Emigrate to Italy, do you dare?

Who doesn't want to emigrate to the dolce vita in Italy! It is a dream that many people have. And when our guests hear our story, they often sigh that too she dreams of emigrating to beautiful Italy, but it never happened.
Below I share a few motives for wanting to emigrate to Italy and between the lines I give you an insight into how that went for us. Finally, I give you a few tips to make your dream come true

Why emigrate to Italy

You want something different with your life

Emigrate to Italy because you want something different with your life

Years ago, a couple of around fifty stayed with us at Polmone Turismo Verde. Both a very good job in the Netherlands, but also both a dream to live and work in Italy. It was just too early for them to materialize their plans, after all they had very interesting work and they had only taken this long holiday (3 weeks Polmone) because it had been very busy and hectic in their last year. work.

Not long after that summer vacation, I heard through the phone that he had suddenly resigned after a few weeks of work. It turned out that after coming to himself completely on Polmone, he realized that he was immediately experiencing stress again in his work. He just didn't want that anymore. He felt it in his body. He noticed it in his actions. The seed that was planted during his stay on Polmone, namely that you can experience peace in all the fibers of your body, he had to do something with that.

To cut a long story short, they both resigned and moved to Italy for a while before concluding that their destination was in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, they have started organizing their work very differently and are completely back in place.

You don't want to work for a boss anymore

If, like us, you quit your job and take the step to start your own company and thus no longer want to work for a boss, then there will be a challenge. After all, you have to generate your own income.

The dream that most people have when emigrating to Italy is still enjoying the beautiful weather, the fantastic Italian cuisine, the delicious wines, integrating into Italian society and becoming friends with real Italians!
Things have gone a little different for us. Certainly, the weather is often much nicer here than in the Netherlands. We have blue skies much more often and see the sun much more often.

Emigrating to Italy because you no longer want to work for a boss

But it is rare that we take the time to sit in the sun. There is always something to do because we try to do everything ourselves as much as possible. And those activities range from doing odd jobs, maintaining the garden, cleaning, washing, ironing, repairs and maintenance, behind the computer, building your own site, doing the marketing, finances and so on. Especially in the early years we had to pull out all the stops to make it.

But that has never been a problem for us because we knew what we were doing it for! We meet so many nice people and have all the freedom of the world in a fantastic place. In those circumstances you can leave a lot and also a lot!

You want more time for each other

Of course we also watch all those fun programs on TV about leaving abroad. Invariably, people make the choice to go abroad so that they will have more time for each other and for their children. They want to leave the busy life in the Netherlands behind and are looking for an idyllic place. And then most people start a bed and breakfast! They like to spoil guests with delicious breakfasts and often they also provide a pleasant evening meal! The program then shows them again when they have been working on it for a while. The new entrepreneurs love it in their new country and do not regret their decision. They work harder than ever! The children enjoy themselves with the children of guests during the summer holidays, but their parents have not had time for them. Hopefully, they say, it will get better in the coming years!

We are so glad we didn't start a bed and breakfast in Italy

Nico and I look at each other and are so very happy that we have made the choice not to start a bed and breakfast, but simply rent apartments to our guests! Apartments where everyone can go their own way because there is their own kitchen and everyone has their own privacy. Most people who come here stay for at least a week, so the change work like

we only have cleaning, washing and ironing once a week and often even less because many of our guests stay at Polmone for more than a week. But I think our situation is not comparable to all those I-departure stories. After all, we continued to work in the Netherlands for the first 10 years. And when the rental of Polmone Turismo Verde started, we only made the choice to emigrate to Italy. It continues to jump deep, but we knew that we would have enough time for each other.

You will soon be retired and you still want everything

When we started our adventure, we thought there would be no old age pension by the time we retired. No problem, we thought, because with the rental of our 4 apartments on Polmone Turismo Verde we could easily provide for our own income. We wouldn't depend on anything like that and you could easily continue until you were eighty, we thought ...

The ideal life suddenly changes!

The reality was different. At the age of 55, Nico developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia and almost never got off the couch. He was so tired. Well, then suddenly that ideal life in Italy is completely different! We were faced with the choice of whether or not to continue. The fact that we still run Polmone Turismo Verde says it all! We are now 16 years further and Nico is already retired for a while.

He still has little energy, but because he is retired we can now afford to call in help with all work. And so we can still enjoy the fantastic place that Polmone is used to. And we are still in the happy circumstances that we can receive our guests here and make them feel comfortable during their holiday.

But you also know by now that we are going to stop doing it anyway. We do not want to end up in the situation where we have to tell our guests that it is no longer possible and that their holiday here will look a little different or may not go on at all. That is why we sold Polmone and we will start working with the future owners in 2022 to give them a good start. And maybe you as a reader feel it now, but you will soon be retired too. Take an example from us. Are you far from ready for the life of a retiree and do you still want everything? It is still possible, even if you are a bit older, to emigrate to Italy!

