Monday, January 30, 2006

What the papers say...

From The Mail on Sunday, of 13th November 2005 by Sebastian O’Kelly – Part 2 of 2

“......Needless to say, it’s also up for sale, in whole or in part, though if anyone wants the entire complex the price would be about €5 million.
“It’s probably a bit much for us at our age and although it’s fun to meet lots of diffrent people, we would certainly be open to any offers”, says Tunstill.
Since he arrived in Umbria, he has sold nearly 250 rustic houses and pictoresque ruins, restored 75 more, and sits on a portfolio of ten of his own which he will restore and sell – and which will fund his retirement.
Moving into the boutique B&B busiùiness, which is increasingly popular with the influx of American visitors to central Itlay, was something of an accident, but not the first for the Tunstills.
“We had not meant to sell our first house, which we loved, but when the English doctor next door offered me a ridiculos amount of money for our section of the farmhouse, we reached for the suitcase and were out of there within a week!”
For more than a decade he owned a small shop nera the Imperial war Museum selling his own hand made lead soldiers. It’s a business that is still going strong, and in the basement of la Preghiera is a small museum, free to visitors, of toy soldiers from around the world, along with curios dating from as farbackas Roman times, that have turned up in the properties Tunstill has restored over the years.
There is an undeniable streak of fantasy to Tunstill that accounts for his succes in business – itself the subject of plenty of envious gossip among the poorer expats of Umbria. Along with the lead soldiers, he has built up a business selling old italian postcards that he buys up for virtually nothing in britain and sells on his website, , to italian collectors for between €20 for a street scene of Edwardian florence to €185 for one showing a handshake between Mussolini and Hitler.
He also putting together a collection of books, , juxtaposing street scnes in famous British films with photographs of what they look like now.”