Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 25, 2013

Leaving Casa Debbio

I have been in Italy since January and it is almost time to go home to Brisbane. Leaving Italy is always difficult and leaving the newly completed Casa Debbio is heart breaking.

Monday night was my last there and as well as cleaning the house from top to bottom, feasting on cherries from our laden tree and watering the new grass one more time, I wandered about taking photos.









The house is completely finished inside. Come for a walk with me from the top floor down.


Second floor.


Ground floor kitchen and living room.


The bad weather meant we didn’t get as much done in the garden as we would have liked, but there has been progress. We have grass beside the house, our flowers are growing (much to the delight of the bees) cherries are ripe, figs are on the way as well as hazelnuts and our vegetable garden.


The barbecue is working.


Our frog fountain is working and his little mate is not far away.


There was a storm nearby last night which left everything sparkling in the soft light.





There was even a little rainbow. What a fitting end to my Casa Debbio stay. We have our first booking for the season. Rosi, Adriano, Filippo and Modesta will be taking care of the house until I come back in October…can’t wait.

Casa Debbio is available for rent. Contact me at if you would like a peaceful mountain retreat for your next holiday.


  1. It all looks beautiful Debbie! I can imagine the peace and quiet you feel when you are there – the mountains really bring you back to yourself. Congratulations!

    • I love being up there…it is so quiet and peaceful and so very beautiful.

  2. Great photos Drebra. You have been very industrious with the path building and getting everything looking pretty well perfect. Love the new path from the BBQ to the well. Your guests should be suitably impressed.

    • I am pleased with the results, but I can’t wait to get back in October and plant more fruit trees and bulbs for next spring.

  3. The pictures are beautiful. You must be sad to leave. You have done wonders with the landscaping. Safe trip back to Oz.

    • I hate to leave, but at least I know I will be back soon.

  4. How beautiful Debra, your own little piece of paradise, thank you for sharing 🙂

    • It is gorgeous up there in Vergemoli. It is a gorgeous village with the nicest people.

  5. What a beautiful cozy house!!

    • It is a lovely house to live in…I will miss it.

  6. Gosh time flies. It’s hard to believe that you arrived there in January … it only seems like a couple of months ago. The house looks absolutely lovely as does the garden. Bon Voyage!

    • I can’t believe I have been here more than 5 months. Time goes too quickly.

  7. It really lookks gorgeous, Debra. You put so much effort into it, but it shows! Congratulations!
    PS I can see the clock….

    • The clock fits perfectly in the house…thank you!

  8. This is a huge credit to both you and Jim and the team who worked on the house. You have magnificent style Deb and have carried out this rebuild in the most authentic and stylish way. Well incannot wait to see it. Though this year I am in Patis and Croatia so will just rely on your blogs. Travel home safe and I will see you late July. Di

    • I am happy with the way the house has turned out…2 years of work by a lot of people.

  9. The house is positively beautiful. You must be feeling so proud of your labor of love. Safe travels back to Brisbane. I know Bagni di Lucca will miss you. I saw the glowing article about you in the local paper. Hope our paths cross one day. We will be arriving in a few weeks.
    Best wishes for now!

    • Thank you. Perhaps we will meet later in the year. I will be back in October.

  10. I know the feeling you must have, every time we leave our house in Tasmania after adding our touches, working on the garden it is heart wrenching and we cannot wait to return also. Why am I not surprised to see the green umbrella in the garden, all looks wonderful Deb and look forward to seeing you soon, we arrived back yesterday.

    • The umbrella had to be green! I hate to leave but I am also looking forward to some Brisbane time. I will be back next week.

  11. Deb, such a beautiful home in the mountains you’ve built. It’s been an honour to follow the process from start to finish. Have a good trip home (but I bet you can’t wait until October!).. xx

    • I am looking forward to being back in Australia. I have been away for a long time, but yes, I am already planning my next trip to BdL.

  12. Just beautiful, all your hard work has paid off. Welcome home, see you soon.

    • I am really happy with the house. I remember when it was just a pile of rocks.

  13. It takes my breath away. Just gorgeous

    • You will have to visit when you come to Italy next time.

  14. Looks lovely Deb

    • It has come up well hasn’t it?

  15. I can vouch for that BBQ working….. Its a ripper and works like a dream. Pitty someone forgot to bring me the leftover pork sausages the following days. Worse even that the home made terramasu was chucked away! But you guys have a most ovely home there. That is for sure!

    • You were the first to use the barbecue and I don’t have a photo of you standing in the rain with your umbrella. I can see you are never going to forgive me for the sausages and tiramisu. I promise you more when you come back.

