The End of the Beginning

This morning we went to the Comune armed with three photos each, for our Italian Identity cards. Then to the bank to change the account from foreigner to resident.  (This actually means opening a new account, moving all the standing order and direct debits and, eventually, closing the old one.) We also invested in a Telepass for the car so that we can drive straight through the autostrada toll booths without having to stop and pay each time.  This time of the year there are no queues but later in the season there will be long lines of cars. This application only involved twenty signatures so you can imagine how many were involved with the more important account transfers, and we both had to sign those!  There goes another forest of trees (although some of them are done electronically).

After everything it doesn’t seem quite real yet that we have managed to get over this first set of hurdles.  The next set, with the start of the building and trying to find somewhere to stay whilst it is all going on, is going to be our new challenge.

We lunched at Bruno Coppetta’s and asked if we could have spaghetti carbonara.  It’s not on the menu but that was not a problem, and after puds of saffron pannacotta and a crema Catalana with two coffees, we left.

This afternoon we had a meeting with the architect and builder to sign the new contracts.  We have been delayed by three weeks although it seems so much longer in stress nodules.

We have a new problem to consider and that is the balcony outside the living room.  Having put in the requests for permission for the work, the architects plans for inside have been passed.  Outside, however, has always been more tricky.  Questions about the colour of the shutters, a staircase to the garden without planning permission, changing the front door, etc. And now it turns out that the pillars supporting the balcony are abusivo (built without permission)! This means we either have to request planning permission (which would involve more paperwork and getting the approval of the next door neighbours) or remove them. The pillars are just brick and do block light coming into the kitchen, so this may be a blessing in disguise.img_2516

The balcony is of concrete with stone edges and small terracotta tiles.  The concrete is in a very poor state of repair as are the wrought iron supports.  We had thought of just patching it up, but now we will replace it with a new balcony supported on RSJs, thus opening up the area below.  [To answer Simon’s question in the comments, an RSJ is informally known as an acca (as in the letter H) but more formally it is a travetto (in acaio).] So far, it sounds like they haven’t noticed the “illegal” stairs, so if we comply with their request for pillar removal they may overlook the staircase.  If anyone can sort it out, our architect should be able to (despite Daisy savaging his ankles as he walked by!)

The architects work in an old palazzo with the most amazing frescoes on the walls and ceiling – the Italian version of Victorian high decoration.

This afternoon we are going to look at a small attic flat that could provide a refuge from the builders. But otherwise between our American friend and La Vecchia Tenenza B&B we should be OK.  Marco, who owns the B&B and also Bar Marconi will always be able to find us somewhere he thinks?!?

Another aside:  it appears that the daughter of our builder was one of the models in the fashion show, the other night.  She modelled one of the wedding gowns.  He was such a proud Dad.


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