Winter in Colledimezzo

After a busy morning in Lanciano it was nice to come home and relax. After lunch, I pottered around outside paying attention to the flowers on our terrace and outside the kitchen door. The winters here may feel cold to the locals, but the flowers and plants barely notice them.
The young lemon tree only produced one fruit this year, but my beautiful rose bushes flowered in abundance. One determined bloom is still reaching towards the sun.
In spring and summer (below) the view from our terrace is a dazzling emerald green, before turning crazy bright shades of red and yellow in the autumn. Even now, with the bare trees, it looks beautiful against the bright blue sky.

Every season is very different in Colledimezzo and I enjoy them all.

Colledimezzo – A village in Southern Italy

I’ve been allowing myself to get a little stressed lately. Why? Who knows! Maybe Covid? Anyway today I took a step back, relaxed and remembered where I was and why I was here.
I opened my eyes and was relieved that I had no aches and pains, or other side effects from my Moderna booster jab. I spent a leisurely morning pottering around the house like an old girl…I’m allowed, almost sixty five now.
I showered and made myself presentable for our lunch at La Collinetta, a weekly event, and one I enjoy. It was a glorious sunny day, the picture above was taken this afternoon. After lunch and laughter with four of our best friends, we returned home. On the way to our house we were stopped in the piazza by one of the villagers. He gave us a bottle of home made Limoncello. The good people of Colledimezzo are so lovely and always willing to share their home made goods with pride.
My dear husband, who had a fair amount of wine with lunch, settled down in front of the television, but I decided to go for a walk. The sunshine and bright blue sky beckoned and I couldn’t resist. I walked for a couple of miles and ended up back in the piazza, outside the bar. It would have been rude not to pop in and have an Aperol Spritz!
I passed a half hour or so with Mirella while enjoying my spritz, along with some potato chips, and then down the stone steps home. When I opened the door my husband looked startled…yes, he was snoozing.
“You’ve been gone fifteen minutes already?” he said. I’d actually been gone for an hour. Bless him!

Time to settle down now. Relaxed by the Spritz, and the warmth of our house, I can enjoy my Saturday evening.
Buonasera everyone and stay safe.

New Year, Itchy Feet, New Projects…

This beautiful view is from the top of my village. I leave my house and climb the steep steps through Belvedere Colle to reach this vantage point. When I first moved here it was so difficult, but the steep climb is easy now. I should do it every day, just to remind myself why I moved here. Of course there are lots of other reasons, but the view is very close to the top of the list.
Not everything in life is perfect though, and now I’m at a loose end, looking for a project. Should I concentrate on my writing? Yes I have another book in the works. Shall I explore the countryside on my new electric bike? Yes, of course, but the weather has to get a little warmer.
January is not my favorite month. I don’t feel like it is a month of new beginnings, it’s drab and dreary and chased by February, which isn’t much better. When March arrives I feel much better, but unfortunately March also gives me itchy feet, makes me restless. I know, I’m in my sixties and I should settle down, but I can’t. I’m a traveller, a writer, an adventurer and a crazy Brit who just can’t keep still.

What will 2022 bring…yes, there is a project in the works…what is it? That would be telling.

Stay safe everyone, and keep stopping by to see what this crazy old girl will do next.

A New Adventure!

My e-bike arrived in the Trek store on Monday. I ordered it back in June of 2021, but the Bosh Components were in short supply, so it took a long time to ship! I haven’t ridden a bike in quite a while and I was a little nervous. My husband suggested we take a test ride this morning. He bought a Canyon Grail e-bike almost a year ago and is now an experienced rider. He does 60 kilometers for fun, most of which takes him up mountains…”Sure” I said, “Lets go!” I was as nervous as hell.
All of the villages in Abruzzo are perched on top of a hill. They were all built that way centuries ago to ward off enemies. As I rode down the steep, winding road and out of the village I was filled with trepidation. It was great going downhill, wonderful in fact, but I had to come back up. Down, down, down we went. We rode by Lago di Bomba. I must admit, it was a great feeling. I practiced my gears…I have quite a lot, and switched my programs from touring, to sport, and dabbled a bit with turbo. It was fun. On a regular bike I’d never have made it up and down the hills of Abruzzo. The e-bike doesn’t do everything for you, I did have to pedal, and felt like I was getting a good work out, but it wasn’t agonizing. My heart was pounding, but not exploding.
After about three miles, I suggested we turn around. I wasn’t tired, but I was a little worried about manipulating the steep climb back into Colledimezzo. We stopped at the top of a hill and turned around. It was so much fun going down hill. I let my husband lead the way, but I was feeling more confident and enjoying myself. Soon Colledimezzo was in sight, perched on the top of a hill like a big smile, welcoming me. I followed my husband, keeping up with him, but a safe distance from his back wheel. He is a fitness fanatic and wasn’t even using his battery, but who cares, you do what you need to do. Half way up the hill to Colledimezzo I switched gear and engaged turbo…flying past him like a Porsche overtaking a Golf GTI. It felt so good!
I think it is safe to say I enjoyed my first electric bike ride. It was short, perhaps only five or six miles, but it was fun. Yes it was a good work out, but a manageable one.
I have to thank the Trek Store D’Alonzo Sport, in Atessa, for being a great help to an old girl who hasn’t ridden a bike in years. I think it’s a father and son business. It was the son who helped me and he was amazing. Hopefully in a couple of months, I’ll revisit the store and buy some cycling gear in a smaller size. Not sure I’ll ever wear lycra though…

Happy New Year everyone and stay safe.

Sunny Roma

“Do we visit Rome or not?”

