It’s been five days since we first pulled into the driveway of our new place to live. The apartment, which is actually the granary of a Villa that was built around 1500 and is owned by a Contessa and her British husband, was used as a vacation rental a la Air B&B, is fully furnished with everything a temporary resident would need for a week or three. But not for a long term rental. The kitchen has tons of dishes and glasses but no room for my spices. The pots and pans are well used but they wont be used by me since I have my own. The lighting in the kitchen was wholly inadequate for my needs as was the lighting in the bathroom.
Therefore, the first five days in Chianti have been filled with handyman stuff interrupted by three trips to Ikea and to Leroy Merlin (home center) in Florence. I’m still not done. So far I have hung a pot rack, some magnetic knife strips, I’ve assembled a computer desk, I’ve assembled a kitchen cart, I’ve installed a series of wifi repeaters so that the entire apartment has wifi. Some of the walls are a meter thick and not transparent to the facebook waves.
I’m not done yet. I bought track lights in France that I used there and brought with us to use here. The kitchen here is much larger and I need to extend the tracks. Yesterday I went to Leroy, the same chain that I bought the lights in France, only to find that they didn’t carry their own branded lights anymore and the ones they do have are not compatible. Fuck. So now I have to try either to “track” down the parts I need or I have to buy a whole new set. Or, as I just realised, I’ll run two separate tracks. Yea, that’s the ticket.
One bit of work I will not be doing is putting up screens on the windows. When we first got here we had mosquitos. Tigre mosquitos specifically. The weather was hot and the windows were open so at night we kept the lights off as not to attract any more. But they have not been all that bad. I think they may have come into the apartment when it was unoccupied. Last night was actually cool and there were no buggers. So I am saving the expense and labor on that part of the list.
It has not all been work. Yesterday we went to a street market in Florence. The Sant Ambrogio market, one of a few permanent markets in the city of Florence. It’s not all fun. Driving in Florence is a royal pain. If you don’t have a special permit issued by the city, there are many parts of the city you can not drive through. Not just the historic center but the surrounding areas. This is done to reduce traffic. Cameras are used to monitor violations. I’m expecting a fine in the mail since I made a wrong turn and found myself driving in one of these areas. I hope I was smiling when my picture was taken. I need to get a permit.
We bought some pasta, some lamb and a big Fiorentina steak that I will be cooking today. I also bought some mushrooms that I’ve never seen. The vendor told me to slice them thin and drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic and shaved parmigiano. I’ll make that with the Fiorentina steak today. I’ll talk more about this in the food section, later.