If you’ve been having a look around my website you will know that following an extraordinary series of coincidences I turned up in Montisi in June 2010 to look at a potentially beautiful village house which needed to be completely gutted – and Montisi Magica was born as I completed a huge restoration project.
Well that series of coincidences began when I rented a house for a month in the beautiful rolling hills of Southern Tuscany. I had a lunch party one day, inviting several people I met locally and one of them, a delightful Australian girl called Gina took me to Montisi – a village just 9kms away which I hadn’t even heard of!
It was perched on the top of a hill and as we drove down the narrow main street I began to fall in love.
Of course in all Italian villages, the local ‘bar’ is where it all happens, and in ‘Il Barrino’, Gina and I sat down for a delicious morning cappuccino and she introduced me to Liz, an English artist who, by then had lived in the village for about 14 years.
I don’t know if you have ever chatted to someone from your own country when you are away on holiday but of course the first question was, “Where are you from?” I won’t bore you with all the detail but suffice it to say that Liz and I came from the same small village in Cheshire where we had grown up seven houses apart in the same road – Liz at number 15 Harrop Rd and me at number 27 Harrop Rd. We were a few years apart in age and we went to different schools so our paths hadn’t crossed, but I knew her Mum from the local tennis club – what a small world!
Liz had studied Art in the UK and she had come to Tuscany in the mid-90’s to organize painting holidays in Cortona. She had then moved to Montisi where she was working as a landscape artist and giving painting lessons.
I couldn’t wait to tell my children of this extraordinary coincidence and that evening I skyped my son who was living in California. I began to explain what had happened and when I told him about going to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere and meeting ‘Liz Cochrane from Harrop Rd’, he said, “Oh, Mum, that’s no big deal – I met someone from Harrop Rd too at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert 4 years ago – and his name was Cochrane!”
The ‘someone’ he met, with whom he had been friendly for the last four years was Liz’s brother!
What an incredible coincidence!
And that was it! Fate had clearly intervened in my life and the very next day I began looking for a house to buy. I am now very settled in my new life and I am delighted that my guests can enjoy working with Liz.
If you have experienced an extraordinary coincidence do let me know.