Friday, August 21, 2015
Beautiful flat for rent in Norcia
The view from my front garden, looking down on the town, which you can see to the left, and towards the eastern end of the valley.
Attention freelance journalists and other self-employed people in Italy who are sick to death of the abusive world of Rome's rentals, as well as the horrors of its transport, crowds, pollution, rates of petty crime, noise and general aggravatingness:
I've just had a conversation with the owners of my house here in beautiful bucolic Norcia, (Nursia) the ancient birthplace of St. Benedict. They've just finished refurbishing and furnishing the upstairs flat and put in a new kitchen, but said they still haven't rented it yet. Having done it up, they want E450/m for it. The furnishings are second hand but quite nice and in perfect condition and the beds are new. The kitchen is beautiful. My friend who translated says she thinks they might be willing to go down to 430/m for the right renter.
It's three bedrooms, two terraces, a full sitting room with a big Umbrian-style fireplace, garden, bathtub, and magnificent view of the Valnerina. It's outside the walls so away from the press of tourists here and the noise of the many festas, but still only a two minute drive down the hill to the town gates for shopping and whatnot.
They seem very interested in having someone up there whom I know and can recommend and are willing to wait to hear back til the end of August. I said I knew a few people who might be interested and would get in touch with them right away, which I have done. This notice is just to let the word get out more generally. Right now it's first come first served.
That being said, they've got other people who are interested, so the fact that they're willing to put them off to wait to hear back from my friends shows they're serious. They seem like nice people.
The best part is that he says that since I already have a contract, no one has to go through the agency, so no agency fees. They would just modify my existing contract to include both flats.
Norcia has about 4000 people in it and is still mainly an agricultural local economy and quite independent of the nearest big towns, so it's pretty quiet and serene. Even the tourists are a lot less annoying than Rome or Florence. And we've got at least one of everything you need here, as well as a very full and vibrant cultural life.
That being said, if you need to go to Rome (or Florence) they're still pretty close. By car it's about 3.5 hours, or you can take it easier and just go to Spoleto (an hour drive) and take a train to Termini, which is about an hour and a half. Costs about 15 Euros.
Norcia is a kind of dream place, particularly for Catholic families and individuals who want to get out of the sweats and horrors of Roman life. There is a daily Traditional Mass as well as the full Divine Office at the monastery, for those who like that sort of thing. The locals are almost miraculously friendly and kind. The rents and living expenses are ridiculously low. (I cut my monthly expenses by nearly two thirds by moving here.)
Frankly, moving here has been one of the best decisions I've made in my life. If sheer natural beauty, an intimate small town atmosphere aren't enough, then consider that this is a place where people are deeply committed to preserving and celebrating their ancient traditions. Older people are respected, children are well behaved and people look out for each other.
The air is clean, the valley is so beautiful you would think you're in another world. A much, much better one.
Anyone who is seriously interested, let me know by email hjmwhite66 at yahoo dot ca