The new house flooded so I used a broom to sweep out the water as my dog watched.

This isn’t exactly what I pictured doing on a Tuesday night when I decided to a buy a house in Florence. LA DOLCE VITA, AM I RIGHT.

Broom is from Risparmio Casa, bucket is vintage, tank is Winners.

Four days ago, Francesca and I invited a lovely arborist man named Giulio over to check out the tree in the tiny backyard of the house I just bought but don’t live in yet. We had a wonderful time and Giulio told us he’d come back in a few weeks to trim the tree. Cool.

For SOME reason, as we were packing up to leave, I said to Fra “HEY, since you’re here, could you come downstairs to the cantina with me so I can check it out.” In my last post, I mentioned that the basement is not my favorite place and I refuse to go down there by myself. In my defense though, look at the pictures…I mean, it’s terrifying.

So I pick up Kiwi (because she’s SUCH A DIVA and doesn’t DO cement and/or glass staircases) and head downstairs. Right away, I noticed the floor looked different. As I moved forward, I realized I had stepped in water. My shoe was wet. THERE WAS WATER COVERING THE ENTIRE BASEMENT FLOOR. My basement had flooded from the huge rain storm that hit Florence the day before.

The Flooded Basement

I immediately pulled out my phone and started to google aggressively. Below is a screenshot of my actual search history. I’m not playing games. The first thing I searched is a clear representation of my mental health at the time. Instead of typing ALLAGATA(flooded), I wrote ALLEGATO, a word I use all the time in my work emails because it means ATTACHMENT.

You may also notice in the screenshot below that I never gave up on my dreams of a renovated basement and equally searched for flood-proof basement furniture. Priorities.

During my meltdown, the only thing Fra said was “I don’t know what your problem is, just think of the flood of 1966, this house was already built which means this cantina was basically underwater. We just need to sweep the water into buckets and empty it outside. I’ll do it, it’s not a big deal.” She’s Fiorentina, so it went something like “Non capisco il problema, lo faccio io dhn, che ci vuole.”

Now, I like to think of myself as “moderately chill.” I meditate, I do Yin yoga, I read and I run, but emptying liters of dirty brown water from my basement without proper lighting didn’t seem like a legitimate option for me. I decided that I should just leave. We went home.

Lucky for me, Francesca is a Scorpio (my favorite people are Scorpios, I live for their intense eye contact) and is weirdly psychic so she knew she had to make an executive decision. I live in her house and she was aware that my flood anxiety would only escalate into a Marie Kondo “FRA, DOES THIS VEGAN PROTEIN SPARK JOY?” moment at 3 am.

So we got dressed in some of the ugliest clothes we own and went back to the flooded basement.

It was around 8 pm by this point, the sun was gone and since I don’t have electricity at the new house, the basement was completely dark. Fra turned on her phone’s flashlight and we got to it. It took us a few minutes to find our GROOVE(lol, DOES ANYONE STILL USE THE WORD GROOVE, let me know), but considering she has superhuman arm strength and I have anxiety, we decided that I would sweep the water into the dust pan and fill the buckets we stole from the neighbors as she went up and down the stairs to empty them out into the street. 

During this entire ordeal, Kiwi just stood in the corner of the room and judged our DIY method. Like this. 

My rude dog

It took us about three hours, but we managed to empty out all of the water. When it was all over, we gave each other a high five, went home and ate fries. Find yourself a person that will empty your flooded basement and then eat fries on the couch with you. I’m lucky.

Before I end this though, there’s one last thing I need to get off my chest. I really don’t want to be the girl that compares everything to life in their home country, but if your basement floods in Canada, the normal reaction is something along the lines of “Ooooooh shiiiiiiitt, is the floor okay? Are the walls damaged? Did you have anything important in the basement?” You know? So yes, I was kind of fishing for sympathy when I told everyone what had happened the next day, but the general reaction was a mild “eh sì, succede,” which is the English equivalent of “yeah man, it happens.” Why don’t they care! I’m still processing this.

To end things on a positive note, my muratore is BACK FROM ELBA and I’ve chosen a geometra so the renovation work should begin soon!

Has your basement flooded in Italy? Please let me know I’m not alone. xx

10 thoughts on “The new house flooded so I used a broom to sweep out the water as my dog watched.

  1. Here we ate built on tock so no basements – in Long Island my house did flood several times (lived near the sea) so the fire department used to come and pump out- sometimes no water for a week as the water pump was down there! Originally so was the furnace- moved that pretty quick. Best wishes on your renovation journey- Here in sardegna i restored a 350 y o villa which was basically a ruin- after almost 2 yrs of work I am in my little oasis. Good luck! Lots of things to learn😹


  2. When I bought my house in Italy we came to the point in the proceedings to exchange the key or that is what the notary advised
    But there was no keys because there are no locks and besides the doors don’t really close
    Mostly everybody seemed surprised that I would buy a house with no locks but hey who needs locks on a dream
    And nobody uses groove anymore😂


  3. How are things going? Forgot to say that if any part of your home is below ground level they can install a system whereby humidity is ‘drained away from the foundation’ something I dont have and am pissed it wasnt part of the long renovation. Part of the house is below ground level, so am sure they cut corners there- now walls near floor always ‘peeling’ and need maintenance 🤪


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