Monday, April 11, 2005

Perugia in the rain

Piove a catinelle - (It’s raining cats and dogs)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

It’s been raining since yesterday, Saturday, around midday. When we got up in the morning it was cloudy and Bob had gone off to pick up something at the market. When he returned he was breathless and insisted I go out to our “view” to see the way the clouds were lying in the valley below us. His excitement was justified. The sky was dark and stormy all around us and we were up above the rain clouds that hovered below. The sun would periodically peak through the clouds lighting up one little group of hills or houses nestled among them. We could not take our eyes off it. We went back inside and had some breakfast and by then it was raining. Which seemed a good reason to go back out there and see what it looked like now! An ever-changing panorama of light and dark, white cloud masses and swirling sky. At some points the valley was completely obscured by clouds and we could only see as far as the streets directly below us.

I realized yesterday too that our private garden sits right up against the ancient city walls. Just below us is another row of gardens and we watched the gardener work, pouring fresh earth over his new plantings, tidying up and pulling out plants that had died. This is the part of the garden that has rose bushes and gardenias along the edge of the wall and the newly planted seeds I mentioned before. He is elderly – molto vecchio – and a bit stooped from bending down to tend the gardens I suspect. He was wearing a dark blue jacket and his shoes were caked with the earth he tended. His hair was white, but there was a tuft of it. He looked up at one point and we shared a “buon giorno” with him and agreed that it was a cold day “fa freddo” with a shiver. I so want to be able to speak this language well enough to converse with this man!

Yesterday afternoon we took a walk in the rain down Corso Garibaldi to Porta Sant’Angelo. There is a sign there before the wall that says “fuori le mura.” Soon flowers will be spilling from the cracks in this wall and we saw the first signs of it. Just inside the arch at the end of Corso Garibaldi there is a little specialty shop called Il Tempio that sells regional wines and foods. The proprietor came down (clearly we had disturbed his lunch but he was so gracious and welcoming) and invited us in to browse as much as we wanted. He apologized for his poor English (as the Italians so often do even when it’s pretty good!) and I tried my best to speak in Italian to him as much as I could and he seemed impressed (imagine that!) at my language skills. We bought a box of pasta and a jar of “Salsa Tartufata” which is made from truffles and is like a pesto that you spread on toasted bread (crostini). We promised him (and ourselves) that we would return again and try some other specialties and to converse with him in Italian. Later that afternoon I toasted some Italian bread in the oven and we spread this amazing salsa on it. We shared a bottle of Peroni and a bunch of grapes and the feeling that this is really an amazing adventure.

Buona giornata
Rosemary & Bob

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