General info i.e. Garbage, heating, laundromat, cleaning, Aussie Flag and more…

For all those little bits that will enrich the experience of  ‘The Turret’…

Something that causes no end of confusion in Italy is rubbish

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This is a photo of the ‘old system’.  Three bins for paper, general waste and bottles for the other.

Now they have a completely new system. In the kitchen you will find a couple of different bins and here is the timetable of when they will be collected from the front door.

Schedule for garbage disposal

Plastic

Bottles, cleansing products, yogurt containers,etc. Do not include containers that may have leftovers; crush the bottles, if possible

Glass – aluminium

Bottles, glasses, jars, glass vases. Do not dispose here light bulbs,crystal glasses, pyrex objects which have to be disposed separately. The containers should be clean and empty.

Paper and Cardboard

Newspapers, boxes, cardboard boxes (duly crushed), notebooks, milk bottles, fruit juice containers, egg carriers. Do not dispose with above oily paper, paper cups and dishes

Humid     (brown bin)

Leftovers, spoilt food, potato and fruit peelings, tea bags, dried out flowers, paper napkinsshould be put in biodegradable bags (like the stores’ shoppers) and then put inside the bin when you put it outside.

Miscellaneous

Oily, dirty objects, plates and other pieces tha are not to be disposed of with paper etc. toys, fake flowers, vacuun cleaner bags, brushes, cd and dvd discs, i.e. All objects and pieces that cannot be re-cycled

Bulky debris

Matresses, furniture, etc must be brought to the ecological stations (Lugliano)

Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday      Friday       Saturday

Humid     Glass       Plastic                Humid           Paper        Miscellaneous

 

The bin containing humid and bags containing the other categories of garbage, have to be put outside your front door at/around 8 PM of the day before the collection.

 

 

Clothes drying:

There is also a laundromat in the group of buildings on the right of the carpark (60m upstream from the apartment) if you need to wash or dry anything major. There is a coin machine in there that gives you tokens for washing or drying.  Quite reasonably priced and efficient.  Approx 2 euro per token – 2 tokens for a wash or dryer – the machine gives change for notes as well. We pop our stuff in, go for a coffee and come back.  If someone needs your machine, they will put your stuff in a basket and you can collect.

We have had no dramas with anyone pinching my ‘smalls’.

There is a dry cleaner also about 50m up from Bar Italia on the road that says ‘Terme’ or ask at the bar.  There is also one in Fornoli.

Extra cleaning:

If you need Rina to pop in and do a clean for you in the time you are in the apartment, just let me know and I will ask her to do it when it suits you. You can pay her direct.

My spare broomsticks are behind the door in the bathroom.  They are well travelled and for your use if you wish.

Heating:

Sometimes it can get chilly at different times of the year.

Please do not attempt to use the Stoofa – the big maroon coloured heater in the lounge room.  It is more than a bit tricky to fathom and expensive to fix if broken.

To turn on the main heating – there is a thermostat on the left hand wall going into the kitchen from the dining room.  Turn to your desired temperature of 25 degrees – is a comfortable temperature.  Then turn on each of the coil heaters attached to the wall in the rooms you want to heat.  It does not take long to kick in.

Please turn on only the rooms you are using as Gas is charged at more like the rate of GOLD per ounce in Italy.  If you are going out for the day, turn down to really LOW or off while you are out please. It takes about 20 minutes to have a room toasty and will save me the stress of exorbinent gas bills.

There are also extra blankets in the bookshelf in the biggest bedroom at the front of the apartment.

You will notice the Hot Water System above the sink in the kitchen.  Please do NOT touch any of the knobs – or you will have no hot water and getting someone to come and re-programme it is NIGH ON IMPOSSIBLE.  Another tricky Italian animal.

Electricity:

Tarnished with the same SILVER brush as gas – it is also very expensive. We have paid for the highest tariff for Electricity for you to enjoy one or two appliances at a time.  But be mindful if you have the washer, microwave and oven on, it just may trip the switch.  To turn it back on – just above the half wall above the washing machine in the bathroom is the Switchboard.  Flick the switch back on and all should be good (minus one or two of the appliances you had on, turned off).

If nothing is working and the apartment is the only building without power, walk down the stairs on the terrace and around to under the kitchen window.  On the wall below the kitchen window, is a box that will have WENDY written on the switch for the apartment – flick that back on.

If that does not work – go to the bar and have a drink and see if it comes back on it’s own.

Printer:

There is a printer available for your use (unless you are writing a book).  If you need extra ink, let me know and I will get Rina to organise for you.

If you are writing a book, a shop on the outside Lucca Walls is called Euronics and they sold me the printer, paper and inks.

Internet: 

As in all things Italian, anything mechanical like internet can be a bit ‘hit and miss’.

If you can unplug the modem from the wall when you leave and then the next folks can just plug it in.  This will stop it going off line when the summer storms hit.  The password is on the top of the modem.  It is a bit temperamental but usually OK for normal holiday surfing – downloading movies would kill it.

The best spot for internet is in the office area, front bedroom or dining room.

There is free wifi at the ‘Il Monaco’ coffee shop, across the river.  Just ask them for the password and they will give it to you.  At a pinch, it will sometimes work on ‘The Turret’.

