Italian Life

Temporary Italian Housing During COVID

The painful truth. Temporary housing & home renovation in Italy during COVID. Renovating Bardonecchia is an Italian Home Reno blog series. Updates every Friday.

So, I’m sitting in the front room of our rather ramshackle rental in Bardonecchia, Italy having coffee when I hear…

I wish you could have seen the look on my face the second I heard that truck rumbling up the street. A mixture of childlike enthusiasm and adult relief. For months it has felt like our Italian home renovation was creeping along at a snails pace. Then whoosh! All of the sudden everything is happening at once. Just in time too. Our temporary digs are starting to get on our nerves. Big time.

We sort of knew what we were getting into when we rented an inexpensive apartment in the building next door. Bardonecchia, Italy is a ski town. There are a lot of run down crash pads in town. Just imagine six beds squeezed into a two bedroom apartment.

Yes we saw the dingy walls, worn floors and sad couch and thought, no biggie it’s temporary. All those months ago, we moved in with a lot of enthusiasm. All we cared about was seeing the work happen just a few doors down. Perfect!

What we didn’t realize until our first night, was just how shabby this place is. The shower head is broken and requires being held or balanced on the soap tray. The bidet shoots water into the middle of the bathroom floor. The bedroom door panels are falling out. The cheap dining chairs are instruments of torture. The seat backs are so curved that it’s impossible to lean on them without your butt falling off the back of the seat.

The mattress! Oh and the mattress. It’s so bad, we took the two foam mattresses from the bunk beds and laid them side by side on top of the mattress in the master bedroom. Oh, and last night the lights in the kitchen crapped out. Not the lightbulb, the wiring.

Paolo brought me his desk lamp only to realize there are no electrical outlets in the kitchen. Just the one the fridge is plugged into. He fixed that with an outlet converter, but it’s still so dark in the kitchen at night that I burned dinner last night.

Despite it all we’ve tried our very best to stay in good humor. Our kitchen is now “romantic” with the lighting of a Parisian bistro. What with the shower and bidet perfectly configured to deliver water to the bathroom floor, it’s pretty easy to clean!

It’s one thing to endure all of the mental stress that comes with moving to Italy in the time of COVID. It’s another thing entirely to be coping with them without any of the comforts of home. Like a working oven. One backflash and my eyelashes warned me not to try that again!

Our new home, cannot possible get finished fast enough. Thankfully we’re close. So close, we can smell the paint that went up next door today. Paint that I’ll be all too happy to share next week.

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    1. Thank you Maggie! We’re doing our best to stay in a good headspace, despite this place literally falling apart around us. We figure in a month our little place is going to feel like a luxury palace! Any tips for moving into a newly remodeled space?


      1. Make sure everything is done before you bring in large furniture because you won’t want to keep moving it around (like we did) If you did hardwood put felt on chair/table legs etc. so nothing scratches your new floors. Can’t wait for the finished photos.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was worried this one was a little too doom and gloom but the truth is what it is. At least right now I’m looking at the Alps with a bit of pink sunset on them. That always helps.


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