The House of Florence is the name I gave to my ancestral home in Higueruela in honor of my grandmother, Florence, who was my beloved role-model and loving hero.
The first floor of the house was originally a workshop primarily used for the construction and repair of the carriages used by the common people of Castilla -La Mancha, where the building is located.
For more than 250 years, five generations of my family have lived in the house and have left evidence of their lives and experiences in this antique structure, which is now our own, newly renovated home. After the long and difficult process for legally securing the inheritance, I was I finally able to acquire and renovate this wonderful historic home.
During the first several months and while I was leaping over the countless legal hurdles needed to secure the title to my grandmother’s former home, I happened to tell a friend, who is a Professor of History and Fine Arts at Madrid University, of my fear of not being able to take possession of my grandmother’s home. I was discouraged; however, she said something that spoke deeply to me, an answer loaded with romanticism which became my stimulus, my reason to persevere. She said to me: “A house with so much history, in which so many people have lived from within your own family, if it is to be, will not allow anyone but you to live there. The house will decide who live within” She lso said: “Not only do you have to be in love with that house, but also, that house also has to choose you, it has to love you back!” I knew in my heart of hearts, that she was absolutely right and soon thereafter, the house passed into my hands.
Since then, I have worked tirelessly, every summer, for the past eight years in order to restore, modernize and improve the original home. I can now take great pride in a beautiful home of which my grandmother would be very proud. In every way, it was a worthwhile effort and a beautiful restoration of an historic home. Perfectly hand-made clean beams support the tile roof which covers an impressive wooden structure of numerous and varying levels which reflect the various changes and improvements made throughout the ages by one generation after another. You’ll also see the original clay floor in the cave/wine cellar. With an indoor cistern and water well, one can bring up a bucket on a pulley directly into the kitchen. Thick stone walls keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The House of Florence once again, retains the hopes and dreams of past generations… and just by simply restoring my grandmother’s home to its former glory. You will feel the warmth of spirit inside.
I completed the restoration work this summer. After living in England for a year where I was learning to speak English, I returned in the summer of 2012 and continued with the restoration. The idea of a Bed and Breakfast began to take shape in my mind this past summer. I had a dream of sharing my lovely home with others. I had an idea, to offer a new concept of hospitality, where rest, leisure, culture…. and fun would mingle.
After pursuing a career in the field of communications, first as a journalist, then as budgetary consultant for large business interests, I decided to combine my passion for writing and media with my talent for restoration and decoration to offer people something uniquely different. I’ve travelled the world, learned to speak English and have met folks from across the globe. I love getting to know new people and enjoy hearing about their lives. I have maintained a keen interest in the world of culture, languages and travel and I love entertaining. I crave laughter and I am very good at having fun and helping others have fun too. I would love to share with you the funny, weird, spooky and surprising stories from ages past, stories from the long history of my grandmother’s home, true life stories from La Casa de Florencia.
I’m sure you’ll agree, that I have the perfect background and know-how to create an experience of a lifetime for you, my treasured guests.
I believe a visit to The House of Florence would present to you, a new approach to vacationing by opening the doors of an environment that breathes history, authenticity, comfort and beauty. In addition, I will be hosting impromptu exercise classes, tours of my small village, horseback riding, flying tours and much more. All of them are experiences perfect for individuals or groups of people who would like to have the possibility to realize a perfect opportunity to learn and practice the Spanish language, to exist within the language, to live it in an enjoyable and fun way. I intend to present to you a different way of living, vacationing and learning Spanish. I want you to experience everything, things that are part of the true characteristics of a land full of magic, tradition and culture….. plus just simply have a great time… to relax and have fun!!
We look forward to seeing you soon!