That was the million dollar questions. Omicron was surging, flights were cancelled, some people were scared, but others just didn’t care and ignored the mask wearing mandate. What to do!

We decided to be very careful and proceed with our plans to visit the Eternal City. So glad we did. We arrived late on Sunday afternoon and had a lovely late lunch in a restaurant close to the hotel. Wine, food and fun. Fantastic.

The following day rapid tests were needed for my daughter and son-in-laws return trip to the US. Once completed, with the required negative result, a visit to the Palatine Gardens was scheduled. It kept us out of harms way because it isn’t on everyone’s bucket list. After a lovely sunny wander, we hit the streets and visited my favorite handbag shop on Via Condotti. I chose my Christmas present from my daughter and son in law, a lovely, bright red, shoulder bag, thank you! Other purchases were made, and then we headed to our lunch reservation at Da Pietro. Fantastic lunch, the sort of lunch you don’t have very often, but always remember. There was wine, truffles, Florentine steak, and we even managed to squeeze in dessert. A walk was definitely needed afterwards.
Piazza di Popolo was quite busy so we continued up the steps to Jardins Borghese, which was beautiful. If you closed your eyes, you could forget you were in Rome. The birdsong was almost tropical. We passed a little time in enjoying the tranquility, and then walked back to the hotel, sad the day was over. It all passed too quickly.

There will be many more visits to Rome, it’s my favorite city. Hopefully next time we won’t be battling another COVID strain!

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Crazy Daze

Are we all trying to pretend the world is normal? I think so!
My daughter arrived in Italy against all odds, so very happy to see her. We’ve visited the local beach, driven through the beautiful villages, eaten in our favorite restaurants, and today we visited Vasto. I always think of Vasto as the “Icing on the Cake” because after I’d made an offer on our home in Colledimezzo, we stayed overnight in Vasto…and we knew we’d done the right thing.
Today was a little different, everyone was wearing masks, fearing the new and fast spreading Omicron virus. When will this end?
Still we had a lovely day today, and a lovely meal in Da Ferri, or favorite fish restaurant in the port. We did a little shopping in Villa Santa Maria and now we’re all resting at home.
This last week a lot of my good friends, in several different countries have overcome COVID. Glad they’re all OK, but it’s scary!

Be safe everyone and have a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas In Italy

2020 was my first Christmas as an Italian resident and it was a bit weird. We were on semi-lockdown so there were no Christmas markets. I can’t remember which shops were allowed to open. Our village was lit up and looked beautiful, but there was a curfew. It was a little desolate.
This year is much different. Yes, we’re still wearing masks, but Christmas shopping is in full swing and I’m loving it. I’m enjoying the lights, the buzz, the Italian Christmas dolce and the happy Buon Natale greeting. I spent the day in Lanciano today, buying a few more presents, and a little something for me. I have to sparkle over Christmas and New Year too!
In a little over a week we head off to Rome to meet my daughter and son in law. I’m really excited to see them and can’t wait to show them what we’ve done to our home. Rome will be so beautiful at Christmas.
Living in Italy is a fairy tale we made come true.
Buon Natale everyone! Relax and enjoy Christmas.

A Little Levity – and Some Excellent Food!

Everyone has to admit the thought of a new and awful strain of this wretched virus is more than a little worrying. It is a burden to all of us. Just as we all begin to rejoice seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel…an ugly shadow blocks our view!!! It’s hard to remain upbeat, but we must!
Yesterday we enjoyed some wonderful food with friends. Polish food for a change. The main dish of roasted pork loin was so delicious, I’d eaten it before I thought of taking a photograph.
I wish I’d captured the view too. Perched on top of a mountain it was breathtaking.
Oh well next time!

Stay happy and safe everyone, we’ll beat this new strain, just like we did the last ones. We can do this!

A Taste of Abruzzo – Oh what a Lunch!

Rinascita Lancianese in Lanciano is our favorite Cantina. I don’t think they make a wine we don’t like. Alessandro, my Italian friend/language coach introduced us to this cantina because it’s run by a very good friend of his! On Sunday we attended a wine/food tasting event at Rinascita Lancianese and it was wonderful. OMG the pork!
The mouth watering dishes above don’t include dessert. We drank their white sparkling wine, Trebbiano and a wonderful Merlot. It was organized for expats. Australians, Americans and Brits. There were 20 of us and we had a blast.
Did I mention the pork?

The Pomegranate Trick

In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the ‘fruit of the dead’ as it was said to have arisen from the blood of Adonis. … Hades, God of the underworld, used pomegranate seeds to trick Persephone into returning to the underworld for a few months of every year.

Good job no one tricked me because I’d spend the rest of my life in Hades! When I was a child pomegranates were a Christmas treat and I loved them. My mum made me pick each individual seed from the fruit with a pin. It took forever to finish, but I loved it. The pomegranates (melograno) that grow wild here in Abruzzo just fall apart. They are juicy and scrumptious. My good friend Franco gave me four last Sunday and this is the last one. It’s all I’ve eaten so far today because last night we enjoyed the hospitality of Nino and Vittoria. As always their food was delicious. Prosciutto wrapped around a delicious juicy melon for starters, followed by a constant flow of Italian delights, all washed down with excellent local wine. Of course the meal ended with various digestivos. Limoncello, Sambuca and Amaro….to name but a few. Wonderful night. I’ve been trying to pluck up courage to cook for Nino and Vittoria…piano piano as they say in Italy (slowly). They’re a hard act to follow.

Today is a foggy rainy day, but thats OK, it washes the old cobbled alleyways and refreshes the countryside.

I finished my pomegranate while writing this so I hope I don’t get snatched away to Hades!
Have a lovely day everyone.

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