Lost in Florence: NON PARLO ITALIANO


During my search for an apartment, I learned one thing: Italians do NOT speak English; the Real Estate Agency doesn’t speak English, the landlord doesn’t speak English, so that pretty much means I’ll be homeless in a few days if I don’t find the right apartment.

After walking around all of Florence a few times – and let me tell you this, as an Egyptian, the longest I’ve walked was at a mall – I did manage to meet a decent landlord who offered me a really nice apartment right by the Duomo.

Upon meeting him I wanted to make myself clear and tell him that I don’t understand or speak Italian whatsoever. I have learned a few Italian Adjectives over the years, but apart from that I am a complete novice, so I mustered up one of the only things I could say in Italian “Non parlo Italiano” (meaning: I don’t speak Italian) and blurted it out.

Of course the first thing he does after communicating my above message to him? Why yes, he speaks in Italian!

The man did not stop speaking in Italian no matter how many times I told him that I didn’t understand what on earth he was saying, so I gave up and started smiling and nodding to whatever the hell he said.

He takes me up to said apartment, shows me around while blabbering stuff and laughing at his funny, Italian jokes. I laugh too because I like the apartment, definitely not letting this one get away!

After seeing all he had to offer, I told him “I’ll take it!” Hoping that he’d understood so we can go with the procedure without any confusion, and THAT’s when he speaks in English! (CRAZY SOB)

“Alright then,” he said, “let’s go to the agency so we can go through everything and sign your contract.” and throughout our walk back to the office, he spoke to me in perfect UNBROKEN English.

I wanted to get a hammer and beat the hell out of that old man, what the hell was that all about?

But it didn’t really matter, what matters now is that I finally found an apartment in Florence where I can start fresh. (And find myself a Vespa. Who the hell moves to Italy without buying a Vespa?)