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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Banking Italian Style

***Before I start this post, I should add this disclaimer: Although it may seem that I think things in Italy are inferior to the U.S. I assure you this is not true. Many things are so different, I find them frustrating but in my next post I will be sure to include all that I enjoy about this country just to keep things fair and even***

A bit of background, about three weeks ago, Deme and I went to a bank in Turin and opened a joint account. We could not do this earlier since I did not have my Codice Fiscale number and now I do. About two weeks after opening the account, the bank sent us a note to inform us that our account is open and functional. We are still waiting for our bank cards though, and it’s been three weeks and counting.

If I want to access the money I just have to go to the bank to withdraw it. Today I did just that; I wanted to do and international money transfer straight to my bank account in Seattle. (For the past three months, Deme’s mom has been helping us with this but I would much prefer to give her less to do and take responsibility for our accounts.)

I attempted a bank transfer yesterday at 3:54 p.m. but the bank had already closed. The hours are a bit strange: 8:35-1:35 p.m. and 2:35-3:45 p.m. I missed my window yesterday but made it here in time today. Deme drove me and left me to my own devices while he waited in the car. I entered the bank, made the request and filled out a form to process the transfer. The teller spoke no English and I was surprised to have the transaction go so smoothly. The only glitches were:

1) I did not receive a receipt for my transfer, simply because they don’t do transfers at the branch, they have to fax the request to a main branch and that’s where it’s done and a bit of a mix up regarding the transaction fee which is about 20 Euros.

2) Also when I asked how long the transfer would take, the teller was unsure stating about a week or so. She was also unsure about the actual cost. Deme tells me this is a rare request and many banks never even do it, I told the lady I would be coming in once a month. Maybe next time she will remember me and everything will go more effortlessly.

Now all that’s left for me to do is wait a week and see if they money goes through, when we did this same transfer in Rome, it was quick and painless. While Deme drops me home, he gets a call on his cell phone from said bank. The tellers want to make sure that he knows there is a fee associated with this transaction. I guess a husband’s word is good as gold here since she told me about the fee and I said it was fine with me. Go figure!


At 7:13 AM, Anonymous mr. m said...

now that I started I won't stop commenting ;-). You don't have to be worried about offending anybody. Anybody in Italy will agree that banking simply doens't work. You haven't mentioned that there is no such thing as free checking accounts, probably you will have to pay a fee for everything. Coming from italian banking when I opened my first account in Chicago I was concerned, but things turned out to be much easier. That's why I agree with you. The only thing I had problems with was the credit card, which works quite differently. In Italy they automatically charge your bank account every month. Here you have to remember to pay your bill. I think that this is the only easier part.
I wasn't on the ship with Barbara, you can see me in the "sk8er boy" picture or in the "bee" pic. If you are curious you can find plenty of pictures on my website. It is mostly pictures so you shouldn't have problems with your italian.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger rowena said...

Looking at your cast iron pan below is making me hella crazy. No, it's only because the dog got up at 2 and here I am sleepless in Lecco at 3:30am. Bleh!

Gia, you are so right on with getting into all things italian at the get go. Doing your own banking? Ha! Hell, my own husband even doesn't like to go in there. I suppose the myth runs true in all countries. Banks are on this earth only to steal your money. We actually checked around to get the most satisfactory deal. Another plus is that husband had it arranged so bills get automatically deducted/paid each month without ever having to go the post office and deal with that headache.

Reading this makes me chuckle again because when I first got here, I'd always growl at how unefficient things were in Italy. Actually it worked out okay as now we just anticipate a delay in everything and jockey ourselves to be one step ahead.

Always nice to check in here for a great read... even at 3:30 in the am.

P.S. Sure you can link me. I'm just tickled that finally I can add more links to living abroad. Tired of always doing the foodie thang!

At 6:49 PM, Blogger rowena said...

Don't want to make it seem that I'm lurking on your site here ;-) but I couldn't resist in revisiting the bidet post. You know, with such provocative topics that you're putting up, maybe you'll need a script that will show who commented recently in older posts? That way you won't always have to check back and see who said what. Especially when you start getting a ton of posts in this blog and find checking back on them a time sucker. Just wondering...

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Lurk and stalk and just hang out here as much as you like. Your ideas and comments really add a ton to this blog so I value them. Comment until your hearts content!

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous rowena said...

Ok! Just keep the interesting posts coming (on a daily basis!) ;-) Just kidding... anyway, here is a link to the site that hosts updated comments. I don't know, maybe you'll get it in one take but if not, yep, we gotta get together.



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