In the never-ending saga of our move from Posillipo to Chiaia, we move away from the kitchen saga for a moment to actually plan our move. The whopping 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) we were moving down Posillipo hill into central Napoli.
After two downsize sales we were down to just three large pieces of furniture – a three-piece wall unit, our dining room table and one of the best purchase we’ve ever made – our too cool for school, must have for every small apartment Clei transformable bed. Bed by night, it quickly transforms to open up the entire room by day. It’s soooo comfortable and it looks great – definitely not your mother’s Murphy Bed!
Oh yes, and we also had about 60 boxes filled with dishes, books and art; computer equipment; more dishes, books and art; more computer equipment; clothes; and yes, more computer equipment, dishes, books and art.
How hard could it be?
But that’s where it started getting interesting. It turns out that here in Napoli town, size really does matter. Not the size of the load mind you, but the size of the street you’re moving onto. And the key to that, well that was in our address – Vicoletto Belledonne a Chiaia.
In English Vicoletto means alley. To a Neapolitan moving or delivery company however it simply means stretto, tight or narrow. And that adds another layer of complexity.
In Posillipo we lived on a Via, Via Posillipo. A wide street by Neapolitan standards, it was wide enough for two lanes of traffic and parking on either side of the street – although that could get a little hairy when two large buses were trying to pass one another. Either way there was enough room to park a moving truck in front of our apartment and the fact that the building had no elevator was easily solved with an autoscala – an automatic ladder.
In Chiaia we were moving onto a Vicoletto. Now while I haven’t quite figured out the difference between a Via, Vico (or Vicolo) and Vicoletto because I’ve seen Vias and Vicolos as narrow as a Vicoletto, either way when you say Vicoletto it always elicits the same response:
“Vicoletto Belledonne a Chiaia”
And this is always followed by a long silent pause as you watch Euro signs spinning in their eyes.
Our Vicoletto is about 5 meters wide, not taking into account the benches, plants and motos that line each side. That leaves about 3 1/2 to 4 meters of driving room. If a truck is small enough to get onto the Vicoletto, they then have to make a sharp turn into our palazzo’s 3 1/2 meter gate. Can you say stretto?? Our new mantra, we would soon find out only certain moving companies are equipped to do this.
The first few estimates we got came in at around €2000.
Seriously? For three pieces of furniture and some boxes?
“I’m sorry signora” each company sympathetically explained, but it will take us two days and extra men. We have to park outside the neighborhood and walk everything in and we have to do that early in the morning so we don’t disturb the neighborhood. We’ll pack you up and load the trucks the first day and then start delivery around 5:00 am the next day.
But Napoli always seems to have a way of taking care of the naive and just when you think there are no other solutions, Neapolitan ingenuity appears – literally. A few days later we walked into our palazzo to take some measurements in the apartment and lo and behold, a tiny moving truck was parked inside our gate. We watched as the movers loaded up the truck with boxes and furniture large and small and within minutes we were calling the number on the side of the truck.
A few days later we signed a contract with Fratelli Severino Traslochi & Noleggio, the Severino Brothers Moving and Rental Company for less than half of the original estimates.
Mark one more thing off the list. All that’s left – find a contractor to prep the kitchen, design the rest of the apartment, and yes – move-in!
If you are just tuning in, you can read the rest of the saga at Moving from Posillipo to Chiaia.