Mr. and Mrs. Lee, first of all, we want to congratulate with you for the purchase of your beautiful property in Umbria, in a breath-taking location.

  • Could you just tell us in a few words something about yourself?

I’m a University professor and live in California. My wife is a former architect and now full-time ceramicist.

  • When did you take the decision to buy a second home? Any special reason why you picked Italy, and more particularly Umbria?

We have loved visiting Italy over the last 20 years, and have even spent part of two extended sabbaticals in Rome and Tuscany. We finally visited Umbria last year and immediately became enraptured by the unspoiled beauty of its landscape, the slower, more peaceful pace of living, and the friendliness of the residents. We had always mused about buying an Italian property, but frankly it was just dreaming. But when we saw Casale dei Ciliegi, something changed.

  • You seemed to be captured by Casale dei Ciliegi from the very first visit; which features of the property have struck you the most?

Several things were immediately appealing. First, the site is wonderful, as it’s perched high above the Upper Tiber valley and offers endless, lovely vistas. The location is also very private, such that we felt that we were in our own little Eden, with the large olive grove, cherry trees, small vineyard, and pool, and yet still only a short drive to shops and services. We also like that it has two separate and restored residences, as we anticipate having our family and many friends visit us in the coming years.

  • What are, in your personal experience, the main differences between Italy and the States in negotiation practices, buying process, bureaucracy and approach of the parties involved, including realtors and legal professionals? Have you felt at ease and supported or was it difficult to handle the process, at times?

To be honest, we were quite wary of what buying a property in Italy would be like, especially as we are only now learning Italian, and had heard stories about the infamous bureaucracy and even scams. What in fact happened was that the process was not unlike that in the States. Perhaps the most unusual aspect for us as Americans was the central role of the ’notaio’, who does all the paperwork, title discovery, and financial transacting, but in some ways this was a more streamlined process than we were accustomed to. Still, without having full faith and trust in our realty agents, Stefano Calafa and Gregorio Badessi, I doubt we would have had the confidence to move forward.

  • You purchased a property in a very particular moment, right at the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency in Italy; how was it like?

Unfortunately, the lockdown and travel restrictions coincided almost exactly with our closing date, and so we weren’t able to close and take possession of the property as we had long planned. While we are terribly sad not to have done all that in person, and also to be delayed in our enjoyment of the property and the area, where we have a few friends already, we’ve been thankful that our realtors have taken care of the things we’ve needed post-closing, including such things as arranging for utility service transfer, etc. 

  • Has the service provided by Via dei colli immobiliare – Great Estate partner – been satisfactory and up to your expectations?

Via Dei Colli Immobiliare has been fantastic, in every regard. Aside from being extremely professional and reliable, they’re terrifically warm. friendly folks. Again, I don’t think we could have committed to such an investment and leap without having full confidence in them. At every stage Stefano and Gregorio explained the details of the process, and were in immediate and ready communication despite the time zone difference, so really nothing was a surprise. We continue to lean on them for help and counsel, and look forward to our continuing friendship.

  • To conclude, would you recommend Via dei colli – Great Estate partner – to an international buyer looking for a property in Italy and why so?

Absolutely, and without hesitance!