It’s been exactly one month since we arrived. We’ve seen sights, Paul’s started his new job and we’ve enjoyed many meals. But my primary task has been apartment hunting, and what a hunt it’s been. Our friends Dan and Amy told us that it would take two to three months to find a long-term rental, and they were not whistling Dixie. (But leave it to me to think surely I can just jump in there and find something within a month or so. If I really apply myself…) It’s not that there isn’t anything available, there is. Our issues mainly involve two things: dreamy expectations and a new marriage.
When I pictured our move to Rome, I really expected historical loveliness to be within reach. An elegant building with big wooden shutters, maybe exposed beams and terra cotta flooring. A villa with orange trees, perhaps. To my surprise, most of the apartments in Rome are actually 60s style buildings aptly called “box apartments”. They’re high-rises with terraces, but not in a good way. At all. There are also 80s style buildings with equally dated decor. Both of these styles are actually sought after by Italians, considered high quality because they’re new and usually remodeled at considerable expense. Of her own mustard yellow bathroom, Amy commiserated, “I didn’t even know that marble came in that color.” Clearly I need to get more familiar with the Roman aesthetic.
Beyond that, Paul and I are newlyweds who have never lived together and as it turns out, have wildly different tastes. I’d prefer a charming neighborhood with tree-lined streets and grand looking villas. Somewhere quiet and peaceful, an oasis amid the busy city. Paul’s ideal location would be in the middle of a street. A busy street.
So, with a full month to go before we need to move from our (perfectly nice) sublet, the number of places we’ve seen is closing in on twenty. Dan says that’s the magic number. On more than one occasion he’s told us, “You need to see like twenty apartments before you’ll find something. Take your time because there are some great places in Rome.” This must mean that The One is just around the corner. I like this sound of it because I’m eager to get settled, plus it would put us ahead of schedule after all.
In the meantime, a selection of our options. The good, the bad and the mod…