Via dell’Aquila, Perugia, Umbria, Italia, a casa
Today is Tuesday – martedi in Italian. Today we did our laundry for the first time. A small load of dark colors in our kitchen – cucina – and hung them outside on the little rack to dry. We are told that here in Perugia it is not allowed to hang clothes on a line like they do in other parts of Italy and it is true that we have not seen any here except for small things in the back yards. So, we have been provided with a small drying rack that has rows of lines to attach your wet clothes to with colored clothespins (also provided by the landlord). The machine is fairly quiet and relatively easy to use. Although I spent about half an hour translating the instructions! The yard outside is so lovely. A blooming forsythia is right outside our kitchen window casting a golden glow in that part of the room. There is a large pine tree (not sure of the type but definitely not ponderosa) just outside in the yard. Along the grid-wire fence ivy grows and there is an oleander and other small trees and shrubs. The daffodils are blooming and a single red tulip grows beside them. A few hyacinths are along the wall. Some of the trees must be fruit trees and they are just beginning to bud. We are delighted to be here to witness spring. We learned today that this area is called “Valle del Sole” – Valley of the Sun! (For all you non-Arizonans, the Phoenix area is also called The Valley of the Sun!) The weather is beautiful but still cool. I am glad that I didn’t leave my heavy Aran sweater behind because it has been my constant companion. Fortunately we have heat in the apartment – by radiators which are the most lovely quiet kind of heat but not as immediate as central air where as soon as you turn it on you get blasted. We have to be more patient, which is a virtue we hope to acquire.
Yesterday was a day full of business. The first thing we did was to go to Atena, the real estate agency that helped us find our apartment. The young woman, Michela, has been so helpful and patient with us, it was delightful to finally meet her in person. She teased us, and with a smile told us that we had made her work very hard and that we asked a lot of questions. She assured us that they were only there to help us and we should not hesitate to ask if we needed any help with anything. Making all of our arrangements from the U.S. was nerve racking and we are happy to think that we made good choices. She also provided us with a discount card for some of the shops in town.
After taking care of paying the rent with Atena, we went to the Universita degli Stranieri where we will take classes, to make sure we were all registered and to look around. It’s a beautiful old Palazzo a short walk from our apartamento and they gave us an appointment to apply for our permesso di soggiorno (permit of stay), which everyone has to do when arriving in Italy.
The next order of business was to find the shops and buy some groceries. After a bit of wandering around, looking in phone books and just asking people on the street we found an allimentari (grocery store) a macellerie (meat store), a shop that sells only cleaning products (tissues, etc), a bakery (pasticceria) and a store with household goods (we bought a spatula, a non-stick pan and a frother for our cappuccino). It’s very interesting and an adventure figuring out where to go for what but we are doing all right so far.
We met the older gentleman who lives next door – we introduced ourselves when we both went out to see what a certain noise was and he told us his name was Francesco. We all watched the amazing sight of four men carrying a shiny black baby grand piano down the stairs and onto our narrow street, up to the 2nd floor (ground floor is not the 1st floor, so that is actually 3 floors up from the street) into the building next door.
Bob is having fun taking photos of all the workers. That has always been a favorite thing of his and as there is much work going on, he has lots of opportunities. In these old cities there is always something being renovated and we have grown accustomed to seeing the scaffolding here and there. Perugia is such a lovely city. It’s very hilly with twists and turns and beautiful stone buildings. We spent some time here on our last trip and are looking forwarding to getting to know it on a more intimate level. I sat outside today and painted while the laundry was going and Bob went off to run an errand. Life is very good. We still have to work out the phone and manage to live on our income but we are happy as clams and just trying to take every day as it comes.
We will be in touch,
Rosamaria e Roberto