Twenty-five years ago in California my wife and I first heard the word “Montisi”. We have been discovering it ever since: first in the 1990’s as occasional renters of a beautiful farmhouse; then, in 2001 as owners of a centuries-old house in the historic center of the village; now, for the past 5 years as full-time residents.

Like a jealous lover, I am reluctant to share Montisi. Yet, at the same time, like a boastful parent, I am eager to brag about it.

Montisi is both real and unreal. Its reality is that all of nearly four hundred villagers have real lives: births and deaths, marriages and break ups, friendships and rivalries, health and illness, successes and failures, joy and sorrow. In other words, real people doing real things from the mundane to the extraordinary.

The “unreality” of Montisi is that there is nowhere else on the planet that I would rather live. I never thought I would ever be able to say that about any place anywhere. It took a village, this exceptional village, to make me feel truly at home.

The people, traditions, family centric values, culture, new friends, architecture, civic pride, vistas, food, wine, olive oil, pace of life, natural and man-made beauty and much more all combine to make Montisi our personal paradise.

Anon July 2015