We got to know Olga and Alex when we bought Rocca di Benano in 2008 and they came on as our caretakers. In short order, they became so much more. They’re now the trusted managers we rely on to make the business run. More than that, though, they’re dear friends.
It would be impossible to run an Italian rental villa from Cincinnati without lots of help. Throughout the year, on Monday mornings (afternoon in Italy), Olga and I fire up Skype and catch up on mundane things like house repairs and maintenance; vexing utilities bills; and news from the village. I look forward to these calls, which are even better when Alex drops by to say hello. It’s a connection to long-distance “family” that I cherish.
Once the rental season starts, our communications multiply because we have guests to fuss over, each with their own needs and desires for the perfect Italian vacation. Here’s where Alex and Olga really show off how good they are. They welcome our guests when they arrive, but only after having stocked the house with specific groceries that each incoming group or family requests. They make restaurant reservations, have retrieved lost guests, and have rescued locked-out guests (even in the middle of the night). Alex grills an occasional dinner on the terrace and Olga sometimes stops by with a baked goodie. They find and return items left behind including, incredibly, a diamond stud earring that a group of guests had searched for over several days but couldn’t find. Most important, they help our neighbors understand our guests and our guests understand our neighbors.
They both grew up in Moldova and came to Italy, separately, 16 years ago. They met in Turin, after they had each been in Italy for a year. It was love at first sight for Olga, and it didn’t take long for Alex to catch up. Together they have created a comfortable, productive, and love-filled life in Italy. They both speak Italian, Romanian, and Russian. Olga is an Italian citizen, and Alex is working on it. Alex speaks English, and Olga is working on that.
They work hard. In addition to managing Rocca di Benano, they’re the caretakers of another beautiful villa owned by our good friends Jeff and Robin, who introduced us to Alex and Olga. Alex also works at our favorite agriturismo, Pulicaro, and Olga is working on a Masters degree in Philosophy and Spirituality. They live about 10 minutes from Benano in a cozy house that sparkles with warmth. If you happen to be exploring nearby Torre Alfina, you may just run into them.
They cherish visits with their families, who are scattered all over the world. We are blessed to be part of that extended family. They take wonderful care of us and shower us with kindness and affection. And they take care of our Italian rental villa business by treating our guests as family, too.
We can’t wait for you to meet them!