Transforming A Chicken House Into A Chic Apartment

Mmm, this was a sentence I never thought I would write. Life throws us some weird challenges and this was mine!

A year or so after we had completed the restoration of Palazzo Scarsini, our home in Petritoli, we were still scratching our heads as how best to use the space on the lower ground floor.

Our home is a five-floor Palazzo dating from the 14th  century, situated in the historic centre of the town and very conveniently placed for the local bars and restaurants.  

Apart from the pigeons taking up residence on the terrace, the house had been abandoned for many years. We live in the top three floors, surrounded by original frescos and murals, which we uncovered during the restoration.

The lower ground floor is the Appassionata HQ, a large open space with brick archways and vaulted ceilings. Light floods in from the windows at the far end, behind the desks, offering wonderful, far reaching views.  I have to be honest and say the views are very distracting and I can often be found staring out of the window, daydreaming when I should be working. I’m sure I had a few school reports saying the exact same thing.

 The floor below the office was once used to house chickens, salami’s, wine and oil. The brickwork and vaulted ceilings are intricate and detailed, although in desperate need of restoration.  The Belle Arte, the Italian National Heritage, informed us the space would be listed, owing to the age and artisan interest and was probably used as a small chapel in its early days.

We pondered for a few months on how to use this wonderful space wisely. The engineering and building costs came in high but this was a space that deserved to be loved and cherished for another 500 years.

The idea of keeping chickens and collecting fresh eggs daily was very appealing, but the thought of them not being out in the open, roaming free just wasn’t right. I didn’t think they would appreciate the beauty and space either.

Over dinner and drinks, always a good time to make a decision, we decided to create an apartment. A separate entrance leading from the cobbled streets would give a sense of total privacy for guests.

The original water well for the house with its beautiful curved, low, brick wall was a lovely feature but was situated right in the middle of ‘the bedroom’!  I really wanted to keep it, line it with copper and create a circular bath. I mentioned this to our amazing housekeeper, Roberta, who along with her team, keeps all the Appassionata properties in tip-top condition. Roberta rolled her eyes and shook her head.  The thought of cleaning all that copper, she likes everything to gleam, was just too much work. I had to agree, practicality had to come before design. This time.

The sandblasting was amazing, but the mess was horrendous and I had to apologise to all the neighbours for the clouds of dust flying out the doors and windows and settling on their freshly laundered sheets.

I also worried about the lighting in the living space.  The high ceiling was crying out for a Murano chandelier, but I also wanted to highlight the newly cleaned and repointed brickwork.  I phoned Fabrizio, our friendly lighting expert. He advised installing tiny LED strips running behind the edge of each recess. We added a dimmer switch and the effect was wonderful, the walls looked like they had awoken from a long slumber.

After much debate, I decided to carefully remove the circular bricks and well and save them for another project.  This space would make the perfect bedroom with an arched window showcasing the view across the hills.

I chose cream coloured travertine floor tiles to complement the warm brickwork and soft furnishings and lamps gave the space a homely, holiday feel.

I am a huge fan of Venetian plaster and use it in all our Appassionata properties.  I wanted to use a stronger shade in the shower area, lavender. A bold, but gentle colour, soothing and relaxing, with its marble finish and subtle swirls.

I integrated the modern amenities of everyday life, wifi, TV, washing machine/drier etc into this historic 14th-century apartment.

It was a joy to watch this dark, dusty space come alive. To bathe in its light and furnish it with love for others to enjoy in the future.

If you are interested in staying in the Palazzo Scarsini apartment please contact me dc@appassionata.com or visit our website https://www.appassionata.com/properties/luxury-rental/

An authentic Italian Christmas

Over the years, Christmas in England, and indeed many other countries has become over commercialised and rather daunting. Often the decorating begins in August and Christmas trees and lights are up and flashing while shopping for the last of the summer bargains in September! Roll on December and everyone is tired of the crowds, the Christmas parties and searching for the end of the scotch tape.

