Category Archives: New kitchen

Inauguration of the new kitchen

I know it has been a while so I’m catching up now. We have been pretty busy. We had to outfit the kitchen, both by buying some new things and also bringing things up from the other kitchen. It took a lot of work but it has now reached a state of usability!

We took a trip south of Perugia to a store called Alessandrelli. It is a housewares store. I bought some frying pans, some glasses, plates, salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowl etc. These things along with what I bought online pretty much put me in action. Pictures on the ride to and from show the beauty of Umbria in spring. 💚

I had invited four friends for lunch on Thursday which was Liberation day here in Italy. It may have been premature! But it all worked out in the end. I didn’t know how to use the appliances. I learned how to use the oven. I made a cake! I also learned how to use the induction cooktop. Interesting and will be a future post.

On Monday, we go on a short trip to…Albania! Yes. Albania. Not just anyone wants to go there, but it is what they are calling the “new Croatia”. The beaches are said to be legendary. And it is incredibly cheap! I will, of course do a trip report. It is just for four nights. Probably too short but we can go back. There are flights from our local Perugia airport which makes it easy.

Ciao for now!

Back from Ospidale

This past week we were invited to a birthday party for a young woman turning 18. Her parents threw a big party with a full five course dinner for seventy of her friends. They are our adopted Italian family. Vera and Graziano. I really enjoyed watching the young people. Beautiful in the flush of youth. Wearing all kinds of things… much flesh exposed! The meal was good, a lot of food but fortunately you could turn down a course if you wanted, and I did! Pictures with captions next.

Birthday girl. She has the most amazing red hair. Really sets her apart. She is pretty, AND super smart.
Vera and Graziano, mom and dad.
The adult table
The kids

Then the dread intervento happened on Thursday. I went to the hospital early, around eight. They immediately rushed me in and I changed into the hospital clothes. They covered me with a shiny blanket and I was wheeled to the surgery floor.

I gotta say, all the people (nurses, anesthesiologist, medics) were so nice and friendly. Happy to talk about where I was from, to tell me about their families who lived in the U.S. One, a nurse with raccoon eyes she had on so much makeup, told me, upon learning I was from near Washington DC, that her daughter lived in Walla Walla and did I know it. The explanation that it was Washington State and not DC which were on different coasts was hilarious. So I was well entertained while I waited. I will add, no one spoke any English. The norm for hospitals here.

All went well and when I woke I had a real scare because my throat closed up and I couldn’t breath. Probably because of the removal of the tubes. It subsided with oxygen. Whew. Back in my room I slept. The doctor came later to explain the findings. I had two different infections. One fungal in my cheek area and one bacterial behind my eye. The issue in my lower sinus in the cheek was a “fungal ball”. Like it has colonized and rearranged the furniture in there to make itself at home… but this also enabled a bacterial infection to get in the cavity which is right behind my left eye. He said that was more dangerous because it could have affected my eye or gone into my brain. So I am glad I got it done.

I have some pictures of my room. It was for two but it was all mine. It also had another whole room with a sofa. The nurse who brought me in said it was my “suite”. After procedures which was painless I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything hot. Nor was I allowed a hot shower on my head. So dinner came and it was puréed vegetable soup. They told me I couldn’t eat anything hot but this soup was piping hot. I asked if it was a mistake. No. I just needed to let it get cold. 🙄 OK then. It wasn’t very good cold. But I was famished so I ate it. Next morning breakfast. I had a choice of tea or milk. I decided on tea. But of course it was very hot. Another wait for it to cool. Sigh.

My room
The “suite”
Cold, but meant to be hot, soup. Horrible.

Back home on Friday and return Sunday then again next Thursday to find out the lab results and future treatments if any. Following instructions. Still not eating anything warm. I miss my coffee.
Saturday we went to a celebration of life for a friend here in Umbertide. John Littlewood. An artist and illustrator with a rich and full life. He was British and his wife is American. They started their own businesses and lived all over the world. In the end Umbertide welcomed him. He was an old world gentleman. Friends with all. My memory of him in the piazza always walking to Bar Mary for his caffè will endure. The celebration was in his small gallery in town. It was packed. He was well loved and will be missed. I plan to buy some of his art as I never have and I do like it a lot.

