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The Apartment

Here is my apartment on Via Arienti:

From the front door:


The living room: (notice a coffee pot?)



The huge bedroom:




The typical Italian bathroom with a shower and toilet you can't see:


And a long, narrow kitchen with microwave and dishwasher!


So, where shall I begin? The owner showed me around, gave me keys, and showed me how to work appliances and wifi. He left. He lives 50 km away, but I have a local contact who lives in Bologna if there is an emergency, Senora Lucia.

My first challenge was the coffeepot. I filled the American coffee maker with water, a filter and coffee. It would not go on. I tried it in the living room, the bathroom, the bedroom, and gave up. I found a small moka pot and made an espresso. But I was determined! I tried again. And AGAIN! An hour later, I got the plug to go even farther into the wall, which made the light come on!!! Perfect.

At about 7, as I was done unpacking all of my luggage, and had connected successfully to wifi, my doorbell rang. I didn't know if it was the door or the phone. I picked up the phone and said "Pronto?" No one was there. I answered the door, reluctantly, but there is also a sturdy metal gate on the outside, and met the downstairs neighbor. He began rattling off in speed Italian, that he could hear me walking above his head, and wanted to know if I was told that noise traveled easily on the floor above his head. I asked him to speak more slowly. I said I didn't know. I said I would try to be more quiet. (I even had on rubber soles...) He said he and his wife work and get up early. It was only 7p.m.! He said, well if you weren't told, it is not your fault! I tiptoed around, and later saw him down in his back yard at 8:30! Allora! He waved and said, "Buona Notte."

The last, and greatest disaster of the evening, was the door to the terrace. The whole reason for me choosing this apartment was a terrace where I can sit outside and smoke. It was a lovely evening, and I went outside several times (once I had coffee...).
I shut the door, and came in to blog. I left my cigarettes, lighter, and ashtray outside.

When I was ready for bed, I went out for the last smoke. The door turned itself into a window that only opens from the top!!! I pushed and pulled and turned the handle device in a gazillion different ways. Tthe people downstairs must LOVE ME NOW, as it is 10:45p.m. , and I am in my nightgown. I could get dressed and go out on the street, I could wait until morning and try again. I called Brad for sympathy. I tried again. I REALLY want to go outside and smoke!!! My cigs are out there! My LIGHTER is out there. I can't get out there! Is this an emergency to anyone but me? I wonder if Senora Lucia is a smoker, who would KNOW this is a good reason to call late at night. I wonder if I can blame all of YOU, as I came in to BLOG, people, and now look!!! (ok, stop with the smoking lectures!)

I have more cigs. I found a lighter in a drawer. : ) I opened those lovely double doors in the bedroom, and the shutters, and hung out the railing and had a cig. I used a water bottle as an ashtray. My teacher is coming at 9 a.m. I need a MAN to do this! Maybe he can help me. Maybe I will figure out the damn thing in the daylight? I will be at the neighborhood cafe by 7!!!

Finestra stupido!

Comments (14)


I miss you already but love living vicariously thru you! It all looks wonderful and I think that I gained a few pounds just looking at the meals you've had so far. I am SO happy for you to be living your dream! We'll see Brad this week and give him extra hugs! you are brave and adventuresome and I love you for it.

The never ending joys of rentals in Italy! The neighbours are going to love it when I start banging around. See you in 9 days . . .

This is terrible - a smoking crisis! No, I am not being facetious, I really mean it. You sound kind of panicked - I hope you get it resolved SOON!

I forgot to say that the apartment looks really cute.

What a rocky start. I think the neighbor would have troubled me the most and I hope you don't end up tip-toeing around your apartment. I am sure all of the other things are resolved by now, but who needs all of that to happen at once!

Time to treat yourself to something nice!


Palma, this looks like a lovely apartment, but how odd tha tat night, the door to the terrace would lock up like that. Is it some strange security device set on a timer? I'll be curious to hear how it works!!!


Oh boy, quite first day! How strange of that neighbour, who complains about noise at 7pm?? Very weird. And boy do I hope your teacher or somebody can help you figure out the door!!


Palma, did you figure out the door to the terrace? Its probably one of those kinds where if you pull the handle up, it opens from the top. Handle down, door opens.

I hope that downstairs guy doesn't make things bad for you. If he does, talk to your landlord.


Great apartment! Let us know if your teacher was able to open your door-window thing and how. I'm ready for "Il Vicino parte due"!

How frustrating for you. I always seem to have problems with windows and doors in Italy. Hopefully your neighbors will calm down a bit. The apartment does look lovely.

Shelagh (SJ):

Oh dear!!
But just think: what if you had been outside and the door closed on you, and you were trapped on the balcony!!??!!
(Note to self: always wear giant nighties, in order to parachute off the balcony if necessary.)
I hope your neighbour becomes more friendly. You can practise your Italian on him.
Waiting for next installment.....

Barb Cabot:

I'm glad you got the coffee pot to work and smart you for having an extra lighter and cigs packed away and water bottle for ashtray. Whatever works. The first days always take some ironing out. I'm sure you're gonna be fine. I've had problems with doors opening up to terraces myself. Odd that one turns and turns and nothing happens and with the light of day zip it opens. Let us know how your tricky door did the next day. We're all hanging with you though the miles separate us. We are there.


Oh Palma, I am sure you sorted this all out by now.What a first night! You make as much noise as you'd like at 7:00 p.m...really!


Can't tell you how much I laughed and commiserated with your locked door stories of your apartment and the bathroom.
I have had that happen to me in Italy and Spain more times than I want to remember. Once I couldn't figure out how to open the bathroom door on a Spanish train! I an hopeless at locks and am the butt of many family jokes for this failing.
Hope you are done with lock problems for the rest of your trip!

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