Cutting Through the Tape – Part II

The saga continues…

When we last saw our hero, he was knee deep in nastro rosso and fighting his way towards the tourism office in Catanzaro.

Ma, perche’?
Because…in 2006, just as the handsome proprietor was set to build his B&B empire, the APT Tourism Board in Catanzaro announced that, in an effort to boost local tourism, they would refund business owners 50% of their expenses for upgrading and/or remodeling their businesses.
After saving invoices, receipts, slips, and signatures for more than a year and half, he cautiously hands over his folder.

Scene IV: APT Tourism Office in Catanzaro

“Here you go, sir. All of our invoices and receipts for the construction, new furniture, linens, etc. etc. etc…”

Tourism Man: “Oh, yea…about that. You can only use “new” receipts – things you spent after you opened. The old ones aren’t eligible.”

“But, you are the one who told me what to do.”

Tourism Man: “Yes, I know. But, you can make up new receipts and just pay the VAT again.”

“Did the law change?”

Tourism Man: “No.”

“Well, then why did you tell me to go ahead last year?”

Tourism Man (shrugs): “This is just the law, Sir.”

After dealing with defected coffee machines, phantom phone calls, and misspelled city names, he called it a morning.

We discussed the situation and attempted to play the Glad Game.

“Well,” I said. “We can buy another coffee machine to use at the B&B now, and then we will have it when we finish the new house.”

“That’s what I was thinking,” he agreed.

Problem #1 – Settled!

“We’ll go finish up that stuff with the Questura on Monday…It’s not a big deal,” I promised.


Problem #2 – Done!

“You got the marriage certificate in the end, right?!? So, that worked out.”

“Yes.” Then, he added, “The guy was even nice.”

Problem #3 – Not even a problem!

“So…no money, eh?” I asked glumily.


“Wow. I think I am going to cry…” I warned him.


“That’s 20 thousand euros. I’m in shock!”

“No, sweetie. It was 22 thousand euros.”

“I guess we know where the buck stops, huh?”

“Yep. Right in front of us!”

Note: Happier days are ahead! Coming soon – Tindari, Sicily, Touring Palermo, and the Search for the Perfect, or any, Pizza!
12 Responses
  1. Giulia

    Oh Cherrye, I’m so sorry about the money! 🙁

    That man deserves an ass kickin though. 22,000 euro is not chump change!

  2. vespa rossa

    Hi Cherrye,

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and ended up reading through your entire archive! You have such an interesting story — moreso to me because I live in NYC and my fiance in Taormina and I are trying to figure out how to get around the 6000 mile difference. One of our ideas was opening a B&B, as that was always a dream of mine. Anyways, I really enjoy your writing…and I’m sorry to hear about the latest red tape incident!

    [email protected] [that was a typo when I created my account]

  3. maddiesmommy&daddy

    It sounds so glum, but I know you Cherrye…You will make good of this yet. I’ve never seen you go without making a bad thing better and flashing that million dollar smile I know you for.

    You and Pep keep your heads up. You have a wonderful business, beautiful marriage and many great friends (and us family too)!

  4. Leanne

    Yesterday I was laughing as I read your part 1 but now with part 2 I cannot laugh. Poor thing, but you guys will get through and hopefully get the money…most probably later rather then sooner however. Glad you are trying to think on the bright side – you need to!

  5. Maggie

    and the “glad game” was going so well at first…

    it’s a bit frightening how rules change over here without any notification, justification or logic.

    I’m so sorry about you day. I hope the B&B has the best year ever to more than make up for it.

  6. Linda

    Oh man! I hope we won’t have any surprises here in Milan. We just renovated our house and are hoping to get some money back from the taxman. Now I’m worried…

  7. Louise

    SERIOUSLY!! OW that hurts!
    Sending you another hug!!
    Really hoping with you for better and brighter days ahead!!

  8. Cherrye

    Agreed, G. It is a BUNCH of money!!

    Vespa – Wow. Sounds like we have a lot in common. We’ll need to email about all of this!

    NYC 🙁 yep!

    Michelle – No. That is worse!!!

    It is sad, Nadine. Nothing we can do, I guess.

    Thanks for the words, Brandi!!

    Yea, Leanne. Part 1 was much easier to deal with!

    Thank you, Maggie. I hope so, too. I know we will be ok, but…

    Oh, Linda!! I hope it is ok!!

    Thanks, Louise! I needed that hug.

  9. mylablog

    I was looking for a happier post to comment on, that wasn’t too old, but thought this one would do. One of my closest friends has been teaching abroad for the last 10years, so I’m so used to hearing about the various governments and how their stories always change. I’m glad that at least some things are working out in your favor.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leading me here. I’ll be sticking around for a bit 😉

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