putting off the inevitable

We should be moving in two weeks and I have yet to find movers. I have not contacted the utility company about getting the new place hooked back up to the grid. I haven’t signed the lease. I have not ordered my new kitchen, and by kitchen, I mean all appliances, cabinets, etc. There will not be a kitchen in the new apartment unless I buy one. Today I put a deposit down on a lovely little cream colored refrigerator I’d seen in the window of a shop near the new place, and that felt like real progress.

This procrastination is very unlike me. I am usually so good about getting stuff done. But I have mixed feelings about leaving the apartment where we live now. I love it here. There is so much light. There is so much space. The views are so pretty.

Deep down I know that canceling the lease was the wise choice. This place is too big for the three of us and costs almost twice as much as the new place. It is incredibly expensive to heat in the wintertime. It is far enough from town and the boys’ school that I have to drive almost everywhere. I am very friendly with the neighbors and they would help me out in a pinch but I don’t have any really close friends nearby.

The new place is smaller and the only view I’d consider nice is out the sole living room window: over the buildings in the center of town you can see the mountains where we lived before we moved here. The other windows face buildings or are skylights. It is an attic apartment and there are a lot of skylights, which is a good thing, because otherwise it would be like living in a cave.

Now when the light is flooding my bedroom the soft way it does in the afternoon and I wonder how many more times I will see it like that, I try to remind myself of the pros of the new place:

The location is great. We can walk pretty much anywhere we normally go, although my six-year-old seems highly interested in riding his bike everywhere.

The kitchen is big (albeit empty, for now).

We will each have our own bedroom, and they are all close together so I will have no problem hearing the boys at night.

There is a perfect cozy little alcove for my office.

There is a laundry room AND a sizable pantry, each of which is very hard to find in Italian apartments and both together are nearly unheard of in such a cheap small flat.

The building is old and quirky in just the right ways, with modern conveniences overlapping with the historic bits. I love that. (I will post pictures.)

It is a fresh start.

I have loved all the places I’ve lived in Italy and I have fond memories of each, except maybe that first awful apartment in Milan we shared with the two chain-smoking Sicilian dudes. That one I could have done without.

I know, despite everything, I will have fond memories of this place we are leaving, too. It has the greatest natural light of any place I’ve ever lived, and such pretty views of trees and hills and churches. That will be what I miss most. But I am certainly looking forward to stepping out in the morning and walking (or riding) the boys to school, under stone porticoes and past the statues in the pretty park across the way.


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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7 Responses to putting off the inevitable

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I think your new digs sound quite lovely, especially being somewhat “vintage!” Your wee ones will make it a home.

  2. Suzanne says:

    New surroundings will be better! A new place to make new memories, a fresh place to wake up. It will be good!

  3. Kathy from NJ says:

    Is a non-kitchen typical in Italian apts? Does the tenant take all the cabinets, countertops, sink & appliances at the end of the lease? It seems funny, all apt kitchens can’t possibly be the same size & shape or are they? I’m looking forward to seeing pictures, I love older quirky places.

    • Jennifer says:

      It is pretty typical and used to be the norm. More and more landlords are installing kitchens because it is easier to find tenants if it’s already there, for the reasons you stated. If you bring your own, you almost always have to do some work on it to get it to fit.

  4. meredith says:

    More and more French apartments are coming with equipped kitchens. But we had a few kitchens where we bought an IKEA counter top and just put it on top of boxes.
    Your new place sounds charming, I can’t wait to see photos.

    • Jennifer says:

      I think I’ll be getting mine from IKEA too. You can’t beat the prices and they will deliver and install in TWO DAYS! (Or so they say…)

      Thanks Meredith, the look I am going for is charming and comforting. I’ll definitely post some work in progress pictures for help with the decorating.

  5. oldmdgirl says:

    I learned about the kitchen thing this past trip to Italy. Luca said to me, “My parents hate their kitchen. It’s the one they moved with them from their old apartment when they bought this place 25 years ago, and they’ve always said they’d replace it but never did.”

    I’d never realized that it’s not uncommon to buy all new appliances and cabinets when you move someplace new. What a pain! No wonder people don’t move as often over there.

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