The fact that we own a vacation house in Tuscany might simply look like a job to some people. To us, though, it’s often much more than that.
It’s a funny feeling, especially for me, but I guess for my husband Marcel too in a way. Casina di Rosa is the house where my great-grandparents raised their family, my grandfather Gino’s family, after actually building it with their own hands. My mother was born there (and I mean right there), and so was my uncle. I have grown up knowing that that was my greatgrandmother Rosa’s home for as long as she could live on her own. And now it is a holiday rental in Tuscany… but to me offering Casina di Rosa does not equate selling accommodation, it’s actually like opening my family’s home’s doors to our guests.
We have tried to make it comfortable and pretty. But mostly, we hope we have managed to preserve the fact that it is a home.
For this reason, when we meet our guests on Saturdays, it’s always exciting and worrying at the same time. There is always a funny feeling inside of me that makes me worry about whether they are going to like it or not, or whether they will enjoy spending time in the village or if they will rather think we are a bunch of hilly-billies and how can people ever live like that!? For me, it’s like opening a door on who I am and on where I come from, on my life, my culture and my history.
I obviously love my village and our little home: it inevitably does get personal.
Most people, luckily, end up loving both the house and the village: and that is enough to make me happy, because it makes me proud. It is hard to explain.
And then, there are those special cases in which our guests really get to experience life in the village: they participate in local events, they mix and mingle with the locals, and contribute to the local community in many ways. When we are lucky enough to meet these people – and the first sign that that is the case is when others in the village ask about our guests and tell us that they “hanno fatto amicizia“, they made friends – then I know my “heritage” is in very good hands!
When those guests leave, it’s like saying goodbye to friends, and you wish they will be back. I told you: it’s not a job. It’s getting to know people, opening the doors of your home and connecting.
And I think, recently, we have been very lucky.