the reckless Easter sprint

Happy Easter!

My right eye has been twitching quite often recently.
It’s a sign of stress. I have been running out of time.
In most countries of the world, if they tell you have 9 months for renovating a roof, you think you have time. I am talking of a relatively small roof which insist on a 5 rooms apartment. It takes 2 weeks to actually do the work.
In Italy however, time works in a different dimension. Nine months are a very short time, they equals hours here no, minutes. It produces additional grey hair, sleepless nights and twitching eyes.
At the beginning of May last year we have bought the other half of our house, after almost 10 years of waiting and worries. Then we thought ” how wonderful, we’ll make ourselves green”. We’ll have a biomass heater, a ventilated roof and we’ll produce electricity and hot water with solar panels. Cool eh?
But a man who has no permits cannot do the works.
And so it is that we have ventured into one of Italy’s darkest tunnels. B.U.R.E.A.U.C.R.A.C.Y.
And so it is that after a long, quiet winter during which we have no B&B guests, all the crazy permits have only arrived two weeks ago. That is two weeks before opening up for the tourist season.
the roof on March 21, tiles removed, just a layer of cement

the roof on March 28, insulation installed, panels half way

And so it is that the last roof tiles have gone up on the roof this afternoon at 5:00
And so it is that the first guests have arrived this afternoon at 5:30.
And they have smiled. And they have found the place beautiful.
And the solar panels are there and I am so relieved I think I want to cry.
Happy Easter everyone, have a nice, quiet, peaceful time.

PS. I have no pictures of the new good-looking tiles, I will take them tomorrow, after taking care of my guests 🙂


  1. Bless you Leti – you shouldn’t keep it all in – you’ll explode! Social media is perfect for letting off steam and relieving the pressure sometimes!
    So glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you guys and I hope we’ll be able to see you in the next few days! Now, get out there and take some photos – enquiring minds want to know!!! Mwah!

  2. Oh dear Letizia, I love Italy but really because of all the horror stories I hear about the bureaucracy I could never live there full time. So glad it got done just in the nick of time! Happy tourist season!!

  3. Oh how frustrating for you! I think you’ll love the solar panels. We built a new home last summer and installed a solar panel to heat our hot water. It works very effectively, even on cloudy winter west coast days! I’m sure your guests are still smiling, just as we do every time we remember our stay with you in your beautiful B&B! Hope to return to Umbria one day soon.

  4. So happy for you, excited that your first guests have arrived, so instantly jealous of them! Congratulations on finally “having a bundle to be proud of” after nine long months! 😉
    Happy and peaceful Easter to you Letizia!

  5. On our way from Rome to the airport at Fiumincino, I had a great conversation in my elementary Italian with our driver about the bureaucracy involved in getting solar in Italy, and how the government makes every step difficult and really gives one no incentive for being green. “Brava!” for going all the way and doing this. We hope to install solar here in Tucson, Arizona – where we have more than 325 days of sun each year – makes sense, yes? Relax and try to enjoy (in advance) your wonderful, entire, green home! ~David

  6. Congratulations on completing your long project, Letitizia! We look forward to returning someday to see all the wonderful changes and expansions. We have such happy memories of our cooking class.

  7. Thank you all for the encouraging words! Now we need to be patient again until Enel, our national electricity company decides to come and connect us to the grid, so we can actually use what we produce. Please help me to cross fingers!!!

  8. Dear Letizia,
    Lovely pictures, great to see and to envision I’m there in your olive orchard. As if my mom says ‘hi’.
    Thank you for that, again,

  9. Congratulations on achieving this, while keeping your sense of humour and sanity! The panels look good, and what a brilliant way to do something positive for the environment!

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