Italian cities are cluttered with large apartment buildings, narrow streets and many old buildings with 5-7 stories, often without an elevator. The buildings lucky enough to have elevators are only made for a maximum of two to four people. If you have ever been inside an Italian apartment building elevator, you know how cramped it can be. When my in-laws come home from grocery shopping, they load their tiny elevator with the bags and my mother-in-law rides it up while my father-in-law takes the stairs!
So in my curiosity of wondering how things work, I have always wondered how people move their furniture into high floor apartments. Plus, Italians have large pieces of furniture; in part because the standard for ceiling height is at least ten feet. They have entertainment units aptly called parete (meaning wall) because it fills an entire wall; an armadio, or wardrobe, for each bedroom that is at least eight feet tall and also covers an entire wall; dining room furniture, couches etc. I have found myself scratching my head many times trying to figure out how they move these monoliths from one place to another. And you never see people moving in or struggling to carry furniture up the stairs--so how do they do it?
With this thing! The other day I heard some commotion and looked out the window to see a moving truck and this strange looking truck pull into position in-front of the next building. Ah-ha! Finally I could watch the movers and figure out the big secret! What I saw was not what I had expected, but it was sheer genius! It was like the solution to one of those dot drawing tests that require thinking literally outside of the box.
There was no need to figure out how to fit the furniture through doors and up the stairs... they just lift everything up to the balcony on this super speedy lift. Two guys on the ground to load the platform of the lift and push a small button that sends the load sailing up six stories in a matter of seconds and two guys to unload the platform from the balcony.
I watched in amazement as an entire family home, with all the furniture and appliances, was moved into the sixth floor apartment in under 30 minutes, while the movers basically stood around smoking and chatting for most of the time. This is the coolest thing. Now, I have seen this kind of thing before, as it is commonly used in Europe--but it was always bigger and more industrial for commercial use. This was just a little truck for residential moving. Brilliant!