Category Archives: italian paperwork

Spring is coming!

The early blooming trees are out! I think they must be cherry trees. Pale pink blossoms. Very delicate.

It has not been the most interesting week but some progress was made as well as some non-progress but not for lack of trying.

First, we got our zanzariere installed on all of our windows so we are ready for the warm breezes. Boys, enjoying the view though the screened door.


Second, Signore Tizziano delivered our guest bedroom furniture. I decided to go with a color to liven up the room. Now I am having second thoughts. Oh well.




OK so that was the progress. The two steps back was trying to find out about the Lifestyle class we are supposed to take. The problems all started way back in November when the Questura called us to come sign a form. At that time it was already past the date for our assigned class. We think we were supposed to sign that form when we put our papers in and got fingerprinted but they forgot to do it. Thus, we were too late. So, unable to get anyone on the phone to ask because the phone number on the form is wrong (!) we decided to pay a visit to the office in charge which is in Perugia. We did this. They didn’t know what to do and told us to come back.

The good news is that we were meeting friends in Perugia for lunch so we combined the trips. So at least we had some fun. The weather was spectacular. We met old friends Linda and Ron along with two of their friends who are living in Florence for a year. These friends don’t want to go back but their house in the US has not sold yet. They are also not sure they want to buy in Italy. Now would be the time to do it though! The Euro has dropped around 30% since we came. This is both good and bad news for us. The good news is that our dollars go a lot farther for everyday expenses now. The bad news is that since we bought our house last spring we were at the peak strength for the Euro and it has lost that value, at least in dollars, making our house investment lose in value. All complicated. Luckily most of our assets are in dollars. But if any of you want to buy here, now would be the time!!

Off to the Questura

Yesterday we went to the Questura in Citta di Castello to finalize our application for our Permessi renewals. I remember how scared I was last year doing all this. Now it has become routine. I guess that’s good. That said, you may remember that I went for a two year renewal. After all there is a box to check for a two year Permesso. They wouldn’t put it there if we couldn’t get one would they? NOPE! We can only get a one year Permesso. We paid 20.00 Euro (each) extra for the two year as opposed to a one year. Seemed like a good idea to me.

We arrived at the Questura and the officer who came to let us in the door knew our name! He is a very nice guy. He told us we had overpaid. And gave us a letter saying so. Also he gave us a form to fill out to get a refund. Good so far but wait for it. In order to get the refund we had to buy a Marco da Bollo or stamp to affix to the form. The stamp cost 16.00 Euro (each)… So to get the 20 euro refund we have to go to the trouble to fill out the form, buy the stamp, and go to the post office, wait in line, for our essentially 4 Euro refund. Another learning experience and out 50 bucks!

Renovating the Commune building

We were warned that the Commune building was being worked on right across the narrow street from us. So on Monday morning when I walked into the living room I was met with this sight.


We are essentially on the fourth floor and are unaccustomed to seeing anyone outside our windows. We also cannot figure out why they are doing this work. They are taking off the stucco in long strips from the ground to the roof. Under the stucco is old crumbly brick. To me it seems to be decorative work. Who knows!

Rocky wants out
Here is Rocky hoping he can go outside. Poor boy. We want to get what they call rabbit fence to go on the railing of the terrace. Until then he only gets to go out wearing his harness with me on the other end of the leash.


As I put on my Facebook page, I walked onto the terrace yesterday afternoon and found this pot of succulents that the former owner left here. I had no idea there were tiny daffodils in there. Signs of spring!


Finally, I wanted to share this beautiful picture of our view and the sunset over the river. Lovely.


Sunny market day and…

Today is a sunny, cold Wednesday and the market is in full swing. I can never resist a picture of the brilliantly colorful produce. I plan to try a recipe for cuttlefish tonight so I’ll be visiting the fish people.


Since my last post I made a BIG list of things we need to get done. Here it is:

  1. Order screens for windows
  2. Go to Tiziano and order guest room furniture
  3. Go to Leroy and Merlin to get things for the guest bath
  4. Call TV guy about missing connections (AGAIN)
  5. Go to Deruta to order an outside table
  6. Pay TV tax
  7. Renew Permesso di Sogorni
  8. Take Permesso receipt to health department
  9. Call for Stranieri class
  10. Go to EMU to order outside chairs
  11. Go to initial doctor appointment
  12. Schedule MRI
  13. Look into fireplace doors
  14. Look into awning for terrace
  15. Buy pots for terrace
  16. Go to Essalunga in Arezzo

So far we’ve worked our way from 1 to 7. But those were pretty significant things.

The window screens needed to be ordered because before we know it, it will be warm and we’ll want to open windows. We don’t want the cats to fall to their deaths so screens are necessary. A window screen is called zanzariera in Italian after the word for mosquito or zanzara. I like that. And I like that the word zanzara kind of sounds like a mosquito does.

Getting ready for our first guests (MY SISTER!) so items 2 and 3 need to be done before April. We ordered a dresser, wardrobe and bedside tables from Signore Tiziano which should be here in a couple of weeks. And we got items for the guest bath.