Television:

Again, sometimes hit and miss relating to the weather.  Also, if you are not getting reception, check the cable is not squeezed in the window of the apartment upstairs.  If so jiggle it GENTLY until it hangs free – Gotta love ITALY…

Turn on TV, select the channel you want and you will see a series of buttons at the bottom of the programme to tell you if the language of origin in English or not.  To be honest, I should have written this bit in Italy in front of the TV, as can’t quite remember how to do it from afar. I managed to figure it out when I was last there, so anyone should be able to figure it out in English.  There are also instructions in the drawer of the TV cabinet.

USB Sticks with movies:

You should be able to insert your USB stick or mini hard drive if you have movies on it.  Check Source and choose USB.

Information booklet:

This is a work in progress and hopefully I will have it there before too much longer to let you know what there is to see near ‘The Turret’.  It has info on all the villages you can walk or drive to.   Check out the heading of ‘Villages near ‘The Turret’ on the main menu.   If you find somewhere new and interesting – please let me know.

In summer, the thermal spas are open.  Chat to one of the locals to find out the times etc.  They are at the top of the hill to the left of Bar Italia – signposted ‘Terme’.  If you can figure out where they are – they are great apparently.

Good glasses:

There is an assortment of wine glasses and water glasses in the kitchen cupboards for your everyday use.

However, my belief is that ‘good drinks deserve nice glasses’.  Feel free to use the ones in the separate cupboard in the dining room.  There is also a bottle of Chivas Regal and Bombay Gin (our favourites) in there.  Feel free to have one or two for us on ‘The Turret’.

Recipe Book:

Some of my family favourite recipes are hand written in a bright Orange Book.  It was last in the bufffet in the dining room.  Please feel free to use it, add your own recipes (with a note of who you are and what the recipe represents to you).  Take photos or a copy of any of the recipes, but please leave there for the next folks to use or us – since I don’t normally cart my recipe book all over the world.

Visitors Book:

We would love to have you sign our book and add your comments.  It is fantastic to see where folks have come from and what they loved about their Italian experience.

Umbrella’s:

There should be a selection in the foyer for your use and return.

If in Lucca or most places where tourists may be – there will no amount of Nigerians who will offer you an umbrella when it’s wet, a hat when it’s hot or anything in between.  You can most definitely barter with them.  They will start at 10 euro for an umbrella but 5 euro’s is fine to pay.  Try walking away and the price will drop immediately.

They are not the best quality, but will keep you dry for five minutes or so.

Dining Table:

This is an antique and family heirloom from the previous owner.  Came from England and can tell a thousand stories if you have time to listen.  In the big drawer in the centre of the table is placemats for your use.  The buffet and separate tall cupboard came from Brazil.

Rabbits:

You will notice an array of Rabbits in the apartment. I challenge you to be able to count them all accurately…

We are all rabbits in the Chinese Zodiac in our family – Alby, Kendall and Ella. Apparently, quite amazing.  We therefore have succumbed to the Rabbit fetish to remind us of our best qualities, in case we could forget.

Outdoor tables:

There are eight chairs altogether on the Terrace and  ‘The Turret’ and a well researched and found marble table that is an ancient ‘antique’.  Please be kind to it, but certainly enjoy your time out there.

There are cushions in the storeroom for all of the chairs on the terrace and turret if you need them.  Also an beach umbrella for shade while you are having a great time on ‘The Turret’ in summer.

If you could bring them in all in at night to save then going mouldy with the dew, that would be great.

Flower pots and herbs:

On the Terrace and ‘The Turret’ is a series of new and antique pots with beautiful flowers which are replenished each season by our friend Deb.  If you can water then while you are in the apartment, they would certainly appreciate it.  Especially in summer when it gets quite hot.

Rosemary – grows like a weed in Italy and is at the end of the terrace in a pot. Please water sometimes as well although they like it dry.

Obviously please feel free to use her in your cooking – she is delicious.

Ducks on the river:

When we purchased the apartment in 2014 there were three delightful ducks who floated past each day – Huey, Duey and Lewy.  We sometimes feed them stale bread, but they are a bit fuzzy and like it soft (despite it being wet).

On our last visit their number had increased to six and one big white duck who lives just down the river.  Please don’t tell him he is different to the bush ducks – it will hurt his feelings.

As lovely and clear as the water looks in the river, please do not be tempted to swim in it.  There is still raw sewerage being let into the river in some parts of Italy, so I would not suggest swimming amongst it.  I would also not eat a fish out of there as well per chance you caught one.

Tap water – is absolutely fine to drink.  It comes from the thermal springs in the mountains and is as fresh as it could be.

I actually really miss the fresh water from Italy when I am home.

Just past the Casino near the entrance to the String Bridge is a hot water outlet direct from the Thermal Springs.

Wine is also available in Conads up the river at very reasonable prices.

Toilet bits:

Not like the western world, the toilet in the apartment is part of a ancient septic system.  Please do not dispose of any (girl sanitary) bits in there.  There are paper bags for your convenience in the overhead cupboard or clothes basket at your feet.

Aussie Flag:

In the storeroom there is an Aussie Flag on a broomstick.

If you choose to advertise firstly that you are Australian, and secondly, that you are friendly folks, please feel free to fly it from ‘The Turret’.   If you happen to be Aussie and friendly, but shy, then you can choose what to do.  There are very few rules in Italy…

There is a fitting on the river side that you will see that works as a flag pole holder – you might want to tie it into position as it gets a bit breezy out there at times.

 

Lastly, please take great care of our apartment.  It has been a ‘labour of love’ to get it to its present state.  We want you to enjoy it as much as you can, tell your friends and hopefully return one day.

Please let me know if there is something that we could do to make your stay more enjoyable…