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Meet the British Duo Raffling Off a Dream Italian Holiday Home

When many people in the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns took to baking soda bread, decluttering their homes, and binge-watching Netflix, Jon and Annmarie Nurse explored the idea of renovating Italian properties to raffle. Their concept was simple. To make a life-changing event for a lucky winner while supporting children's charities.

How it all started

Before renovating Italian dream properties, the couple worked for telecoms. Jon worked for BlackBerry, and Annmarie worked for Virgin. As they were often based in London for work, the couple often popped over to Italy. As Jon Nurse of Win Houses in Italy, explains: “popping over to Italy was our piece of paradise to relax, eat amazing food and generally unwind and enjoy life.” 

Jon and Annamarie Nurse, founders of Win Houses Italy (Photo Credit: winhousesitaly)

“We came across the idea of doing this in lockdown for a number of reasons. Charities were losing the ability to fundraise. We wanted to give people something nice to focus on and look forward to. And let's face it, images of the Italian countryside and Italian food work for everyone. For us, it meant having a bit of focus and fun,” accounts Jon.

The concept proved a big hit for lovers of Italy and the charities they support. Four years on, their latest property is a historical apartment on a 15th-century estate in the Tuscan countryside. Nestled in the heart of Tuscany, the property is in an unspoiled, unique area, making it ideal for those wishing to get away from it all. The lucky winner can live in it, sell it, or rent it out to earn a regular income.

The couple chose Italy, as many of us do for our vacations. For "The people, the passion, the amazing food, and the scenery—nothing comes close to Italy; it has everything!" says Annmarie.

A room with a view

(Photo Credit: winhousesitaly)

The couple both have a love for Italian properties. "The history and features, the detail from marble and terracotta floors to the high ceilings—the Italians put so much passion and effort into them and want you to just fall in love with their properties," says Annemarie. Their most recent project is a charming traditional restored apartment in typical Tuscan style, complete with exposed beams and terracotta flooring. There is a spacious open-plan living and dining room with an ancient stone fireplace. There is also direct access to a large private balcony that overlooks the gardens. A separate hallway leads to the bathroom and a beautiful master bedroom.

Set in a panoramic hilltop position surrounded by the typical Tuscan landscape, the apartment comes fully furnished and sleeps up to four people. There is central heating for the winter months and air conditioning for the summer.

Location, Location, Location

(Photo Credit: winhousesitaly)

Set among 28 hectares of woodland on a hill of tufa, stand the walls of Borgo di Colleoli, a historical residence full of charm. The home is set in the Borgo Colleoli Resort, which is an exclusive historic group of buildings from the 15th century. The large grounds include two swimming pools, a summer restaurant, and a wine bar in the central courtyard. The apartment is based in an ideal location to indulge your passion for all things Tuscan. Many of the best tourist destinations are within easy reach. There are the art cities of Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Pisa, and Florence. For golf lovers, there is golf nearby. Borgo di Colleoli Resort is also a few miles from the renowned beaches of Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Viareggio, and Cecina and their enchanting surroundings. The nearest village is around one mile away, and Pisa International Airport is 20 miles away.

Charity starts at home

The couple raise funds for a charity in the UK and one in Italy. To date, their entrants have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s charities. Funds raised from the raffle support The Children’s Society, a charity that helps disadvantaged young people across England and Wales. 

The Italian charity they support is Braccio Di Ferro, a children’s hospice in Italy. Elisa Grenci, an executive at Braccio di Ferro, comments: “We are really grateful for the opportunity this competition offers us. There are almost 200 children a day in the care of the Paediatric Hospice of Padua, Veneto, and resources are never enough. Even if every day they struggle, for which there is no possibility of healing, the children are entitled to the best possible treatment.” 

Your chance to win

A previous winner was American, Brigid Day from New York City who won a $550,000 Villa Gardino in Tuscany. She has visited the property and now rents it out. Fellow New Yorker, Christopher also won over $6000 in a previous raffle. 

For your chance to win the Italian dream, you can buy your raffle ticket at:   If you’re looking for an unusual Christmas gift for someone who loves Italy, there is a gift voucher option. The competition closes on January 24th. The winner will be chosen on 27th January 2023 in the presence of a competition and gaming lawyer.

Previous winner Brigid Day (Photo Credit: Winhousesitaly)

Jon explains, "This will be our 4th draw, giving someone the opportunity to experience a life-changing and wonderful prize. This stunning apartment is in a breathtaking location. Making properties like this available in a prize draw means people get the chance to win a super property for only $30 a ticket, and they are helping some amazing charities when they do take part."

Flights for two people to Italy (from anywhere in the world), including two days of car hire and accommodation for two nights to sign the transfer of ownership, are also included. All taxes, legal fees, and two years of condominium fees are also paid. 

You can enter to win at www.winhousesinitaly.com

Amanda Akien

Amanda Akien graduated from The University of Wollongong, Australia with an MA in Journalism with Distinction. Her writing has appeared in international travel magazines, as well as The Guardian newspaper. Although Amanda is based in the UK, she has traveled throughout Italy, even interning at a major modeling agency during Milan Fashion Week. Her favorite region is Tuscany - she loves Florence and is also partial to a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo!