living here again.
And the guest house is really starting to take shape now too… we’ve given the kitchen a new lease of life, fitted five beautiful new bathrooms and revealed as much character as is physically possible. Progress.
Our attention now is turning to the outside, where we have destroyed our lovely garden in the name of building a swimming pool. The underpinnings are in and we’ve built a supporting wall to be doubly safe, we don’t want the pool sliding down the hill and destroying the 2016 vintage of Barolo. Now we just need the good weather to continue so we can get digging.