This morning we moved some plants around on the terrace so that there is more greenery in our view when we look out. I trimmed off some of the brown leaves and we positioned the large pot of red begonias on the top of the wall. Just making ourselves at home.
Doing Laundry and other simple pleasures
We did a load of laundry, still trying to figure out the best setting to wash our clothes since the one we used yesterday seemed to take forever. We are still trying. The one we selected today was not much better and even though we know what the signs say (some of the words we had to look up) it still is not clear which is the shortest wash cycle. Eventually we will figure it out! In Perugia the wash took forever. We were sort of used to that though as we had a washer & dryer in our home in Phoenix that were from Sweden and not only sounded like a jet plane landing in our laundry area but took forever to complete their cycle! In Sicily it was better and the brand new washer in Verona was a snap to operate and worked quietly and efficiently.
When the laundry finally was done and we had our coffee, we ventured out into the neighborhood around the marina, a short walk from our apartment. There are lots of little shops there and we found two little alimentari (grocery stores) with everything you could possibly need; a pescheria for fresh fish; a store that sold all sorts of household and cleaning supplies, bathroom, kitchen and personal stuff and we bought a few things we needed. There are several restaurants, bars and places to buy bread, which we did. So far all the bread here has been wonderful, I am happy to report.
Exploring the Neighborhood
There is a lovely promenade by the water, near the marina and a little piazza with benches and trees. Some men along this road were putting up what might be the start of the holiday decorations and we'll see what they put on these poles they are erecting on either side of the street. When Bob took a photo of one of them on the cherry picker, his friend teased him that he must be "famosa" to be having his picture taken. Oh yes, and there is a Presepe set up in one part of the street, like you might see a grotto to the Virgin Mary or something, all the little houses of the Nativity scene we had seen so many of in Sicily. We know they are also known for the Presepe in this region so we expect to see many as the Christmas holidays approach.
We explained to the woman in the grocery store where we bought our bread that we were going to be living here for the next five months and she gave us a very warm welcome and we said we would see her again. We're getting settled in. We walked on the beach, not the brown sugar beach like Marina di Ragusa but more gravelly, fine grains of crushed rock. Our friend Giovanna told us that for the rest of our lives we would be comparing things to Sicily and that nothing will compare to it. So far we think she is right. We tend to keep doing that. But this area is new to us and we want to give it time. We will let it slowly reveal its charms as we wander around.
While we were out we saw one of our neighbors and his dog (Bob started calling the dog Ralph - he's a big grey bulldog) down by the marina. The young man was on his motorcycle and coaxing Ralph to get on! I kiddingly said, "He doesn't drive does he?" (Non guida?) And he laughed and said no. Later we passed them riding by with Ralph comfortably seated across the front part of the bike seemingly enjoying what looked like a very precarious position! Turns out they live upstairs from us.
Coming and going we had a warm hello from Carmella and her daughter Anna who were sitting on their balcony next door to our apartment. They live on the second floor of our apartment building (or first, in Italian terms.) Another Signora on an upper floor a few doors down talked to me this morning and told me she had lived in this house for 43 years. So that proved to me that the fresh and clean exterior appearance of the building is definitely a recent restoration!
There are many young families here and we have seen lots of little kids with their Mammas and Nonnas out in strollers, playing in the park, and young teenagers hanging out. As far as I can tell there is a good mix of young and old and this area definitely is one people live in year round and won't seem so much like a summer resort, with as many empty houses as in Marina di Ragusa last winter. And yet where we are is a relatively quiet position a short distance away from the shops but within very easy reach.
Last night I made a simple supper, one of our favorites, breaded and fried chicken cutlets and a side of pasta with a fresh tomato sauce. Today for lunch we had our second favorite, leftover cutlets on crispy Italian bread! We ate outside on our terrace. It's a gorgeous warm day and we were in just shirtsleeves!! We're excited about that and hope it lasts.
Now it's around 2:30 in the afternoon and I'm starting to feel sleepy. Bob is in the bedroom reading a book and I think maybe I'll go in and have a little afternoon nap. Maybe later we'll think about going up to centro. Maybe not. Maybe we'll save it for tomorrow. After all, we have all the time in the world. We live here.
Rosemary e Robert
(we promise to post some photos soon, be patient with us as we get our bearings)