First Guests

Comment

First Guests

Click here to see and read Part 2 of a 12-part newspaper series with pictures and videos on my wife Lisa Grassi-Blais and my transformation from careers-track professionals in Canada to Italian inn and tour company operators.

Comment

Blown Estimate

Comment

Blown Estimate

Click here to see and read Part 2 of a 12-part newspaper series with pictures and videos on my wife Lisa Grassi-Blais and my transformation from careers-track professionals in Canada to Italian inn and tour company operators.

Comment

It's ours!

1 Comment

It's ours!

On March 1, 2013, we appeared before an Italian notary and closed the deal on our villa in the Abruzzo Region.   It was an interesting meeting, and it capped a six month stretch during which we went from "just thinking"  about a future as innkeepers and tour operators in Italy to committing ourselves wholeheartedly.

1 Comment

Closing the deal

1 Comment

Closing the deal

In February 2013, my wife Lisa Grassi-Blais and I flew to Italy to plunk down most of our life savings on a villa in Abruzzo to run a tour company from. It was exciting. It was scary. And it was the right move for us.

1 Comment

The friendly Abruzzese

1 Comment

The friendly Abruzzese

One of the reasons my wife, Lisa Grassi-Blais, and I felt comfortable dropping our careers and moving to the Abruzzo Region of Italy is that the Abruzzese people are some of the most helpful and caring people we've ever met. If you have a problem, they will help you.

1 Comment

Telling Everybody

Comment

Telling Everybody

After reaching agreements to sell our house in Canada and to buy a villa in Italy to run a tourism business from, we had to decide when to tell our friends and bosses. I was for waiting. Lisa was for telling, but she agreed to wait, and then she immediately told everybody. It was for the best.

Comment

Telling Nita

Comment

Telling Nita

My mother-in-law Nita Grassi  is a big part of our lives. So when we told her in late 2012 that were moving to Italy to start a tourism business, we were really hoping she would support the decision. We shouldn't have worried.

Comment

Telling mom

5 Comments

Telling mom

When I told my mom I was moving to Italy to open a tour company, I expected her to question the financial wisdom of my decision. Instead, she cried because she was going to miss me. After staying with us for seven weeks last fall, I think she feels better.

5 Comments

Selling our house

2 Comments

Selling our house

After negotiating a deal for a property in the Abruzzo Region of Italy to anchor our tour company, it was time to unload our house in Ottawa. It was late 2012, and we had four months to get a deal and close it in order to meet our closing deadline in Italy. Yikes!

 

2 Comments

Buying the villa

1 Comment

Buying the villa

Within two weeks of deciding to radically change our lives from white collar, career track Canadians to inn keepers and tour company operators in Italy, we negotiated the purchase of a villa in the beautiful Abruzzo Region just east of Rome. It was quick, but it felt right.

1 Comment

"Let's do it"

2 Comments

"Let's do it"

Sometimes in life you have to throw caution to the wind and follow your instincts. That's what my wife Lisa and I did in the fall of 2012 when we decided to pack in our lives in Canada and move to Italy to open a tour company and vacation villa. We haven't looked back since.

2 Comments

The Numbers

Comment

The Numbers

We'd found a property in Abruzzo, Italy that was a perfect fit for our boutique tour company idea. The location was great, the place checked all the right boxes, but it was going to blow our budget. We decided to see if we could make it work financially.

Comment

The Property

1 Comment

The Property

A property we'd seen in Abruzzo. Italy that could host our in and tour company business idea was more than we'd anticipated in many ways. It was bigger and more majestic, but it also needed way more work than we wanted to undertake, and it was going to break our budget. We decided to see just how much it would cost of bring it up to speed.

1 Comment

Great location

2 Comments

Great location

After seeing a property in Abruzzo, Italy we thought would be perfect for an inn and tour company headquarters. We set about information gathering and analyzing the details to make sure it was as good as it seemed. First, we analyzed the location.

2 Comments

Opportunity knocks

1 Comment

Opportunity knocks

In August 2012, my wife Lisa Grassi-Blais and I toured several properties and determined that we could make our idea of opening an Italian tour company based out of a property in the Abruzzo region work, if in a couple years we chose that route. The problem was one property felt so right, we both could actually see ourselves running the business there.  Opportunity was knocking.

1 Comment