January is steeped in depression. Credit cards have been maxed out, everyone’s detoxing and excess kilos need to be shed.

Christmas in Italy feels more gentle, elegant and authentic. The priorities are different. December 8th is known as the L’lmmacolata, the celebration of the immaculate conception. It is also the day most Italian’s decorate their trees and set out their nativity scenes. Many towns and cities celebrate with Christmas markets, selling traditional gifts and decorations.

Family gatherings over the Christmas period are really important. Food is simple and delicious, locally grown and home cooked. A glass of wine or two is normal, but rarely to excess. Mass is attended by all generations, babes in arms, grandparents and everyone in between. The children usually receive one or two gifts on Christmas Eve, carefully chosen and lovingly wrapped.

Enjoy the festive season where ever you are, but try and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

For more information on Le Marche and fractional ownership opportunities with Appassionata’s Italian lifestyle brand go to www.appassionata.com , or contact Dawn directly dc@appassionata.com.

 

 

Who falls in love ……. with Le Marche

Who falls in love ……. with Le Marche

This is a question I have been asked many times over the past few years.  While I don’t like to generalise, the common theme is people who want to experience real Italy, immerse themselves in the culture and history, value the importance of family and of course the great cuisine!

For our family, for our business, Le Marche is the perfect place.  Trying to find some authenticity in this crazy, busy world is getting more and more difficult.  Sometimes we just need to escape the chaos and experience something real and true.

Le Marche prides itself on being quintessentially Italian and that’s what people fall in love with, and it still remains one of Italy’s best kept secrets.

A Leader or Follower?

There are some people who are leaders, they are adventurous and like to make their own discoveries, each day is exciting and they have a thirst for knowledge.  Some people are followers, they go where others have been and see what others have seen.  They like to travel the well trodden path.

Most visitors to Italy travel to the main tourist cities like Rome and Florence and bask on the beaches along the Amalfi Coast.  These places are amazing and definitely worth a visit, but does this give you a true insight into the real Italy?

For those of us who really like to get under the skin of a country and integrate with the locals rather than be surrounded by thousands of tourists, Le Marche is the place. I prefer to hear the beautiful tones of the Italian language being spoken while drinking my early morning coffee, rather than my mother tongue.

Picture a place where mountains roll gently down to a stunning coastline of blue flag beaches, dotted with restaurants serving the catch of the day.

A patchwork vista really does exist here, a blend of olive groves and vineyards and fields of sunflowers shimmering in the sun ….. sometimes I feel like I’m driving through a film set. Generation after generation have farmed the land for hundreds of years, growing produce for their family or selling it onto the local shops and restaurants.

This is a region brimming with ancient churches, abbeys and monasteries.  Tiny village theatres, with fresco ceilings and gold leaf mouldings are found tucked away along the cobbled streets of virtually every medieval village.  I have had the great privilege of watching many productions over the past years and I often have to pinch myself that I’m not in Covent Garden.  I’m sitting in a tiny, exquisite, eighty seat theatre, built hundreds of years ago in a hill top town in Le Marche, but the standard, the professionalism and the dedication is the same

How Do You Spend Your Time?

I like to stay busy, which is good as I have four children, two grandchildren, four rescue horses, two rescue dogs, and six cats, and I work…..

Whatever your interests and passions there are so many possibilities here.

It’s All About the Experience

Here is a brief snap shot of our down time in Le Marche.

Monday evening was magical, sitting under the stars in the piazza of the museum, Polo Museale di San Francesco, in the town of Montefiore dell ‘Aso, watching an old Italian movie L’Albero Degli Zoccoli. This museum dates back to 1264 and the painting Polyptch by the famous artist Carlo Crivelli is the centre piece.

Sergio, the owner of Osteria della Cornacchie, one of our local restaurants, kindly invited our family over for dinner on Tuesday as a thank you for being one of his best customers. He is famous for his sense of humour, and polenta served on a wooden board. Italians travel for miles to taste this speciality and enjoy the great atmosphere.

