Wow, time flies. It’s been almost 8 years since we moved from Toronto to the Italian Riviera. Santa Margherita has become my new home. I have lived here for almost as many years as I lived in Florence, and for more years than I ever lived as an adult in my native Toronto. So here’s the question travellers ask me the most while staying in one of our properties: “What’s it like actually living here?”, and they always end up sighing “you are so lucky”!
While I agree that I am so lucky, like any other choice, it is one that has its pros and its cons. Hard to think of a con… hard to think of a con. No but seriously, there are a few, believe it or not. You won’t catch me saying that the food is not amazing, that the climate isn’t ideal, or that the people are wonderful. But one thing I can say that I sometimes find challenging is what I have playfully nicknamed the endless”bureaucrazy”. For a Canadian who is used to following the rules, it might make you feel crazy at times. But if you are very patient, and very flexible, you will adapt. Running a business as a “foreigner” is not for the weak of heart. I actually became an Italian citizen in the process. I have my own company here, and I have been working in Tourism on the magnificent Italian Riviera for 8 years now.
This all happened really naturally. In our first year, we had so many family members and friends who wanted to come and visit us and see where we had landed. My husband and our 2 kids and I were living, and working in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment… with an amazing view of the Sea and the town of Santa Margherita. We truly didn’t have the space to host anyone, so I started asking around to see if anyone knew of a little apartment that we might be able to rent to friends and family members while visiting, so that they too could get a taste of living in Italy, rather than staying in a hotel. That’s how it all began. From that time onwards I have been managing vacation properties on the Riviera. I am a licensed Realtor in Italy, and I love my work. I have spent countless hours marveling at the magnificent sea, hiking in the park of Portofino, savoring scampi, sipping prosecco, breathing the air that fills my heart with happiness.
I am at home here. So that’s what I ended up calling my company. And what we do is, we help property owners of magnificent villas manage their estates, and welcome guests from around the world.