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Sunkissed,

you might want to go and hang around the bar (Aufinium) in Ofena, as this is what I used to do to meet people and have a chat. I would just go for lunch or dinner there with your parents and have a chat with the girls working there. In the morning you might bump into Patrizia which is a real sweetheart and lives in Villa, just above Carrufo.

Other tips are: go have your hair done at any local hairdresser and ask them for tips on things to do and where to hang out. Or at the shop, like Giacinta's, in Ofena, she is very sociable and helpful. Usually everybody hangs around at the bar before or after dinner, so chances are you will have a chat with someone and get ideas. If you speak Italian that really helps.

What are you interested in, in general? And will you be mobile (car, Vespa ETC.)

Be aware that in Italy social life hangs around your group of friends. So if you have a friend, you get all the rest of the group for free. Problem is, they tend to stick to their own group. If you are the shy type, it might be hard, but again, you are going to stay with family, so start there: inform is anywhere in the neighbourhood there is anybody your age they can introduce you to, and see what it comes up.

Good luck and have fun,

Barbara
 

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Meeting People

It takes a little while to be accepted. Our neighbor didn't talk to us for 2 years other than a Buono Giorno when we passed on the street Then suddenly one morning she stopped me says Good Morning and proceeds to tell me her life storey in English!
The other problem is that half the people in town aren't speaking to the other half!
Feuds which can run for years. Luckily we seem to be able operate outside the local politics and can talk to both sides without insulting anyone.
Our biggest problem is our lack of Italian. We need to spend a continuous 6 months there to start to learn it. Computer programs and night courses don't seem to do the trick. Mind you if things keep going this way the villages will be all english in a few years!

Barry







Sunkissed,

you might want to go and hang around the bar (Aufinium) in Ofena, as this is what I used to do to meet people and have a chat. I would just go for lunch or dinner there with your parents and have a chat with the girls working there. In the morning you might bump into Patrizia which is a real sweetheart and lives in Villa, just above Carrufo.

Other tips are: go have your hair done at any local hairdresser and ask them for tips on things to do and where to hang out. Or at the shop, like Giacinta's, in Ofena, she is very sociable and helpful. Usually everybody hangs around at the bar before or after dinner, so chances are you will have a chat with someone and get ideas. If you speak Italian that really helps.

What are you interested in, in general? And will you be mobile (car, Vespa ETC.)

Be aware that in Italy social life hangs around your group of friends. So if you have a friend, you get all the rest of the group for free. Problem is, they tend to stick to their own group. If you are the shy type, it might be hard, but again, you are going to stay with family, so start there: inform is anywhere in the neighbourhood there is anybody your age they can introduce you to, and see what it comes up.

Good luck and have fun,

Barbara
 

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You know, I was thinking of starting a Summer class of Italian in Ofena a few years ago, seeing I have a language school in Amsterdam, and therefore perfeclty qualified for the job. And I tried to bring there my own students for language and cooking courses, but every year there were problems with the housing of students. Agreements I made in September were forgotten in october, let stay in July, so I renounced and decided I was just going to enjoy Summers with the kids and no work, for once.

point is, to market such a thing you need hard agreements, and they are not possible down there.

Now the situation is a little changed, so I might want to try again. Any feedback on how to find students is welcome.

barbara
 

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It takes a little while to be accepted. Our neighbor didn't talk to us for 2 years other than a Buono Giorno when we passed on the street Then suddenly one morning she stopped me says Good Morning and proceeds to tell me her life storey in English!
The other problem is that half the people in town aren't speaking to the other half!
Feuds which can run for years. Luckily we seem to be able operate outside the local politics and can talk to both sides without insulting anyone.
Our biggest problem is our lack of Italian. We need to spend a continuous 6 months there to start to learn it. Computer programs and night courses don't seem to do the trick. Mind you if things keep going this way the villages will be all english in a few years!

Barry
I just left my door open and soon people walked by and chatted. Unfortunately, they spoke French or Italian and me English, next time I will try a little Spanish... I agree, I have the Rosetta Stone and several audio discs nothing other than being there and having to speak Italian to get by will truly make me fluent.
 

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I am full of questions, does anybody know of a good antique shop or furniture shop near Ofena, Sulmona or Pescara. I really don't want to furnish my place with nothing but stuff from IKEA. Looking for a bed, chandelier (electric or votive candle), armoire, book cases, a nice outdoor light fixture, tables and chairs, but not looking to spend 100,000 euros on furniture, (like some of the stores in Pescara) :) Does anyone know of an all in one kitchen? I love to cook, but don't need anything elaborate. I think that there is a big hardware store not too far from Ofena by the petrol station, I can't remember the name. Has anybody dealt with them before? I need to build a couple of small retaining walls and I am looking for the interlocking brick system, do you think that they might have them? I am planning on being there the first week of February 2009 till March. Hoping to get a lot of things done.....
 