Early to bed on Wednesday evening, as we had a 4.30am alarm call on Thursday morning.  A sunrise concert performed by the violinist Valentino Alessandrini, down on the beach in the seaside town of Pedaso. The music, the setting, everything was totally breath taking. The waves crashing against the rocks added to the emotion of this very special occasion. It was certainly worth the early start and I will definitely be returning again next year.

Friday is the day I love to cycle along the promenade, which runs for miles alongside the beach. I pull over for a cappuccino, chat to the locals and browse the local market in San Benedetto.  I can never resist stopping off for lunch in Grottamare at one of the best seafood restaurants in the world,  Il Grecale.

Saturday evening…… this was something I have always wanted to experience, La Cena in Vigna, dinner in the vines.  One of our local cantina’s, Dea Flora, organised a wonderful evening of food, wine and live music.  A magical setting, with shooting stars lighting up the night sky.

Our philosophy is to celebrate and share the very best Italy has to offer, without compromise.

Carpe Diem

To find out more about the magic of Le Marche and our luxurious holiday homes, please contact me.

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs – co founder of Appassionata

www.appassionata.com

dc@appassionata.com

tel 0044 (0)7951674916

 

The Business of Fractional Ownership with Appassionata.

The Business of Fractional Ownership with Appassionata.

Fractional Ownership is a successful, growing concept, but few people really understand exactly what it means, or the benefits it offers those of us wanting a holiday home.  It is frequently confused with timeshare, conjuring up a very negative view of being chased down the street in Marbella by an over enthusiastic salesman inviting you to enjoy a liquid lunch and sign on the dotted line!

Fractional Ownership was developed to create a more secure and reliable solution for those wanting to share ownership of a luxurious item.

The key to Fractional Ownership is ‘ownership’; you own a share of the property in perpetuity, with the right to sell at any time.  Timeshare is all about ‘time‘, you have the right to use the property for only a short period each year, normally a week, but without ownership in the freehold asset. Timeshare is likely to reduce in value over time. Appassionata owners have undertaken several re-sales on behalf of owners over the last few years, achieving an average return of over 10% on the total value of shares sold.

“Fractional ownership with Appassionata was a much more pragmatic approach to owning a home in Italy. The properties are meticulously restored and fractional ownership was the solution to all of the expense and hassle of overseas home ownership.” 

Victor & Sandra Jason – Owners USA

Ownership with Appassionata- means owning a luxury property which is professionally managed and maintained throughout the year. The ten owners split the annual running costs between them. Financially this makes good sense. On average a holiday home owner only uses their property for 40 days each year, but have to pay for the entire year.

Appassionata owners are all pretty savvy. They often have the resources to buy a property outright, but don’t want the financial burden and stress. They know they haven’t got the free time to use it all year.

With Fractional Ownership you arrive and everything is ready for you to start your holiday immediately….. sound perfect?

Appassionata are a delight to deal with and the reason that everything works so incredibly well. Friendly, helpful, professional and most of all passionate about their work.”

Joanne Evans-Webb – Owner/Dubai

Fractional Ownership provides a modern solution to owning a holiday home. It’s makes more sense having a group of people share the running cost of the property and the house to be fully used throughout the year. It breathes more life into local communities having a property consistently used, adding to the rich culture and diversity of the local area by developing long term relationships with the local people.

It is a given that the legal structure for Fractional Ownership must be robust. The legal structure must protect the owners and the property, providing a simple and transparent way for the property to be managed. The Appassionata structure is secure, tried and tested.

Appassionata sells 1/10th shares in each of their properties, owners have exclusive use of their house during their 5 weeks of annual residency. Residency is booked in September for the following year, and gives all owners real choice and flexibility, with the opportunity to experience different times of the year.

To experience the quality and uniqueness of Appassionata  properties or to find out more information please get in touch and we can arrange a discovery trip to Le Marche.

“The expense of buying a holiday home outright, along with the annual running costs seemed crazy, when you may only use the house for an average of 40 nights a year.

