Let me be clear from the beginning. This is not a blog about how to buy an apartment in Italy. All interactions in Italy are relationship driven and so all transactions are as different as the individuals involved. There is no formula, there are no died in the wool rules to follow although there are thousands of laws. For example, the law is that you can only withdraw 5,000 Euros from the bank. This applies only if you are unlucky enough to get the crabby teller. If you are properly introduced to the handsome teller, who really does speak a modicum of English, you can withdraw 12,000 E. with the wave of a hand. This is the frustration and the love of being in Italy. Life is surprising, unexpected and incomprehensible for much of the time. It is totally uncontrollable and unpredictable. You have entered a country bounded by thousands of years of history, and within that ancient context, it is known that all individuals will come and go, and so people are both prized and minimized. It is just life. And all life comes and goes on this earth. Death and illness are not personal, it is just how life is. Families, friends, associations are personal and that is where the fun is.
This then is a story of one person who fell in love with Italy when she was 14 and waited 50 years to finally settle into a life in Italy as a straniera, a stranger and a foreigner, for that is what I will always be in this country, even if it has become a deep amore to me.
After a love affair of 50 years, my husband and I decided to buy and restore an apartment in Italy. It was not a conscious life long dream of mine to own a piece of Italy. In fact, I had always thought that people who bought property were foolish, overly romantic, and naïve. I admit to all three of these.
This blog continues with our first visit after the restoration. The actual finding of the apartment, the purchase and the decision about restoration, will wait until another time. Out apartment by the way, is in the building that is facing you, the top floor, the two left hand windows. It provides a beautiful view on to the Piazza as well as a hike of 65 stairs!