Al­tern­at­ive liv­ing for Ger­man-speakers over 60

Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus Italy: Create your home in a com­munity where shared values, joy and in­de­pend­ence are key.

Pre­par­ing to move forward

Des­pite the Covid-19 virus being spread through­out Europe, a Ger­man-speak­ing com­munity is plan­ning its fu­ture in Italy. In early 2023 the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus will open its doors to 30 ma­ture people who will be en­joy­ing their col­lect­ive life ex­per­i­ence to­gether. We will be shar­ing the joys and sor­rows be­cause we tend to­wards har­mony and spir­itu­al­ity, rather than sub­scrib­ing to out­land­ish ideo­lo­gies or con­stant rules. We are keen to create bonds with oth­ers in our new home as well as local res­id­ents of our Italian village.

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Ger­man mu­si­cian Clueso sings about new be­gin­nings

Of course you will still stay in touch with fam­ily and friends: we in­vite them to visit and ap­pre­ci­ate the hap­pi­ness that comes from the homely and beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings of the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus. Pro­ject man­ager Manuela Schenkel will be in­vit­ing the first ap­plic­a­tions from po­ten­tial res­id­ents in 2021. The of­fi­cial open­ing is sched­uled for Septem­ber 27th, 2023: to com­mem­or­ate the birth­day of the name giver, whose ideals and values in­spired our project.

There is al­ways some­thing going on at Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus. To­gether we will un­der­take ex­cur­sions, bike tours, hikes, DIY pro­jects, paint­ing, yoga and so much more. These activ­it­ies will also be avail­able to people tak­ing time-out, or to vis­it­ing friends and re­l­at­ives. We offer re­cre­ation in spec­tac­u­lar nature, provide well-equipped sports fa­cil­it­ies, have plenty of trees and quiet spaces where one can just sit and ‘be’. 

Build­ing this com­munity will feel like a fresh start. When chil­dren have flown the nest or a pro­fes­sional ca­reer has ended, people in the prime of their lives often feel lonely, life may lack pur­pose. We don’t be­lieve it should be this way! At the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus we sup­port one an­other and provide the free­dom to ex­plore new ho­ri­zons in the safety of com­munity. We lead ful­filling lives into ad­vanced age, cer­tain that our life­style choices will in­spire oth­ers to do the same. As of Septem­ber 2020, we have already se­cured our first in­vestors, people who can see the value of this pro­ject and un­der­stand that a prof­it­able re­turn can be made also.

Con­nec­tions new and old

Heitere und eng verbundene Gruppe aus drei Frauen und zwei Männern
Res­id­ents who trust each other
Oma und Enkelin backen gemeinsam
Vis­it­ing fam­ily and friends

Mov­ing into the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus does not mean leav­ing be­hind your old life, but the em­bra­cing of both old and new. A se­cure home without the re­spons­ib­il­ity for keep­ing a house, where you come and go as you please, and in­vite fam­ily and friends to share this with you in the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings of his­tor­ical Italian villages.

There is no I in team. For this com­munity, we are look­ing for so­ci­able people who are genu­inely in­tersted in oth­ers and happy being part of the wider col­lect­ive group. This is one sure fired way to avoid the loneli­ness that may occur in our lives. As are the so­ci­able con­ver­sa­tions and activ­it­ies keep­ing us fresh as we ma­ture in age. Along with this com­munal vis­ion we would also pay at­ten­tion to close, fruit­ful ties with our Italian neighbours.

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Some people may move to budget re­tire­ment com­plexes in Thai­l­and or Bul­garia when they re­tire. Oth­ers may prefer higher-end res­id­ences any­where in south­ern Europe. So why did we de­cide to es­tab­lish the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus in Italy?

Everything Italian has an extra level of al­lure in Ger­many, from art and cul­ture through to music and food. A Medi­ter­ranean diet is said to be one of the health­i­est op­tions avail­able for longev­ity, whilst the beau­ti­ful land­scapes of north­ern and cent­ral Italy provide a feast for the eyes and nour­ish­ment for the soul. Your new home could be loc­ated in the mild cli­mates of Emilia-Ro­magna, Lig­uria, Tuscany or Veneto.

Shar­ing fest­iv­it­ies and events fosters mu­tual un­der­stand­ing between people of dif­fer­ent cul­tures. Food and drink are great ways to strengthen ties. The Italian pas­tas, pesto, olive oils and of course wine amongst many other del­ic­acies, eas­ily sourced in local mar­kets, may tempt our taste buds. And in re­turn we can share homemade jams and au­then­tic Ger­man bread. People from the local area will be as­sured of on­go­ing work in our res­id­en­tial com­plex and neigh­bours are al­ways wel­come at the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus.


