“Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.”


Many people dream of a life of adventure, but dare not live it actually, even when the opportunity presents itself. So they hide behind excuses – no money, being the most common one – whilst life passes by, taking along with it the neglected opportunity.

OK, how about this?

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Italy’s State Property Agency (SPA) and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage are “giving away” 103 abandoned historic castles to anyone who could come up with reasonable proposal to restore those castles and rejuvenate tourism in the areas off the beaten track. This is to draw hoards of tourists away from places like Venice, Rome and Florence, into lesser known – but equally beautiful – parts of the country.

You might say, “Ah, I need money to restore castles”. Yes, absolutely, but if there is a will, there is  away. You can start small first. You can apply for grants. You can get corporate sponsorship. You can even set up a consortium. My mind is already heating up with ideas and possibilities. What an amazing life it would be!  Herbs in the garden, children in local schools……

Unfortunately, my partner is not a castle sort of man. He would rather live in a remote croft on the Isle of Skye or a mud hut in deepest Africa.

But you know, there is so much romance in this type of adventure, where a woman and  man (and a child and a dog) set off together to build a new life together.  Many films have been made of it. Here’s one that I saw on the plane. It’s about a lighthouse keeper on a very remote island, his wife and their baby…with a twist:

So as I sit here discussing old Italian castles with my partner (short discussion – it lasted less than 30 seconds), I am urging you: consider the Italian opportunity.  It closes on June 26th.  Click here for more details. Ciao!

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