May 30th, 2012, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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How wonderful. I hope you make a go of it.
In bocca al lupo ;-)
MissPrism is offline  
May 30th, 2012, 12:41 AM
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Congratulations Caroline.

It is always good to hear of someone actually biting the bullet and starting over. I hope you are able to make a go of it.
I shall look forward to reading of your exploits.
Do you have a blog like Scarlett does? If not have you thought of starting one .
hetismij2 is offline  
May 30th, 2012, 03:02 AM
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Glad you are beginning your own thread Caroline.

One of the good things about residency is the cheap vaporetto trips, no more thinking "Is it worth 6.50 euro?"

I am curious to know intensive/difficult your Italian classes are, for instance do you have to do homework during the afternoons?
tarquin is offline  
Jun 1st, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Hi everyone and thanks very much for all your good wishes and suggestions! Gosh, the volume of responses is a bit overwhelming so it may take a while for me to respond to them all, but here goes to start.

Several people mentioned Italian TV etc. We'd tried watching RAI News when we were still in Edinburgh, but I couldn't cope with it as the newreading dolllybirds all speak so fast. But one of our teachers has now mentioned an area for talks called 'Dark Room' on the RAI website which sounds good, so we must try that. We've got a radio but I'm afraid I just tend to zone it out.

Ann, re the cutprice Negronis, you guessed about tight - DH asked for the bill, I was admiring my ID card, the waitress was being friendly & saying she'd seen us before so I said we had moved here & were celebrating having just got our residency while waving my card. She asked to see it and possibly noticed we lived just round the corner, then crumpled up the bill & asked us for the lower amount, telling us that next time we are in we should tell the owner (from whom we'd ordered) that we are residents. Why DH finds it easier - he's just a naturally very laidback person! Plus he seems to find more time to work on his Italian by things like reading the paper (having been helped along the way by having nothing to do at work all last year & spending long periods reading it online!).

Padraig, I haven't really posted about our new life before, just mentioned it in passing when trying to answer other posters' questions - but questions back to me were starting to take over other people's threads, hence starting my own for those interested. Haha about Glasgow! As you probably guessed we did our TEFL training in Edinburgh

Peter, good to hear from you - Lou's arrangement sounds ideal and that's a good idea re advertising round the universities. We are looking forward to meeting you both next year! Re the canal under Santo Stefano - not sure if you know that the tax dept is in the cloisters, and when we've had to go there we've passed through a corrider which bridges the canal! If you haven't done so before, it's worth going in for a look around - entrance from Campo Sant'Angelo. The wellie stockist you mention is actually where I enquired about the boots which turned out to be E27! Plus the signora didn't really seem interested in selling me any. I think I should wait until the autumn now when presumably more shops will have them at cheaper prices - and/or then try the Sacca Fissola market (where we've bought cheap flipflops in the past) or Mestre (where we've been advised to buy shoes).

Anyway, chef (aka DH) informs me dinner is ready, so ciao for now!
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jun 1st, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Caroline! Sounds wonderful. I imagine you can sit outside much more than you could in Edinburgh, or even in sunny London. Best of luck.
Nikki is online now  
Jun 1st, 2012, 01:58 PM
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looks very exciting. I did the ride down to Ferrara from Venice not so long ago, your DH may enjoy it.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 05:46 AM
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Something I've dreamed about, moving to Venice; I will follow your adventures with great interest!
annw is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Hello again and thank you all again for all your lovely good wishes.

Micheline, what would you like to know about our flat?

ellenem, thanks for the link to Palazzetto Bru Zane. I haven't really thought about it yet as they were holding what seemed like an interminable Theodore Dubois season with quite pricy concerts, but I see that finished last week. So I must keep my eye open - good to know they sometimes have free concerts.

