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We (Lisa Dohner and John C) are friends who, a few years ago, decided to realize our dream of moving to and buying a house in Italy. During several transatlantic trips, we traversed the country from east to west and north to south to find the area of Italy we wanted to make our home. Classically Italian. Undeveloped historic towns. Quaint small cities nearby. An abundance of natural beauty. A local economy. And eventually, we found our spot -- Monferrato. A highly unspoiled, protected, Unesco World Heritage area in Piemonte, an hour or so drive from some of Italy's best cities and places - Turin, Milan, the Lakes Region (Como, Orta, Maggiore...), Genoa, Portofino, the Dolomites, the Italian Riviera...
Once we drove through this undisturbed secret pocket of Monferrato we knew we would look no further. We found our perfect country house perched on top of a hill with a garden, old-growth trees and meadows, a few fine, friendly neighbors, and a 360 view of a dozen ancient hilltop towns. We are in the country but just five minutes away from several picturesque hilltop villages and twenty minutes away from the vibrant and historic cities of Casale and Asti.
We bought our country house for under $200,000. It is more than 6,000 sqft of living quarters plus a wine press room, two cantinas (cavernous wine cellars), two barns and eight acres of land. It took us about five years of searching to find our spot and then our house but once the bid was accepted, we got in high gear. We were on a plane and received the keys to our new home just four months later.
Lisa worked for many years in Hollywood and on Wall Street, John has a doctorate in Italian Art History. Our interests and passions include travel, adventure, Italy, traditional Italian homes, cooking, horticulture, and perhaps above all, living a lifestyle which treads as lightly on mother earth as possible.
Here we are (wearing glasses) out with friends waiting for our favorite pizza place to open.
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