We went to our favorite ceramic shop in Deruta Ceramiche Artistiche Gialletti Giulio. We ordered a 100cm ceramic table-top and base. They should be ready to be delivered by the end of March.

We did pay our TV tax so we don’t get fined. And we did call the TV guy again. This is because they didn’t have cables to hook the speakers up to the TV when they delivered them way back in December. We’ve been trying ever since to get this finished. Frustrating.

We applied for our renewal for the Permessi. We went for two years this time. We have our appointment for March 3 at the Questura. We’ll see how long it takes this time.

The other items are not quite as pressing. We definately need an appointment to attend the Stranieri class in Perugia. It is a requirement to be able to stay in Italy so important. We need to do it before June. We also have to take the Permessi receipts to the Health dept before June when our insurance runs out. And we’ll need to get outside chairs before April. Doctor stuff can’t be put off for too long. Pots for the terrace need to be done before springtime planting. The fireplace and awning are less time sensitive. Essalunga is the last supermarket that I have on my list to visit to look for exotic things. The nearest one is in Arezzo – about an hour from here.

We also went over to Emanuele’s office and picked up our new carpet for the office. It was not an expensive carpet but it looks nice. Last item we have to buy now is a sofa bed for this room. The only thing is that we have to be SURE that whatever we buy can fit up the stairs into the apartment. Remember the table!!


Carta d’Identita!! And Buon Natale!

WOW! Today a red letter day! Here is what has been happening. Since we received our Permessi last Saturday we have been working hard to get our Residenza. We went to the Comune (city hall) on Monday morning and they did the paperwork for our house. Putting it into our name and showing we will move in at the end of the year for garbage tax etc. We took that to another department where they filled out our papers to get our Residenza which will include a visit by the Police to our house to make sure we actually live there.

On Tuesday we went car shopping in Perugia. It was not very hopeful. We thought we were going to have to order a car which would take a couple of months minimum. We decided we’d go up to Citta di Castello on Wednesday, Christmas Eve, where they have an auto row type street to see about ordering an Alfa. We went to the VW dealer first. The salesman was pretty helpful. We explained we needed to buy a car as soon as possible. He found a VW Golf Diesel with most of what we wanted in Arrezzo (not too far away). They would install the GPS for us at an additional charge. Seemed like a good deal. We told him we would think about it. We wanted to try the Alfa dealer. He pretty much laughed at us saying what we wanted was impossible. Since we did have the VW in hand we decided to go back and buy it.

We did so. They explained that our Permessi were not enough to buy it. We had to have the Residenza. SO when we got back to Umbertide we decided to visit the Police to see if we could speed it up some. Serendipitously we ran into Jim (our realtor) as we were turning away from the Police door after reading their hours. Jim is not put off by closing time. He rang the bell and ushered us right in. He talked to the Policeman who found our visit request at the bottom of a big stack. He explained where we lived and he stamped all our papers and called ahead and we went up and GOT OUR RESIDENZA permits!!! I think getting our Permessi and Residenza in only 3 business days must be a record.

This means we can actually close the deal on the VW and return our rental without extending it (we hope!). This is a most welcome Christmas present for us!


Other things of interest

We got our guest bed head and foot boards.

Looks and is comfy!

We also went to Castiglione del Lago with Susan and Gary for lunch on Sunday. It was a lovely, very mild day. Lots of folks out and about. We had a great lunch at Monna Lisa. This is a seafood restaurant that we were sure Susan and Gary would love as we had eaten there with Jodi and Don recently.

Pictures of Castiglione.




Finally, at the end of a very eventful year for us, we want to wish everyone a Buon Natale! We will have a nice Christmas Eve dinner with friends tonight.

Catching up

There hasn’t been too much happening. Just odds and ends that I’ll catch up on.

We spent a couple of quiet days. We caught up over lunch with Susan and Gary who had been in the Dolomite mountains in the Alto Adige part of Italy. It used to be Austria before the first world war. They still speak primarily German and it is Germanic in feel. We have been several times. It was not their cuppa tea! Also they had a lot of rain which was unfortunate.

We met with Emanuele and he “says” he is all set to start work on Sunday. I am excited but not holding my breath. He also brought us a letter from Fed Ex.

This was our next challenge. We had arranged for Luther to get his prescriptions sent to our Texas mailbox. They showed up last Friday. I arranged for them to be sent to Emanuele’s address as someone is always there. The letter he brought was from FedEx regarding customs who want to know exactly what is in this package. We had been expecting this. They emailed us a bunch of forms and we filled them out. We had to go to the bank to arrange to pay the €40.00 they charge. We could have gone to our bank website to do this but the site was down. We only had 3 days to get the funds there so opted to go in person to the bank.

SO we sent the money and filled out the forms and sent them all back. We hope this will allow the medicine to be delivered. This whole thing is costing a good bit of money. First the prescriptions cost around $30.00. Not bad. Then it cost $56.00 to sent them via FedEx. This was the least expensive method that was trackable. Add to that the €40.00 (about $52.00). At least we only have to do this every 3 months. Once we are registered here we can get the Italian health insurance. That will be a WHOLE other experience!