Kerry, you are too kind! Hope you'll make it here & we'll meet up. Nice to hear your sister enjoyed Edinburgh.

hetismij2: I don't have a blog, but DH does -

Tarquin: not sure I've ever bought a E6.50 vaporetto ticket! (now E7 btw). On holidays we usually found we just walked a lot of days, so tried to maximise the use of the odd 48/72 hr ticket to cover as much as possible where needed. 2 holidays ago we discovered the Imob cards which anyone can buy, although for non-residents it's E40 upfront as opposed to E10. But having paid that, you can then buy singles for E1.30 each or (what we've done ever since) 10 for E11. The card lasts 3-5 years (seems to have changed since we got ours) & is then renewable for E10. Oh, and you get Alilaguna tickets for about half price. See - scroll down to CARTAVENEZIA CARD TICKETS. I reckon this is probably cost-effective for most people who are ever going to spend 2 weeks or more here. We could also now buy monthly abbonamenti for E30, but it's not worth it for us at the moment as we only use the vaporetti an average of probably 3 times a week - that will change, though, if we find ourselves commuting to work. Where we are living now, I actually use the traghetto marginally more than the vaporetto!

Re the course, we have 1st lesson 9-10.50, 20 minute break & 2nd lesson 11.10-13.00. Most days both teachers give us a bit of homework which probably henerally takes me 45-60 mins. I must admit that with people who are just here on holiday for 1-2 weeks, which a lot of our fellow students are, I don't really understand why they'd use up so much of their precious holiday time doing this! The school also runs activities each afyernoon/evening - walks, films, cookery classes - nearly all of which are free, so that's a nice bonus - plus they now have a limited number of free places at the Lido (most distant beach!). This is where we are studying -

Hi Nikki! How are you? You're right - we didn't use our Edinburgh balcony *once* in the last 2 years, so space to sit outside was my top, non-negotiable requirement for a flat here! We've had lunch outside nearly every day since our 2nd week, albeit with jumpers on to start (we arrived on 4th March) & have had dinner outside most nights for 2/3 weeks now. Luxury!

Hi Bilbo - sorry to be dense, but was sort of ride? DH used to have a motorbike but not for some years now sadly. (But he's very much enjoying not having a car!)
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Slightly off topic, but perhaps you will be amused as well as supported in trying to learn Italian -- for which I applaud you!

For ten years, I lived within an easy walk of Boston's North End, an Italian neighborhood where my butcher, greengrocer, baker and the owner of the salumeria would normally speak in Italian but would switch to English to help me, but English with a Boston accent.

When I went to Valvona and Crolla in Edinburgh some years ago, the staff were speaking Italian -- right, all familiar, justlike at home -- and switched to English to serve me but English with a strong Scots accent, not like home at all!

But I suppose my question here is whether when you are all finished, you will know Italian or Venetian? And will Italians in other parts of Italy find it easier to understand your Scots accented English than your Venetian dialect ;-)

What a wonderful adventure you are having. Good to have the courage to take it up! Best of luck!
Ackislander is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Re the course, we have 1st lesson 9-10.50, 20 minute break & 2nd lesson 11.10-13.00. Most days both teachers give us a bit of homework which probably henerally takes me 45-60 mins. I must admit that with people who are just here on holiday for 1-2 weeks, which a lot of our fellow students are, I don't really understand why they'd use up so much of their precious holiday time doing this! >>

lol, caroline, that was exactly what i did last year! only for a week, mind, but I'd had loved to have a couple of weeks or more. even in a week I felt that i made a lot of progress with listening and speaking. my reason for doing it was that following AS level, despite doing a conversation course at night school, I'd felt that I'd hit a "wall" and needed something more intense to make any significant improvement. of course, a year later and the benefits have largely worn off, but I had a great time doing the course, and for the 3 or so days I spent afterwards in Florence practising with anyone who would let me speak to them.

on my course there was a german girl who worked in tourism and wanted to be able to talk to Italian guests, and a couple of danish teachers who were doing italian together at evening school in copenhagen, who were doing it for more or less the same reasons as me. the format you describe is i think standard with nearly all such schools. you can usually do private lessons in the afternoon as well if you like. the german girl had done that and made fantastic progress.

now I'm going to have a look at your DH's blog to see how he thinks you're doing!
annhig is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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Caroline wrote " I don't have a blog, but DH does -"

It's well worth reading. Caroline, you seem to be married to a very nice man - I'm sure you have that figured out already.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 11:57 PM
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I just spent a happy hour reading the blog. Great fun - and wondering which pipes at 2878a Calle Lunga San Barnaba froze and failed. I so enjoy the familiarity, and Phillip's dry as dust humor.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 02:49 AM
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Thank you again for all the kind comments and good wishes!