” The Sunday Times”

Enjoy the luxury of owning an Italian home, to share with family and friends.

www.appassionata.com

info@appassionata.com

 

 

 

 

 

Discovering Appassionata – An owners perspective……

We love receiving owners testimonials and understanding their motivation about joining the Appassionata family. Thank you Mary Harmon for this tremendous insight.

“Discovering Appassionata

It is a quite interesting and uncanny set of events of how I came to know the properties of Appassionata in Le Marche, and subsequently purchased a share of Il Riposo.

In February 2017,  I purchased a piece of art,  an oil on acrylic, a contemporary heart,  for my upcoming birthday gift to myself.  It was entitled ” Appassionata”.  I researched and found that this is an Italian musical term meaning with heart, with passion and vigor.  Ok, so what does this art piece have to do with a property purchase in Le Marche?  My family is still pondering that one.

For the last couple of years, I had been perusing properties for sale in the Tuscany region of Italy.  My travels had taken me there a few times.  I began to dream of having a small place in Italy not thinking I could really afford it, but one never knows, right?  In those Tuscany visits, I had fell in love with the rolling hillsides, vineyards, wine, food and robust coffee.  I also fell deeply in love with the generous spirit of the people and their love of family.

Imagine my excitement when  the  “Appassionata ” ad popped up on my computer screen out of the blue?  While I am sure that technology tracking was the real culprit, I decided it was providence and made an impromptu decision to journey to Le Marche and check it out.  In 2 weeks, I was on my way, on my adventure to Le Marche.  I got off to a rocky start as my plane arrived late and it was dark when I began the drive from the Ancona Airport to Petritoli, in the last 5 speed stick Fiat for rent at the Hertz counter.

When I arrived, India, the Sales Director, was waiting for me and settled me into the most cozy and quaint medieval apartment I have ever seen.  I snuggled in for a sound sleep in preparation for our tour the next day.

India and I met for fresh coffee before beginning our tour.  As we drove through the countryside with almond and cherry trees in full bloom , I could barely contain my excitement.  Once we reached the Patrignone village and opened the door to a visual display of beauty and love that was clearly displayed in the furnishings and detail throughout, coupled with the natural beauty of the hills, sea and mountains, I could not resist purchasing a share of Il Riposo.

I love the share ownership concept in conjunction with other families, to have access to a wonderful Italian property and share the expense of ownership.  It helped that my family already owns a share of a beach home on BaldHead Island, North Carolina in the USA that we have had for many years, so I easily understood how it all works.

Owning a share of Il Riposo is the very best!”

Mary Harmon, USA

Passion for Painting – Bert Jacobs

Passion for Painting – Bert Jacobs

A few years ago we were invited over to our friend’s house for supper in Montefiore. We arrived late, as usual, my fault not Michael’s!  We were introduced to a lovely Dutch couple, Constance and Bert Jacobs. I liked them instantly, they have a zest for life and adventure and love Italy as much as we do.

I was lucky to be seated next to Bert, a striking man with a wonderful laugh and enviable thick wavy hair! We ate delicious food, sipped wonderful wines and chatted all night.

He told me they chose to move to Le Marche because life here fits like a glove, I know what he means. The first time they visited le Marche, they fell in love. Twelve years on and they still feel blessed to have discovered this special part of Italy they call home. When the sun is setting they love to sit out on their terrace with a glass of wine, watching the changing colours of the sky. Quality of life is important.

Bert has a wonderful, calm aura and as the evening went on he talked to me about his greatest passion, painting. I love meeting creative, positive people who love what they do. I felt this was going to be an interesting evening.

He was born in the Netherlands and trained as a master painter in Utrecht. When he finished collage he wanted to go on to the Art Academy, but had to do military service. After the army he needed to earn some money. He started out as a freelance interior stylist, creating set designs and shop interiors.  He moved into the advertising business and stayed there for many years. His ambition was always to return to art, now retired and living in Italy he has the time and inspiration to paint.

