If you are planning to restore a property in Italy which currently does not have ENEL mains gas make sure that you put your gas meter application in to ENEL Gas at the time of purchase. Getting connected to ENEL gas these days in Italy even though you can be in the centre of the village and the neighbouring houses all next to yours in the alley have gas can take over a year! Like another Italian couple in Bascianella we have now been waiting 19-months, all I can say is thankfully that we are young as those old and infirm would either die of cold or old age before being hooked up. Strange how there is no seemingly public outcry about this – is it just patiently accepted as one of Italy’s limitations by Italians outside of Milano?!
Thankfully winter in Abruzzo ‘06/07 was pretty warm and we could almost make do with just a fire, but it is a different story this winter ‘08. It has been freezing and a ‘bombola’ of gas (canister of Calor Gas in the UK) lasts a maximum of 3.5 days for; cooking, hot water and heating of a small 50 square metre 2 bedroom house where 2 people live. A large ‘25’ bombola costs 65 euros! Can you imagine how much that would come in at if we were trying to reside here full-time – you would have to be super rich to live in Abruzzo – no wonder Who wants to be a Millionaire? is still popular & running in Italy. Just your gas bill would come in at the equivalent of 500 euros or £400 per month, which is the current average salary of a blue-collar worker in Abruzzo. Italy will remain the current poor man of Europe as long as its monopolies have a strangle hold on the basic utilities. Rather than the people’s ability to spend their wages on slightly more interesting & educational commodities within the economy, those still not connected are forced instead to spend their cents on trying to keep their families warm.