Next big thing is the kitchen comes on Monday and will be installed Monday and Tuesday, All the players will be here, electrician, plumber, carpenters, work crew. It should be finished and usable this week. Exciting.

The weather is summery. Highs about 80. Really nice. There is a street food fest in town on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Looks good. And here is a picture of a park near the Rocca.

Stay tuned for the KITCHEN!!

New kitchen – post 9

Today they pretty much finished the space which will now wait for the cabinets and appliances. There are some covers that need to be made to go over the electric and plumbing. But the walls and ceiling are done and have been painted. The floor is laid and grouted and the terrace has been rid of all the trash and built up detritus. There is still a ton of dust that needs to be cleaned up but I will do that a little at a time. I can finally access the upstairs internally again. I am pleased with it.

From the door to the stairwell.
From the stairs
From the terrazzo

Over the weekend we had lunch to celebrate our friend Doug’s successful passing of the extremely difficult written driving test. I’ve spoken of this before. The test is in Italian, technical Italian, and draws 30 questions from over 7,000 possible questions. You can miss 3 and pass. All Americans, and Canadians (I think) must take this test within a year of becoming a resident in Italy. After a year it is illegal to drive on your US license. I’ve got lots of friends here and every one of them has passed despite not necessarily being fluent in Italian. It takes months of study, you must enroll in a driving school and really it is a matter of memorization. Anyway, it was a special day for Doug and five of us had lunch in Bevagna. It was sunny but chilly. First picture is of an early flowering tree in front of one of Bevagna’s gates.

Lunch was at le Delizie del Borgo which is situated just outside the walls of the city in a pretty park. Captions beneath the photos.

Steak with fennel and pomegranate
Passito – after lunch drink
Doug’s dessert. No idea what it was but it looked great!
They have cute coffee cups with hats! Keeps the coffee nice and hot.

Then, we lucked into (not) another parade past our house. I was just taking a nap and was roused by the pounding bass from enormous speakers. I have no idea what the occasion was but I took one photo.

You can’t say Umbertide is not a happenin’ place!

New kitchen – post 8

Here it is Friday already. We had a four day kitchen workweek. Thursday they didn’t come. They needed to let the plaster and concrete dry. We went up to check it out this afternoon after they left. It was a horrible weather day. Really high winds and torrential rains. I was surprised they worked because they cut the floor outside. The flooring is neutral and the color doesn’t clash with either of the other two floors it touches. I think that is the best we could do and it defines the space. The photos are darker because of the clouds outside.

From stairs
From the door into the upper floor from outside. Closest room is the office
From terrace.

So next steps are the grouting between the floor panels and painting the walls and ceiling. The carpenter comes Monday. I think he will be building the boxes to cover the plumbing for the caldaia and the electric breakers in the terrace side wall.
Tomorrow we are going out for lunch! We are meeting our friends Steve and Roselyne and Doug in Bevagna. The occasion is to celebrate our friend Doug’s success in passing the written test for the Italian drivers license. It is the single hardest thing an American immigrant has to accomplish to live here. And he passed! Definitely a cause for celebration. Hoping the weather will be nicer tomorrow!

New kitchen – post 7

Today was the eighth day of work. The ceiling and walls were sanded and they put plaster on them so they actually look like walls now. They also leveled and smoothed the floor. They told me the new floor would be installed tomorrow or day after. That will make a big difference as well.

The electrician came back today as well because for some reason he only had one wire in the ceiling above the island when we need three – two for lights and one for the hood. So now they are there.

Stay tuned for the floor!

