A day at La Veduta. (Viewing)
The day started well with glorious sunshine and a warm breeze. Manuela and I have been on the road as it were now for the past four and a half months to research and find properties that we consider suitable for the forming of the Share-It Community ventures. We have looked at over fourty separate properties and viewed many more on-line, checking the spaces and features, the land available and much of the bureaucratic process we will have to go through in the pursuance of bringing Share-It Community to life in a land with such a variety of choice.
Today we were meeting our friend Stefano who is helping in this process, to view a wonderful property, nestled in the hills of an Umbrian landscape just above the village of Mantignana. We have seen much on the website that intrigued us to go ahead with a viewing, despite feeling it might not have enough space for so many people. Meaning that currently we have created so much interest from many people over this past few months, that are seeking a place to call home in community, and that we might not be able to house you all in one property, which is actually a very favourable outcome in certain senses. There are no shortage of properties here in Italy, but depending on what people actually need in terms of housing, we could foresee that Share-It grows to incorporate more than one single place here.
What we really need right now is something like a miracle, a consensus of imagination to co-create a new way of being in the world and co-housing that brings each one of us a place to belong. So when we set off, for the fifty minute drive to the property we knew that something great was in the air. We had thoroughly checked out the aerial photos from the satellite maps and seen what was near to the property and where we could access the houses from several roads. It seemed to be quite private with neighbours as close as half a kilometre, but only 2km from the nearby village. The gradient proved to be fairly gradual, but riding a bike might be more difficult in two short stages on the uphill journey. As we rounded the corner to the lower of the TWO separate properties at this residence we were beaten down with astonishment at the sheer scale of the residences and grounds.
Once we had parked the car in a shady spot we were greeted by the calm and tranquil surroundings, and much birdsong and captivating scenery. The air was full of spring and blossoms about to merge into full apparel. We looked at each other smiling, and just kind of knew, yes, we were home! The new home of Share-It Community and its many adventurous people beginning the journey together. OK, Ok, so forgive the dramatic introductions, but here, we know that all of the initial goals of the community can be realised.
Soon we were greeted by Sandro the owner and began a conversation in our best and broken Italian, and found a kindred spirit of sorts in this gentle and kind mature man. It was obvious he had loved this place desperately for the past 21 years and still had his reservations about selling it. Yet he had resolved to see it passed into the caring hands of others who would love it as he does. He has created at La Veduta a haven for the many creatures of the forest and local area here, banning the practice of hunting upon this sacred mountain to protect badgers, cinghiale (wild boar) and we were surprised to discover, even porcupine. Many hectares of rolling meadows and olive groves also kept the wildlife in good supply of shelter and food. An ancient Oak tree of some 300 years, stands proudly overlooking the lower woodlands and many varied trees cover the property as you will see in the videos and photos we took to show you what you can expect when you come and join our community here in Umbria.
The property consists of eight separate apartments, some of 3 bedrooms, a few single bedroom apartments and others of 2 bedrooms. Most of them are in excellent upkeep, with several forms of heating, others with air-conditioners and every single one with so much character and special features to excite even to simplest of tastes. With a swimming pool of 15x7m that has views over the grounds and surrounding valley and mountains, we were soon swept away with a renewed passion to buy this particular property. ‘Absolutely breathtaking’, and ‘pinch me am I dreaming’ were two of the thoughts we both had as we walked around the place on a blanket of wildflowers. Much of the property had been recently updated, new double glazing and insulation of the ceilings and walls some of the features, along with new kitchens and some very ‘Old’ furniture. The owner had furnished much of the property with things that were effectively heirlooms and they really suit the character of the rooms. We could appreciate the antique value of such items, though money is not our greatest interest of course, but they all seemed at home here in this place.
Additionally to the apartments there is a space for community activity and dining, space for the production of wine and olive oil, as the property also has a large area of Sangiovese and Trebbiano grape vines, and between 850 and 900 olive trees. (I guess at this point the actual number is of less notable importance, wine… I need wine!!) There was a room specifically designated to this purpose, and also large vehicle sheds for the tractors, farm equipment and other production related functions of the 70ha estate. The sale/purchase comes with ALL the fittings and equipment included. Did I mention the two tractors? Oh well, there is a track vehicle that dates back to the 1950’s, he reliably informed us, starts immediately once every year when they need it to work on the olive harvests, and a small land tractor that is used for grass cutting and other farm activity. See the video of me playing at ‘farm hand’.
That was yesterday, today we had a second viewing at La Veduta within 24 hours, to bring two of the potential members along to see what we had seen. They loved it almost as much as Manuela and I and we were further encouraged by their positive and constructive perspectives. They have to travel back to Germany tomorrow but are seriously considering their choices as to the range of options they came to find whilst here with us over the past few weeks. Bon voyage Anne and Heri, and thank you for your support and faith in what we are trying to do, and we wish you well for the choices you will make for your own best outcomes.
So what do we need a miracle for?
The problem with such a venture and blue-sky thinking as we have here, is that currently the world revolves around a strange little thing called money! And though we have some very forward thinking ideas and creative schemes to co-create a living community with many wonderful people, we still need some investment money to get this started. Manuela and I have a reasonable sum that we are happy and willing to kick start the project, but it will not be enough unless we have you to come and share the ideas and community with us, and the investment in a worthwhile venture. Manuela and I have done many hours and months of sleepless planning, but we cannot bring this together without certain assured revenue, which we know will breathe a new form of co-housing into existence. So please watch the videos we share here, and read the many informative pages of the website, that give clear and carefully thought out ideas and plans of what Share-It Community will become.
Nothing moves like a plan that brings love and peace into being, without collaboration from many people. Sharing is one of the greatest ways to do this and holds in its hands the spark of hope for better times for us all.
“You may say that we are dreamers, but we are not the only ones. We hope that one day you will join us and the Share-It Community we live as one.” The Share-It team x