Can I come to help build it? No sir, buying anything in that region is ooof. My OH and I were talking yesterday (camping is not far from her secondary school in Giubiasco) and apart from the family mafia (worse than the criminal version) on both sides of the border the notion of affording to live there is off the map.
Funnily enough, I was putting the whole thing to an old friend in Cambridge last night. We were college contemporaries in the Cambrdige sense, he doing music though. He is now a musicologist but still there in Cantab. He is also French with an American wife. He never came back here to live and I doubt he will ever move away from the Grantchester academic ghetto now. His thoughts are similar though if he ever did. His wife is in the music business too, an expert on opera. So music is always part of it. He was saying that French music is terrible, very few people ever sing well, popular music tolerates whatever which is why young fans listen to so much Anglophone music. Italy, on the other hand, he said has someone exceptional in just about every family. He is a great rock fan and we actually went to see Zucchero together near Firenze once. Gianna Nannini did some duets with him and an unannounced solo set. He reminded me of that and said when has France produced rock singers of that calibre who could beinternationallu successful. So, as long as they could be within a shout of Milano for La Scala and the rock venues he would choose Italy too. Apparently he was invited to a reception at No 10 by Jum Callaghan in honour of Giscard d'Estaing and both he and his OH said that French music would be the main reason for them never living in France and Giscard said something about 'what about Boulez'. My friend asked if he meant the chap whose music is played in shopping centres as background sound? On reflection, thought about the music and get cutting those trees I'll be there in a minute! ;)