So we congratulated ourselves with a trip to the restaurant across the river today with a nice lunch all’aperto. As an added little factoid – in Italy never ask to dine al fresco as we do in the US. This means literally “in the cooler” or in jail!! HA HA!

We have two upcoming events. One is a tour of Umbertide Underground! It is through the wine club and is next Tuesday afternoon. Apparently Umbertide is honeycombed with tunnels, catacombs, old wells and cantine. We will get a guided tour and tour La Rocca which is the big castle built into the town walls.

The other is a concert in the Chiesa de San Francesco on Saturday evening at 7PM. The church was built between the 8th and 12th centuries. The concert will be a 50 piece orchestra playing Brahms. I am quite excited to see this.

Visit to the Questura

Today was our appointment to go visit the Questura or State (of Italy) Police in Citta di Castello. We had gone for a ride out yesterday with Gary and Susan who knew where it was – kind of out in the industrial area outside of town. (then we had lunch :-))

So today we had a 9AM appointment and made it fine. We were the first called and we each went with a different person. We were fingerprinted and we had all the necessary forms. The two guys we dealt with were very nice. Luther had fun practicing his Italian and got lots of compliments on how well he spoke. They told is in 2 or 3 months we should have our Permesso. OK. At least that’s another hoop jumped through.

Yesterday we met with Emanuele and had Susan along as an interpreter as it was kind of technical stuff about the estimates, lights, kitchen, schedule etc. We got the number for the kitchen from Pedini which was about on track with our guess as to cost. The big surprise was that the rest of the work and lighting, tiles etc was much higher than we had anticipated. We are not sure why. Perhaps it is the logistics of the whole job. Emanuele told us they would have to take everything up and down the stairs. He had hoped for a hoist up to a window but that would be too disruptive to the stores below. Anyway. We took the lighting estimate home. It alone was 10,000 Euros but it was also everything and then some. We whittled it down and I think it will be more like 4,000 Euros now.

We took the lighting choices and the kitchen choice to Emanuele today and he called the Pedini people who will come to measure everything hopefully next week. He is also going to give us a line item estimate and we will eliminate anything we can to get the price down some. Right now I am thinking the attic area will not be tiled as we had discussed. We can use the space without it being tiled. We will still want the vent windows up there and probably have them clean it out. It will all depend on how much it will cost.

We also went to Formica, a big electronics chain who have a store here in Umbertide. Oddly the word formica means ant in Italian! We took Luther’s finally unlocked IPhone and got it activated with a plan for calling, text, and internet access. Pretty easy and pretty reasonable. He now has an Italian phone number. We will keep the little non-smart phone that I have which has a US number in case we need someone to call us from the US. I will use that for my phone.

I forgot to tell you that Susan told us about a free app for the IPad or IPhone called DuoLingua. It is a language app that I am finding extremely useful. I have learned a LOT of stuff from it in the last 4 days that I have been using it. I recommend it to anyone learning a language. It is really a lot like a game and that’s fun!

Permesso di Soggiorno applied for!

A quiet Sunday. A picture of the Piazza on a Sunday afternoon. Very quiet.


Here are our boys on Neighborhood watch Italian style!


And a pretty balcony in the Piazza.


We did our construction homework from Emanuele today and went through the house carefully noting anything that we would want changed or fixed. I emailed that list off to him.

We also worked on the paperwork for our Permesso and got ready to make copies on Monday morning. Since we don’t have a printer/scanner/copier yet we went to the Tabacchi which is a shop that sells all sorts of useful things. They make copies, they sell tax stamps called Marca da Bolla, they sell train and bus tickets, lottery tickets and sundry other things depending on the shop. We had to make copies of all the documents that we took when we got our visa. Also had to make copies of EVERY page of our passports! We purchase our Marca da Bolla which is necessary for the Soggiorno.

We then went to the post office with all of our paperwork, 4 passport photos, copies of everything, and our Marca da Bolla. We had a bit of trouble figuring out which button to push to get our number in the waiting line but after reading closer it was clear that we needed the “P” line. There didn’t seem to be any lines servicing “P”s but we kept waiting and finally one came up. We probably had to wait at least an hour but we got everything done, got a receipt that we had applied, got an appointment at the Questura (police) for July 27 in Citta di Castello the next town north of us. We have to take copies of nearly everything to the police as well as our photos etc and get fingerprinted etc. It takes a few months to get the final Permesso.

Next step is to see if we can get our carta di identita or Identity card. The rule, we are told, is that you have to have your residency to buy a car or a TV set. And you can’t get that until you have your Permesso finished. SOME have said you can use the RECEIPT you receive from the post office and buy a car. I am not sure how to find out whether this is true. But we have our car rented for 3 months so have some time to figure it out.

So today was yet another hurdle managed. Baby steps. Things get done as they will. Tomorrow we visit Emanuele about getting our estimates for the construction work.