by Melinda Gallo

Noisy neighbors are normal

It seems like Sunday is the day when I hear my neighbors the most. Our windows are open because the weather is still nice, but at 9AM I heard the elderly man downstairs whistling at the pigeons and another girl, probably one of the new tenants downstairs, singing along with the radio.

During the week, we hear the elderly man yelling at the younger woman who lives with him in the apartment underneath ours. Doors slam and windows bang shut quite often in the middle of the afternoon. There is a small child that lives above us in the building next door to us who cries almost every night at 11PM.

And, now our new neighbors downstairs come home late at night, around 1AM, and talk outside in rather loud voices as if it were the middle of the afternoon. They also have a German Shepherd that barks sometimes and usually never before midnight.

We had one neighbor woman the first year that we were living in this building who would scream at the top of her lungs twice a day. It got so bad that if anyone wanted to come by our apartment, I would make sure it was during a time when she wouldn't be screaming.

I found out that I'm not the only one with noisy neighbors. It's quite typical here in Florence, if not in most of Italy. One of my friends, Sara, said that an elderly woman who lives next door to her yells a lot as well for hours on end. Luckily, she's not home much, but still the elderly woman isn't going anywhere.

I went to another woman's apartment in via Ghibellina and she kept her bedroom door closed because she said that her neighbors were quite noisy.

And, another girl I know said that she has to keep one of her windows closed because there are people below who are smoking and talking until all hours of the night.

With our new noisy neighbors, Dave and I are learning to just accept them. We've never complained to anyone and we've never heard any complaints either.

We are hoping that we'll be moving into a new building where, hopefully, our neighbors won't be so noisy. But, that seems quite unlikely.

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