by Melinda Gallo

Un giorno di riposo

Today I finally didn't have any appointments to visit apartments. I got so run down last week from walking all over town at different times of the day and with temperatures that were up and then way down that I caught a raffredore (cold) and stayed home all day yesterday. I wanted to have another giorno di riposo (day off), but instead I went out to meet a friend for lunch and then had one of my writing classes this evening.

I talked to Simone today while I was out buying boxes at the mesticheria (hardware store) so we could put away our summer clothes once and for all this year. It was nice to find out that he'd rather we find the right apartment than for us to move out by the end of this month. He'd, of course, love to be back in his apartment by Christmas, so I'm trying that as my new goal and feeling a lot less stressed out.

The issue with finding an apartment is not just the area, the size of the apartment, the noise levels and if there's enough light, but also if we like the furniture that they come with. The number of unfurnished apartments is quite low here in Florence, and usually those come with four year contracts. The two apartments that I liked the most had brand new modern furniture in them

Last Friday I had an appointment with one guy to see an apartment at 12:15PM. I arrived five minutes late and the guy seemed a little stressed out over it. And even though I excused myself, he said it was OK, but I could feel he was a bit tense. We rushed through the apartment and he asked me if I was going to take it. My response was no, and we walked out of the apartment. When we reached the street, he kissed me on both cheeks as if we were friends when in fact he's a friend of an acquaintance of mine and that was it.

Later in the afternoon, I had another appointment with agente (real estate) #1 to show me one apartment off of via Tornabuoni and another off of via di Mezzo. The first one was an attico (attic) apartment that had some potential. It was on the fourth floor with no elevator, but had a few windows with modest views. It was pouring rain outside and a little dark, but I could see that it could be nice. Unfortunately, I felt a little claustrophobic because the ceilings were quite low, so it got a no vote from me.

My agente drove me to the other apartment in via di Mezzo, which was huge. It measured about 150 square meters and had three bedrooms. The downside was that it had only one bathroom and the furniture was in a style that I don't appreciate. The agente told me that we could move some of it out, but most of it would have to stay. There were three people living in the apartment and they were quite diplomatic when answering questions I had. I asked them about the heating bill and they said it wasn't too high. But, if my apartment, which is almost one third the size of theirs is high, I can only imagine what theirs might be.

We left the apartment and walked back to where my agente parked her car. I told her that I was sorry that it wasn't that easy for me to find a place, but she didn't seem too bothered. She told me that she hopes I find the right apartment for us even if it's not with her. She and I have become quite friendly, but still I didn't expect such a noble response from her. I know it's common in Italy to work with multiple agenti, but I thought they'd be a little more competitive. But I guess in the end, a happy customer is a happy customer.

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