Sicilian Serenity: How A Businesswoman Found Her Second Home In Italy

The story of Stephanie Synclair, a 41-year-old business owner from Atlanta, is one of inspiration and determination.

Synclair, who helms the tea company LaRue 1680, recently achieved her dream of purchasing a home in Sicily, Italy, for $62,000.

This acquisition marks a significant milestone in her life, allowing her to divide her time between the hustle of the U.S. and the serene landscapes of Italy.

Her path to owning a property overseas began with a quest for affordable living spaces, which led her to the charming Sicilian town of Mussomeli. According to a report by CNBC, Synclair's initial encounter with Sicily was a decade ago, igniting her affection for the region.

“I knew it was time to quit corporate America when I was sick of people telling me when to take a lunch break,” she told CNBC. “I wish it was deeper than that,”

Being an entrepreneur allowed Synclair to work remotely, sparking her interest in exploring the world. Her inaugural international journey, prompted by the search for economical flights, brought her to Palermo, Sicily.

The warm reception from the locals there profoundly moved her, planting the seed for her future home in Sicily.

“I always said I could see myself living here, but it was more so in a dream way,” she added. “I never actually saw myself buying a house here. I don’t know that I really thought it was possible at the time.”

During the pandemic, as housing prices in America surged, Synclair's attention turned to international markets. This exploration led her to discover Sicily's attractively priced real estate.

Also Read: From Mistaken Text To Thanksgiving Tradition: Airbnb Hosts Unlikely Duo's Festive Dinner

She connected with a local real estate agency known for offering affordable properties that required minimal renovation.

In March 2022, Synclair finalized the purchase of her dream home: a spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom property for 59,000 euros (approximately $62,000). She has embarked on a renovation project, allocating about 20,000 euros ($21,000) to enhance the house while preserving its historical essence.

Life in Sicily has offered Synclair a more relaxed pace than her American lifestyle. She enjoys the lower living costs, the abundance of fresh, reasonably priced local produce and the community's leisurely approach to life.

Her primary expenditure in Sicily is car rental, which is essential for exploring the local area.

Having saved little in her 20s, she eventually began her savings journey in her 30s. Initially, she established automatic weekly transfers from her checking to her savings, adjusting the amount if she surpassed her business goals. Realizing the need to compensate for lost time, she took proactive steps.

As of October, Synclair had accumulated approximately $14,000 in savings, $33,000 in a Roth IRA, and $950,000 in a brokerage account.

Looking to the future, Synclair envisions retiring in Sicily, drawn by the possibility of a comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget. She plans to increase her time in Italy following her son's high school graduation, ultimately making Sicily her permanent residence.

Now Read: How A Sandwich Craving Birthed A $410M Food Delivery Giant

Photo: Shutterstock

This story is part of a series of features on the subject of success, Benzinga Inspire.

How can you invest in early-stage startups if you don’t know the founders? Easy. Click here for a list of startups you can invest in today.

Benzinga may receive monetary compensation from the issuer, or its agency, for publicizing the offering of the issuer’s securities in this article. Please see 17b disclosure linked in the offering circular for more information.

This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Every question you ask will be answered
Scan the QR code to contact us
Also you can contact us via