Wednesday, July 18, 2012

summer joy

The legendary FataMorgana has now opened an ice cream shop in TRASTEVERE!
My neighborhood may be chock-full of gelaterie already, but most are mediocre to say the least. I for one am thrilled to have them in the 'hood.
Take a stroll to Pizza San Cosimato and get a scoop or two (or three) at FataMorgana on Via Roma Libera #11.

August will be even sweeter now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

adventures in banking

How long does it take to close an Italian bank account? I found out today, join me on my adventure in banking...
I decided to close a secondary account I had since the bank was essential draining my euros one by one through various taxes, charges, surtaxes, etc. I went to my branch and was informed that in order to close the account I had to bring in 1) the ATM card I was given when I opened the account 2) the device I was given for online transactions (see below).
Okay... I go back home, gather the "o-key" but then realize I didn't have the ATM card since I'd cut it up and threw it away when I received it as I knew I'd never use it (no one ever told me I'd have to give it back when I closed the account). I call the bank and ask what happens if I don't have the card. I'm told to call the toll-free number and block the card. I call and block the card but am then told I have to go to the police and file a report as well and bring that to the bank... Luckily I have a police station nearby so I go there and file a "denuncia".
I walk back to the bank, wait in line, go to the teller who then tells me he can't close the account for me, I need to go to the upstairs office for that. Once in the proper office with the proper person, it takes about 30 minutes for the woman to figure out how to close the account (after having interrogated me on why I was closing the account, she seemed to take it so personally you'd think I was breaking up with her). Papers signed, stamped, double/triple copies and it's done. Total time: 3 hours.