Italian Friendliness and Creativity!

Photo by Sandra Thompson

I read a newspaper on line called “The Local, Italy” and one of the articles today made me smile. After making a couple of changes to reference Colledimezzo, I’m sharing it with you. It sums up what makes life in Italy so special.

The ten positives you’ll notice when moving to Italy from the US (or the UK)

The beauty
The way you can “stumble upon” beauty anywhere. The gorgeous architecture in churches and other buildings as well as small points of beauty such as the way someone has arranged their garden flowers.

The patience
The patience of the people with my poor Italian, the way they apologize because they don’t speak English! (Not necessary to apologize — this is Italy!).

The church bells
The sound of the church bells ringing, randomly as well as gloriously at 12 noon in the piazza.

The kindness
I asked the pharmacist how to contact the physiotherapist that lives in the village. When she couldn’t reach him by phone, she ran across the street and knocked on the door of his grandmother’s house to see if she knew where he was.

The friendliness
The way at holiday time, everyone greets each other with Buon Natale or Buon Anno.

The openness
The way you can meet people in a restaurant and become friends for life.

The history
No need to explain, it is overwhelming. The tiny village pf Colledimezzo (my home) brags of castles, palazzos and enough WWII stories to keep you enthralled all night.

The seasons
Here in Italy every season unfolds with such beauty and is distinct and wondrous.

The people
The old men sitting in cafes talking endlessly and watching the world go by. And the way every single Italian has an opinion on most things, and loves to share it.

The security
The feeling that I am safe and never alone. People are always willing to help.

The creativity
The creativity used to make everything work… somehow.

Death Bells – The Sound of Serenity

Our home in Colledimezzo is very close to the church. I could easily throw a tennis ball and have it bounce on the church steps. The Church bells ring every fifteen minutes! I like the bells, they’re beautiful. I can’t leave the windows open at night because the sound would keep me awake, but thats OK. Bells are happy, traditional and typically Italian. They remind me I’m here, I realized my dream, and retired to Italy. They tell everyone when to wake up, when to go to church, and sadly, when someone dies, they are part of the way of life here.

I don’t like hearing the bells is when they’re telling us someone died. The death bells make a beautiful and peaceful sound, but they are ringing because a soul is passing from this world to the next. In spring of this year, the death bells were a regular occurrence. We lost a lot of elderly villagers. It wasn’t due to COVID, it was just their time to go. A couple of months ago, a treasured local was taken from us, someone we still miss. He was taken way too soon. Those death bells were difficult to listen to.

Yesterday, when I heard the bells, I knew who’d gone. He was old and quite ill. The bells were a beautiful way to mark his passage. They rang again today for his funeral. I hope he can hear their sweet sound from above.

When it’s my turn to go, I can handle the death bells, but only if they’re followed by Rod Stewart singing “I am sailing” enjoyed by all of my friends while they drink champagne and toast my life.

Enjoy your Sunday and hug your loved ones.