by Melinda Gallo

We found it...finally!

The 20th apartment we visited ended up being the perfect one for us. I had actually visited it on Thursday and fell in love with it. When I made an appointment for Dave to come back and visit it, my agente immobiliare (real estate agent) asked the proprietaria (owner) to hold it for us until then. I was happy that she agreed since I knew that anyone else who saw it would have wanted it.

We did another walk-through with the proprietaria's husband, and I ended up loving it even more. The apartment had just been ristrutturato (restructured) and was put up for rent this week. The proprietaria's husband told us that they did have a few more appointments planned next week to show the apartment, so he didn't want to negotiate on the price. However, he did say to me, "Mia moglie mi ha parlato molto di Lei. L'ha trovata molto solare e vorrebbe molto affittare l'appartamento a Lei e a suo marito." (My wife talked a lot about you. She found you very luminous and would very much like to rent the apartment to you and your husband.) I blushed. I was so touched that I didn't even know what to say at first, but I did thank him.

We agreed to a price. He didn't want to negotiate at first, but he said that he'd fare uno sforzo (make an effort) because he told us that his wife would be happy to have us as the tenants.

He asked us if we had any requests and at first I didn't know what to say. I didn't know you could ask for anything. After a bit of reflection, we said that we'd love to have an asciugatrice (clothes dryer), a divano letto (sofa bed) for the living room, and a tavolo e sedie per la terrazza (table and chairs for the terrace). My agente immobiliare told me that I could ask for more, but there wasn't anything else we wanted. The apartment has everything we could think of, even a wireless network that has already been set up, a lavastoviglie (dishwasher), and a vasca da bagno (bath tub) as well as a separate doccia (shower) in the large bathroom.

Not only is the apartment beautiful, but the view from the terrazza is spectacular. We can see the Duomo, San Miniato, the top of Santa Croce, the top of the Sinagoga (Synagogue), as well as the Fiesole colline (hills) in the distance

I had to visit a lot of apartments before we found this gioiello (gem). I visited many places that have little or no light, have windows that give out onto walls about 10 feet away, are noisy, are dingy or dirty, have furniture that the owner will not remove, or are in una zona mal frequentata (a bad area).

We sign the contract on Monday, but we did shake on it. The proprietaria's husband only asked for one month's rent for the deposito (deposit), and he offered to give us the keys next week so we can slowly move in.

On the walk back to our place, I called Simone to tell him the good news. He said, "Sono contento per te e per me!" (I'm happy for you and for me). He told me that he wanted to be back in his apartment by Christmas, so I'm happy that he will be getting his wish. I called a few other friends to tell them about our new apartment and to invite them to our place next month. We finally have an apartment where we can entertain our friends instead of always having to go out. Our friends offered to help us move into our new place and I was touched because I didn't expect it, and I hadn't even thought of asking anyone either.

I am so excited about our new place, but I am also sad to be leaving my area. We're not moving that far away, so I'll still be able to go to the mercato (market). Living in a different area in Florence is almost as exciting as moving to a completely new city!

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