Ackislander, that's a good story! Neither DH nor I are actually Scottish athough we both lived there for nearly 20 years. I am English & he is (south) Welsh, but with not much of a Welsh accent except when he is declaiming - so we have wondered whether he'll declaim Italian with a Welsh accent! On the course we are learning Italian - the teachers come from all over Italian and we remember being told on our TEFL course that teachers with a mix of accents is a good thing - but I think we may only know the Venetian names for the new seafood we're coming across!

Ann, we have an amazing mix of nationalities on the course but most are doing it as part of a holiday, as you did. Private lessons are indeed available too but 4 hours a day of group lessons is more than enough for me! Plus we wouldn't have got our 'borse di studio' for private lessons

Padraig and Peter, glad you are enjoying the blog and Philip thanks you for your kind words. Padraig, I know I am very lucky!

Peter, we'd booked the 1st floor flat this time as we thought it might be a bit more comfortable - more space for our 10 bags, and no hazardous spiral staircase ! - plus we didn't anticipate needing the roof terrace (although we did eat lunch on the balcony during the 2nd week). It was a pipe in the 2nd floor flat which had burst so initially Annamaria said the other flats were wrecked too, but this then came down to just needing some redecorating. (It seemed the house had been empty all winter & the problem was only discovered when someone went in to get the flat ready for us.) Paint and plaster was coming off the ceiling around the middle of the flat, and after a week mould starting spreading on the outside bathroom walls. Although it was getting a bit depressing we did ask to stay a bit longer, just because it would be easier, but A. seemed to become incommunicado. So we ended up moving to another holiday flat at San Basilio - just across the bridge behind the Stazione Marittima - for 10 days until we moved into our long term flat. It was really nice there and we would recommend it to anyone; we'd quite happpily live there longterm except it didn't have any outside space -
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 03:46 AM
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I was halfway through Philip's blog when I saw the brass doorplate marked Jones - that is really exciting! Somewhere in our many photos of Venice, we have one of a doorbell labelled A. Zen. I know Zen is a Venetian name, but still!

Great blog, I hope he finds the camera?
tarquin is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 04:46 AM
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yes, love the blog. it was interesting learning more about the background to your move and the administrative hoops you've had to surmount - something that is so off-putting to those of us who have contemplated, however vaguely, a move to France or Italy.

I'm intrigued to know what you're going to do about getting your residents' discounts - it might feel a bit naff to be waiving your permit around every time you go into a bar or a shop. do let us know what you decide to do to get your residents' prices.
annhig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 06:31 AM
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So many congrats for your move!

I know exactly what you mean about the listening part in language. One thing that helped me was to speak slowly rather than try to sound like a native--that way, the person replied more slowly. Sometimes I prefaced my words with "I'm learning Italian"...people were always patient.

Off to read your DH's blog. Again, congrats.
TDudette is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 06:44 AM
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I'm so glad you posted back and will, hopefully, check in frequently and give us a taste of your new life, Carolyn.

Now I'm heading over to read the blog...
MelJ is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 06:52 AM
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Thanks so much for sharing your husbands blog! I've just had a lovely Sunday morning enjoying it! Best wishes on your move and thanks again!
jmct714 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Caroline, I rather liked your OH writing of burning your boats - hardly the best action for prospective Venetian residents to take.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Sometimes I prefaced my words with "I'm learning Italian"...people were always patient.>>

lol, TDudette, sadly they know that immediately I open my mouth!

but i agree that many locals were be very patient and helpful, even the ones whose english was obviously far superior to our italian.

however a problem we found on our last trip to Venice was that many of the assistants in bars and shops were no more italian than we were, and consequently were worse than useless for language practice.

in fact, if you ignore places in the country where relatively few italians speak english, the best place for practising we have found is Rome. A surprisingly large no of shop assistants, bar staff and waiters are both italian and non-english speaking, which helps a lot.
annhig is offline  

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