Happy New Year All.

“Let’s fly to Rome,” we thought. It’s closer than Pisa and we need to get back to Citta della Pieve quickly, we thought.  The urgency was necessitated by the imminent start to building work, but we still haven’t got our residency in order to recoup some of the building costs.  No residency = no building work, and one unhappy builder if we have to postpone.

So we arrive at Rome airport and, after waiting half an hour for the luggage (we were the only arrival at 10:30 pm), we exited to try and find the hire car desks. And so the fun began.  Arrows inside the terminal took us all the way to one end then disappeared. We went outside and more arrows took us all the way back in the other direction. Arrows from the terminal point to the car park oposite. Arrows at the car park point upwards to an escalator and the railway station.  Arrows from the railway station point back down the escalator.  At the bottom of said escalator the arrows point along the road.  At a certain point a new arrow points back to the car park.  Luckily at that time of night we managed to get through to the Europcar desk and ask “WHERE ARE YOU?  To which they replied,  “where are YOU?”  Having explained we were back at the station we retraced our steps up to the ticket hall for trains and there was another sign pointing along a long glass tunnel with moving walkways BACK to the airport terminal!

Two hours later we were on our way and arrived a couple of hours later to a freezing house and beds to be made.  After everything, now we know and so do our chums how to avoid future hire-car nightmares.  Anyone thinking of arriving by train – it’s easy-peasy.  The station really is just across the road from the terminal and the signs will take you there!  Am I sounding bitter and twisted? Only a bit as I wanted a Fiat 500 or Alfa Giulietta and ended up with a Ford Fiesta. For all the hassle I suggested we were candidates for a Mercedes!

First call this morning was to the register office to apply for residency.  We had managed to obtain the requested cooy of marriage certificate (in Japanese), an English translation, an Italian translation stamped by a Notary Public and an apostille from the government.  Passports and bank statement at the ready off we went.  “But you don’t have medical cover…..” You need an S1 from the HMRC.  The form is on line so let’s fill it in…. but it seems it is for permanently disabled or the retired (at present not us). No other choices and the wrong phone number on the web site. So without this what are the options?  Why don’t we go to the local insurance office and just buy a private medical policy for the time being.  Nope, as you cannot get a policy if you do not have residency and are not Italian.  OK let’s add Italy to a current UK policy.  Nope, you can only get a policy that adds Italy and EVERY country in the world  (except USA) for the sum of £1200 EACH, per month!!!

More searching turns up the possibility of paying into the Italian Health Service, the equivalent of National Insurance Contributions.  This sounded more like it and fair enough if we are using the services here.  Off we trot to the hospital and the office in question.  The man behind the desk sighed and informed us that without residency this was not possible.  We pointed out that we needed it for exactly that…..and so it was suggested that we see the hospital registrar to find out what the next hurdles might be, and oh yes, she only works a half day on Thursday, Friday is a Bank Holiday and an hour or two on Saturday morning.

If we achieve all this then we can expect a visit from the local police to see if we really are living where we say.  We dare not move anything until they visit which can be anytime within 45 days, providing residency is granted.  The next visit was to the police station  (open 10-12 only 3 days a week) to sweetly ask if, as we only live around the corner, could they see their way to popping in as we really want to start building soon … this year sometime! They said we had to come back once we had applied for residency.

So round we go again.

Temperatures here are just above zero with a chance of snow next week.  The skies are clear blue and the sun shining so it was nice to be in the garden this afternoon, planting my perennial geraniums.  So calming. And in the sunshine it doesn’t seem so cold.  Tomorrow is another day.

Pudding at the wine bar. These are called ‘Dai-Dai’ and are bite-sized, individually wrapped choc-ices in random flavours.


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