From the region known for its Slow Food movement we’re hoping to find a slower, more enriching lifestyle.
For some time now we’ve been talking about relocating to Italy. We being Cheri and her family, Gareth’s mother Trish and me when I can retire sometime in the future (hopefully near future). The intention being that Cheri, Trish and the children will make this a permanent base and Gareth and I will commute to our various work commitments. Having spent many months researching areas we have decided that the Piemonte region, and in particular somewhere within the Asti province is where we need to look.
Why Piemonte – well that requires a fairly lengthy answer. Firstly – Geographic: its proximity to the mountains (skiing for Jacques and the children), the Mediterranean (beaches, seaside and fish), 3 nearby international airports (so that Gareth and I can commute for work), and close enough to a few big cities for necessity or convenience but far enough away to be rural countryside within the Monferato hills..
Secondly – Food: I probably don’t need to elaborate but I will. Beautiful fresh produce (tomatoes that taste like tomatoes – do you remember those?), fruit and nuts in abundance and some fabulous typical Italian dishes and ingredients – all at affordable prices. Each of the villages hosts weekly markets as well as regularly celebrating various harvests and events with great feasts. And then there’s the wine, at truly ridiculous prices, possibly the most underrated quality wines in Europe.
Thirdly – Lifestyle: rural countryside within the Asti Province – we’re looking for a house that has some land – possibly a hectare or a little more, close enough to village schools for the children with lots of great restaurants nearby for when we don’t want to cook and yet close enough to Turin to be practical (culture, retail therapy). Here the pace is slow – not surprising the slow food movement was born in this region.
Part of our plan is to grow at least some of our own produce, raise a few goats (to make cheese) and experiment with growing a few items for sale to nearby markets.
We’ve been house-hunting on-line for quite a while and have, with the help of a few local agents, shortlisted some possibilities. Jacques and I will be visiting soon to start making the usual arrangements and to view our shortlisted properties.