New to the forum

Pam Image
06/29/2010 - 14:11

Hi everyone, I've been a visitor to the forum for a while and have now registered..we bought a house a couple of years ago and will stay in it for the first time in a couple of weeks.  It's been a long, hard, expensive slog but very excited about finally living in it.  We're thinking of renting it out next year and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a property management firm or agency in or around the Barga area.  We had a meeting with a lady from a firm in Diecimo and they sound great but being in Barga we are on the outskirts of the area she usually covers and it will cost us travel expenses every time someone travels to our house on our behalf - ie for cleaning/maintenance etc.  Also, when we were last there we took my brother (painter and decorator) to help whitewash the interior but came up against a problem in two of the bedrooms; a thin layer of stucco which was impossible to paint over as it kept coming away on the roller.  We asked our builder for a quote to strip and replaster the wall and it was very expensive. We plan to attack it ourselves when we come over but any advice on the best way to strip the walls would be appreciated.  I'm sure we'll have many, many more questions and requests for advice but best leave it at that for the moment!! We also hope to contribute to the forum as much as we can based on our experiences so far.  thank you.


I will watch with interest Pam how you get on in your 'new' house - good luck.  We have just bought in the same area so much of the advice you receive could be very relevant to us also.  We will be doing work to our place at some point but are hoping we can persuade friends and family to come over for working holidays.  In the mean time, we will have to suss out local buliders merchants, paint suppliers etc etc and also learn enough Italian to be able to ask for the things we need!! (Should be fun)  If you have any info on the best place to buy stuff (paint, cement, sand, paving slabs, chippings etc.......) anywhere between Barga and Bagni di Lucca, please let me know. Good luck with everything and I hope you have a great time.  We are flying out on Thursday for a long weekend and I can't wait. Jan

Builders merchants near you: Pieroni, located on the new trading estate on the Fornaci side of the new bridge to Gallicano. Also Puppa in Gallicano Via della Rena accross the new bridge and first on the left.   Paint: Is expensive !  

I can't help with your walls query as I don't have a practical bone in my body but I wanted to say "Welcome" to the community.  I'm sure you'll find lots of help here and make a lot of friends. Pat

Hi, thanks for all your kind comments.  Jerry, thanks for the info. When we were over a few weeks ago we discovered how expensive paint was and how rubbish the first huge tin of it was that we bought! It's all part of the experience I suppose and the wine helps... We're heading off by car on thursday and looking forward to it.  We have so much stuff to take with us we're desperately searching for a last minute roof box purchase!!  Will let you know how we get on.

Take some sachets of PathClear too, it helps to keep down the weeds in the important areas where you want to sit or relax.  PathClear equivalent is expensive in Italy we found.

Our flying visit to our new little Italian home went much too quickly!  However, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and any doubts we had about buying (did we really have any - I don't think so!) have quickly been dismissed.  We got so caught up in just being there, we didn't find out much about builders merchants, suppliers etc although we passed a builders merchants on the way back to the airport on the way home - I'm thinking it was probably Diecimo?  At this point of our return journey however, I was having a bit of an altercation with the sat nav (bought new for the very purpose of getting us to and from Pisa airport without any problems!) she was telling me one thing and I didn't agree, so I didn't really know where I was!  The rest of the journey to Pisa went from bad to worse, despite finding the signs to the airport we still managed to find ourselves back on the autostrada heading north only 20 minutes before our gate closed!  By some miracle, we managed to drop off (or was it abandon?) the hire car, get to the airport and on to the plane.  Unfortunately we missed the check in for our suitcase so we did abandon that (luckily with nothing in it - it's amazing what you can stuff in  your hand luggage if you have to!) so apologies if there was a bomb scare at pisa airport last week!  (Only joking out of the corner of my eye I saw them scan the case - phew).   I will now have to work out how to put Pisa airport into the sat nav correctly.  I'm prepared to give her a second chance even if she did let me down badly.  Jan

Sorry, I have been away for a few weeks. A good place to look for paint, materials and DIY needs is Leroy Merlin at the "Il Giglio" Shopping Centre just before you reach Florence. We have done the trip several times from Bagni di Lucca as you find many things you would not find elsewhere. Pam, I had a similar problem with pain a few years ago when we were refurbishing a house in Granada, (Spain). A specialist recommended to use a base coat which was specially formulated for this purpose and we did not need to strip the old paint which was very flaky. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name or the brand.... but it was a miracle product. Perhaps your brother may be able to find out. Good luck with the renovations!

Hi My Cousin, Roy Santi has an estate agents in Barga, sul Fosso, inbetween the pharmacy and Riccardo's restaurant, opposite the car park and the wall entrance that takes you into Barga old town. is the website.  Roy has loads of contacts regarding workmen, to be fair all my uncles and cousins are builders and construction workers of one type or another.  So he would be your best bet. Kind regards Richard