Today we offer you with great pleasure the interview with Umberto Masci, one of the many customers who have chosen Great Estate to sell their property. And it is precisely in his farmhouse in Tuscany that Umberto has decided to spend the long lockdown period imposed by the Coronavirus emergency: he tells us the reasons for this choice and his reflections on it…
- Good morning Umberto, please tell us a little about yourself and your life…
Good morning to you all.
I am a sixty-six-year-old man who has had a great privilege in life: that of being able to carry out one of the most interesting and fascinating professions in the world, the flight attendant for our flag carrier: Alitalia.
It was a beautiful job, in contact with people of all nationalities with their uses, customs, and traditions, to discover cities and countries where, from 1982 (date of my hiring) to today, there has been an incredible change. With the advent of globalization we have witnessed the construction of tall skyscrapers and large metropolises, and many places have lost part of their charm from the past.
I have always lived in touch with the public, which has been the lifeblood of my life. The plane was my stage, where sometimes I played the background actor or the protagonist, depending on the role I wanted to play.
I thank God for what life has given me.
In this regard, I am with my partner, Angelo, for 47 years. We live happily together with our kitten Trilly and the latest arrival, Gigetto.
- We know that your usual residence is in Rome and that you own a lovely farmhouse in Tuscany, currently on sale with our group. As we all know, since March our life habits have definitely changed, obviously due to the emergency situation created following the spread of Coronavirus. In this regard, where did you decide to spend the long lockdown period?
In my farmhouse in the countryside! I purchased Podere Valloreci, in the municipality of Trequanda in the province of Siena, in 1995. At that time it was a ruin: there was no water, electricity, telephone, services. In short, it was completely to be restored. It took us two and a half years to make it habitable. Subsequently, over time we have created various and particular corners within the property, in addition to the swimming pool. Now it is our refuge which, during this lockdown period, proved to be absolutely providential.
In fact, Angelo and I live in Rome, exactly in Rione Monti district, in the center of the city. When the Coronavirus emergency broke out I told Angelo to move to the countryside, because I didn’t like the situation ahead. Never my decision was so providential:
we have been living in the countryside for over two months, with the possibility of using the garden and the land surrounding our farmhouse. Once again in my life, I blessed the investment made years ago. It made me understand the importance of the earth and the true quality of life, with the extraordinary possibility of living in the open air … a completely different quality of life than what you can experience living in the city, in an apartment, even if comfortable.
Furthermore, I also managed to stay at home, with all the friends who repeatedly reiterated how fortunate Angelo and I were in being able to live in the countryside and outdoors.
- How do you think you would have spent the lockdown period if you had stayed in a big city, as Rome is?
I honestly believe that I would have gone mad! You could also have a beautiful house, but the idea of living 24 hours a day closed in an apartment is something very different from living in a farmhouse in the countryside.
- So, in your opinion what are the advantages of living in the countryside in such a time? And, touching wood, if a similar situation should happen again, would you once again make the same choice?
In my opinion, this pandemic is making us rediscover the importance of living in the open air with all the benefits that derive from it, without neglecting the work that can and can continue to be carried out safely from home, according to the categories.
Back to your question, my answer is very simple and decisive: in case of an emergency, I would make the choice to move to the countryside without thinking twice!
- During this time spent in Tuscany, what did you have the pleasure of rediscovering together with your partner Angelo?
The happiness of living in the countryside in the open air, appreciating what nature offers us, with its colors, scents, and sounds: in short … the essence of life.
Our farmhouse is located very close to what, years ago, was the location of the unforgettable film The English Patient: the heart of the Val d’Orcia where concerts, cultural events, and food and wine events are organized during the summer.
- So … an experience that made you seriously reflect on the possibility of moving to Tuscany?
We are evaluating the idea of leaving Rome because nothing will be as before. Here we would be able to live with a different rhythm without a doubt, rediscovering ancient values, and returning to earthly things.
Just in response to your question, there is an important aspect that I particularly want to emphasize.
During this Coronavirus emergency period spent in Tuscany, I particularly appreciated how this Region addressed the problem in terms of health care. In fact, like all the other residents in Tuscany, for the entire period related to the emergency, I was able to benefit from the free distribution of the necessary masks.
This is not an insignificant aspect, on the contrary, it confirms once again that Tuscany is one of the first Italian regions in terms of efficiency and quality of the Health Service.
So … one more reason to live here permanently!
- And how do you plan to do with your job? Don’t you think that this transfer to the countryside can represent a significant limit?
The important thing is to get organized! Personally, in this period I continued to work through video-conference, telephone and e-mail: you can survive anything.
- The Coronavirus emergency and the consequent lockdown represented an opportunity for all of us to take some time and to reflect on important values and situations in our lives. We would like to conclude the interview by asking you the big question. In your opinion, when this is all over how do you think our way of life will change and what will be the right place, the best place to live?
These two long months of quarantine have been useful to each of us, making us reflect and understand that life is one and that there are some things that are priceless, such as the luck of living in the countryside, in the open air, focusing on nature and changing one’s lifestyle and human relationships.
I would like to conclude with a very personal reflection: it must be recognized that when God created the world, with some areas he was more generous than with others, and among the former, there is certainly “her”: Tuscany!