Yesterday turned out to be a day of rest. Where does the time going between sunbathing, lunch and a siesta (or whatever the Italian term is for the postprandial kip)? Last night we had a communal meal at the accommodation, joined by the other artists who a staying elsewhere and several of the mayors happy helpers (to whom he is mostly related to of course). The mayor also put in an appearance after the important business of the day was complete.
Today wasn’t much different in terms of energy. I could get used to this. But I did venture forth this evening, and headed off as I had two days previously, but instead of the shortcut, continued on a longer route above the town, then dropped down via a farm track into the town itself.
Much excitement in the town square with lots of onlookers as a concrete lorry was pumping over the side of the terracing to shore up the lower terraces which were badly damaged during last winter which saw exceptional rainfall and snow falls. Many of the surrounding roads are either shut or partially blocked by landslides and collapsed sections. It’s worth noting that the area is volcanic, with the nearby town of L’Aquila which suffered serious damage in the 2009 earthquake.
The town is steeply terraced, the older parts below the church, and the newer above. In amongst the older parts are where the artists are working from, mostly vacant properties (for sale, should you be interested in a cheap place in the sun).
There’s a multitude of old passageways, steps and wonderfully aged doorways to explore. Everyone else from our group had buggered off for a trio to some caves which are the spring source of the towns water supply, and to see the Salamander reserve. If I’d been lightly quicker, I’d have got there too. So I headed for one of the local bars for a refreshing drink of water and shot of coffee to get me home. There is discovered Sally, one of the artists who had arrived fashionable later (Italian time) for the walk only to find they had been English punctual. We sat and chatted for a while and then she offered to show me around the other studios, as I didn’t know where they were.
We found Karen at work in some steps outside her studio making ink marks with a long stick, but the other studio was locked up. Sally headed off to her digs in the town, and Karen and I headed off to the bar for an evening drink before facing the walk home.
Before reaching the bar we stopped at hosts Helen and Paul’s house, which is a grand 5 storey job just below the church. They’ve done a fantastic job restoring it, and it’s a fitting gallery for much of Paul’s artwork, which is very unusual, Trompe-l’oeil in style, but very quirky.
The top floor is more modern in style with a panoramic terrace looking across the town and the hills beyond. You need a head for heights up here though!
On arriving at the bar, we sat in the sunshine on the terrace, looking over the landscape, half a pint in hand (in delicate European style stem glasses), and got olives and Italian style tapas included in the very reasonable price of about €3.50.
Lovely way to round off the day.