Sunday, 23 December 2018

The Dalarö House

The days before Christmas we received the keys to our new house on Dalarö in the Stockholm archipelago, located a convenient 30 min drive from Stockholm city. This amazing little house will be our new Swedish base.

We moved into our new house and got it operational just in time for Christmas

Even though the house is new to us it’s certainly not a new house. It was built in 1809 and is actually one of the oldest houses on Dalarö. Our house used to be the main building of a big agricultural property on Dalarö and has seen centuries and families pass by, just imagine the stories this house could tell! Our house is featured in several books, paintings and historical documentations.

Here our house is featured in a painting from the late 19th century. In 1927 the canal was build in front of our house (where the road is in this painting)

After buying and moving into houses all over the world we are pretty good when it comes to re-locating logistics and after only three days our house was operational, decorated and we could enjoy a Swedish Christmas for the first time in 13 years or so.

On December 20 the moving company and several furniture orders arrived and in the evening of the 23rd we were enjoying a cosy fire by the Christmas tree.

The kitchen is quite spacious and was renovated a few years ago by the previous owners in a country style true to the original character of the house.

The dining room is only missing some paintings on the walls.

A cosy veranda with views over the ocean.

The living room

The study

The Swedish home office

Our master bedroom

A reading corner and ocean view from the master bedroom

One of the guest rooms

The jetty a few steps from the house where we will go for morning swims. We are also co-owners of a stunning beach where we and our neighbours have additional jetties and a marina.

Dalarö is such an amazing little town with scenic walks, beautiful nature, stunning wooden villas and a very lively little community. There are 4-5 restaurants, several cafes and charming little shops. We will love it here.

The beach walk on Dalarö

Ocean front location

Small shops on the main street

One of the restaurants

The local grocery store is located in this charming building

The little castle Smådalarö Gård features an excellent restaurant where we enjoyed a seafood Christmas dinner

This is the beach that we are co-owners of together with our neighbours, just imagine it in summer time!

Our jetty

Cicero seems to like the long walks here but he misses the warm weather in Italy and Morocco,

Nordic light and Dalarö sunsets

This view!

And this is what Dalarö looks like in summer time (the stunning beach is co-owned by us and our neighbours)

We are very happy with our new little house and the charming Dalarö community!

It has sure been exotic to be back in Sweden for Christmas and experience the snow and stunning landscapes but it is cold and dark (part of the reasons why we re-located to Morocco/Italy). We will celebrate new year here but then it’s time to head back to Italy and Morocco for some Red City PR projects. Sweden is best experienced in summer time!

Snowy winter greetings from Sweden!

Wishing all of you a festive New Year and lots of love and magic in 2019!

Monday, 10 December 2018

A Day in Italy (in photos)

One of the most asked question we get from family, friends and complete strangers is "what does an ordinary day look like in Italy (or in Marrakech)?" The obvious answer is that there aren´t really any ordinary days in our lives anymore. In the previous blog post we wrote about what it´s like living in Italy (it’s pretty great!) and now it’s time to share in photos what a day could look like here in our medieval hilltop town south of Rome. Come join us for a day in Italy!

07:00 Waking up in our townhouse to this spectacular view over Arpino

07:30 Morning walk with Cicero and a cappuccino in one of the coffee shop around the piazza

08:00 Working on different Red City PR projects from the terrace with this view. Taking some Skype meetings with clients as well as our team in Marrakech.

11:00 Taking a beautiful 10 km run in the hills around Arpino. 

13:00 Driving into Rome for business meetings, lunch and some shopping

13:30 Lunch meeting with a client at iconic Hotel d'Inghilterra in Rome to plan some exciting new Red City PR projects in Italy.

16:00 Back in Arpino and going for a long walk with Cicero including playing with some local dogs.

17:00 Patrick is working on some digital projects for our Red City PR clients while Per is having a board meeting via Skype.

18:30 Continuing to do some work while enjoying a stunning Arpino sunset from our terrace and maybe also an apertivo.

19:00 Getting the Christmas tree ready at Casa Colle

20:00 Checking out the Christmas decorations in Arpino on our way to dinner.

20:30 Attending a fun dinner in a stunning palazzo belonging to a friend.

21:00 Good times with friend and neighbour Annie.

23:30 Evening walk with Cicero in our street.

24:00 Lights out after another day in Aprino, Italy.

