No place like Home – Nessun posto è come casa

Photos above are the church in Cerqueto, lunch (pranzo) room in Hotel Miami, shopping in Citta Delle Stelle and finally….home! Still a few hiccups to take care of, but it’s home!
In Colledimezzo I became known for my afternoon walks. Almost every day on my way across the piazza, I’d stop and talk to the locals, who’d ask,
“Stai andando a fare una passeggiata?” (are you going for a walk).
Here there is no piazza to pass through on my way, but I’m greeted by others who enjoy walking too! It’s a wonderful way to get to know people.
Now I alternate between walking with riding my bike, but I’m still greeted by everyone I pass.
On Tuesday, after a busy day of chores, I went for a thirty minute ride, uphill towards the ski resort of Monte Piselli. I rode through the village of Cerqueto, where my friend Gabriella lives. On my way back I stopped and chatted with her and her 84 year old mum. I’m not fluent in Italian yet, so sometimes the conversation takes an interesting turn, but I’m getting there.
Which ever way you take your outdoor exercise, it makes you feel good and gets you out of the house, it’s also a great way to meet people…well that and hanging out the washing. That seems to attract conversation from passers by too! I had a long chat with and elderly lady from Piano San Pietro on Monday morning. I told her I spoke very little Italian, but it didn’t seem to matter, she continued to talk, but very clearly. I understood most of her words.
“Per quanto tempo si ferma?” She asked me (how long are you staying?).
“Sono residente, vivo qui.” I replied (I live here).
She liked that answer a lot.
“Il tuo giardino è carino, mi piacciono i fiori.”
She also liked we were making the garden pretty, and said the house looked clean. Little by little I’m getting to know the area and its characters, and enjoying every minute of it.

On Wednesday morning it was time to do a little shopping. We’ve been putting off shopping for furniture, not big furniture, just bits and bobs to accessorise rooms. A small bookshelf and a mirror were at the top of my list. We found them both in one of my favourite little stores (CASA) in Citta Delle Stelle. They were a bargain at less than €150 for both…and a set of cooling trays. All that shopping made us hungry so we stopped off at Hotel Miami in Villa Lempa for a “workers lunch.” Another bargain. €15 each for a delicious lunch of pasta, meat, wine and dessert. We’ll be back for sure.

Smile a goofy smile today!

Lunch in Ascoli Piceno – Pranzo ad Ascoli Piceno

I will never tire of the beauty of Italy. I’ve been visiting this amazing country for over forty years, but I’m still in awe of the buildings, the people and the traditions. I’ve lived here for two years now, and every day, find something else to admire. Some days it’s just the generosity, curiosity and friendliness of the people.
Today we dropped some things off at our (soon to be) new house. We were greeted by the lovely Gabriella, who has been so very helpful. I think she is the female version of our friend Nino, here in Colledimezzo. She points us in the right direction for everything. So kind and helpful!
After leaving the house we drove twenty minutes to Ascoli Piceno. We’d been told about the town, but never visited, what a lovely place. A mini Rome. We had lunch, walked a little, and then stopped for an ice cream in Piazza del Popolo, where we were lucky enough to see a beautiful bride and groom setting off on their new life together.
It was a long day, but we’re home again, tired but happy. We left a lot of boxes (and my favourite mother of pearl lamp) and got to wander around the house again. It is almost empty of furniture now, so our voices echoed around the walls. Can’t wait to fill it with our personal things and call it home. We began packing up our house before our April trip to Denver, so we’ve been living in Collediezzo, on the bare necessities for quite a while. It will be nice to be settled again.
I know the new family are eager to make Via Badia home too.


We invited friends to our home for lunch yesterday.
I set the table ahead of time with glasses, bowls and napkins, then stood back to see how it looked.
It was a table that invited lively conversation. It was a table set for five friends to sit and enjoy good food and wine.
I reflected on how my life has changed this year.
I no longer have crystal glasses, with matching decanters, or fine plates and bowls. I left those in the US for my my daughter to enjoy. She’s young and will appreciate them for many years to come.
My glasses don’t match, nor do my pans.
The wine is no longer $30 a bottle, but seven euros for a five liter box from the local Cantina, and much more enjoyable.
Yesterday was the first time I’d invited one of our Italian friends to eat with us, and I was terrified. We’ve enjoyed meals in his kitchen on several occasions and he is an excellent cook. Of course he brought one of his culinary masterpieces, which made our little soiree even more enjoyable. I sighed with relief when he complimented my risotto!
“You’re a good cook.” He said. I was thrilled.
Here in Abruzzo, it doesn’t matter what your glasses look like, or whether or not your plates match. What does matter is the people who sit around your table and share your food. People come first and foremost here, and thats the way it should be.
I still miss my daughter, she should have been here with us for Christmas…next year!