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I am full of questions, does anybody know of a good antique shop or furniture shop near Ofena, Sulmona or Pescara. I really don't want to furnish my place with nothing but stuff from IKEA. Looking for a bed, chandelier (electric or votive candle), armoire, book cases, a nice outdoor light fixture, tables and chairs, but not looking to spend 100,000 euros on furniture, (like some of the stores in Pescara) :) Does anyone know of an all in one kitchen? I love to cook, but don't need anything elaborate. I think that there is a big hardware store not too far from Ofena by the petrol station, I can't remember the name. Has anybody dealt with them before? I need to build a couple of small retaining walls and I am looking for the interlocking brick system, do you think that they might have them? I am planning on being there the first week of February 2009 till March. Hoping to get a lot of things done.....
There is a furniture store in Bussi but it is modern furniture and kind of expensive. There are several in L'Aquila right along SS17 as you leave the city for Ofena. We stopped in one that was called Judy's I think and they had decent mid price stuff but wouldn't deliver to Carrufo. Ofena they said was no problem but the extra 5 Km. was impossible!
The hardware place by the gas station seems to be mostly wholesale by the looks of it. Marini's in San Pio has just about everything and the prices aren't bad. If you prefer the Home Depot experience there are a couple in Pescara just west of the airport that are just about identical to Home Depot here. They are big French chain stores but you would need a large car to carry anything.
 

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There is a furniture store in Bussi but it is modern furniture and kind of expensive. There are several in L'Aquila right along SS17 as you leave the city for Ofena. We stopped in one that was called Judy's I think and they had decent mid price stuff but wouldn't deliver to Carrufo. Ofena they said was no problem but the extra 5 Km. was impossible!
The hardware place by the gas station seems to be mostly wholesale by the looks of it. Marini's in San Pio has just about everything and the prices aren't bad. If you prefer the Home Depot experience there are a couple in Pescara just west of the airport that are just about identical to Home Depot here. They are big French chain stores but you would need a large car to carry anything.
Thank you, Barry. I think that I will rent an estate wagon. I want to accomplish a lot in my few weeks. After a two day ordeal trying to get a door key made or "found" in Sulmona, Home Depot sounds great! Unfortunately, my house is nowhere near as nice as yours. So much work to do. I guess that I am looking for "older" style furniture, a nice iron bed, actual "wood" book cases, classic table and chairs. I saw a very expensive furniture store on a corner in Pescara, kinda my style, but not my budget :( Not opposed to used, as it has some character).
In your travels did you ever find fireplace mantles? I am looking for a small stone mantle to spruce up the fireplace.
I don't want to upset the neighbors but would a small generator for tools bring down the wrath of the locals?
I don't know what is is about the road to Carrufo, but even the estate agents didn't like driving it ??? I don't know why..
 

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You should try to look for a second hand store, there is a chain called Mercatopoli, (they have a website in Italian) and I know that one of their outlets is specializing in antique and design (is the one in Alba Adriatica, via Cesare Battisti, run by Vanny and Riziero, I gave them lots of stuff to re-sell, and they had last summer a couple of interesting things).

In Ascoli Piceno they have an antique and brocante markets one Sunday per month. And you shpould just make friends in the village and ask around if they have any old stuff lying around.

Think of this: the mentality is that you do not throw anything away, god forbid, but also that old stuff cannot decently be given away. So you might want to insist that you really like repairing things yourself, and that it doesn't matter.

You might also ant to check at the carpenters behind Millennium, the building materials outlets down at the road to l'Aquila, because they do renovate old stuff and they might have tips.

I also know someone who is trying to sell her house, and who might want to sell all the furniture apart, before moving to the Casa di Riposo voor elders, but I can talk to these people only in summer.

Ciao,
Barbara

I am full of questions, does anybody know of a good antique shop or furniture shop near Ofena, Sulmona or Pescara. I really don't want to furnish my place with nothing but stuff from IKEA. Looking for a bed, chandelier (electric or votive candle), armoire, book cases, a nice outdoor light fixture, tables and chairs, but not looking to spend 100,000 euros on furniture, (like some of the stores in Pescara) :) Does anyone know of an all in one kitchen? I love to cook, but don't need anything elaborate. I think that there is a big hardware store not too far from Ofena by the petrol station, I can't remember the name. Has anybody dealt with them before? I need to build a couple of small retaining walls and I am looking for the interlocking brick system, do you think that they might have them? I am planning on being there the first week of February 2009 till March. Hoping to get a lot of things done.....
 

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I am full of questions, does anybody know of a good antique shop or furniture shop near Ofena, Sulmona or Pescara. I really don't want to furnish my place with nothing but stuff from IKEA. Looking for a bed, chandelier (electric or votive candle), armoire, book cases, a nice outdoor light fixture, tables and chairs, but not looking to spend 100,000 euros on furniture, (like some of the stores in Pescara) :) Does anyone know of an all in one kitchen? I love to cook, but don't need anything elaborate. I think that there is a big hardware store not too far from Ofena by the petrol station, I can't remember the name. Has anybody dealt with them before? I need to build a couple of small retaining walls and I am looking for the interlocking brick system, do you think that they might have them? I am planning on being there the first week of February 2009 till March. Hoping to get a lot of things done.....
Hi
Have you tried Mondo Convenienza in Citta S'Angelo for furniture. We bought our beds and a beautiful wooden chest of drawers(for the bedroom) from them. They have got a large display of furniture and will either deliver it or if it is in stock you can take it away with you.
We have used both Iperidil(which is the big hardware store in Ofena) and Marini's in San Pio and they are both very good. The hardware store has all sorts of bricks, wood and tiles and we have found them good value.
We are also in Ofena from the 5th February to the 12th.
Perhaps we will get to meet up.
Judy.
 

