We are Roos Zwager and Nico van der Meer and it is now 30 years ago that we started our dream in Italy. We came across a dilapidated farmhouse on top of a hill in the gently rolling Umbrian countryside. Our dream was to renovate the dilapidated farmhouse to accommodate 4 apartments. We wanted to rent this out to people who, like us, would enjoy Italian life, nature, the view and the silence.
We both still worked in the Netherlands and used all our holidays to restore the farm. It was really starting with nothing. There was no road to the farm, no water and no electricity. We have had to create everything there is now. Imagine, the first summer vacation, we laid an improvised power cable with a length of 800 meters to our nearest neighbors on the next hill! If Nico had to drill, I, Roos, had to stop the sewing machine because of the big loss.
If you like to read more about it. I wrote a blog about it: Our very first holiday in Umbria.
That very first year we managed to have the first apartment ready and receive our first guests. In the summer of 1991 we finished the second apartment. And I think we had 5 guests that year.
Very slowly we built everything up until we had all 4 apartments ready in 1999 and built up a nice clientele.
We could take the plunge! Nico had quit his job a few years earlier. Now it was my turn to resign. A leap in the dark, because you know what you have, but not yet what you get. Will we be able to expand our current clientele in such a way that we can live on it? Is life going on in a fairly isolated place? What will it be like to live in a completely different country? And last but not least, are we going to make it together? After all, you are totally dependent on each other.
A fantastic life
It is now almost 21 years later and we have never regretted it for one second. Every day we are still amazed by the beauty of the place, the peace, the silence and the twittering of the birds. Every year is great when the season starts and we have guests. And every year we love it when the season ends and we are two for a few months.
We only realized 2 years ago when I, Rose, broke my arm that we might have a rather narrow base for a company like ours. I couldn't do anything at that time and the aftermath was much, much longer than we ever thought. In those 30 years we have of course also aged and especially Nico feels that from his energy level.
That is why we put our well-running business up for sale. First, we really want to offer the guests who come here something. We believe that it is not possible for you to tell your guests that you did not succeed because you did not make it.
Secondly, we like to end our time here positively while we and our guests can still enjoy it.
And thirdly, it is nice to be able to conclude it together as a positive choice and not because you have to.
We are therefore looking for people who, just like us, have a dream and want to enjoy this beautiful place in the middle of nature. Who want to live and work here or maybe just want to use the place to go on holiday with children, grandchildren or friends.
You can immediately Contact with us or our broker.
Or view all first sales details to find out exactly how you can get off to a flying start with your guesthouse in Italy.Start your Italian dream now