Our Apartment in Italy

on Friday, September 19, 2008






In a previous post I've mentioned that apartments here come literally unfurnished. Dug through some old photos and found some of our apartment before we moved in. These photos are mainly of our kitchen, one of the bathroom and also the living room. As you can see, there is absolutely nothing furnished, except the bathroom sink, toilet, bidet and bathtub. That's it. No light fixtures, no plumbing in the kitchen, not even any kitchen counters. Then, once you've moved in and are comfy, if something goes wrong, say for example your bathroom sink springs a leak, you're the lucky person that gets to pay for the repair.

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19 comments:

Duni said...

Hi Ann,

how annoying to find not even a single, working lightbulb in your apartment...but very retro tiles, I must say...

;-)

ps - have you finished furnishing your apartment?

Ann said...

Hi Duni,

Retro indeed, in fact from about 40 years ago, original. So nothing like being authentic! There were light bulbs when we moved in, but they were just dangling down from the ceiling on a wire. No actual light fixtures. We've been in this apartment for almost six and a half years and have light fixtures in all of the rooms but have never gotten around to doing the bathroom. So the light in the bathroom is just hanging from the ceiling plus a fluorescent on the vanity. We also even had to provide the hot water heater.

Another thing I found different here compared to the States. Rent is paid every three months compared to once a month. Utilities are paid once every two months. That took a little getting used to in the beginning.

cls said...

Yikes! I'd heard of people in Europe having to supply their own kitchen cupboards, etc (and, come to think of it, even floor boards), but had no idea it could mean supplying your own plumbing or hotwater tank. Does this mean that people don't move very often? Moving is a drag at the best of times, but if it meant having to uninstall hotwater tanks, etc, .... eegads!

zyriana.com said...

Wow! Thank you for the peek! :)

Dori said...

Wow. It's amazing what you have had to deal with.

Ann said...

Yuppers, any "external" plumbing, in the sense outside of the wall for example to the kitchen sink we had to have installed, same connecting to the hot water heater.

Yes CLS you are correct, people here do not move very often due to is expensive and a royal pain in the back, literally. Then there's the subject of the lease. Typical lease here is 4X4. Which means a 4 year lease which automatically renews for another 4 years.

Emm said...

No kitchen counters?? That is madness! I have been unhappy enough moving into a beautiful house that didn't have built-in wardrobes!!

YummY! said...

Somehow Italian apartments don't sound very pleasant. I know places to come without furniture, but not without light fixtures and plumbing!

A. said...

Not so very different in France, none of those things are actually required in an unfurnished place, although at the same time you can find houses and apartments that do have them. When we moved to Paris on a company move for three years, a long time ago, we were given an allowance for many things including table lamps. We thought that was weird until we arrived and found that there are rarely ever any ceiling lights in France. Our first night in our house was spent "borrowing" our one table lamp from each other as we moved from room to room!

Ann said...

Emm - for sure then you wouldn't be a happy camper here either, no offense ma'am. I was rather shocked when I moved to find that it is normal not to have built -in closets/wardrobes. So needless to say I am very content that I was insistent with my husband that we get a two-bedroom apartment versus a one-bedroom. I don't even want to think of the nightmare of living in a one-bedroom. It would be ok if a person is living alone, but in two....

Yummy - at the end of the day Italian apartments aren't all that bad. Just takes some getting used to. Like on a cold winter morning when you get out of bed your feet touching a cold stone floor, sweeping/mopping every couple of days. Here apartments and houses are made of cement and bricks, unlike North American counterparts. Many Italians I've talked to are astonished that across the puddle houses and apartments are made of wood.

A. - Sounds like Italy and France are alike in regards to apartments. Here it is possible to find a "furnished" apartment, but in the sense of kitchen counters etc. but is rather difficult. Probably easier in the big cities like Milan and Rome, since there is a larger expat community and people move more often due to work.

Tammy Warren said...

Wow...I was floating around on EC and came to you. I know it would be a pain to live in conditions such as these...but I am sure the trade off for being in such a wonderful place is worth it. What an experience I'll bet you are living. Enjoy it!

Ann said...

Tammy - I wouldn't call it a pain, just a different and one experience of many in our lives. In my opinion, every experience, whether good or bad, a person can learn from.

Anastassia's atelier said...

As I came to live in Italy, for me was a pain in my head. I am from Lithuania, that is in Europe, but the difference was big. I needed much time to get used to rent payments and taxes in different periods, not at once, and the sum of money you give out for a rent each threee months seems omg... well :)
But I will say, that flats are not always bad and unfurnished. I lived in few different flats in Como, that is near Milan, but they were all nice, fully furnished, and even with lamps :)
The only thing I dont like is small windows and heavy blinds on windows(in Lithuania I was used to live with big windows, lots of light in the room).

Jared said...

Really? No kitchen counter? No plumbing? That's unbelievable. I probably wouldn't even move there under those conditions.

Ann said...

Jared, when I say no plumbing, refers to the kitchen. Obviously the bathroom is fully fitted with plumbing, so no worries there mate. Just refers to the kitchen, we had to have a plumber come in to connect the pipes in the walls to the sink and dishwasher and also the hot water heater (which we also had to provide). Like you seen in the photos, the kitchen is a bare skeleton.

Asta, we're not TOO far apart. I live in Busto Arsizio, province of Varese. How long have you been living in Como?

G@ttoGiallo, the Instigator said...

This place looks absolutely awful ! but I suppose you could find something better...

Christine said...

When I traveled to Europe, including northern Italy, I was fascinated by the bathrooms. I had no idea bathrooms could be so different.

Ann said...

Bathrooms here indeed are a bit different, but nothing out of the ordinary. I found interesting the bathrooms in Japan.

FTXT said...
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