From Helpxing to Housesitting in Italy

Montecastelli JWalking

It was all change this week in Montecastelli as we morphed from being Helpxers into Housesitters with our hosts going away on holiday for a week or so. How does that affect us you may ask, well I’ll tell you in just a moment if you can be patient.

The Bride and Groom from Scotland

Last weekend saw another couple of guests at Casa Baldelli when the lovely Meghan and Jarryd arrived for two nights. The reason for their quickfire trip from Glasgow to Italy was that they are getting married in June and have booked the whole place for the ceremony and reception. Exciting huh? They’re originally from South Africa so have a few family members flying up from Capetown but I believe there will only be around 20 of them in total so it’s the perfect number to stay here.

Gilly with Jarryd and Meghan

Most of the weekend was taken up with them checking out the various accommodation and chatting over all things wedding with Gordon and Gilly, our hosts. You know the sort of thing, music and menus and flowers and who goes where etc. Oh and there was a fair bit of wine tasting going on. Some weak excuse about choosing the right wine apparently.

We tried to leave the wedding planners to it as much as possible being just ‘the Helpx staff’ but did all have dinner together on Saturday night. Meghan and Jarryd seemed a lovely couple of honorary jocks and we got on like a house on fire. In fact when we’re in Scotland in a few weeks time we have said we may try and meet up.

Banner Montecastelli

Never-ending Olives

Just how many olive trees are there up here? They seem to go on forever and I spent the next three days pruning and tidying up the olive groves as they needed to be done before our hosts were away on holiday. Knackering work too as the hillside is particularly steep.

Jo spent the same three days planting and bedding in new plants and flowers all over the property. So many new pots kept turning up each day with new locations to be gardened that it also felt like a never-ending job. Luckily both the olives and planting were finished late on Wednesday before the housesitting started.

So many plants and so little time …………..


Helpxing to Housesitting

Gordon and Gilly had asked us to housesit whilst they returned to the UK for 10 days and we were more than pleased to help out. We’ve been walking the two dogs, Lady and Vinnie, quite a lot so it should have been a seamless transition. Every other housesit we’ve done has just been looking after the house and pets but they asked us here if we would continue to work each day as well. More decorating unfortunately but we’ll pace ourselves and do what we can in the time they’re away.


Vinnie enjoying the Umbrian sunshine
Lady resting on this afternoons walk

Here comes the sun

Amazing how different somewhere becomes when the weather changes isn’t it? We have spent the past 6 weeks being pretty cold here but suddenly the hot weather has arrived and the whole place seems completely different. The trees have turned green and the birds are singing and even the muddy paths are less muddy for our daily walks.


So we’re walking the dogs, looking after the house, decorating, doing a whole load of watering, and generally enjoying each others company. Can’t be bad can it? Going to try and watch a few films this week in the evenings as well so if you have any suggestions they will be most welcome. We did watch something called Doubt with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman last night but really wish we hadn’t! Fine critically acclaimed acting maybe but fairly dull. We need some excitement.

Oh, and someone has got a birthday coming up tomorrow too so maybe another trip out in the Red Wrangler to celebrate at our favourite little pizza restaurant. Don’t tell her though……….

15/04 – 20/02/2018


  1. We had thought about house-sitting ourselves in Italy – oh, how romantic it would be! Our own version of Under the Tuscan Sun. But since reading your blog, we’ve decided it’s too much hard work and we will continue to holiday in Italy instead 🙂 We’ll ‘house-sit’ through you two lol
    Just spent 2 weeks in Italy and have to agree the weather has been stunning… we bought it from Australia??;-) Love to you both xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good decision. It’s a load of hard work and you’re much better off relaxing on holiday I think. So pleased you enjoyed Italy, hope Prague is just as good.


  2. Happy birthday Jo, happy St. Georges day and happy back to housesitting. Not surprised you got caught up with the wedding planning. You two are old hands at it now. Did you suggest some of the more outrageous Ringwood ideas?

    Liked by 2 people

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