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.

5 thoughts on “Numero Civico We Finally Get a Street Address

  • April 7, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Hello neighbor! Being in SE Minnesota and the world being so much smaller, we’re like neighbors…right? I found your blog Saturday evening as part of my Italian adventure, and like Netflix, I binged on it all day today going from beginning to what I believe now is the end or really another beginning. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures and I really enjoyed your writing style and sense of humor.

  • August 3, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Anne & Ed, my name is Lucy and I live in Loro Piceno……I have really enjoyed reading about your building experiences. We bought our house in summer of 2015 and had just started on renovations when the August 2016 earthquake struck……unfortunately, before we had been able to do seismic strengthening etc etc……To cut a long story short, we are now in rented accommodation and waiting for Government help to get our place rebuilt.

    It’s been a few months since you posted anything – I hope all is well with you both? Kindest regards. Lucy Hayward

    • March 6, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      Hi, Lucy. I apologize. I just saw your comment. We’re fine, we’ve just been busy moving to a new house in the US. Loro Piceno is great. I wish you well with your project and hope we can meet sometime. Ed

      • March 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm

        Hello Ed, this is Stacy and I received a response to Lucy. Either way, I’m still reviewing your blog off and on. We have chosen Abruzzo near Atri and go in April, God willing, if this crazy coronavirus thing finally blows over. We’ve had to already make one major change in our itinerary.

        We sold our big house, moved last weekend, close on Monday. We had an auction last fall in preparation for our move. Just wanted to let you know how helpful your blog was! Have a wonderful weekend. Stacy

        • March 9, 2020 at 8:58 am

          Hi, Stacy. I’d bet that will be a nice area. Abruzzo seems to get a bit too dry south of there, at least that’s what I recall from my trips.

          I’m sure you’re glad to be done with the sale preparations, and if you’re like us, tremendously relieved to be done with the big house. We sold last spring in Illinois and moved to South Carolina.

          We had a trip planned starting next week, but we cancelled. We’re hoping for June now.

          All the best, Ed


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