I arranged to visit his studio the following week.  They have a beautiful town house in the historic centre of Montefiore. The living space covers four floors, the gallery is on the top floor. The house is beautifully designed, both Constance and Bert have an exceptional eye for detail.


When I entered the studio I was speechless and quite overwhelmed.  Surrounded by huge vibrant paintings, each one telling a story with colour, movement and passion. I gazed at each painting.  I step back, move to the left, to the right. Each position gives me a glimpse of something new, something hidden.

Bert is quite uncomfortable when asked how, what or why he  paints a particular piece. He told me he paints to express his creativity, feelings and emotion. His favourite theme is women, they are exquisite and unique. I agree!
He is inspired by beauty. A ballet, an ancient tale, a movement or an object. Expression, excitement and colour are characteristics of his work.

He paints on large wooden panels, using a spatula and acrylic paint. Working on a wooden base allows him to use more force when moving the paint around. The paint is colour fast, adheres well and is quick drying.

The paintings are very dynamic and have a powerful use of colour, but they also have a subtle and refined emotion. They are created with passion and sense of composition.

He is the most unpretentious artist I have ever met, which is very refreshing. He loves to hear what people see in one of his painting, everyone sees a painting through their own eyes.

Over the last few years we have become good friends and I visit his studio regularly. We have several of Bert’s paintings hanging on our walls at home. They bring a smile to my face and brighten up the day. Each time I visit his studio I fall in love with another one and always manage to find space for one more!

Family, friends and our owners constantly admire them and visit his studio to see his latest creations. Last year Bert was commissioned by our American friend to paint eleven paintings!  They now hang in her beautiful home on Martha’s Vineyard.

For more information on Bert’s paintings visit his Facebook Page or he is happy for you to visit his gallery: Via Garibaldi 2463062 Montefiore dell’Aso  Highlights info row image +31 6 24909723

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan Pasta from the Sibillini Mountains

Artisan Pasta from the Sibillini Mountains

Italy is famous for many things, especially food! Their passion for pasta is on a whole different level. Browse the local supermarkets around Le Marche and you will find aisle after aisle displaying every shape and make of pasta. Most Italian’s eat pasta at least once a day!

Here we give you a small insight into a special pasta made locally.

Regina dei Sibillini is a farm in Montefortino, Le Marche. They cultivate durum wheat on the Sibillini Mountains and use it to make pasta.  The late growing wheat is sown at the end of October and grows slowly under the falling snow between November and March. During this time, it rests, keeps warm and is slowly hydrated. The wheat grows and sprouts and from this originates the popular Italian saying …. ‘Sotto la neve, pane – under the snow, bread!’

The durum wheat has a strong ear of corn that overhangs on a very tall stem, usually measuring between 150-160cms. Its rustic nature contributes to the production of an excellent durum wheat flour. The fragrance released during the pasta making process is an intense scent of bread and biscuits!

Regina dei Sibillini produces pasta according to the artisan process. It is drawn through bronze wire and then put to dry at low temperatures.  Only wheat that comes from the topsoil at an altitude between 600 to 900 meters above sea level is used. Their philosophy is to cultivate a quality product.

The geographic position of the farm in the Sibillini Mountains guarantees a truly uncontaminated ambient: water and air.  Essential elements in the production of quality pasta.

This raw material cultivated, wholesome and with unique properties gives the product a characteristic taste rich in flavor. The aroma is distinguished the moment the pasta is cooked.

Compared to other durum wheat its low gluten content makes it much more tolerable.

“It is the bond with the land where we live, love and respect that brought us to undertake this journey. The nature that surrounds us is what inspired us. The best way to honour this is to capture the taste, smell and colours.”

Respecting the Italian tradition Regina dei Sibillini produces all the classic shaped pastas.

Their logo and packaging was inspired by the mountains. The icy colour of the snow, and the winter sky. The transparent opening on the front of the box allows you see exactly what you are buying. The irregular form of their logo reminds us of the white slopes and the mountains profile. The snow that covers and protects the wheat.

