On Thursday, we discovered ants in the apartment! They were making a bee-line (ant-line?) from the living room wall to the bedroom and appeared to be camping out under our bed! We frantically pulled the suitcases out from under, took them outside, thinking perhaps they had crawled in them at some point during our travels and were setting up home under our bed! We swept and washed and cleaned (none were IN our bed, thankfully) and we also wondered if they were coming in from outside. We are living right next to a big garden after all and there are ants out there. But we could not find any entry point, just that they had clearly made their way indoors. So, we called our landlord, Signore Romizi and I left him a message in my best Italian explaining that we had found ants and asking his advice for taking care of this problem. He called back and told me he would send his wife over later with a technician to help us. We continued to clean and upon moving the umbrella stand, located the source of the problem. The day after the rain I opened up the umbrellas to dry them out, setting them on the ground next to our door and then, without looking at them carefully, closed them up and put them back in the umbrella stand. Apparently the ants had crawled into the umbrellas and were crawling out once inside the apartment, making themselves quite at home in our bedroom! Once we discovered this, we took said umbrellas outside and washed them out thoroughly and bought some anti-ant stuff from the hardware shop and considered the problem fixed. I called Signore Romizi to tell him that his wife did not need to come and didn't give it another thought. The next day, the Signora Romizi showed up at our door with a technician for the antenna. We were quite puzzled and explained that our problem was not with the TV but with the ants (I described as best I could what we had found and what we had done) and it seemed that Signore Romizi had mixed up our problem (the ants) with a TV problem his other tenants in the country house were having and sent the wrong technician to the wrong apartment! It was kind of funny and we all had a good laugh about it. I'm happy to report that we are ant-free now. And that the TV works fine too.
And, by the way, in case I confused all of you with our piano story - the piano went into an apartment down the street and is not ours! We just thought it was an interesting story and wanted to share it with you.
Rosemary & Bob