Published: May 22nd 2012May 22nd 2012
Rain rain rain. Cold and rainy this morning, and none of my travel companions have warm clothes and our place has no heat. Warm outfits this morning included nightgowns and seersucker jackets for some members of our party. Once we figured out how to get some chores done the laundry and dishwasher were started, and the power went out again some minutes later leaving half washed clothes and dishes.
The decision was made to go out and see a church located nearby, and it wasn't my mother's idea, it was geoff's! It was a very old church with faded old frescos depicting cheerful scenes from the new and old testament such as Abraham about to slaughter an infant Isaac, but God's hand is shown bursting through the clouds just in time while a sheep looks on, not clever enough to anticipate its grim fate. These frescos are entertaining for their tremulous grasp of physics and perspective. Almost every table depicted has sides that could not possible meet up, and the artist, realizing this, has someone sit on the corner of the table in a desperate effort to hide their error, like when i used to draw tiny fir trees in
front of people because i can't draw feet.
Next was a castle a short drive away that Geoff had been shown by one of the Americans who live nearby. The Castello di Rocchettine is about eight hundred year old, has been abandoned for four hundred years and is falling apart from the inside out, with trees growing through where the floor used to be.
On a rural road near a farmhouse we were held up by a cat and a very young puppy. I got out to shoo them, but the puppy ran over with such enthusiasm I had to pick it up and give it a quick cuddle. I took photos of it so I can show that to the doctor who treats my vicious tick born illness.
We had lunch at a little out of the way place with an inexplicably large dining room. Ristorante da Lina also prepared their bruschetta and meat on an open fireplace in the dining room next to the kitchen. The bruschetta was amazing, just good bread toasted on a flame with olive oil and fresh delicious tomatoes and salt.
Next was the tiny town of Casperia, a twenty
minute drive from our tiny town. It was very cute, and full of cats. By then it wasn't raining as much. A delightful thing about Italy is after lunch everyone has a nap. Stores close between one and four thirty so everyone can recover from their gigantic lunch of cheese, pasta and meat. Since we were in Casperia after lunch the town was almost deserted. At four thirty the town bells rang to remind everyone to get up and get back to work, and people poured out of their little houses. They were friendly and said hello to each of the four of us. Before leaving we went to their little bakery and bought some delicious bread.
When we got home, the power was still off. Geoff rode into town on the bicycle because he had planned to meet Brian (an Irishman) and Rodolpho (an Italian), friends he made before we arrived. He brought them back to the house to meet us, and they were immediately distracted by the lack of power issue. They prowled around and discovered many things: while none of the breakers in the house had been tripped, there is a second breaker box at the
edge of the property; the second breaker box contains live wires and should be locked, but isn't; our host hasn't paid his electricity bill (or doesn't want to pay for full power) so his power allowance has been cut in half; instead of having each room and major appliances on different circuits, they're not; and finally, it was likely running the washing machine and dishwasher at the same time that tripped our fragile little system. Duly noted.
Brian and Rodolpho are pretty interesting characters. Brian is an Irishman who has been in Italy for the past eight years "because of a girl" and works as a contractor, work that he has also done in big cities like New York. He's a tall, handsome fair haired fellow who has the sort of tan you'd expect of an Irish person in Italy. Rodolpho looks like a quintessential Italian with strong features and glorious wavy hair. He doesn't seem to speak a bit of English, so Brian, who is fluent, translated, sort of. Brian found it criminal that we have no barbecue, and thought that we should have one, and invite people from the village, including brian and Rodolphos children. We pointed
out that not only do we not have a barbecue, we don't even have power. Once the power was restored Brian said with confidence he could "acquire" a barbecue, with a shifty grin that made me wonder if he plans to steal one. The current plan is building a fire in the mud and roasting a pig.
We are taking the train to Rome tomorrow. If we don't drown in the mud.
There are more photos below