REGINA DEI SIBILLINI
via R. Papiri, 30 – 63858 Montefortino (Fermo)
Marche – Italia

Mangia Bene: Osteria Pepe Nero Cupra Marittima

Mangia Bene: Osteria Pepe Nero Cupra Marittima

Osteria Pepe Nero is a marvel.
Hidden away in the hilltop village of Cupra Marittima Alta is one of our favourite restaurants. Make the effort to search out this restaurant, you will be well rewarded.
A wonderful warm welcome from Michele Alesiani will greet you as you walk through the door. If you are carrying excellent wines watch that warm welcome turn into a huge grin. Michele loves wine, and knows what he is talking about. He loves to go around each and every table sampling the wine and giving his opinion on your choice!
I love the fact you bring your own wine it adds to the whole experience.
The evening is an event, be prepared to have your taste buds tingled. The interior of the restaurant is eclectic, warm and fun. The exterior terrace is ideal for evenings during the long summer months. Michele has an individual style that is evident in his food and every aspect of the restaurant experience.
The food tastes fantastic and is presented with an artist style that encourages you to take a food selfie! Our most recent experience was Dawns birthday at the end of January. A great party with good friends and family. Non-meat eaters are well taken care of and Michele always substitutes amazing options for the few dishes that have meat.
Great value for money and well worth making a special trip to experience this unique and special restaurant.
A few of the wonderful dishes we enjoyed that night:
A great all inclusive menu, and amazing value for money:

 

 

 

 

Michele Alesiani & his lovely family…

Address and Bookings….

Osteria Pepe Nero

via Castello s.n.
63064 Cupra Marittima, AP, Le Marche, Italy.

Highlights info row image+39 335 611 5534
Letters from Le Marche…..chapter two

Letters from Le Marche…..chapter two

Chapter Two – Florence

I gazed around the Piazza and sipped my cappuccino elegantly, copying the glamorous Italians on the next table. Trying not to get the milky froth all around my mouth.

I love to people watch.  The tourists racing to keep up with their flag bearing tour guides. The Nonna’s dressed in black, carrying their heavy bags of shopping back home to their families. I listened closely to the sing song melody of the Italian language, exaggerated with arms and hands waving in the air. Everything about the Italians is passionate and dramatic.

I meandered back to the hotel, absorbed in the sounds of the city. The walk should have taken me ten minutes. You guessed it, luckily for me I took another wrong turning!

I stumbled upon a lovely little shop halfway down a narrow street. The window had a wonderful display of tassels, braids and ribbons.

As an interior designer I am always on the lookout for things fabulous and unique. This was an Aladdin’s cave of colour and texture. I bought tassels in every shape, size and colour.  Natural greens, blues and siennas with a hint of gold.

Each item was lovingly wrapped in tissue and delicately placed in a posh paper bag. No sign of plastic in this shop!

Shopping in Italy is a very different experience.  Most shops are owned and run by family member. They are proud of what they do and love to tell you how many generations have worked there. Their knowledge is extensive, and they take the time it takes. Note to self, allow more time when shopping in Italy!

I floated back to our hotel, clutching my purchases and feeling rather proud of myself, I had found my way back.

My husband, Michael, was happy.  The rugby match had gone well, his team had won and he was celebrating with a cold beer in the hotel bar.

He looked suspiciously at my shopping bag. “What have you bought”? I told him,” gorgeous tassels in natural hues………” I received the typical response from a man who thinks shopping is only to purchase essential items, food and drink. “How many tassels do you need, what are they for, how much did they cost”?!!! I quickly changed the subject and asked about our dinner plans for that evening, while visualising one of the tassels threaded through an antique key, hanging from wardrobe I had recently finished painting.

I eat fish, no meat. Michael loves meat and eats fish. He had spoken to the hotel manager earlier and asked his advice on fish restaurants on the outskirts of the city. Away from the touristy eateries and high prices. He knew the perfect place!

