Search Results for rental diaries

May 9, 2018

Rental Diaries, vol. 11

Tutto incluso. “All-inclusive.”   What a difference these two words make in a housing listing. Having the costs of water, gas, electricity—and in certain otherworldly apartments, WiFi—factored in to a flat’s monthly rate is usually a rich-landlord ruse. Still, it’s one many of us would happily tolerate. Costs as a tenant in a tutto incluso […]
April 9, 2018

Rental Diaries, vol. 10

From the period of November 2016 to April 2017 I was positively desperate and, as a result, insufferable. You will read that and perhaps link it to a certain orange-tinged election, but the primary culprit was the housing market in Florence. My search was all I could talk about (hence the creation of this column). […]
February 28, 2018

Rental diaries, vol. 9

In Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find, a grandmother goes on a road trip. She wears her finest organdy garments so in case of an accident, “anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” We’re supposed to be put off by her superficiality. Deep […]
February 2, 2018

Rental Diaries, vol. 8

If you rent in Florence but don’t expect to live your entire life in one palazzo, you will probably one day navigate the hurdles of early withdrawal from a housing contract.       One of these is pinning down a takeover tenant. The landlord, if amenable to your departure request, will delegate this task […]
January 19, 2018

Rental Diaries, vol. 7

Real estate is said to have three rules: location, location, location. Rents rise in fashionable areas—this is, of course, amplified in Florence. And, rather inconveniently for cash-strapped city dwellers, leading experts (okay, mothers) love to cite this saying, manipulating its original meaning: Location is everything. Safety is paramount. Move across the ocean, sure, but by […]
November 6, 2017

Rental Diaries, vol. 6

Neighborly interactions have increased exponentially for me since I made the jump (down) from a third-floor walk-up to a ground floor apartment. This is thanks to a phenomenon I rarely experienced in my years upstairs: UFOs (Unidentified Falling Objects).   The only UFO yet to be scientifically explained is a hot pink shoelace that landed […]
September 29, 2017

Rental Diaries, vol. 5

Rent had been due a few days, but Amber and I had time to find a fourth roommate to help us pay it. This was Florence. People needed rooms. The August factor, however, hadn’t figured in to our calculations. Things looked bleak on (a misnomer: PiuttostoDifficileStanza is more fitting, but packs less of a […]
September 5, 2017

Rental diaries, vol. 4

For Daniel, details of {a person named} Florence’s relationship with James were hazy prior to the whole group’s arrival in {a city named} Florence. Florence and Daniel had never met in person, but had arranged to split rent in a quasi-quadrilocale on sdrucciolo de’ Pitti. Daniel was arriving from New Mexico for research. Florence had, […]
July 11, 2017

Rental Diaries, vol. 3

The Lady Downstairs is not a washed-up horror film, but a name my former roommates used when referring to Elena, guardian of the ground floor. She had an uncanny sense for when anyone was lingering at the hallway mailboxes, emerging from her cave ready to castigate. Amber and I were her only company in the […]
June 7, 2017

Rental Diaries, vol. 2

Sam is the son of a teacher and a writer—professions that people who land in Florence often have or hope for. His family’s was supposed to be a short sabbatical from their suburban life, but ended up being a two-year stay during Sam’s teenage years. He recalls, vividly, the night they arrived jetlagged, listless expressions […]