First Week in Italy

Friday, June 10, 2011

We've been in Italy for 1 week as of today.
I'm not going to lie, it has been a pretty stressful and exhausting week.
PCSing isn't easy, and PCSing overseas is even more difficult.
It can only get better from here, right?
When we arrived TLF was full, so reservations had been made for us at a hotel instead. Don't get me wrong, the hotel is pretty neat, but not for an extended period of time. TLF gives you a full kitchen, washer dryer, all of the things you would need in a temporary home. A hotel does not offer you those same luxuries. Also, TLF is very convenient seeing as it is located on base, and in walking distance of many important places. This is not possible in a hotel. Gotta make the most of it though, right?
I had no idea that finding a place to live here in Italy would be so chaotic and competitive. Technically, you have a month. BUT if you wait, all of the decent places will be snatched up by other newcomers.
The AHRN website is not the best tool to use. Word of mouth if by far a better option. My personal opinion about the website is that if a house is that great, someone is going to take it before it even gets a chance to make it onto the website. And if it does make it to the website, and it stays available for a while, well then there's something wrong with it (either with the house itself, or the location is super far from base). Other people may disagree, but this is just my personal opinion that was formed from my personal experience.
My husband and I got lucky. His sponsor told us that the townhouse by him was available. It was huge, and pretty awesome. We viewed it on Monday, and signed the lease on Wednesday. We really didn't feel like continuing this house hunting business.
Our car actually beat us to Italy, but has been held hostage.
We began Right Start classes on Monday, which lasted until about 4:30, which is when the place where the cars are held closes. On Wednesday while my husband was in class his sponsor took me to try and pick up the car. I got as far as the registration office on base. Even though the car is in MY name, since I am merely a dependent, I was not allowed to register the car.
Seriously, they're not joking about the term dependent.
So we left, and came back later that afternoon with my husband. This time, the system that registers cars was down. They told us that if we went upstairs to the legal office, my husband could give me power of attorney to register my own car, and I could come back in the morning and take care of business.
So we did that.
I arrived at 8am the next morning to learn that the system was still down. I spent the rest of the day on base in my husband's shop calling the registration office every 30 minutes to see if the system was up.
So yesterday morning I decided to stay at the hotel while my husband went on base to take care of things. Surely the system must be up and running, right?
It was down all day. They told my husband that it would be working by today.
My husband goes on base again this morning. Guess what?
System was still down. They said there was nothing they could do to help us, we just had to wait until the system came back up.
So this afternoon my husband receives a phone call from the registration office. They tell him that the place that houses all the cars is too full, so they will give him a temporary pass to go pick up our car.
I'm sorry, there's a temporary pass?
So.... This temporary pass didn't exist all week long, but as soon as something becomes an inconvenience for them, it suddenly appears?
Well, at least we will finally be getting our car. The housing office should complete the inspection of our place by the end of next week, and our home goods are also scheduled to arrive by the end of next week.
Hopefully (fingers crossed), we will be able to move into our place the following week.
I know things will only get better from here, and I cannot wait until we are settled.
Now that we have our car we can really start to explore the area and see what it has to offer!


  1. Great goodness gracious. So what I learned from this is: A) make a reservation for TLF NOW so that they don't run out. B) have all of my friends rally together and find homes for us to look out as soon as we get out there. C)stop gawking over the AHRN sight—sad that it sucks, we liked looking there! D)If they pull any shennanigans at the car place, tell them I want a temporary pass...or have my husband tell them (since he's clearly the man of the house). E) Insist on things and don't ask.

    Yikes. I love that you still have a positive outlook. Keep it up! You have my email address—if you have time i'd love to hear any more advice you might have!

  2. This sounds about right. Moving overseas is chaotic, overwhelming and frustrating for the first month or two until things get settled. Im sorry you've had a difficult time, but YES, it will get better!!!

  3. It does sound sound about right...especially at Aviano. I'm glad you got your car though! Hopefully the plethora of fabulous wine here will help make things better too! ;)

  4. I had to chuckle a bit while reading this because it definitely does sound like Aviano! There is always an exception to the rule...especially when it comes to TLF and Pass & Registration (when they choose it to be available.) I have had friends get bumped out of TLF even after registering months a head of time.

    I really hope things smooth out and enjoy the wine, hopefully your sponsor still was able to get you all a little welcome gift for your hotel and hopefully your hotel or house get's internet pretty quickly so you can keep up with friends and family back home.

    Best of Luck!