(Unhappy) update on Italy

It is not all blue skies, white stone and ambitious plans and unfortunately there are some things that happen that bring you crashing back to reality. I’m not talking about the recent political resignation either, although who knows what impact that will have!

Last weekend, we discovered that the small deposito on our land had been broken into. The thieves had levered the bars from the rear window img_5393and broken through the window to get in. They had rummaged through our stuff and stolen the electrical goods, alcohol and tools. They then walked through the front door to get out. All in all it has cost us 2-3,000 euros.

This is despite the building being secure, alarmed and monitored by the local vigilanze (private security firm) with a ten minute response time.  When we spoke to the security company they said that the alarm must have been switched off since it had not triggered. In fact, the theft was only discovered the next day when our friends popped by to check the place was ok and found it not ok. On reopening the front door, the alarm went off and some considerable time later (and not the ten minutes or so that they are meant to be there), the security firm arrived.

Unfortunately this does make you reconsider some of the decisions you are taking. We have shown a lot of trust during our Italian adventure and this is the third time (and by far the worst) that we have had things stolen from us. It is a very poor part of Italy, times are hard and immigration is hurting since this is one of the spots that illegal immigrants cross from Africa.

It is also the hunting season in Puglia when people are entitled to walk on any land that has not got a full height wall surrounding it. Clearly this allows people to scope out the place too. But the house looks so innocuous so it must have been like Christmas coming early when they found what was inside.

Having had some time to think about it, Maria and I now need to discuss how we react.  We have a lot of good friends in Italy and we do feel that by trusting people we have got further than we would have done otherwise.  You also shouldn’t let a few mishaps change the way you feel about something.

But we do need to react to minimise the risk of recurrence.  So we are considering changing our plans slightly to make sure that we can finish off the build and get the house ready without any more unfortunate incidents. In the past we had thought that the wall surrounding all of the land would be built after the house was completed but we now think that we are likely to be continually broken into while the house is being finished. We need to discuss further with our builders but it is likely that we need to make the site completely secure with the wall, gates, CCTV, alarms and a reliable security company (and just to be clear, we are not saying the previous company aren’t reliable just that we need to check this rather than assuming it).

Anyway, Mariadz life is not all perfect but we will get over the obstacles that get in our way to move onwards and upwards.


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