Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Apartment in Matera, Italy - and Other Facts

I think I really lucked out with this apartment. Originally she had listed that they didn't take pets, but I wrote and asked if she was flexible and she was. She has 2 cats that have never seen a dog. Unfortunately, when the one cat saw Seymour it ran. So far, the animals haven't been around each other and it will hopefully stay that way.

So, here is my little place. You come in through a front gate that leads to the owners place downstairs. Up the stairs (more stairs!) is where we are staying:

This is the little patio outside of our apartment:

And here is another angle of the view from this patio:

The open room you walk in to is the basic living and dining area. In Italy, I have found that there is rarely much in the way of "living rooms" (or 'sala') but they always have a big dining table and the TV is mostly kept in the dining room. I have to say I miss not being able to see the TV from the couch or the bed! So, here are a couple angles of the great room:

Notice the TV on the desk. The couch is on the opposite wall behind the table. I love those cut-out sections of the wall. This is all made of stone.

Notice the living room - couch.

This is the dressing area and the bath is right beside it. She has all of the amenities you could think of - even a fluffy robe that matches the fluffy bath towel.

Up the ladder (more steps!) is the loft bedroom. One thing about Italy is that they don't have the soft pillows I am used to. Most pillows feel like folded up blankets. I usually partially blow up my inflatable neck pillow and use that for my pillow.

I also love the barrel ceiling. I would give this apartment a "10".

As to other things she had for us, beside her boyfriend making us that cake, she had juice, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, cookies, crackers and jellies. She also had fresh garlic, oil and vinegar (from Medina) and some other spices. Perfect!

Other facts about Matera - they are - or were a big manufacturer of Italian sofas. Her boyfriend worked for the company for years; then they closed all but two of the factories and sent the work to China (sound familiar). So he is looking for another job. He is very good at building and fixing mechanical things, as well as cooking! I suspect that he is the one who remodeled this apartment. He doesn't speak any English unfortunately.

Stephania is from Rome and would like to move to a bigger city. She works for a group that puts on plays around the county and they have a bus they use to do it. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill and there are only 2 people left in the company, so I don't think it is functioning now. I told her that it reminds me of the book "One Day". I had never heard of anyone with that job before reading the book, and then talking to her.

Unemployment is high in Italy; over 25% for young people. I did find out that when employed, the employer must pay for total healthcare benefits and at least 6 weeks of vacation plus maternity leave. At least 6 weeks of vacation??? How great would that be?

I also want to find out more about the rivalry between northern and southern Italy. When I told Stephania that I could live in Arezzo, she responded "That's northern Italy, right?" I hope to get more information about this.

Time to figure out how to open the washing machine - seriously. It is a top loader but I can't get the top to open. I also can't figure out how to turn on the TV. I need my 3 year old grandson to give me some lessons!

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