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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Buying a Kitchen in Italy

PART 96: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps and what we are learning along the way.


We love every minute of it, and what was once a dream is our life!


We live in Tuscany in the Fall, then back again in the Spring, and in California for the rest of the time (in a previous blog, I explained why we live in Italy only part of the year).


Let's explore how we bought a kitchen in Italy.


Step 1: As we explore areas in Italy, we are discovering some gems that are worth sharing. Some of these are well-known tourist magnets; others are lesser known but always amazing.



This week, let's focus on living in Italy and what we learned about swapping out our kitchen for a new one.


Step 2: At the beginning of our Italian adventure, we thought we would settle in Puglia, where many of our friends live and where the lifestyle is similar to that of southern California. So, after renting for a year, we made an offer on a house. Though the offer didn't work out, we learned a lot, especially about kitchens in Italy.


Step 3: We worked with a realtor in Puglia and crafted the offer to stipulate what we wanted included in the sale, including the kitchen.

The kitchen was a bit dated, but we couldn't afford to install a new one immediately.


The seller responded that they would consider our offer but that they would not leave their kitchen. When we asked the realtor why, she said, "It was a wedding present, so they want to take it with them."


We were like, "huh?"


The realtor went on to explain that it is common practice to remove the kitchen when a house is sold because it often has sentimental value.


"But," we objected, "we can't afford 12-15,000 euro for a new kitchen!"


The realtor laughed. "Kitchens don't have to cost that much in Italy!"


We learned that she was right.


Step 4: Fast-forward to when we bought our house in Tuscany. At a certain point, we realized that the historical kitchen wouldn't work for us and that we needed to find out what a new kitchen would cost. We consulted with our local friends and realtor, who directed us toward a few large national chain stores; the most well-known is Mondo Convenienza.

Our friend told us, "There you can find affordable but nice kitchens that include all the appliances!"


But we were more familiar with Ikea kitchens, so we went there first.


Step 5: Our Ikea experience in Florence

There was something comforting and familiar about walking through the kitchen displays at the Ikea in Florence. They seemed so affordable, with signs displaying things like "950 euro, including appliances, "or "All this for 1,500 euro!"


We set up the planning appointment at Ikea, provided our measurements, and met with a planner online from our home.


She quickly devised a design but didn't seem to hear some of our wants. "We want the stove to be between the sink and the dishwasher because there is a window that we don't want the stove in front of," we said. "Oh, we can't do that," she said as she proceeded. Then she asked if we wanted assembly included and a few other questions about the wood countertop, etc.



Ultimately, we didn't get the kitchen design we wanted, and the price was way over what we wanted to spend.


What happened to the "All this for 1,500 euro" kitchen?

It wasn't a reality.


Step 6: Other kitchen stores

We decided to follow our local friend's advice and headed over to Mondo Convienza to take a look.


This store has kitchens, furniture, lighting, and other household amenities.

We found their furniture bulky and lighting fixtures old-fashioned, but their kitchens looked sleek and modern with prices starting at around 1,700 euro.


Within 15 minutes, they accommodated us with a designer.


Step 7: Design, delivery, and installation


We walked through the store and found a kitchen that we liked. After we provided the measurements, the designer developed an economical design with all the basics. But the sink was too small, and the faucet was ugly. We upgraded the sink and stove and said that we would provide our own kitchen faucet. Installation? Yes. Do you need a plumber to do the hookups? No, we have our own.



So, our sleek kitchen, including a dishwasher, oven with induction cooktop, large sink, and modern cabinets with countertops, cost a fraction of what it would have back in the US, even with the upgrades.


We ordered the kitchen, and the following month, it was installed with no glitches.


Step 8: What we learned.

When buying a house in the US, having to put in a new kitchen is a big consideration in deciding whether to proceed. This mindset is what we brought with us to Italy, but we discovered that swapping out a kitchen for a new one doesn't have to be as expensive as we thought.


Doing the leg work helped us discover that buying and renovating a house and establishing a life in Italy can be less expensive than we had imagined.


More next time.


Now on sale for $2.99: My book is "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy." Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CRKMKPWF?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_X2WRQ3PTG2ZDD7AVF6GH


Amazon Italy- my book "Lei mi ha sedotto. Una storia d'amore con Roma": https://amzn.eu/d/13nuZCL.


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Tony McEwing
Tony McEwing
Jun 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great information for those considering a move to Italy! Who knew you could get a kitchen for that price. Here in the US, you can't even get a decent fridge for that much money!

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Jun 24
Replying to

Yes, and they even offer a plumber and electrician to complete the installation, all at a fraction of our cost!

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