We were picked up in a taxi later that evening, it was the first and only time I have travelled in a taxi in Italy. The manager had given the driver directions to the restaurant so we both sat back and enjoyed the drive across Florence. Thirty minutes later we pulled up outside a large wooden door, with no sign, in the heart of an industrial estate. We stepped out of the taxi and looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. This can’t be right. Before we had chance to get back into the taxi, it roared off into the distance.

We rang the doorbell and waited. I was feeling a little nervous. Not about my surroundings, but it was nine o’clock and Michael was hungry, we needed to find food before he turned all hunter gather on me.

The door opened and we cautiously stepped into another world. Before our eyes was a busy, bustling restaurant. A beautiful, yet simple décor. Delicious aromas wafting from the open kitchen blending with the lively voices of sixty plus Italians all talking at once. In the large walled courtyard, huge interconnecting sunshades provided a soft textured ceiling. The lighting was low and atmospheric, with a blend of candles and fairy lights. Each table dressed with a small vase of fresh flowers. Crisp white linen tablecloths draped down to the cool cotto tiled floor.

We were shown to our table, and looked around. There were large families, three generations enjoying a celebration together.  Young lovers with eyes only for each other. Young children out with their parents, babies peacefully sleeping in their pushchairs. Children are always made to feel welcome in restaurants in Italy, however posh or expensive. Family is very important and younger members are never excluded. Another plus for the Italian lifestyle.

Our waiter came to take our order.   This was going to be tricky. He spoke no English, we spoke no Italian and had left our phrase book back at the hotel!

We shouted “menu” at him and mimed opening a book.  Why do people shout in their own language at foreigners, expecting them to understand once the decibels are turned up?

He shook his head “no menooo, you wanta da otta fish o colda fish”. Whita wine o reda wine? Hot fish we both said, white wine we agreed

I glanced across at Michael, he was looking a little concerned. He’s lovely, but he likes to know what’s happening at all times, in the present and the future. I knew he would struggle with the concept of not being able to converse with the waiter, he loves to talk!

He also likes to see a menu, ask questions and check nothing has vinegar on it. He likes to see the wine list and chat about different grapes, countries, regions, years. He especially likes to see prices and mentally calculate how much the whole meal will cost. He likes to feel in control of the situation.

Our waiter disappeared into the kitchen and we sipped our wine, poured from a glass jug. Michael shared his concerns about not knowing what food would arrive and how many courses would be served. I tried to reassure him. “Let’s just relax and enjoy the experience, it will be fun to try new tastes and not know what to expect”.  He looked doubtful and took a large swig of wine, it was delicious, he looked happier.

The more courses we ate, the more wine we drank, the more he relaxed. I wish I could give you a detailed description of the food we ate, but I can’t. I can remember the interiors, because I seem to have a photographic memory for those. I think I drank too much wine and the food detail got lost. It’s a little hazy. What I can remember is that every dish was exquisite, fresh and unpretentious. The seafood was scrumptious the pasta cooked to perfection. I think we had seven courses, to be honest I lost count.

I have never seen Michael so relaxed, enjoying the present and not worrying about the future.  We had no idea how much this dining experience was going to cost, we didn’t care.

The waiter brought over bottles of grappa, mistra and limoncello, to help with the digestion! The limoncello was divine. Michael was so, so happy, he tried all three, twice.

We swayed over to the bar to pay the bill and hopefully order a taxi. Michael was very pleasantly surprised when he saw the total, half the cost he had toted up in his head. The bar man generously offered him another drink on the house. I began to wonder if I would be able to get him back to the hotel.  The taxi arrived and I managed to steer him onto the back seat and close the door.

We were dropped off at the end of a one way street, only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. We needed a walk! In the distance we could hear opera music, as we walked closer I recognised an aria from La Boheme, one of my favourite operas. We entered the Piazza, and there under the moonlight of a warm summer’s evening were hundreds of people enjoying an open air opera. I looked up to the balconies of the surrounding apartments, each one crowded with local Italians holding a candle and swaying to the music. It was truly magical and that was the exact moment I fell in love in love with Italy.

