Thursday, October 23, 2003


Last week when we went with the geometra to pick out the tiles, he said that it was possible he might be able to start work the week of October 20th . On Monday, the 20th, we stopped in his office to ask if the work would be starting that day, but Mauro wasn't there, and no one else knew. We tried to call him on his cell phone, but got no answer. We assumed that he had not yet finished his other job, so we left for the day. While we were getting gas for the car, Wendy called to say that the geometra was waiting for us at the house! We headed back to San Venanzo, and met with Mauro and two of his workers. He showed the workers what needed to be done...all the floor tiles, wall tiles, fireplace, and wood paneling removed. Oh, and the banister will be taken down. We went over a few things and gave the foreman a set of keys. Mauro said that because of rain, work wouldn't start today. There were still several very large pieces of furniture to be moved to the garage. We apologized for not having them moved, but were told it was not a problem. The washer will also be moved, so we have washed everything we can in preparation for being without a washer for a week or so.

On Tuesday, we didn't hear or see anyone. I was anxious, but Art remained calm. We decided that if nothing happened on Wednesday, we would call Mauro.

On Wednesday morning at nine a.m., we heard movement downstairs...the work was beginning! Apparently they had been at the house for awhile, because all the new tiles were stacked in the garage, along with the fixtures for the bathroom. The furniture was being moved, and in a few minutes, all hell would break loose! We remained upstairs, out of the way, until we started to hear the sounds of demolition, then we couldn't control ourselves...we had to see. The noise was that of the fireplace being knocked out of place...first the mantel, then the walls. Progress! We decided to leave for the day when they started to take the tiles out because the noise was quite deafening, even with the doors closed upstairs. We were going to drive into Perugia, to male sure we knew how to get to the language school next Monday, and then to go to the Eurochocolate Festival. The trip to Perugia will be a story all its own!

We returned to the house around 4, and found that work was still going on. The floor was entirely gone, and the walls were bare. The banister had been taken down, as well as all that awful wood paneling. The wood stove that had been in the back room was gone. There were trenches being made in the floor for the various pipes and wires. The walls where tile had once been were being sanded so that we could eventually paint. I was in heaven!

Mauro was there, and he asked us to stay home the next morning, so that the house would be safe. He said that he trusted his workers, but that with the door standing open, it would be possible for someone to come up the stairs and steal things. I was surprised that this would even be a concern in a small town like San Venanzo. He also told us he had spoken with Rosella to coordinate the building of the new fireplace and the installation of the kitchen cabinets. We took some pictures of the work in progress, and went to fix dinner.

We were upstairs when we suddenly noticed that everything had gotten very quiet. It was five o'clock, and work was finished for the day. That night we set our alarm so that we would be up and dressed before the workers arrived the next morning. Also in the back of our minds was the possibility that electricity or water might be shut off at some point.

We needn't have bothered with the alarm. At 7:15 we awoke to the sound of jackhammers. Noisy stuff, to say the least! When we stuck our heads down the stairs, we saw that the trench in the floor had gotten much deeper and now extended all the way to the front of the room. The foreman shows us a sample of the rock that is our floor, and tells us that it is from the volcano. We know about this volcano, the only one in Umbria. We have a volcano museum her in San Venanzo, but we have not yet visited it. I'm sure everything will be in Italian, and it will be difficult to translate the technical terms. We do know that the rock is called venanzite, hence the name of the town. It is much denser than volcanic rock we have seen in Hawaii.