Now that the concrete base of the kitchen is down, we have a clearer idea of its dimensions. This means only one thing - we have to choose a kitchen.
But, as with all things Italian, for the modest man with a modest budget, buying a fitted kitchen is quite a different kettle of fish. I think I may have moaned about shopping in Italy before - it's a nightmare! (And you can forget internet shopping, Italian design is pre-Unification when it comes to web sites.)
There are hundreds of little outlets for fitted kitchens, one for almost every town in Le Marche alone. Many are reasonably priced and Italians, it seems, will not think twice about ripping out and replacing a kitchen on a whim. Styles range from the cluttered, impractical country-style with tile and grout worktops - what? - a poor imitation of a gypsy caravan, through endless IKEA lookalikes (or is it vice versa), to copies of the modern masterpieces.
We think we'd like a country style kitchen of sorts. But, when it comes to country kitchens you can't beat English design and workmanship. I now know why endless repeats of "Midsommer Murders" (dubbed) are so popular on RAI TV. Italians aren't interested in solving the crime (they've got Montalbano for that), they simply want to catch every glimpse of those quaint, english kitchen interiors. Who can blame them!
I, however, have my sights on BIGGER horizons, neither of which fall within the fitted kitchen pricing category at all. Firstly, I'd like a BIG fridge, with a BIG freezer - for ice-cream. Secondly, a BIG sink - for washing BIG pasta pots. And the third is, an outrageously prominent, all singing, all dancing gleaming stainless-steel coffee-making machine for ... "bella figura". And, lastly, a cosy corner where I can drink my mug of Instant; eat my Marmite toast unseen; and with confidence, plan my day in the sun.