Sunday, 25 October 2020

Will we won’t we

Around us the olive picking started last week, yesterday everyone was rained off but the sun is back today.  Mr FF was occupied re-pointing the large wall in our orchard, he’s really making that area look beautiful and it’s becoming a destination on my garden inspection walks. The weather last week was perfect for picking, or re-pointing, warm and sunny, I’m not sure it will be so good this week but we intend to start soon.

Meantime with the end of the year and full Brexit looming, we again applied for temporary residence in Italy.  You may recall that last year we completed an application before we left the UK, told the Comune we would be in residence within the week and expected the necessary police visit after that date.  No they sent the police round immediately, we were not there as we’d told them,  they refused and cancelled our application.  When we asked why they did that we were told not to submit false information which we assumed meant the date on the form should have agreed with our arrival. It would have been simpler to tell us this rather than waste police time and ours.

So late September this year we reapplied,  we heard nothing. We sent 2 reminders to the general Comune address where we’d submitted the form and then one to the chief.  Still nothing after four weeks.  We didn’t want to go down to the office, we have hardly been into the village which has 1 case of Covid with 10 more cases in the lower part of the village, all fairly mild, but last week we did.  The hand sanitiser was empty, people were taking their masks off to talk and stepping over the one metre line to lean on the counter.  I hung around near the open door.

It seems that the temporary residence form, a resubmit of last year’s, is no longer valid, and we need to apply for full residence.  They had received our form but all chosen to do nothing and ignore us for a month.

So now we have to decide what to do.  Residency seems to be for people who live in Italy,  not for folk like us who spend the summer here.  Its hard to find information but it seems we would give up a lot, our UK healthcare, driving licence, some savings accounts could not remain in the UK,  we’d have to register our car with Italian plates at great expense, much more than its worth, or buy an Italian car.   What about our beloved bus passes.  If we don’t take residence we can only be here or in any other Schengen area for 3 months in every six and there doesn’t seem to be any way to extend this.

We ask nothing of Italy.  We have our UK pensions and savings, we would hopefully be in or able to return to the UK if we needed medical care, we pay our Italian  taxes and complete a return every year, which amuses most of our friends.  We care for our property, which would otherwise be yet another abandoned house in a village with full streets of empty decrepit property.  You can buy a two bedroom place in the medieval centre for 25,000 euros,  no one wants them.  We use local shops and restaurants, pay a full years community and refuse change, which as a resident we wouldn’t have to do. We even got our cats neutered to reduce the feral population, this year the Comune solution was to ban people from feeding feral dogs and cats.  

Yes I’m cross again, we had thought of sitting out the winter here, now we might be forced to travel home either driving or flying instead of living quietly away from people as we have for the last few months, I’d better not say how many.


  1. We feel the same about our contribution to the local economy and know that the local people are baffled why the UK wants to leave the EU and dearly hope that we will keep coming every summer. All that money we spend in the local shops etc makes a difference.
    The Schengen 90/180 rule is a real problem. We have friends that voted to leave, often on one issue alone without a grasp of the bigger picture. They say "I suppose it will affect you a bit" and I sometimes wonder how they would feel if we had contributed to a change that turned their world upside down in a similar way.

  2. What a dilemma and I guess the people whose vote put you in this predicament would just shrug their shoulders if they realised. Hopefully, we’ll get some better cross-border arrangements agreed in the coming years but in the meantime, relax and enjoy that beautiful garden.