Learn From Our Mistake; Words of Advice
I have posted previously on June 2014, under TRAVEL TIPS to be aware that thing close in August. Not everything – but somethings, especially small stores. I guess I just didn’t comprehend how much this tip would have helped us this trip; 2016.
We thought we were making a smart decision by waiting to come to Parma to find an apartment rather than trying to decide back in Arizona, USA by just looking at the internet. After all, it’s not like we were just staying a week or two; 3 months is a long time and we really wanted to make sure we liked the place.
We arrived in Parma on August 4th to find that even the real estate agents are gone. Gone to the sea. Gone on vacation and nowhere to be found. This post is dated 8/20 and guess what… we still don’t have an apartment. We have been staying at a B&B which is very nice; but expensive. Our August budget is blown regarding the living situation.
Not only is the timing bad, the language barrier is another obstacle we are fighting. Gary does speak a little Italian but when you see a sign for an “affiti” (apartment for rent) walking the streets and you call the phone number; 99.8% of the time they only speak Italian – and really fast Italian. Sometimes they hang up on Gary or continue until Gary gives up and says “non capisco” (don’t understand). Just the other day we did find a very nice lady who does long term rentals (1 year or more) and she was helping us. There were two apartments we did indeed see. One had no air conditioning and pretty old (ha, I know) and the other was in an attic which was very hot, small, and had a portable air conditioner. We decided on neither.
We spoke with one of the front desk attendants yesterday at our current location and she is going to speak to her manager to see if they can make us an offer at one of their smaller places which would be more affordable. Still a great location but smaller than where we are currently, which is fine. The nice thing is they have air conditioning and WiFi. Two important things for us.
So, words of advice if you coming to Italy in August. Book in at least June or July and don’t wait. The ads that you see on the internet for rentals are more than likely for 6-months to a year. Apartment rentals, setting aside students, are normally 2-weeks, 6-months or 1 year. So you need to keep this in mind if it is applies to you. Also, looks like most of the signs indicate they will be returning August 22nd. Woo-hoo!