When Eric and I took our first trip from Chicago to Italy twenty years ago, we immediately fell in love. Something about Tuscany in particular … perhaps it was the beauty of the countryside, the warmth of the people, and the incredible food and wine … drew us in. Eric’s father was born and raised in Lucca and had come to the US in search of the “American Dream” … yet we as the next generation quickly embraced the dream to do just the opposite and one day make Italy our home.

In the back of our minds, this was truly a dream and something we would likely plan for our retirement. Yet every time we visited, we talked about it more and more. Then the pandemic hit. Our 2020 trip was delayed indefinitely. In the meantime, we casually browsed properties online in various areas of Tuscany and began to educate ourselves on the purchasing process and what we might encounter. We decided that we needed an advocate to look out for our best interests and guide us through the complexities of the process, and we reached out to Italian Real Estate Lawyers (IREL). When we rescheduled our trip for September 2021, Benedetta helped us arrange to see a handful of places.

When we met the realtor that morning in Chianni, and walked into the first on the list, we immediately fell in love with the open feeling of the place, the natural light, high ceilings, and most amazing views from our 3-sided balcony. We visited 7 or 8 other places that day, but we both felt the magic of that first place. We discussed the possibility of purchasing a home – were we ready? Is this something we should do now? I have always been the practical one financially, but life is too short to push dreams, goals, and desires to “someday”. We decided to make those dreams a reality and worked with the IREL team and submitted an offer.

The purchasing process had some unexpected challenges on the seller’s end, but IREL was incredible and extremely helpful every step of the way. They were always professional and responsive, representing us through finalization of the deed as PoA as well as after the closing to help us get established in our new home. When we closed in April of this year, we were overjoyed. Our first visit to the property in June confirmed that we had made the right decision – the incredible feeling of joy knowing we are homeowners in Italy felt like a dream.

We have continued to work with IREL and have nothing but positive feedback to share. The entire team has been amazing. We have referred several others along the way who have become friends, and they all share the same opinion. It’s not an easy task to purchase a property from halfway across the world, but they definitely made it a painless one.

As we look forward to our next and subsequent visits to our home in Chianni, we are filled with excitement.

 Yes, there are a ton of unknowns, but that’s never stopped us before and we’ll sort it all out along the way. Cheers to our crazy dreams and the exciting reality they have become!”

Written by Erica Dini