Posts Tagged With: IKEA

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 5

Finally we arrive at our place in Italy. Staying 11 days here is a joy. It is off-season here. This area has many permanent residents but also it is a huge beach resort area. Our building is empty except for us. Our first task is hoping our clicker works on the gate. As we drive down the driveway we click it and viola the gate swings open. Now to get into the building and our unit. The keys all work flawlessly. We open our unit and it is clean and the kitchen looks great. We have a bed and a table & chairs to sit at. We have all the necessities! I have to go out on our deck and turn on the water and gas lines so the furnace can make hot water and heat at night. The electric is on already. We turn the thermostat on and in a few minutes we have some heat. We don’t need much because the temperature is very mild. After unloading the car and getting settled we are ready to buy supplies, silverware, glasses, etc.

We drive about an hour back up to the A3 autostrada in Salerno to an IKEA store. It is the same blue and yellow as here. We park in their huge parking garage and enter the store. We had gone to IKEA in Philadelphia and noted everything we would need. So we walked around and found things pretty much in the same order here. We found everything we needed. Two shopping carts full! We headed to the checkout. A woman directed us to a lane that was free. It was self checkout. WE used the wand on everything and completed our checkout. Now to pay by credit card. Oh no the credit card machine was missing! She transferred out purchase to another teller (with a long line of Italians waiting). We jumped in front and paid by credit card. What an experience. We headed back home. Along the way we went through a main area of Buffalo Mozzarella. We stopped for lunch at a nice little Trattoria. Inside were groups of Italian families having lunch. It was Saturday so everyone was taking their time. We ate the best Pasta con vongole (Pasta with clams), wine, fish and dessert. It was wonderful. The last thing I wanted to do now was drive back but we did.

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Missing Credit card Reader at IKEA

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Loaded car at Supermercato

After unloading everything at the house we still need some food and lights, lamps, glasses for water and wine, etc. There is a Supermercato in our town. It was food on the first floor, glasses, lights, lamps, dishes, mirrors, trash cans, etc on the top floor and washing machines and TVs in the basement. We bought some for and all the remaining items we needed to set up our home. In Italy business shut down between 1 and 4 pm. We were the last ones out of the store. They closed and locked the door behind us.

Italian refrigerators are very small compared to those in America but you don’t need a large refrigerator. Everyone buys fresh and only for today and maybe tomorrow. So we were in Italy … when in Italy … do as the Italians do. At 4 pm when the stores opened we shopped at a pastry store, cheese store, homemade chocolate store, pasta store, buffalo mozzarella store and bread store. Finally we found a fresh fruit & vegetable stand. The father and son brought everything in from the farm fresh. Things still had dirt on them and all the fruit had leaves. This produce was wonderful. The tomatoes were so much better than even the best Jersey tomatoes in the summer. The pears were juicy and so flavorful. Buying fresh each day is so wonderful and we have lost it here in America. Fruit and vegetables are picked early so they transport better but they never taste great. We pay a hefty price!

Eating breakfast on our deck looking at the sea and mountains puts you in a great place. It is better than meditation. Unfortunately the week is going way to fast.

On Monday we will discuss touring the area we live in and the great beaches there.

George & Jo Anne


Categories: Closing a property in Italy, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, IKEA, Italy, Supermercato, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An XPATs Journey to Own a Home in Italy

English: Logo of Ikea.

