We are Veronica and Ken, husband and wife and the owners of Villa El Olivar.
Like any relationship ours is as much a story about “the road traveled” as it is about us.
We live in Singapore, a place that we have called home for many years. We have traveled extensively and as often happens, there were times when the places we were visiting had an attraction and allure that got us wondering whether we could live there one day. That feeling seemed to appear often and change regularly as we have special memories of some truly remarkable locations we have visited throughout the years. After an initial trip to Italy we were convinced that we needed to return...which we did..again and again and again. All those things you read about in the travel guides were reasons for us to go back...the people, history, culture, food, wine, the way of life and each experience moved us a bit further along the continuum from….could we live here?...to…. should we live here?.....to…..We need to live here!
As visitors, It’s easy to romanticize the idea of living in a place like Italy but we wondered whether the realities of living there day in and day out would change that feeling. So we did our due diligence by looking at residency laws, taxes, medical care, climate, etc. When it was all said and done we let our hearts lead the way and began looking for the place that was going to fit the image of “living in Italy” that we had in our heads. We imagined someplace with space, a house that “felt like us”, a garden where we could grow our own vegetables, an olive grove, a swimming pool and a view that we would never get tired of. A place where the sunrises and sunsets, change of seasons, and natural beauty of our surroundings would be woven into the ebb and flow of our lives….but secretly we wondered if that was all too much to hope for and just a wonderful dream that could never be realised.
Umbria surprised us...it has wonderful medieval hilltop towns, quaint places off the tourist trail that make you feel relaxed and unhurried as well as more well-known places like Orvieto, Assisi, Spoleto, Montefalco, Perugia, and Spello which still feel authentic while inviting you to wander, explore and learn their history. The people seem down to earth, hard-working and appreciative of the lives they have and being in the green heart of Italy the fresh produce, olive oil, cheeses and meat we enjoyed each day spoke to leading a healthy lifestyle and the chance to simplify our lives. But it was driving onto the grounds of El Olivar for the first time that told us we were where we were meant to be. That feeling was immediate....strong....an almost a certainty....even before we had a chance to see the house and explore the grounds. We were reminded of something Ken’s parents always use to say…..”What’s meant for you won’t go by you.”
As we write this we have only owned El Olivar for three years and are still living in Singapore.
It will be a few years before we move to Italy and occupy our home but we have been fortunate to spend 6-8 weeks there each year since it became ours. Every day we have spent there has added to our sense of well-being while also reminding us of how much we have to look forward to. Until then, it gives us great pleasure to have you staying at El Olivar and our wish for you is that you will enjoy the experience, feel you are someplace special and be inspired to return...again and again and again.