Living in an Italian Construction Zone

April 23, 2024

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Have you wondered why there haven't been new blogs lately?  Here's the story.

When you live somewhere, you have almost no control about what happens around you.  This year in Chiavari has been a very stressful  and loud one.

About 11 weeks ago, my neighbor below me in my condo building began remodeling his apartment. It is about 600 square feet with all marble flooring. I awakened every single weekday at 8 o’clock to the sound of pounding, hammering so loudly that I thought it was above me, not below me. It continued that way each day for WEEKS. There were 2 workers but then only one. He took a lunch break for an hour of silence and then continued until 5:00 PM. He also mixed concrete inside and tore out the walls, the bath and the kitchen--and I could hear it all. 

Two different days he turned off ALL the water in the building. I was without the use of the my own toilet for 2 days. He also cut the wire to my intercom system that opens the door to the apartment building. One day I ran down about 80 steps to let in people in and did it 6 times.

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I am a night bird. I cannot go to sleep before at least 3 in the morning. This has been torture.

At the end of 8 weeks, the owner came by, scolded the worker and fired him on the spot that Friday. By Tuesday, it began again. New workers working approximately the same hours.  Sometimes, it goes on even later in the day now. 

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Then, workmen outside spent 3 days building scaffolding up to the roof above the 6th floor. They bang and drill for hours each day beginning between 8 and 9 AM. They even came this past weekend at 8:45 AM. Their drilling feels like it is coming right at my head in bed. They made horrific noise until 11:30 AM when they left to enjoy their weekend. My understanding is that they are doing roof repair. If this was in the USA, they would finish in less than a week. But this is the Italy I love and where I must surrender. Italians in general are not in any rush. PIANO, PIANO. I have no idea when this will be completed. 

This is the reality of living here in Italy. We who choose to live here must surrender our preconceived notions of how things work. Sometimes I struggle, especially with little sleep.

I can’t think. The pounding scrambles my brain. It helps to go into Centro Stoics and by the sea. But when you don’t sleep, walking miles is not easy.

And, up until about a week ago, even the sea was under construction.

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Huge boulders are being dumped into the sea to help prevent flooding.  It begins in the early morning too. I can hear it inside my apartment too. I am only a 5 minute walk to their location. Walking and sitting by the sea is less comforting this way.

Still, I will remain here. Nothing can be paradise 365 days per year.

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And good news: my sister is coming to Italy for a visit. I am meeting her in Rome and will be gone for a bit.

Only God knows what will be completed, if anything, when I return. Oh, did I mention that my computer is on the fritz too? PAZZA.

More fun posts will come soon.

A dopo!

Ciao for now!

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