 

The Business of Fabulous …… Fractional Ownership

The Business of Fabulous …… Fractional Ownership

 

Fractional Ownership is a growing successful concept, but few people really understand exactly what it means, or the benefits it can give.  It is frequently confused with timeshare, conjuring up a very negative view of being chased down the street in Marbella by an over enthusiastic salesman inviting you to enjoy a liquid lunch and sign on the dotted line.

Fractional Ownership is not Timeshare. It has some similarities, in that it involves a number of people sharing in the use of a single property, but the similarity ends there.

Fractional Ownership was developed to create a more secure and reliable solution for those wanting to share ownership of a luxurious item. Property, aeroplanes and boats are the most popular, where the share of ownership is generally between 1/12th and 1/4.

The key to Fractional Ownership is ‘ownership’; you own a share of the property in perpetuity, with the right to sell at any time.  Timeshare is all about ‘time‘, you have the right to use the property for a short period each year, normally a week, but without ownership in the freehold asset. Timeshare is likely to reduce in value over time. Appassionata have undertaken several re-sales on behalf of owners, achieving an average return of +12% on the total value of shares sold, a real success in what has been a difficult international property market.

“Fractional ownership in Casa Tre Archi was a much more pragmatic approach to owning a home in Italy. The property was meticulously restored and fractional ownership was the solution to all of the expense and hassle of overseas home ownership.” 

Victor & Sandra Jason – Owners

With Fractional Ownership several buyers collectively own a luxury property which is professionally managed and maintained throughout the year. Owners split the annual running costs between them. Financially this makes good sense. On average a holiday home owner only uses their property for 40 days each year, but has to pay for the entire year.

Our owners are all pretty savvy. They often have the resources to buy a property outright, but don’t want the financial burden and stress. They know they haven’t got the free time to use it all year.

They don’t want the headache of paying for the upkeep and maintenance of all year-round ownership. Some have owned holiday homes before and were fed up of having to maintain the house, cut the grass, clean the pool and fire up the central heating before they have had a chance to kick back, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy ‘being’ in their holiday home.

With Fractional Ownership you arrive and everything is ready for you to start your holiday immediately….. sound perfect?

Appassionata are a delight to deal with and the reason that everything works so incredibly well. Friendly, helpful, professional and most of all passionate about their work.”

Joanne Evans-Webb – Owner.

Fractional Ownership provides a modern solution to owning a holiday home. It’s much better having a group of people share in the cost of ownership and for the house to be fully used throughout the year. It breathes more life into local communities having a property consistently used, adding to the rich culture and diversity of the local area by developing long term relationships with the community. Really getting the chance to explore and experience a beautiful part of the world on a recurring basis.

Fractional Ownership is not for everyone. If you are planning to live somewhere permanently or spend more than 6 months of the year in the same place, there are perhaps better solutions for you. However, if you want a holiday home, or a home where you can experience the local area before deciding on an outright purchase; or want to buy into a more luxurious property than you can afford, Fractional Ownership is an option you should definitely be considering.

It is a given that the legal structure for Fractional Ownership must be robust. Buying into a Fractional Ownership scheme must be easy and straightforward. The legal structure must protect the owners, the property, and provide a simple transparent way for the property to be managed. The Appassionata structure is simple, secure, tried and tested.

With Appassionata you own a 1/10th share of the property which you can sell at any time. The property is owned by a UK company where you are a 10% shareholder. You have exclusive use of the house during your 5 weeks of annual residency.

To experience the quality of our Fractional Ownership properties or to find out more information please get in touch and we can arrange a discovery visit to Le Marche.

“The expense of buying a holiday home outright, along with the annual running costs seemed crazy, when you may only use the house for an average of 40 nights a year. – That is why Appassionata was born!” The Sunday Times

Published by Michael Hobbs, Appassionata Limited