English: Logo of Ikea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK now you bought a home in another country. You bought a kitchen so you could cook (these are typically not included in a sale). You bought a bed to sleep on maybe a couch and table and chairs. Oh the fun is just beginning! What about all those small things around the house you need but don’t have in your new place. Here is a small list of items we had to get at a local IKEA in Italy:

  1. Bed linens, pillows and a blanket
  2. Mattress pad
  3. Mirror
  4. Toilet brush
  5. Hooks for towels
  6. Math mat
  7. Kitchen towels
  8. Hot pads
  9. Silverware
  10. Pots and pans
  11. Cooking utensils
  12. Wine & water glasses
  13. Bowls
  14. Cork screw and beer bottle opener
  15. Sharp knives
  16. Cheese grater
  17. Cutting boards
  18. Callender
  19. Can opener
  20. Pasta spoon
  21. Napkins
  22. Place mats
  23. Storage containers
  24. Tools (metric system)
  25. Scissors

Oh the necessities of life are fun. The other problem we will have is we are planning on stopping at IKEA on our way from the airport to our new home. No problem you think? The cars in Italy are tiny. 2 American suitcases and a bunch of stuff from IKEA may strain the car’s capacities. Even so it will be fun and an adventure!

The kitchen is small by American standards and the refrigerator is tiny but we must remember we are in Italy! You don’t shop for weeks, you don’t buy processed foods. You buy fresh each day for what you will need. Suddenly the refrigerator seems large. If you are planning to buy in Europe or live for an extended time, live like the locals. Forget the way you do things back home. It  is, after all, an adventure into learning.

George & Jo Anne


Categories: Amalfi Coast, Campania, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Velina, Xpats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Counting the Days!

Continental italian bread

Continental italian bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are counting the days until we are back in Italy at our apartment in Velina (in the Cileno National Forest). This trip will be mostly working on the apartment. Setting up the kitchen, bath and bedroom. We will also be having fun exploring our small town and the near by seashore towns. There are a few hill top towns we also want to investigate. Mainly the trip is to familiarize us with the local area, stores, food and wine. We will be sitting on our balcony overlooking the sea and the mountains with a bottle of local wine, some local cheese and bread (the great Italian bread). The first night will be in Positano so Jo can pickup some dishes for the new place and for us to spend and afternoon in this fabulous town. Then off early to drive the Amalfi Coast Road to Salerno and stop at the IKEA for needed items. Then south past Agropoli to Velina. The last night will be at a hotel near Fumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci) airport. This will allow us to get up early have some breakfast and get our plane home.

George & Jo


Categories: Amalfi Coast, Campania, Cilento, General Travel, Italy, Positano, Rome, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What to Buy?

Continental italian bread

Continental italian bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have bought an apartment in southern Italy and are planning our first trip of 10 days. We had a kitchen and bed installed so we can live there short term. On the drive from Rome to Velina we will spend a night in Positano. Yes it’s beautiful but this stop is practical! We are going to buy ceramic dishes for the new apartment. Then a stop at IKEA in Salerno to get sheets, pillows and what not. We also need to find small local stores for things like a toilette seat, towels, and of course the important first night staple of crusty Italian bread, cheese and a bottle of local vino. Hopefully we can do all this and make it to our place before the sun goes down. Using your Italian keys for the first time can be a daunting task. Which key does what? Will the clicker open the automatic gate that guards the property?

Once inside we can sit on our deck, eat some bread and cheese and sip vino while watching the Mediterranean Sea and the huge mountains all around us. Yes life is good. Then we have a week to explore our new home. Make some friends and find great new restaurants.

Categories: Amalfi Coast, General Travel, Italy, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amalfi Once Again …

We are planning a trip back to Amalfi and our new apartment. We will rent a car in Rome at the airport and drive to Positano. Here we will shop for ceramic dishes for the new apartment. We will spend a night once again in this romantic place. Then in the morning drive the Amalfi Coast road to Salerno to visit an IKEA (yes there are IKEA’s in Italy). From here we drive south along the beautiful Mediterranean to Velina (where our apartment is). We plan on setting up the new place and getting to know the beach and mountain towns nearby. More on this later.

We plan on many small trattoria’s with good food, pizza and of course wine. Our area of Campania is also known for Buffalo Mozzarella. Bu

Looking back to Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Looking back to Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

on Cibo!


George & Jo Anne

Categories: Amalfi Coast, General Travel, Italy, Positano, Rome, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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