The first time I saw our house now named Santa Lucia was on a sharp,clear April day in 2005.

We were on a whistlestop viewing tour of Abruzzo and had already seen a house in the mountains that had fired our imaginations! The agent was driving us and the approach to the house was a blur as we took corners and inclines at speed I could see we were some way out of the last village and in an area surrounded by oak trees and olives.The winter had been unusually hard so the trees were only just coming into leaf.

The house from the outside looked truly terrible.It was a real patchwork of brick,cement and old limestone with garish green painted windows and nettles around the door! To cap it all in the hedge the vendors had abandoned a couple of Fiat 500s!

We were told that some of the large stones on the front of the house had come from the Benedictine Basilica of of San Liberatore at Serramonacesca.There was a monastry on that site and when later rebuilding took place around 1000 AD some of the stones may have been taken from there and used for Santa Lucia?
We later found that these carved stones were part of the old entrance door to the church. After a lot of newish cement had been 'hacked' off!

The first thing that we did back in England was to decide to make an offer to the agents.Luckily our offer was accepted but as it was August we had to wait until September until an appointment could be made at the Office of the Notaio.I met all the vendors and their wives and a translator went through everything with me.
The date for the Rogito was set for December as the vendors had some paperwork to get sorted before the sale could go ahead.I let my agent have procura ( power of attony) so I wouldnt have to go out again so close to Christmas.
The sale went through smoothly although it would be 6 weeks befor we received the Titolo di Proprieta (title deeds).The funds for the sale were changed using currencies4less who were extremly efficient.The tranfer to my Italian Bank Account took just 3 days.

At the end of 2005 we were now the nervous owners of an Italian ruin. Our steep learning curve was about to begin

La Famiglia Napoleone and me at the Compromesso in Pescara