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Building a Life In Italy

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May 4, 2017 by Emma Bentley

It’s never a good sign when someone wakes you from your postprandial siesta with a knock at the door and a “permesso?”

On this occasion, standing on our stoop were next-door’s builders.

They have just started work on the house adjacent to where I live with The Boy and Super Dog.

If ever there’s been a test of my prowess in the local dialect, this is it.

Buongiorno signora, senti, gursay problem con wall, bedroom, blahbla…”

The words for hammer (martello) and complete disaster (macello) sound very similar in Italian. Impeded by my slumber, I hold out a hope that they have just popped over to ask to borrow something from our utility cupboard.

The man standing next to this wizened, dust-covered, bearer of bad news shrugs indifferently.

If you’ve seen the film “Under The Tuscan Sun” – or had any experience with builders in Italy – you wouldn’t be at all surprised that on the very first day of the building works, there was an unexpected surprise. In this case, the fact that they had come right through the wall and into our bedroom!

With another couple more shrugs and the beyond-believable excuse “but we thought there were two walls….” they left to go and start hammering on another section of wall.

An architect, an engineer and another opinionated old man with a cigarette always hanging out of his mouth will come over in the morning to reassess the situation.

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One thought on “Building a Life In Italy

  1. […] may remember from my post ten days ago (Building A Life) that building works have started recently on the house […]

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Who’s Emma?


Hi! I live and work on a small winery in northern Italy but I also love to cook and eat. Welcome to the blog.

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Because I no longer live in Paris, the blog has been given a complete rehaul. It's still a work in progress. Please excuse any broken links or typos.

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My Other Blog: Got Legs

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It’s becoming an all-too-familiar scenario: a beautiful springtime with plenty of warm sunshine but followed by a sudden dip and freezing temperatures. A cold winter does marvels for the vineyard but once bud-burst has taken place, a cold snap can have catastrophic results. You may remember that I wrote about this already in 2016. Vintage 2016: […]

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