American home buyers Italy

Americans Home Buyers in

Guardia Sanframondi, Italy




set off real estate hear/heard/heard
native find out buy/bought/bought
doubt shake up find/found/found
crazy shake (2) immediately
ceiling majority freeze/froze/frozen (2)
afford luck out auto-body shop
budget additive bring/brought/brought
mark contrast see/saw/seen
price hospitality drive/drove/driven (2)
local attraction lead/led/led
mat chance welcome mat (2)
mingle hunt (2) resentment
revel generous find/found/found (2)
belie radical (2) accommodating
restore prospect depressed (2)
hope presence drive up (2)
abroad influence understand/understood/understood
urban convince put/put/put
influx area (3) interpreter
allow grant (2) rejuvenate
ensure mistake win/won/won (2)
gem add (2) preservation
grace archway hide/hid/hidden
fresco reverse come back
alter crumble lead/led/led (2)
gentle hillside think/thought/thought
glance at first glance (2)






A hundred-and-fifty (150) years before an Italian bumped into North America, a house was built in the village of Guardia Sanframondi.

Nestled under the imposing walls of the commanding castle, the house and its neighbors survived earthquakes and the ravages of time.

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More than five hundred years after Christopher Columbus set off, an American woman heard on a popular TV real estate show that she could buy a house in Italy for as little as fifteen-thousand dollars ($15,000).

TV Presenter: “Find out, when House Hunters International shakes up Guardia Sanframondi, Italy.”

And I immediately started googling the town. My friends thought I was crazy. I never doubted it a second. I was so sure that I was going to be living here.”

So Carlo Roberts bought a plane ticket and did a kind of Columbus in reverse.

She looked at thirteen houses in two days. And then . . .

Carlo Roberts, American Home Buyer: “Walked into this one, started walking over here — and I just froze. And I burst out crying. I said, ‘Oh my god. This is my house.’ I still get emotional saying this. I kept saying, ‘Oh my god. This is my house.’”

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In the past three years, some ninety foreigners, the majority of them Americans, have had similar, if not quite so emotional experiences here.

Glen Gengburup, a retired auto-body shop owner from upstate New York, saw the same House Hunter TV show that brought Carlo here.

Glen Gengsburup, Home Buyer: “So we lucked out. We got a little place, very inexpensively. Something we could afford on a beer budget.”
Journalist: “Fine wine, new lifestyle on a beer budget?”
Glen Gengsburup, Home Buyer: “A fine wine with no additives.”

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And in a marked contrast to other places in Italy where foreign buyers have driven prices up, and led to resentment by local residents, the welcome mat is very much out here.

The weekly Sunday market is a chance to mingle with the locals and revel in the new experience of shopping for fresh from the land fruits and vegetables, a big attraction for Florida native, Courtney McCraney who bought a house here with her mother.

Journalist: “How do you find them? How do people here treat you?”
Courtney McCraney, Home buyer: “Oh, they’re wonderful! Everyone’s so friendly, everyone’s so nice. They’re all very generous and accommodating.”

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The hospitality belies the fact that this part of Italy is economically depressed with little prospect of change.

“I think they’ve made a huge mistake,” pensioner Louris Cervo says of the foreign community. There’s nothing here. You can live quietly, but that’s it.”

Linda Garafino, who left Guardia years ago to become an interpreter, and now hopes to come back to live, disagrees.

Linda Garafino, Native Guardian: “The influence of people coming from abroad is going to keep the local culture alive. Because what the locals don’t understand is that when you have your young people leave, you kill the local culture.”

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In fact the migration of young people to urban areas put Guardia on the road to slow death.

The influx of foreigners has convinced Mayor Floriano Panza he can reverse that in five years.

Floriano Panza, Mayor Guardia Sanframondi: “The presence of many talented foreigners we can say will allow me to move faster, he says, and adds he hopes will rejuvenate the tourism industry.

It’s already helped the town win a one-and-a-half million dollar ($1.5 million) grant to restore the historical center, which will ensure the preservation of little hidden gems, like this ancient fresco gracing the ceiling of an archway.

Half of the crumbling complex it leads to bought by an American for fifty-thousand dollars ($50,000).

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What no one wants is to radically alter the gentle, friendly lifestyle that has been part of this hillside town since the sixth century.

Carlo Roberts, Home Buyer: “I think my front door is older than America.”

Add that to the fact that you can walk the streets in perfect safety at any time, and what more reason do you need for doing something that at first glance might seem completely crazy.

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Farm, Country. Carlo Roberts first heard about houses for sale in Italy from a friend who had visited Italy. True or false?

Village, Rural Community. Did all her friends support her? Was she hesitant?

Town. Did Carlo do a meticulous analysis of her current house, or was it love at first sight?

City, Urban Area. Most of the home buyers in Guardia Sanframondi, Italy have been rich Arabs, Chinese and Russians. Is this right or wrong?

City Center, Downtown. Are the houses in Italy cheap, medium-priced, expensive, or very expensive?

Plaza, City Square. The locals are very xenophobic and resentful of the Americans. Is this correct or incorrect?

District, Quarter. Is Guardia Sanframondi very wealthy and highly developed in terms of industry, finance, commerce, tourism and high-tech?

Suburbs, Outskirts. Describe the demographics of Guardia Sanframondi. Has it been steady or has it been changing?

Metropolitan Area. Are the foreign residents a drain or an asset to the local economy?

Cottage. Are the Americans newcomers helping to preserve the local culture and way of life, or “Americanize” it?
Family Home. There are many old, shrinking or abandoned villages and towns in my country. Is this correct or incorrect?

Apartment, Flat. Has it always been like this? Why are there shrinking or abandoned towns and villages?

Apartment building, Apartment complex. How do people feel about this? What do people think of this situation? Are they glad? They don’t care? They think it’s a tragedy, or a mix of the above?

Mansion, Manor. Are there any solutions? Should people and governments do anything?

Castle. My friends and I would like to live in a village (in Italy or elsewhere). Yes or no?

Palace. What might happen in the future?

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