Initial Viewing

The Initial Viewing

In early 2013 we began researching for possible properties in Puglia.  Based on our holiday in 2011, we had particularly liked Martina Franca, Gallipoli and Otranto and had decided that, ideally, we would want to be within reasonably easy access to at least one of those towns.

Fast forward to Easter and we had a 4 day mini-break booked, appointments lined up with 5 or 6 different estate agents and a short-list of about 10 properties to view. In the end we saw over 40 properties ranging from newly renovated holiday homes, to trulli (even though we had explicitly stated that we did not want to buy a trullo), to "development opportunities" and finally to what can only be described as a pile of stones in a field (and even then a pile probably assumes a level of order that quite frankly just did not exist!).

We had actually "argued" beforehand about whether to put the Masseria on our short-list. The photographs for the on-line listing were impressively uninspiring and the description was equally underwhelming. However, thankfully we decided to keep it on the list. 

One of the issues we had concerning our dream of moving to Italy was how we were going to finance our move and our new life. The most likely option appeared to involve us living in Italy but me working as an IT contractor in the UK, commuting back to London to work on projects for 6 or 7 months of the year and then enjoying family summers together under the Puglian sun. However, when we saw the Masseria we realised that we had the opportunity to actually open our own holiday business here and fully commit to our "Italian Escape".

The only issue was that the buildings were a long way from being in a state where anyone would pay to stay in them!  I remember showing Lucy's parents the photographs and watching her father's chin hit the floor in disbelief / horror!  Even now we look back to that initial viewing and debate whether we were brave and courageous or just stupid and out of touch with reality!