New kitchen – work begins!

Exciting times. I met with Irma, my architect, along with Alessandro and Donatello. Such pretty names for construction men. Donatello is the idraulica, plumber. He will move the pipes and gas. Alessandro will do the demolition. The work begins tomorrow. There is nothing much interesting in these pictures except to document what it looked like before the work started. First The Wall. This will be demolished.

The floors will be jackhammered up and removed. This was a conundrum for Irma. With two floors there already, how can we integrate a third? It had to kind of blend in color-wise, and also not clash with the patterns. It had to be plain. I hope what we finally settled on will look ok.

The place where the kitchen used to be which our sellers removed when they left. That is the caldaia on the left on the wall. A caldaia is a boiler. We have two. This one doesn’t work now. Most houses heat the radiators and the water with these. This means the wall is full of pipes. Water and gas for the heating system upstairs and the water. This makes demolition a bit harder. The pipes will have to be run under the floor and they will install a new caldaia outside.


I boxed up all our books and things and piled everything up on the two couches so they could be covered and sealed against the dust. This is just the one. The guys will roll up the carpet for me.

I don’t know how awful the noise will be yet. If it is too bad we may have to find a place to retreat to in the day time. More for the cats than us. We could always leave but they can’t unless we find a place for us all to go. Jackhammers are loud 😳.

The work will last about two months. The worst should be over in the beginning. They will completely seal the upper floor from the lower meaning to access it we will have to go out and up the elevator or stairs and then in the door upstairs. Not really all that hard. The washer and drier are up there and some plants outside which will need watering.
I have only one key to the upstairs door. I went out last week to our Ferramenta – hardware store EmporioCasa. They made two keys. They didn’t work. Back this morning. I pointed out the difference in the two keys. He made two more which looked the same to me. They didn’t work 😡 So I went back right away because I need the keys tomorrow. Finally this time they work. Whew.

The Ferramenta is a cool little place, long and skinny with two floors the bottom of which is open to the top floor. Stuff is everywhere! You don’t really browse in here. You ask for what you want. I sometimes take a picture of it and show it to them, which helps. Although the place is a jumble, the father and son and helper know where EVERYTHING is. This is outside sign. The building is right behind the train station.

You really can get just about anything here. Zoom in on these. This first one I wanted to show all the baskets they have up on the ceiling, for hunting mushrooms and truffles.

Two more. They have things seasonally. Now you’ll find heaters and fireplace tools and grates. Also pellets for the stufe. In the olive harvest season, they have rakes, and beaters, nets and the big cans the mill puts the oil in as well as smaller tins for separating it into usable sizes.

We decided to go out for lunch on Sunday, Calagrana was having a Sunday Roast and all the fixings. This is a British tradition every Sunday at all the pubs. It had been a while since we had eaten out. My appetizer was an artichoke, beet and goat cheese insalata (really good). And we had the roast. Which was not beef but lamb and pork belly. Pictures.

Ely seated us at a table next to Americans who live here part time that we had never met. Dale and Mark from Dayton Ohio. They have a house near the Niccone valley. We had a very nice time getting acquainted. They apparently had just met friends of ours a few days before Joanne and Lynne in a cafe in Passignano. There are a lot more of us around here than we know!

So stay tuned for more regular posts about the kitchen renovation. Ciao!

12 thoughts on “New kitchen – work begins!

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Molly, here, all walls are mortar and made of partly hollow bricks, so there aren’t spaces in the walls like in the US. Even inside walls dividing rooms are masonry. The wall behind those pipes is the interior wall (pictured). That wall will be demolished. I would imagine your wires are on your side of a dividing masonry wall, and if it’s another building altogether it would be even thicker I would think. Easiest to steal at the meter or coming to the meter. Good luck! I hope an elettricista can help you check it.

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Brian, you need to get on her mailing list. In winter the are closed except for special meals like the Sunday roast or fish n chips.

  3. Molly

    I love the shop where you got the keys made. So many wonderful items that it would be just great to have on hand. I have a question about the picture of the exposed pipes. I am having problems with my electricity here in Florence and I suspect that my wires are being tampered with from the neighboring building. I know that it is possible to “steal” electricity and my very high bills are proof of this but is the brick behind the pipes actually another room or another apartment?

  4. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hey Joanne, I never have actually met Lynne. Someday we three should meet! Thanks on the kitchen. We, liked Dale and Mark. I hope all is well

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Jane! Funny about you ending up here when you didn’t know where it was. Oddly we once drove right through Umbertide when we we vacationing in Umbria. Little did I know I would live there! Funny how things happen.

  6. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi silvestro, yes! It is a great place. They really have jus anything you need. So knowledgeable too. My RE agent said he lives there (figuratively speaking!)

  7. Jane Applegate

    Haha! We are from Dayton. Dale and Mark are the reason we came to Umbria the first time in 2010. We stayed at their house, drove around and fell in love with Bevagna. I met Mark when we served on a civic board together and I can still remember him telling me, “we’re building a house in Umbria,” and I said where is that? Now we live here. ☺️

  8. Silvestro Bandiero

    Great pics of the hardware store. My second home in the states. Now I know there is hope for me in Italy!!

  9. Matthew Daub

    Wow, this post has it all—construction plans, hardware shopping, and food. Wishing you and Luther and the cats smooth sailing (as smooth as possible anyway) through the process. Looking forward to each installment. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic when you’re done.

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