Blick in ein eingerichtetes Wohnzimmer mit viel Holz und Weißtönen
In­terior design idea
Blick in ein klassisch eingerichtetes Wohnzimmer mit viel Holz und Bauntönen
In­terior design idea

Mem­bers of the com­munity are en­cour­aged to be dir­ectly in­volved in choos­ing the décor and fur­nish­ings of all com­munal spaces. Ob­vi­ously, those who sign up at the start will have a greater in­flu­ence over these design choices. But be­cause this is your home, all res­id­ents are wel­come to offer sug­ges­tions for on­go­ing improvements.

Room sizes will de­pend upon the lay­out of the prop­erty se­lec­ted. The idea is to offer a one-bed­room ac­com­mod­a­tion, pos­sibly with an ad­di­tional living/​sitting area, and all with a fully fit­ted en-suite bath­room. We hope that the idea of a simple, com­fort­able and in­di­vidu­al­ised private liv­ing space will ap­peal. Some basic fur­niture can be provided on re­quest, but the dec­or­a­tion and style will en­tirely be to your per­sonal taste.

The com­munal liv­ing, kit­chen and activ­ity spaces will be more agree­able to lar­ger gath­er­ings. There will be a lib­rary for quiet read­ing, a music room com­plete with piano, shared spaces for wood­crafts, sew­ing, craft­ing and a TV room. Amen­it­ies for swim­ming or gym shall be also avail­able and, de­pend­ing upon people’s pref­er­ences, full ac­cess to Wi-Fi. Whilst the clean­li­ness of your private space will be your own mat­ter (as long as you have ca­pa­city), shared areas will be looked after pre­dom­in­antly by staff members.

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Time sched­ule

Alte Taschenuhr hängt am Strauch mit weißen Blüten
‘Those who never have time do the least.’ (Georg Chris­toph Lichtenberg)




Pro­ject details

Münzen am Boden einer Wasserquelle
Source of financing

Manuela Schenkel leads this res­id­en­tial pro­ject for people over 60 and in­vests her own cap­ital through Hedwig Schenkel Lim­ited. This com­pany has been re­gistered in her ho­met­own of Birm­ing­ham, U.K. The pro­cure­ment of suit­able in­vestors is un­der­way and she cur­rently has sev­eral people who have pledged their sup­port and fin­an­cial back­ing. With a back­ground in busi­ness man­age­ment, Manuela is cer­tain that this pro­ject will ap­peal to many more fin­an­cial in­vestors over the com­ing year.

For the pur­pose of on­go­ing pro­ject mon­it­or­ing and in­teg­rity, a Man­aging Dir­ector will be ap­poin­ted. They will be paid a salary and live as part of the com­munity. If this sounds like a chal­lenge that you would love to take on, please send an ap­plic­a­tion to: manuela@​altersglueck-​wg.​de

The first 30 per­man­ent res­id­ents to be suc­cess­ful in their ap­plic­a­tion for this pro­ject will pay a monthly fee for ten­ancy and ser­vices. These charges will in­clude all com­munal meals and po­ten­tial care provided at a later stage in their ten­ancy. Ad­di­tional in­come that will be gen­er­ated by guests stay­ing – in par­tic­u­lar from those under the time-out offer – is then re­in­ves­ted into the run­ning costs of the pro­ject. Some res­id­ents will re­ceive re­wards if they take on re­spons­ib­il­ity for run­ning parts of the pro­ject, in­clud­ing: Or­gan­ising leis­ure activ­it­ies and look­ing after guests, man­aging the fruit and ve­get­able farm­ing, over­see­ing the kit­chen, or tak­ing care of main­ten­ance and repairs.

Both Ger­man and UK in­vestors are provid­ing the start-up funds for the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus. The re­turns ex­pec­ted for a me­dium-term in­vest­ment sub­stan­tially ex­ceed typ­ical in­terest rates in both coun­tries. Ser­i­ous in­vestors are wel­come to apply for cur­rent fig­ures on re­turns. Shortly be­fore we con­clude the prop­erty pur­chase, a more ac­cur­ate cal­cu­la­tion will be made avail­able, along­side a de­tailed fore­cast of ex­pec­ted fin­an­cial gains. Are you in­spired by the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus pro­ject? If so, please con­tact us for the op­por­tun­ity to get in­volved or to ex­plore po­ten­tial in­vest­ment rewards.

Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus News­let­ter