August 30, 2010

Daily life: Numero Due : Our Homes

I have to talk about the differences in our homes. Back in America, if you are renting an apartment you typically will have a fully working kitchen : oven, 4 burner stove top, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, washing machine & dryer. Right? Not here. If you are planning on moving to Italy you need to know that they do not have all of these conveniences.  Get out of your comfort zone, and what you are used to. In Italy, a lot of the apartments come with 2 or 4 stove top burners and a toaster. I mean the toaster that acts as an oven. So you can be thankful in America, that cooking Betty Crocker cookies & brownies comes easy for you! I miss that more than you know!

Dishwashers (if they work properly) are a luxury, and dryers are non-existent. The plus is that you would not get all the charming hanging laundry outside if this wasn't the case. I still love the look of hanging laundry outside the buildings here, its such and Italian trait, and it gently reminds me that I live here. I will not lie though : I love dryers. Mamma mia, I have been in the US for a few weeks, and having your laundry cleaned & dried in one hour is simply amazing. Now, the perk for Italian living is: almost every apartment has a washing machine. In America, that is not the case if you are renting - sometimes it's rare. The Italian kitchens always come equipped with an Italian coffee maker too, delicioso!! I love espresso, so I am happy with this.

More than not, we do not have air conditioning. Be thankful that A/C is equipped in almost every building in the United States. I am lucky because I have a small unit in my living room, so I slept on my sofa for almost 6 weeks because of the heat. The standard beds in Italy are two single beds, that eventually get pushed together to make a "matrimoniale" = our double bed. Queens and King size beds are rare, but who in Italy needs a King size ? the people are skinny & short :) They also only sleep with two pillows. It was always my understanding you set your bed to a minimum 4 pillows, maybe even 6 if you like the real cozy bed ! Believe it or not, pillows are expensive in Florence, unless you buy the cheap ones from Ikea. When I get back I am just invested in another set to make my bed more comfortable.

Anthropologie bedding
The upside to the homes in Italy is, more than not, you will be in an interesting building, filled with history, character and charm. There is nothing generic about the apartments here. There is no such thing as a over sized complexes with 200 of the same layout with the same beige carpet and tacky hanging window panels. Many of the apartments still have the original frescoed or wood beamed ceilings, beautiful ceramic tiled floors and large windows. You do feel a sense that you are stepping back in time when you live here. Somedays it feels good, somedays you want them to catch up to the modern world. But that's Italy. You learn to live without some of the conveniences, and appreciate the beauty in the small things. I have lived in several apartments while being in Florence, and each one has different things that I like about them. I guess my favorite is still the one that has all the Italian charm, but then it had all the modern stuff too::

My old apartment on Via Malenchini
Being back home and having all the conveniences again has taught me not to take them for granted. I think a lot of Americans do not realize how easy life is there. Things work a lot more efficiently in the US, and until you live somewhere that forces you to slow down - you will not realize how lucky you have it.  I am looking forward to going back to Florence to work on some "upgrading" projects in my apartment. Feel lucky you have dozens to choose from! How I miss Z Gallerie, West Elm, Restoration Hardware............I wish I could afford the nice home furnishings stores in Florence, but EEkaayaah (Ikea) will have to do! Ciao!

1 comment:

Lafemmet said...

Wow, I never knew how much Serbia had in common with Italy. I guess it is just that Europe is similar all over. Keep writing. Love reading your stuff!

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