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They have all sorts of stone in the hardware stores so I'am sure you could find something to fit. I've seen little electric generators for sale everywhere, even in Auchan and I imagine that as long as you didn't run it at night it would be no problem.
Are you saying you don't have any electricity? How are you going to stay warm?
 

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You should try to look for a second hand store, there is a chain called Mercatopoli, (they have a website in Italian) and I know that one of their outlets is specializing in antique and design (is the one in Alba Adriatica, via Cesare Battisti, run by Vanny and Riziero, I gave them lots of stuff to re-sell, and they had last summer a couple of interesting things).

In Ascoli Piceno they have an antique and brocante markets one Sunday per month. And you shpould just make friends in the village and ask around if they have any old stuff lying around.

Think of this: the mentality is that you do not throw anything away, god forbid, but also that old stuff cannot decently be given away. So you might want to insist that you really like repairing things yourself, and that it doesn't matter.

You might also ant to check at the carpenters behind Millennium, the building materials outlets down at the road to l'Aquila, because they do renovate old stuff and they might have tips.

I also know someone who is trying to sell her house, and who might want to sell all the furniture apart, before moving to the Casa di Riposo voor elders, but I can talk to these people only in summer.

Ciao,
Barbara

Thank you Barbara for the information. I really do rely on word of mouth as to places to go. I appreciate you sharing your finds :)
 

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Hi
Have you tried Mondo Convenienza in Citta S'Angelo for furniture. We bought our beds and a beautiful wooden chest of drawers(for the bedroom) from them. They have got a large display of furniture and will either deliver it or if it is in stock you can take it away with you.
We have used both Iperidil(which is the big hardware store in Ofena) and Marini's in San Pio and they are both very good. The hardware store has all sorts of bricks, wood and tiles and we have found them good value.
We are also in Ofena from the 5th February to the 12th.
Perhaps we will get to meet up.
Judy.
Hello Judy,
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, it helps me tremendously. Yes, I believe it would be fun to meet up :) I will keep you informed as to where abouts the closer we get to the date.
 

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They have all sorts of stone in the hardware stores so I'am sure you could find something to fit. I've seen little electric generators for sale everywhere, even in Auchan and I imagine that as long as you didn't run it at night it would be no problem.
Are you saying you don't have any electricity? How are you going to stay warm?
Hi Barry,
I am updating the electrics or currently having what is there checked out. I plan on staying hopefully at a local B&B or house, working on the place during the day and retiring to comfort at night. I just want to have light and power for tools from the get go as my time is short. They tell me it is 3 degrees C right now, I don't know how much wood I would need to keep warm at night? The fireplace does work.... I might experiment :)
 

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Hi Barry,
I am updating the electrics or currently having what is there checked out. I plan on staying hopefully at a local B&B or house, working on the place during the day and retiring to comfort at night. I just want to have light and power for tools from the get go as my time is short. They tell me it is 3 degrees C right now, I don't know how much wood I would need to keep warm at night? The fireplace does work.... I might experiment :)
I forgot, did you buy through House Around Italy? If so they have a card you can use to get discounts at Globo and Smeg in Pescara. They claim you can get 20-30% off building supplies and appliances.
 

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I forgot, did you buy through House Around Italy? If so they have a card you can use to get discounts at Globo and Smeg in Pescara. They claim you can get 20-30% off building supplies and appliances.
Thank you Barry! I will inquire with the good folks at House around Italy. That would be a huge plus.....
 

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Thank you Barry! I will inquire with the good folks at House around Italy. That would be a huge plus.....
Hi
You can get the discount at those stores via HAI. They will give you card to use at the stores.
We used our card at Globo and got 10% discount, although the sales advisor still had to contact HAI to confirm it. I don't think that all of the sales advisors are aware of the agreement that they have with HAI.
Judy.
 

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hi a verry good place to buy second hand furnature is BANCADILLUSATO in montesilvano near pescara , its easy to find its on the side of corso umberto .there are flags of all naition flying and they allso sell american cars , there is to barns full of second hand furnature speaking of american cars i have a freind in abruzzo who hires them out he is italian american as for stone mantels its verry cheap to have one made to your spec ,if you need more detail contact me
 

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Approx. how much would a very small house be in this area? I'm talking like a kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom (or something similarly small).
thanks
 

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Judy
Red brick sounds nice! Ours is done in that white shiny tile. In fact our whole kitchen is done in this white tile which extends half way up the walls. Looks like a hospital room! We have started to do some painting but the price of paint compared to Calgary is a shock (about double) and those plaster walls are like sponges so 5 liters dosen't go very far.
Barry

I was thinking can you get bond crete there? You can thin it down and seal the wall first or maybe chuck some in the paint. It's like PVA glue and might stop the paint sucking in?
 
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