We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Living the dream- apartment hunting in Venice

One of the big items on our list of issues to handle was finding a place to live in Venice. The last time we were there we spent a few days with realtors looking at available apartments. The first one was so small.. and nothing in the kitchen at all!!! We had read about having to provide your own kitchen appliances but it didn't fully sink in until we saw an example of this first hand. This was going to be quite a bit different from any of our experiences in America!

We had discussed a 3 month rental with Marco, the man we rent an apartment when we visit annually. This would give us a jumping off place when we move. We love the area of Castello so it would feel familar to us, making the inital transition smoother. As we got closer to actually moving, it occurred to us that perhaps we could find someplace for a full year that would take the dogs if we looked in advance from here.

I started using the internet to contact some realtors in Venice. Every one of them told me they had no properties that would accept pets. I don't know what possessed me, but one day I emailed a gentleman (Gianni) who had an apartment rental in Castello, wondering if he would possibly consider a longer term lease ( at least a year) and if he would allow our 2 dogs. Gianni emailed me back explaining he only rented by the week, but asked for more specifics about what we needed and he would ask around on our behalf.

It's been my experience during this whole process that the moment I verbalize- actually ask for what it is I need, amazing things happen. Inside of a week I had received emails from several friends of Gianni, all with apartments for rent long term, all who would happily take on our dogs. A few were really small, only one bedroom. We determined we had to have 2 bedrooms, and a decent size kitchen- we needed to be less crowed. Even though we planned to get rid of almost all our worldly possessions here, we still would need to not be on top of each other 24 hours a day.

After back and forth emails with a few of Gianni's friends, one came through with the ideal place. What a find... 3 bedrooms with a decent kitchen AND a private large garden on a canal!!! It isn't in the Castello area that we were hoping for, but it had more space than we had ever anticipated. The rent was also a bit more than we had budgeted for.

We emailed back and forth several times, she sent pictures of every angle imaginable. The apartment is not a palazzo, but we never planned on that. We sent our friend Marco to check it out in person, just to be sure. He thought it looked fine, not the area we want and not a glorious kitchen, cause he knows we both love to cook, but all was acceptable.

Contracts translated from Italian into English have finally reached us, and we are finalizing the deal as we speak!!! We are excited beyond belief....just can't wait. We look at the pictures on Google Earth at least once a day, checking our our new neighborhood. One more step in the process has been accomplished-- this one is a big one.

I don't know if words can even describe how incredible this journey is, or to ever express how grateful we are to each person we've met along the way who has contributed in some way with this fantastic adventure. This truly is "living the dream".


Anonymous said...

thanks so much for this. i'm going thru the same process for 3 months, and will be staying in your general area, so this is very valuable research.

karen said...

After 5 years in the same apt, we moved 18 months ago to Sant'Elena - way down in Castello.

Hope your apt search goes well. I have another tip for you. If yiu are on Facebook, see if yiu can oost a question in te Expats in Venice page. Many expats have connections. if you aren't able to post- I think it is a closed group- email me with your details and I will post there for you. You never know, something good might come of it.

When yiou are in Venice, lets meet up for a coffee! Keep me posted on how your apt hunt goes !