The house keys were handed over to me during rogito — the final signing at the notary. They were unfamiliar in my pocket. The former owner moved her possessions out that same day and now it is all mine. My name gets added on to the official list of owners of the property, registered in the Comune di Firenze.
This is my second moment of being official in those big registry books at the comune, after my dual citizenship became a reality in 2009. Oh yeah, and for my new Italian driver’s license I proudly earned this year after taking a 3-month course and a difficult exam. But no plans on buying a motorized vehicle any time soon; I am sticking with my bicycle for now.
The next day, I went to the apartment and found it empty for the first time and was able to take a good look around without the distraction of the former owner’s stuff. It almost felt as if I was breaking into a home belonging to someone else.
Here is a floor plan below of the space I have to work with. The entry way is a tight corridor with rooms off of it — a typical layout for a building from that era. My idea is to open up the space by busting through the structural wall between the kitchen and the living room, which will allow more light to pass through and give nice sight lines. This will require an engineer to sign the project documents.
The North American concept of open living space is not as commonly used in Italy. Most Italians like to be able to close off their kitchen to prevent cooking odors from permeating the rest of the house. I am more for sharing the kitchen as common living space. Usually, the kitchen is where everyone wants to be! And why would anyone want to hide the heavenly scent of Italian cooking?
Notice that the garden is actually larger than the apartment. I can’t wait to start planting and landscaping this spring! The garden faces Northeast, so I don’t imagine it will get much sun, especially with the surrounding trees, but I am so happy to have an outdoor space. Any suggestions for plants that thrive in shade?
The bedrooms are street-side, but the street is short and one-way, so there isn’t much traffic. Nice light comes through the tall windows.