While working as the website Manager for a radio station in Bournemouth, Julia met Marcus. After buying a house in Dorset and doing a lot of work on it themselves, they realised they both loved the idea of renovating old houses, particularly stone ones.
In 2003 they bought a stone house in a village by the sea in Greece. In those two years they learnt that “If someone else is able to do something, then so could they”, and set about doing the tiling, plastering etc. themselves. They also offered holiday rental while they were preparing to sell the property.
After selling the house in Greece, they found another stone house outside a village in Istria, Croatia. Once again, they did most of the renovation work themselves, except for new electrics and plumbing. Both properties had thick limestone walls that needed pointing, and stone and wood flooring that needed relaying, as well as bathrooms and kitchens.
An Italian renovation
In 2008 they set out on their biggest challenge yet, when they bought a small Masseria with an olive grove in Puglia, Italy, that had no electric or plumbing and was a total mess. They thought they would buy, renovate and sell again. However, this time they couldn’t think of anywhere else they would rather be and decided to stay.
Through experience and research over the years, Julia has gained immense knowledge of buying, renovating and living in Italy, which she has been exclusively sharing with Property Guides readers, and expats starting a new life in her area of Puglia. Julia’s love of Italy’s history, architecture, culture, traditions and way of life is evident in her writing.
Julia's home in Puglia
Help, my Italian home came with 400 olive trees!
Bougainvillea and local stone: Julia's home