What a year this has been! In 2016 I sold my perfect apartment in the Euganean Hills, got married, built a new house in Puglia and moved there. Yes! All in one single year.
Stepping into 2016 saw Tom and me heading to the Italian Dolomites for settimana bianca, though I have not skied for more than twenty years, I immensely enjoyed my second year of being a non-skier amongst such an energetic crowd.
Then, at the end of January we visited Puglia, in the south of Italy, to continue our house hunt. We had inspected nineteen houses with various estate agents the previous September/October and were revisiting Ostuni for another look around.
That was when we were shown a house in the initial stages of its build.
It was love at first sight! The idea of being able to put our own stamp on a potentially beautiful home in the Valle d’Itria had great appeal, so we decided to buy it there and then. We put in an offer which was accepted and we were ready to roll.
The Valle d’Itria is an exceptionally beautiful part of southern Italy. On the ‘stiletto heel’ of this long, narrow country, it is on a peninsula which divides the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and is the largest olive growing area of Italy.
I made several visits to Ostuni during the course of the next several months. The flight from Treviso to Brindisi on Ryanair made this pretty easy and the building progressed fairly seamlessly.
In May I visited Verona for an all-day blogging event.
In early July some dear friends from Ireland visited Lake Garda. We decided to visit them and to stay overnight in Sirmione. We spent a lovely day and evening there.
On 16th July, Tom and I got married in a small tower in Fontanafredda in the Euganean Hills. It was a wonderful day, attended by only immediate family and our witnesses.
After the wedding, when our families had departed for Ireland and the USA, we headed off to prosecco country for a few days to recover. Valdobbiadene was the venue and we had a wonderful time tasting prosecco and walking the steep hills.
In September, the sale of my apartment was finalised. Bought by an American lady, I can only wish her the best for her future in my first Italian home, which will always have a place in my heart. I loved living in the Euganean Hills and we would have been happy to stay there, but we just did not manage to find a property which fitted our particular requirements.
Loving Puglia as we do, we made our choice and our new home near Ostuni, which we named Villa Allegra, was the place for us.
We moved into our new home in October.
As Villa Allegra is situated on an almost bare 8,000 sq. metre site, we have begun planting.
Now it is Christmas and, though there is still lots to do, we are snug in our new home in the Valle d’Itria.
Then, as a fabulous way to end my year, I won an award from Italy Magazine: Best Photography in a Blog. For those of you who voted for me, thank you very much!
Happy New Year everyone!
Orna O’Reilly Weber