We had long dreamed of owning our own home, which with our lack of regular income seemed like The Impossible Dream. But in planning our move to Abruzzo nearly 10 years ago, we learned that property values in these inland villages of the south are unbelievably low.
So low, in fact, that we were sure Mario’s coworker had to be exaggerating. Houses for only €20,000-35,000 — impossible!! But it turned out she was right! And we hadn’t looked at many when the realtor showed us this little place. And what can I say?
I would say that it was love at first sight, but that’s not entirely true. I just felt that it was “my house” from the moment I stepped inside. Weird, I know. But sometimes you just know that you know. You know what I mean?
But there was one problem. Well, several actually. We had no money, collateral, or busta paga (paycheck), as we say here. In fact in applying for a loan, our longtime banker tried to talk us out of it. “They just don’t lend money to people like you,” he said. “You don’t have anything!” (Yep, that’s why we needed a loan!)
Well to make a long story short, they approved our loan within an hour!
Which left our banker speechless. And us once again saying, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad,” — Psalm 126:3!!
Ours is not a true tiny house, as they are usually a max of 400-600 sq. feet and as few as 100! But at 645 sq. feet, it’s not much over the larger limit! But I like to think that ours is more of a two-story cottage, in spirit. Except that it’s got a red-tiled roof, not a thatched one!
It’s a typical centro storico (historic center) house.
In the above photo of the front, you can see it’s pretty narrow, even if it is two stories, just one room wide by two rooms deep. Ours is only the middle section in the photo: the multi-paned window and the balcony above it. It’s sandwiched in between the house with plants below the window and the low house with laundry hanging out front.
It’s cute and quaint, and its age gives it some interesting features.
Like having the bathroom partway up the stairs! And beautiful cupola (domed) ceilings, which you can see in the following photos. Plus being old (between 200-250 years) many of its walls are crooked and bumpy. (Probably even more so now, since we did a lot of the restoration ourselves, with no prior experience!)
We enter right off the little alleyway into the dining room, which is at street level (literally). Then an arched doorway opens into the kitchen. And that’s the whole downstairs! The upstairs is no bigger, containing only the sitting room and our small bedroom. A stairway from the kitchen goes up to the bathroom, which is partway between both floors, but much closer to downstairs. Not great during the night. 😦
Another stairway from the kitchen goes down into the garden. Which is a real boon! Many, if not most, homes in the historic town centers tend to be dark and kind of closed in, with no garden. But ours happens to have windows on both sides, and a lovely little garden! We get both morning and afternoon sun. Which in these homes with few windows is so important!
Plus we’re surrounded by these lovely and peaceful sights!
Which we never tire of feasting our eyes on! And they’re beautiful in all seasons. Don’t you agree? We are ever grateful for this gift—our dream come true! And our hearts will always say, “The Lord has indeed done great things for us!!”
Wouldn’t you like to come see for yourself? The espresso pot is always on, and ready for visitors!
[All images are our own.]