We really enjoy the Italian lifestyle and our days here in Arpino are filled with beautiful nature, great food, nice friends and we also somehow manage to get a lot of work done. December has been beautiful with sunny days and temperatures around 20-22c. Now it is soon time to head to Sweden and the cold for a couple of weeks and get our new Swedish base at Dalarö operational but we will soon return to Arpino and our little townhouse Casa Colle.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Living in Italy

We divide our time, life and work between our homes in Morocco, Sweden and Italy. In previous blog post we discussed what it is like living in Morocco (HERE!) and now it’s time to give same reflections about Italy.

Italian lifestyle

Two years ago we moved into Casa Colle, our 18th century townhouse in the medieval hilltop town Arpino, south of Rome. We had bought this charming house with stunning views some 6 months earlier and spent half a year renovating it with our very skilled builder Claudio and his team bringing this stone house back to it’s former glory.

Beautiful Arpino

We soon realized how much we loved our charming new home town Arpino and quickly made many new friends in this thriving Italian little town where there always is something going on: food festivals, wine festivals, harvest festivals, concerts, DJ:s, dancing, competitions, fireworks, literature and film events - you name it!

Our townhouse Casa Colle

Our home in Italy was really just meant to be a weekend home with easy access from both Morocco and Sweden but we found ourselves spending as much time as we could in Arpino since it’s both so charming and a great place for us to work undisturbed. Arpino is also the perfect location to explore Italy with an amazing coast line including Amalfi and Capri as well the stunning Abruzzo national park just around the corner. A one and a half hour drive takes you to either Rome or Naples. We kept returning and allocating more time to Italy than originally planned.

The spectacular sunset views from our terrace

Now after having a house in Arpino for two years we can really say that Italy and the Italian lifestyle are a big and natural part of our lives. So, what is like to live (partly) in Italy and why should you settle down here?

Amazing weather, enjoying sunny lunches outside in December

Why Italy?
Honestly, what’s not to love about Italy? Italy has it all! Here you find amazing food and wine, lots of culture, history and art, cool fashion, fast sports car, great Mediterranean weather, beautiful men and women who love to flirt and a relaxed lifestyle. La Dolce Vita is easy here. For us the main reason, apart from a very long and passionate love affair with Italy and everything Italian, was the location. Italy, and especially Rome, is perfectly situated between our homes in Morocco and Sweden with daily direct flights that only take 3 hours. We can actually have breakfast in Italy, fly back to Marrakech for business meetings and be back in Rome in time for apéritivo in the evening. Italy is also the perfect middle way in terms of culture and lifestyle between the strict and minimalistic Sweden and the hedonistic, colorful and sometimes crazy Morocco. So we decided to get a house in Italy, draw a one hour circle around Rome airport and that’s how we found Arpino, our Italian base.

The Italian food!

The Italian wines!

The best with living in Italy

  • The food! From fine dining to street food pizza, all you put in your mouth is divine!
  • The wine! There really aren’t any bad wines in Italy.
  • Almost all you eat and drink is organically and locally produced and of the highest possible quality.
  • The weather! Sunny and warm summers followed by sunny and mild winters.
  • Culture and history is present wherever you go and wherever you look.
  • The lifestyle! Italians have a very positive attitude to life and are always ready to enjoy a good time.
  • The local community, friendly people and a sense of belonging. Taking our evening walks we are almost always invited to spontanous dinners, drinks or parties going on in our neighborhood.
  • High quality in all aspects of life.
  • Very pet friendly country. Italians love dogs and dogs are welcome everywhere including the supermarket.

Cicero is always welcome to join us to restaurants, hotels or the supermarket

The challenges of living in Italy:

  • The bureaucracy (it took us 2 years to buy a small plot of land used by no one in front of our house).
  • The old school utilities (you need both gas, electricity and water tanks to get your house operational and it takes time to get it all installed).
  • Lack of digital progress (this is a very low tech country where you may buy stuff online but it would in the end have been quicker to get it at the store and wifi is not always a certainty).
  • The crazy political climate (Italians seem to care more about who is major in their own town than who runs the country and this sure is a mess).
  • Traffic can be crazy and (correct) road signs is unheard of.
  • Earthquakes are a big problem in many parts of Italy.
Overall Italy has been a 100% positive experience and Italy keeps getting better and better the more time we spend here.

Ciao and arrivederci!