Readers currently writhing on the house-buying rack should perhaps
praise the Lord that, unlike Price Waterhouse’s Jeremy Wyatt, their
purchase is unlikely to require papal dispensation.
Wyatt, PW’s European director of corporate communications, and his wife
Jennie have just forked out the lira for a 13th century pile in
However, as the site includes a chapel, the Vatican has the right to
block the sale within 60 days.
Speaking to Wyatt on day 15, he was quite sanguine about his chances of
a papal blessing. ’It’s highly unlikely Rome will want to buy it,’ he
tells me. ’After all, they have got quite a few churches and chapels
around that way.’
Even if the Wyatts do get the go-ahead next month, they are unlikely to
spend much time sipping Chianti a casa this year.
’It really is a ruin: even with a fair wind, it will take us a year to
rebuild it,’ says Wyatt. ’The house was bombed by the British in the war
and hasn’t been lived in for 60 or 70 years. Parts of it have been
pulled down, because it’s unsafe. There are bits of floor sticking up in
the air and beams hanging down.
’Indeed, after we signed the deed of transfer, the notary, who
apparently couldn’t speak a word of English, turned to me and said - in
perfect English - ’You’re a very brave man’.’