And lived happily ever after.  That’s it. Shortest blog ever. The End.

Really ?

Well…not quite. Actually, it was just the beginning.

Things You Should Know Sooner Rather Than Later

You are ? David and Pauline Brenner

And you’re from ? Somerset in south-west England. About 150 miles from London.

Tell us about yourselves. David was a long-time television sports commentator/anchor – for the past 15 years you might have seen him fronting sports news on BBC World TV.  Before our move to Somerset, Pauline’s background was in IT.

And you got in the car and drove to Italy because ? Well now…as Gap Years hadn’t been invented when we were of an age to take one, we thought we deserved one and right now seemed as good a time as any.  And a new adventure seemed like a good idea too. So here we are, living in a rented house in a hamlet called Ascigno, which is about about 4 miles from the old hilltop village of Casoli, which in turn is in the province of Chieti, in the region of Abruzzo, Italy.

End of story ? Not quite. About 500m from our rented house is a plot of about an acre set on a perfectly-located south-facing slope on which are two ruined houses. Phoenix-like, our new Abruzzo villa rental business, providing holidays for couples, will – tocca ferro – emerge from the rubble in the autumn of 2008.

If this doesn’t sound too convoluted, we wanted to start up a holiday facility where we’d like to go on holiday ourselves. If you, like us, are a couple and have ever wanted to rent a holiday villa, then you, like us, will be familiar with some – or all – of the following:

  • “Sure, we can rent you a villa for two. (Pause). It actually sleeps six, so we’ll have to charge you for six…”
  • The villa for two has the size and comfort level of a garden shed
  • The villa’s great – but so are the other 30 on the complex and there are never quite enough sunbeds round the pool
  • there’s no pool

So we thought it’d be great to have a property in a wonderful holiday location, with purpose-built accommodation providing holidays for couples only. Villas for two. Period. And to keep the whole thing small scale so you don’t have to share your holiday with a cast of thousands. You’ll always, 100% guaranteed, have your own personal sunbed by the pool. 

Casoli - about 4 miles from your holiday villa And Abruzzo ?
It’s a fantastic year-round holiday destination. Our Abruzzo villa rentals lie on the fringes of the Maiella National Park, with its spectacular mountain scenery providing terrific ski, snowboard and other winter sports facilities from December until early Spring; and endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, horse riding and biking for the rest of the year. Away from the Maiella, we’re about 30 minutes away from the beach at Fossacesia which, unlike 99% of the beaches along this strip of the Adriatic, is *free*. Abruzzo’s got old hilltop towns, local history, some superb shopping – especially in Pescara – and endless places to just visit.  And a golf course.

The local food and wine are great; the weather’s fantastic; we’re surrounded by some brilliant places to eat, including the pizzeria of the 2005 World Champion, (yes, there really is a World Pizza Championship); and, perhaps best of all, no mass international tourism !

Sounds good to you ? Us too. That’s why we got in the car and drove to Italy. How we did it is another story…