After this “honeymoon phase” it was time to realise our project: the idea was to open an agriturismo with 4 holiday apartments and to become lavender farmers.
Why lavender? There’s no big romantic story about Nicolas who asked me to marry him in a lavenderfield or a family history of farming lavender or something like that. Very simply put: the “presidente” of the local consortium of farmers came, looked at our fields and said “lavender”. I read a bit about it, it seemed easy enough … and so, lavender it was.
Next step: the renovations. Until now we concentrated on making nice drawings about our future apartments, but to get all the necessary permissions we had to go through a geometra (if you renovate in Italy, this has to become your new best friend).
I remember our first meeting in september, we were so happy to finally be able to start, because suddenly we realised: Winter is coming … which means hell in a house with no heating (only a small, cracked wooden stove) and an outdoor shower with 1.5 minutes of hot water.
I know, I know … how stupid can you be, thinking that starting with the paperwork for a complete renovation in Italy will get you functioning heating and a bathroom before the winter.
So, when the geometra told me no way that was possible, I really had to fight my tears. I must confess: more than a few fell on the way home. But you have to understand: I really, really hate the cold ! I’ve always said that the blood of my Sicilian ancestors is not made for this, and the cold climate was one of the reasons I’ve always wanted to leave Belgium.
Luckily, we had a lot we could do to keep us warm and it also helped to channel my frustration about not being able to take a long bath or even shower decently. We’re not very handy, but tearing down walls became our specialty 😀