We are purchasing, below valuation price, a 16th century Palazzo in Nardò, Puglia. Restored it will become a luxury boutique hotel & events venue with 6 rooms & winebar/shop. The Palazzo is structurally sound and is very beautiful. See bit.ly/1i3rSjA for more details and pictures.
Puglia is becoming increasingly popular with sophisticated foreign visitors, and awareness is growing every year. Just in the last couple of months articles have been published in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph and the London Evening Standard.
The Palazzo will fit a current gap in the market in Puglia for luxurious accommodation, with a high level of personal service, at a moderate cost. See http://bit.ly/1i3rSjA for more details
There is currently no other wine bar or wine shop in the town centre and a shortage of restaurants open at lunchtime (we will serve light meals). There is a growing demand for both from the increasing number of foreign visitors and expats, as well as from the locals themselves, based on my market research. The Palazzo will also be a venue for events & a base for special interest holidays– extra guests being accommodated in a neighboring palazzo.
The property is structurally sound and work can be completed within three months. We have detailed quotes for all work and planning permissions and permits have already been obtained. The location is ideal - close to the sea, 45 minutes from the airport, in the historic centre of a beautiful but relatively undeveloped town which is beginning to take off. Lecce, a stopping point for most visitors to Puglia, is 20 minutes away.
I have had 5 years experience of project managing house restorations in Puglia, alongside 15 years in tourism. This includes 4 years of organising specialised holidays within existing hotels, taking over the whole hotel. Whilst in Puglia (the last nine years) I have organized made to measure holidays and events for individual clients and groups. I have also promoted both the region and my town as well as specific villas and hotels. I have written about Italian food, wine & restaurants, organized wine tastings and promoted cantine (wineries) as well as organizing cooking schools. My blog (personalpuglia.wordpress.com) has a readership of over 44,000 and I will also shortly be starting a blog for Palazzo La Rosa. I have good contacts within the U.K press, and am used to generating effective publicity.
I need to raise 1,000,000 in total, to include purchasing the Palazzo, restoring and furnishing it. In the first instance I need to raise 70,000 euros to complete the first stage, or the compromesso which locks in the sale (I have already paid 5000 for an option on the property, and a further five on research, planning permission etc). I have published the business plan and financials on two venture capital/business angel websites and had a lot of interest, but am getting frustrated as many investors (understandably) want to take over the project completely or for me to have substantial assets. The most recent investor promised the whole amount, signed an investment offer and then turned out to not be who he said he was, and failed the bank money laundering checks. While I am glad that I didn't end up the recipient of drugs money or worse, this was the final straw!
So I have decided to try crowd funding, as I would love to involve people who, like me, are passionate about good food and wine, Italy and even, possibly, who already love Puglia. If you have more than 500 euros spare, and would like to offer a loan over 3--5 years (secured against the property and with a good return) then do email me (email@example.com), and I can send you details. Otherwise, contributions of 10-499 euros would be gratefully received here! In return I am very happy to offer rewards, from discounts on stays and mail order wine, to free wine or even, if you get your friends to contribute as well, the chance to have exclusive use of the Palazzo for a private party!