New kitchen – post 6

Monday brought the builders back. The builders cover up the holes and the pipes that were left open or exposed by the plumber or electrician. The back wall by the window does look nicer now. And the holes along the wall are filled in. They left early today. Maybe to let it dry? Don’t know. Anyway, it looks a little more like a room and a little less like a bomb blew up here. Still plenty of rubble though.

New kitchen – post 5

We had a day off yesterday since the plumber finished a day early. Today the elettricista came along with an assistant. He worked all day. We decided to deep six the security system which is 20+ years old. Nowadays there are much better alternatives.

He has finished and left a large pile of rubble. Irma says the builders will be back either Monday or Tuesday. I guess it is their job to remove all the trash and rubble from the elettricista. Here are pictures with captions.

From stairway.
Running wires is hard when walls are solid. These over to the frig, oven, microwave.
Lights above the island and power for the hood
Island power
Lights for the counter and outlets for appliances.

Now we are at the weekend, and a fine weekend it will be! It will be in the upper sixties and bright sun all weekend. I am jonesing for some kind of outing. Just to take the Porsche out for a spin if nothing else.

New kitchen – post 4

Today is Wednesday. Our plumber has finished with his part of the job. We have the new caldaia and he demonstrated we now have heat and hot water. All good. Everything looks nice and tidy. Tomorrow we have the elettricista who will do all the wiring. I do not know the next step.

Stay tuned!

New kitchen – post 3

Today the idraulico returned. I found out his name is Omar. He is very good at his job. I was upstairs with Irma this morning, and he was proud to show me the new caldaia. He said he would be here again on Wednesday and Thursday.

The elettricista (Leonardo) was here this morning too so he would know where all the wiring will go. There is a surprising amount that must be done. Outlets on the island and behind the counter. Lighting in the ceiling and above the counters. There will be a wine fridge and the cooktop on the island. The dishwasher, microwave, oven and refrigerator all need power as well. The security system box also needs to be moved and also the fuse box. The plumber also used the only electric outside on the terrace for the caldaia. I asked Leonardo to replace this outlet outside. We watch TV out there and I have a fountain for the fish pond. Both need electricity. Leonardo will be back on Friday to work on the wiring.

Other things. They will put the caldaia pipes behind a new wall. They will build a box for the fuses and will remove the Persiana from above the window. Persiane are what the metal shutters are called that cover all the doors and windows. I don’t see a need for one in the kitchen. And they are very ugly. Here are pictures with captions. They aren’t very different from yesterday but I want to keep a record.

New caldaia.
From stairs
The new hook ups for sink and dishwasher.
I “think” this is the gas.
This is the persiana. There is normally a cover on the front so you don’t see the roll. It rolls up and down to cover the window.

That’s it for today. More plumbing today and tomorrow. Ciao!

New kitchen – post 1

As always here in Italy. Things didn’t work out exactly as planned. The work did not begin on Wednesday. They decided to wait until Friday and all the different experts were here today.

It was noisy but not as noisy as I thought it would be. I was worried about the cats but they slept through most of it and when awake they just seemed curious. So that was a relief.

They arrived at eight. Then they put plastic up all over. They covered my piles of furniture which I had moved together for easy covering. There are multiple plastic pieces across parts of the room and the stairway is no longer usable for access. I can get there by going outside and upstairs and then in again. Only issue is my washer and drier which are behind a plastic sheet. I will have to make a way through somehow. Here are pictures. This first one is the footprint of the new kitchen from the stairway. The new floor will go in there and there will be an island and counters along the whole wall.

From the terrace window.

This is how they got all the debris out.

On the terrace is miscellaneous stuff, most of which I have no idea it’s use! And the old caldaia.

Irma just called and said the plumber will be back on Monday at eight. He will run the pipes across the floor in a trench. I’m not sure what else he will do. The next day the electrician is coming to do whatever electricians do! One thing he will need to do is move that box on the wall which is the security system. It can’t stay where it is because the cabinets will go there. I’ll be posting updates and pictures as we go along.

Buon fine weekend a tutti!