  16. Debra, your house is stunning!

    • Thank you, it has been a lot of work by a lot of people.

  17. Wow amazing Debra you should pat yourself on the back.. Looks very invitIng great retreat for when you get back. Take care x x

    • It is a beautiful, quiet mountain retreat…very difficult to leave.

  18. What a beautiful house and what lovely photos. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me away from a place like that!

    • I love my life in Australia too, or I could never leave.

  19. You have an amazing beautiful house Debra. What a huge achievement. This must be the hardest goodbye for quite a while. I am thinking of you. Safe trip back. xx

    • It was very difficult for me to close the chestnut doors for the last time, but I will be back soon enough. I hope you can come to stay with me in the house one day.

      • That’s an invitation too wonderful to contemplate. I will do my best! See you in Melbourne soon I hope.

  20. so beautiful… Thank you dear, love, nia

    • We love it up there in the mountains.

  21. Fabulous job on the house! Congratulations and good luck with it as a rental. Safe journey back to Brisbane!

    • I’m sure others will love Casa Debbio as much as I do.

  22. So much to like, where to start, but I love the frogs, they must make you smile.

    • Wasn’t I lucky to find 2 such lovely frogs??

  23. congratulation Debra, it is a wonderful place

    • When I come back you must come and I will cook lunch for you for a change.

  24. Reblogged this on Casa Debbio – our house in Tuscany.

  25. BELLA ITALIA…… have done GOOD!

  26. I’d never be able to tear myself away!!!

    • It is with great difficulty that I have closed the house. I will be back in 3 months.

  27. It’s absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on your finished house! 😀

    • We are delighted with the result of lots of hard work.

  28. the house looks lovely pity i’m not in italy to be able to stay there. did your rug arrive or is that still coming. iwasn’t sure if it was in the house. safe trip back chris:)

    • The rug will be waiting for me when I return in October.

  29. Casa Debbio is looking beautiful Debra. I can’t believe that not so long ago it was just a dream. Enjoy your visit to Brisbane!

    • It is great to have the house finished and I am looking forward to some Brisbane time.

  30. What a lovely house and garden!

    • Thank you, it is a wonderful place to be.

  31. Simply stunning and I hope some day to see it in person. You have done such an amazing job!!!!

    • I will take you up in October.

  32. Oh, it’s really beautiful, Debra. It would break my heart to have to leave so soon. You’ve done a great job. Glad to know you’ll be back again in only 3 months. 🙂

    • I hated to leave the house just as it all came together, but I will be back soon.

  33. stunning Debra. What a beautiful house. (I did gasp a little at the size of the kitchen, a happy gasp.)

    • It is a great kitchen to work in.

  34. This house is wonderful. Love Anita, Mike and Nicky

    • Thank you! I hope you will visit me here one day.

    • We will visit you one day, believe me. Have a safe trip home. Love Anita, Mike and Nicky

  35. What a wonderful home you have created, so sad you have to leave, I would find it hard to leave such a beautiful place that is so close to many destinations I love. It is cold and rainy here in Queensland with more rain to come 🙁

    • I can only leave because I know I will be returning soon…and I love my life in Brisbane too.

  36. how you can leave this beautiful home in Italy you have created, must be heartbreaking. I love that you have chosen just red as your main flower display – and then all the frogs!! I am glad you can not see our collection of antique stone frogs which we had shipped here with the fountains and statues from the Garden in England – they are all sitting on one of our terraces, looking a bit sad – no garden, too hot, no grass, trees etc. Enjoy your time back in A. Carina

    • I wish I could see your frogs…I love them!

  37. Every single shot is testament to the excellent job you have done with the house Debra! Would love to escape there someday 🙂

    • I love being in the house, even more than I expected.

  38. What a delightful place! It’s been so fun to watch it being built! I bet you will miss it dearly. When are you going back?

    • I do miss being there. I will be back in a few months to continue working on the garden.

  39. […] is the village we look at from the terrace of Casa Debbio. It always looks wonderful draped across a ridge in the Apuane mountains…whether it is […]

  40. Hi Debra,
    I am new to Word Press. May I know how you create the photo gallery this way (with big and small photos) ?


    • Go to the WordPress helpline…they will be able to describe the process better than I can. It is quite simple if you have a good look when you hit the upload media button.

  41. When I originally commented I clicked the
    “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    • I’m not sure how to remove this. Comments have stopped on this post anyway.

  42. […] I think it would look great on the side wall at Casa Debbio. […]

  43. Beautiful, beautIful, beautiful…that’s all I can say!!!

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