Tips to make your dream come true

Viable plan

We just want to inform you that the success of your emigration to Italy depends on making a good, viable plan that suits you, your financial possibilities, your limitations and of course your capacities. Prepare well! Know what you love! Choose the region where you first feel at home and where you think you can also generate enough income. And choose what you want to do! Do you want to work with guests? What kind of guests would you like to have? What does your ideal guest look like and fits in the region you have chosen? And what do you want to do? What type of accommodation do you want and what rules should you follow? Do you want to do something different? Ask for the possibilities! And if you just want to enjoy the dolce vita, choose a location where that is possible or arrange it so that the work that is to be done is done by someone else. Or you like to mess around. Then choose a location where you can renovate or do everything in the garden. In short, stay close to yourself and do not underestimate the step you want to take.

Emigrating to Italy meant starting with refurbishing a ruin for us

Frankly, I have to laugh a little bit at myself when I think about how we started! We knew nothing, did not speak the language and had no idea about all the rules. All we knew was that we could buy the ruined Polmone and that the refurbishment should be successful with the mortgage we could get. We were lucky that in the early years before 100% we could fall back on friends who live nearby and everything we wanted was literally just a success!

Dare to take the step

It really stands or falls with daring to take the step to emigrate. If you then come a little closer to your goal with small steps, you will eventually succeed. I can't say it often enough. Dare to make a decision! The decision may also be to not emigrate. And if you make the decision to do it, you can always decide to go back later! Nothing is forever. But make up your mind now and start working to realize your dream!

It took us 10 years to actually do so from the decision to emigrate. And in those 10 years a lot has happened. The ruin Polmone has become a restored farm Polmone with 4 large guest houses! At that time we built a house for ourselves on the same site. Entirely in authentic Umbrian style.
And in those 10 years, we have worked hard to build a clientele. With that certainty we could make the decision to actually live on Polmone, because you have to be able to live on something.

Learn Italian

Learn the language if you want to emigrate to Italy

The first months that I actually lived in Umbria, I traveled every day, from Monday to Friday, from Polmone to Perugia to learn the Italian language there. At that time I took a 3-month Italian course 3 times at the university for foreigners in Perugia. Yes, it was hard. And no, I did not live the dolce vita as we are pictured in films. Every morning I got up at 6am to be at the university for foreigners at 8:30. First by car to Marsciano and then with the slow train to Perugia and from there a short walk.

But it was fun! I met many other foreigners there. People from all over the world who came to learn Italian there. A beautiful time! And above all very useful. After all, it is very useful to be able to arrange things yourself instead of having to depend on a girlfriend. But it was quite difficult in the beginning. I remember well that I had to call the telephone company or the electricity company, for example. That went with the sweat on my upper lip! And the operator often spoke so quickly that I did not hear what he / she was saying.
But gradually it went better and now I speak it better than English, German or French!

You are not going to emigrate to Italy

But do you want to go on holiday to our special place in Umbria? We are still there all year round to ensure that you also make beautiful memories for life during your holiday on Polmone!
Check here if there is an apartment available for you and book now! It's our last year!

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  1. Beautiful and honest story Roos.

  2. Ard Koeleman

    Dear Roos and Nico,
    I read the emigration story with great interest, also the part of the 2 guests.
    Let me introduce myself briefly, my name is Ard Koeleman, 50 years old, living in Rijswijk near The Hague, I am a structural engineer and I have a small contracting company. My wife is Italian and teaches Italian at a language school, her name is Francesca Aguglia (47 years old and raised in Trieste) and we have 2 daughters aged 14 and 10. We have had a house in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Friuli) for years. I speak, for a (never permanently lived in Italia) Dutchman, fairly reasonable Italian and thanks to my wife I also have an Italian passport, codice fiscal etc.
    I took over the contracting company from my father and I also worked with him for more than 20 years, but 5 years ago my father died at the age of 71. After his death, the sense in the company slowly declined and the will to do something else (emigrate?) Increased.
    You are a good example that emigrating and doing something completely different is also possible later in life. I know Umbria less well but in the photos it is a very nice place where the accommodation is and it is completely finished to receive guests.
    If the distance from Lignano was less (about 500 km), I would definitely come and have a look. We have had thoughts of starting something similar but we are not bed and breakfast types at all so your accommodation would suit us better with just renting the apartments. Given that you have the plan to start selling, I will let my thoughts go.
    For now, thanks for the story and success with the rental and perhaps sale.
    Take care.
    Ard Koeleman

  3. Dear Rose and Nico

    What a beautiful story to read.
    It is indeed not a fairy tale that many people believe in. There is also a lot of hard work to be done in Italy, it is not just “dolce far niente”.
    You must speak the language, especially not have 2 left hands and be prepared to go along with the lifestyle of the Italians.
    We are about to emigrate.
    We canceled the lease of our restaurant after 20 years and took the step. We have had a house in Romagna for 6 years, which we have partially renovated during that time and have been renting it out as a holiday home for 4 years now. We have also decided to continue this way and not to turn it into a B&B. We notice that our guests like to plan their day all by themselves. And that gives us the space to do other work. Living from just the rental will
    are not easy, so Silvester is going to work as a chef again in Italy. That still provides some security and helps with obtaining residence and health insurance.
    And in the future, other activities will be added, including cooking workshops.
    We are also going to take Italian lessons again to pick up the language a bit.
    We are going to spoil our guests in the Netherlands for another 2 months and after that we are really looking forward to doing the same in Italy!
    We wish you a lot of luck for the future and of course the new owners!
    Silvester & Monique

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