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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Sep-18 > MY LIFE IN TUSCANY


Thom visits his flat in Siena every summer
Image courtesy of Thom Sanders

Thom Sanders, who originally hails from Toronto, Canada, owns a modest one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the historic city of Siena in central Tuscany. He spends two months there himself every summer and offers holiday rentals on the property throughout the rest of the year.

What drew him to Italy, and to Tuscany in particular? “My girlfriend Marcia and I did a big trip across Italy in 2015 and, like so many people, we completely fell in love with the country. Toronto is pretty slick and modern, so all the history and beautiful old buildings of Italy blew us away. We were in Siena for the famous Palio horse race that year, and we had such a fantastic time that I went a bit crazy and started looking for apartments for sale. I’d heard that prices were down at the time and I was convinced that buying would prove a good investment, because prices were sure to start going back up again eventually. It was a great excuse to indulge my sudden passion to buy an apartment in Tuscany! And actually, in retrospect, it wasn’t so crazy after all. The holiday rentals go very well, and I hear that property prices might start rising again in a year or two. “There are quite a few North Americans and northern Europeans with second homes in or near Siena, and I got in touch with a few online to ask their advice before I bought my place. They had all had pretty good experiences with buying and recommended various real estate agents to me. I was lucky that the third property I visited was so obviously the one I wanted. I didn’t even have to update the décor or anything; I liked the place just as it was. I’ve got a living room, bedroom, small bathroom, tiny kitchen and a little balcony. What more do I need? Marcia and I spend lots of time outside when we’re here. We walk the city, sit at cafés and restaurants, drive out into the hills. It’s wonderful. Some of the local ex-pats have become friends now and we often go out to join them for dinner.

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About Italia!

The Dolomites are a popular summer retreat for many Italians. We’ll show you how walking takes precedence over the winter activities we usually associate with this beautiful region. We also visit the secret green spaces of Italy’s cities, perfect oases if you are taking a summer city break. And we visit Matera, a city once known as ‘the shame of Italy’ but now set to become the European Capital of Culture.