Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
etopia rears its pretty head!

i will be following this thread closely, being very curious how such a numerate and socially conscious group plots the course of this enterprise.

the days of great deals have been and gone here in umbria, i bought in '93, and paid triple what i would have 2 years prior, and it's just kept going up and up, though not at that speed.

i do have connections with a property company http://www.europropertynet.com/italys.htm through which i bought this cottage, i know many satisfied customers who live in the area.

what people are paying for here that puts the price higher than other regions in italy is the proximity to cultural landmarks that are internationally known.

cortona has become all the rage since frances mayes best seller, (it's under half the tourists' arms!).

florence, siena, all the usual suspects...

next door in le marche prices are already much lower.

i'd be happy to answer any questions about the area, and if anyone seriously points to somewhere not too far, would also be willing to do some footwork and take pix.

my brother is trying to set up a community where prices are lower, in goa and bali, but what would be ET about that?

i'm following his plans closely too, and if i learn anything that might have more bearing on our needs, will be happy to pass it on.

if the prices around here are within reach, i can recommend the area for the kindness of the people and relative peace and quiet.

most properties are old tumbledown farmhouses, however it is sometimes possible sometimes to buy raw land with permission to build.

there are places in italy much more 'italian', but the downside is you might not find the wheels on your car when you come back from eating at a restaurant, here the crime rate is very low.

we're not north, and we're not south, we're central, but a bit off the main spine of italy's infrastructure, the A1 autostrada and main train line..

this is why it's stayed a bit of a backwater, though ryan air has flights from stanstead now to perugia, so we are starting to see influx of a more 'sunday times' crowd.

not too stoked about this, having lived in chiantishire for three years, and happy to leave...

occasionally i think of selling up and starting again, but the network one builds over the years is what makes me want to stick in this zone.

starting from scratch again would be ok, but there'd have to be a strong upside...like maybe what is emerging here.

i have 5 acres, mixed woods and fields, and i think it's enough if your not keeping horses, or if all the land is flat.

if there's common grazing areas, or one could move the animals around the community's fallow fields, then it would be enough.

llamas thrive here, i see a few here and there.  weaving, ceramics and carpentry have copious raw materials around, and a good plumber or electrician will have work to spare....

i wish i had more space, but i think that's the ol' human condition at work, and basically i am content and grateful to have anything at all, and especially where my stone has rolled to gather more moss!

just my 2c

good luck paul, i get the feeling you'd be a great neighbour!

ps, the yurts are still in my imagination only, but if peeps want to come camp here in the fields and use it as a jumping off point for exploration next spring/summer, i'd be into sharing facilities, in exchange for a hand with chores.

the pv system should be up and running by then.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 7th, 2007 at 03:19:54 PM EST
Hey, I've been meaning to ask you about that.  My folks are going to Italy next spring/summer.  I thought you had yurts.  You don't have yurts?  Rental properties, anything like that?

Because I know you are just dying to meet my parents. ;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Dec 7th, 2007 at 03:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hi poemless, yurts are an intelligent fantasy, at this point.

as my cottage is small, and the land is there, it makes sense to put some yurts up and offer hospitality that way.

they need platforms built, and smart siting, possibly some more tree-clearing.

i do have some friends who bail to india for winters, but live near here in a yurt the rest of the year, and it's inspired me. they have a couple of pv panels, a solar pump. and grow nice gardens, she does stained glass, they both write for money, and live very lightly on the land.

this land could support 4-5 yurts, but to cluster them, or spread them the most apart possible?

i believe there could be good potential for hosting people who want a quiet stay in the country, with vegetarian cooking, music, massage etc, but the infrastructure here is still pretty raw, not ready for prime time!

or old folks or young children.

i dream of a niche market of say a painter in one yurt, a writer in another, a weaver, a whittler, a coppicer... couples ok, paying modest amounts to stay a week, a month? and chill from whatever stress they're failing to balance or endure in their own 'real world', get on with their novel, paint their masterpiece, learn to meditate, take long country hikes, bike rides, architecture and museum visits, o yeah and catch up on ET on the wifi connection, currently low speed.

all in keeping with 'powering down', lol!

i know one guy who runs walking tours in the area and does ok, http://www.tuscanyumbriawalks.com/aboutus.html.

many italians run well appointed agriturismos which are an increasingly popular choice for italians and foreigners alike.

google umbria tuscany walking tours and you get 12500 hits umbria tuscany walking tours - Google Search, so a lot of folks mining that vein, though i must say it's not like they're that obvious on the ground, there are miles and miles of great, not too strenuous hiking around here.

for an Etopia type deal, you'd need accommodation for 15-20 people, a nice big gathering space, and meaningful things to do, so everyone could feel part of the permaculturisation of the land.

a couple of hours hard work in the mornings, siesta the afternoons, and socialise/brainstorm/party the evenings and nights, around an open fire, a communal meal,or cozy in yer yurt.

it looks good on paper anyway...

might be a while in the making, then it would be good for anyone, young, old, or in between.

problem is i spend too much time blogging, or it would be ready by now!!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:18:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should be in your neighborhood. I'd like to look over your arrangement and talk ideas.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Sun Dec 9th, 2007 at 10:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think i'll be here late april, and sure, swing by

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 03:17:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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