This is a translation of my previous post, which I wrote in Italian, without too many mistakes, I hope, because I wanted to give Italians some idea of what it’s like to own a holiday home in the bel paese.
I had some difficulty in writing this post, because it is the homeless who have problems, not second home owners. Nevertheless, I have described this blog as “An Englishwoman’s personal take including … the ups and downs of owning a second home” and I haven’t written on that subject for some time. Recent events have led me to reflect on the problems of being a second home owner and share them with you in this post.
The real problem of a second home is psychological. When you buy a holiday home, you don’t want problems, be they rats or theft. You are supposed to relax on the terrace, admire the sunset and savour the local wines, Verdicchio or Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, while the agent or the owner sorts out any inconveniences. But we are our own landlords! It’s up to us to get rid of the rats and secure the house.
When we bought our house over 20 years ago, there was practically no crime in Corinaldo, or so it seemed to the summer visitor. But things have changed, and in the 21st century we have been burgled three times, like many Marchigiani. This is certainly a worse problem for the local permanent residents than it is for us. But if were there all year round, we would have taken security precautions sooner, and given our friends better warning of what to do. It was in fact not us, but two of our friends who had to cope with the last burglary. We don’t ever want a phone call like that again!
The simple fact of not being there all the time causes a lot of problems. Damp is an ever-present annoyance, caused in part by our not being there to air the place and open the windows regularly. Then there’s the anxiety of arriving and wondering what awaits you – leaks, blocked drains, a plague of insects … Of course everyone, residents and summer visitors, has these problems: it’s just that on holiday we could do without rushing about to solve them.
You may ask, dear readers, : why not simply move to Corinaldo and stop moaning? The answer is: because our work and family are in England.
But absence is not just a practical problem: it’s a problem of the heart. We love our house, we love Corinaldo and we love our fellow-citizens. Corinaldesi, we miss you. Voi ci mancate.