Numero Civico We Finally Get a Street Address

Our house had been finished a few months when I went over to furnish it last June. I realized when I ordered some things online that I didn’t actually know what our street address was. Since our house was in what had been just a field with no road to it, it did not show up on any map. All we had to indicate where we lived were GPS coordinates, so that’s what we provided as an address when ordering things online.

Last June before leaving for Italy I ordered a whole load of stuff for the house from Amazon, thinking it would just be easier to have it delivered to our door than schlepping all over the place to find basic household goods.

As it turns out I still had to schlepp to town every day to get my stuff. I’d get a call from either the mail carrier, DHL or some other delivery guy saying they had a package for me and I needed to come meet them in the piazza to get it. Although we had specifically provided our GPS coordinates to Amazon and other vendors, no one was willing to even try and find our house without a house number.

I visited the comune (town hall) and asked what our street number (numero civico) was, assuming it would be straightforward request. I was told that we needed a certificate of occupancy first before they could process a request for a street number. Once our geometra submitted the paperwork we would have our numero civico within six weeks.

Jimmy, our geometra, got on it right away, so we figured we’d have the number by the time we came back eight weeks later in August.

But no. August came and went and no numero civico. It’s hard to furnish a house when you can’t get anyone to deliver furniture to you. Some of the stuff we ordered ended up at our neighbor’s house and some of it was delivered only because Ed waited up at the main road and led them to our house. Some of it never showed up at all.

Finally towards the end of September we received this very official looking document from the Comune of Colmurano:

 

So it’s official. Our numero civico is Contrada Monteloreto, 19.

But we still had a problem. The street sign up at the turn-off from the main road says that the houses on our road are numbers 20 through 28:

Street sign with numbers

The delivery people seem to be very literal, so unless the sign is changed to include number 19, I am not convinced anything we order will show up.

I asked a couple locals how long they thought it might take for the comune to change the sign and all I got were eye rolls. The chances of getting a new sign were slim to none.

It was time to take matters into my own hands and fix the sign myself. A visit to a nearby hardware store yielded some adhesive numbers (though they were so old the adhesive wasn’t sticky anymore). So I bought some glue.

Number 19

The numbers weren’t quite the right size but they would have to do. I threw my step-stool into the car and headed up to the main road, where I glued my numbers to the street sign.  Not very subtle, but it should do the trick:

street sign with number 19 added

Alas, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. Our latest Amazon order was delivered to another house up the road. On the plus side, it did give us an opportunity to meet the neighbors who had our stuff, and they were very welcoming. So we’ve made some new friends.

Our Kitchen Is Finished!

When we started designing our little house, the one thing we wanted was an open floor plan … we wanted one big room with the kitchen at one end, the living room at the other and the dining table in the middle.

And we wanted an American-style kitchen, with an island, a decent-sized refrigerator, plenty of storage and counter space and a wine fridge. Most of the kitchens we had seen in existing farmhouses (at least in our price range) were cramped, with not enough storage or counter space. And with curtains instead of doors on the lower cabinets. “No curtains!” was my first direction to Angelo, our kitchen designer.

And Ed wanted an ice-maker. Not just an ice-maker in the freezer (which is rare enough in Italy) but a stand-alone ice-maker (what can I say, Ed is into ice, and lots of it). Angelo looked at him as though he had three heads. Needless to say, Ed did not get his ice-maker.

We spent most of the day at Angelo’s showroom in Civitanova going over our extensive list of needs and wants and picking out the cabinet design and counters. I was tempted to pick something safe and classic, like white, but we ended up going for a greenish-gray color for the cabinets.

OK, not the best picture, but here’s how our kitchen turned out:

I think our full size refrigerator and freezer might be overkill for Italy…. in fact I think our whole kitchen might be overkill…but at least we can stock up with food and wine before a big snowstorm.

Despite designing our American-style kitchen we still ended up with a microwave that is tiny on the inside and an oven that will not fit a big roasting pan with a turkey. But I’m sure we’ll adapt.

Now that the kitchen is done we are starting to think about all the stuff we’ll need to bring or buy to outfit it. I’ve already started filling my cart at Amazon.it.

Building the Fireplace

We are getting close to the end of construction. One of the last things to do is build the fireplace.

Although a pellet stove would have been a more effective source of heat, we thought an open fire would make the place feel cozier, so we opted for that.

Given all the doors along the backside of the house, the only place that made sense to put a fireplace  was in the corner of the living room. That actually works well because it means we can see it from the kitchen and dining area as well as the living room. Here’s the design we came up with.

However, the corner location restricted its size and we found we couldn’t make it as big as we wanted. Not the end of the world.

Since we wanted the fireplace to fit with the rustic character of the house, we decided to build it out of brick and stone using an old wood beam for a mantel and a space to store wood below the firebox.

Here’s the stone we found for the front of the firebox:

fireplace stone being lifted on crane

Here it is in place:

Here’s the old beam we found for the mantel:

The chimney pipe is covered in plaster:

Ta-dah! Here’s the finished fireplace:

Now all we need to do is test to see if it draws properly and then we’ll be ready for a cozy fire.

Internet, Railings, and Stairs

Today, the internet components were installed, along with the railings for the stairs and the terrazza. Plus, the painting of the stair risers was done.

Internet Connection

Because of our location out in the country side, we’re getting our internet over-the-air from towers across the valley. This system is in widespread use in Marche.

Over-the-Air Internet Receiver
Over-the-Air Internet Receiver
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Wireless Access Point
Wireless Access Point
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Stair Railings

Last we heard about railings was when Kevin told them “no” on the original color and we then picked a new color that coordinated better.

Stair Landing and Railing
Stair Landing and Railing
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Stair Handrail
Stair Handrail
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Terrazza Railings
Terrazza Railing Looking Toward Front
Terrazza Railing Looking Toward Front
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Terrazza Railing at Roof Peak
Terrazza Railing at Roof Peak
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Stairs

As we decided a week or so ago, the risers were painted to help hide scuff marks.

Painted Stair Risers
Painted Stair Risers
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Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Bathrooms Installed But a Big Issue in One of Them

The report was that the bathrooms were done. When we got the pictures, we decided that we weren’t quite there yet in the upstairs bathroom.

Master Bathroom

Here, I think we are all done. All fixtures, cabinetry, tiling, and lighting have been installed.

Master Bath Vanity and Mirror
Master Bath Vanity and Mirror
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Master Bath Shower
Master Bath Shower
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Downstairs Bathroom

With the exception of the decorative vanity that Johnny is working on, we’re done here, too.

Downstairs Bath Vanity Location
Downstairs Bath Vanity Location
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Downstairs Bath Shower Head
Downstairs Bath Shower Head
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Upstairs Bathroom

Anne took one look at the pictures below and said, “I don’t like it. The sink is too big and it sits up too high and sticks out to far forward.”

We decided that this was caused by the width of the room and the placement of the shower and door. We were left with space for only a shallow vanity, so the sink we chose is too big and the wrong shape. We had never seen a complete drawing of this unit from the side, where the problem is apparent. We’d only seen straight-on views.

Anne immediately wrote to Kevin and sent him some other sink ideas. Kevin and Angelo will make an adjustment.

Upstairs Bath Looking Into Hall
Upstairs Bath Looking Into Hall
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Upstairs Bath Vanity and Sink
Upstairs Bath Vanity and Sink
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UPDATE

Here’s the new sink for the upstairs bathroom… much better!

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure