This week I bring you a new home update, the saga of the mystery bites/stings and some photos from a lovely day out around Le Marche.
My New Home!
Well the move went OK last Friday. It’s fair to say, my new town, Falconara, does not have a good reputation I think mainly because it’s right next to a large petrol refinery and there’s a busy train line which runs alongside the beach. It’s a town that looks a little bit unloved to be honest. However, from what I’ve seen so far, I really like it.
The beach, which is a minute walk from the flat, is nice (though I fear it’s going to be covered in back-to-back sun loungers and umbrellas in less than a month). It’s sandy, which is unusual from what I’ve experienced around here and the water is nice and clear. There are little promenades which you can walk along to get out to some rocky bits which protect the beach. It’s quite surreal walking on rocks a few hundred meters away from the beach.
The town itself has restaurants, lots of gelaterias, cafes and a few other bits and pieces. Monday was my year anniversary here so I celebrated by exploring Falconara a bit with Pane Caldo and some friends. We went to a couple of nice bars and then a restaurant on the beach called La Vela (The Sail). I’m particularly enamored with my local gelateria which has the most amazing looking ice-cream and tastes great too. Seems to always have a little crowd outside.
Monday is market day here and our road is closed off for it which means we have to park elsewhere. The landlord had warned me about that and said I’d have to clear the car away by 8.30 Monday morning. Come 6.30am, I poked my head outside the window to check on the car and there was an angry looking man with a van walking incredulously around my now lone vehicle. I spent a good couple of minutes whistling at him to get his attention so I could tell him he didn’t need to walk around it any longer and that I would remove it forthwith but he didn’t look up so I had to run downstairs pretty smartly. That was a prompt Monday morning start.
Yesterday there appears to have been some sort of Bouncy Castle Festival in the park behind the flat. Alas it was only for children (why are bouncy castles only ever for children?!?!). And then there was a religious procession around the streets – I’m not sure what that was in relation too but was quite interesting to watch.
In terms of the flat, I have mixed feelings about it. Things I like about the flat:
- It’s nice and airy. See Exhibits A, B and C
- It has really cool shutters which completely block out the light. See Exhibit D.
- You can see the sea and walk there in a minute. Handy for the supermarket too. See Exhibit E.
- It has a gelateria opposite that I think has the best cherry amaretto flavour and an excellent tiramsu flavour too.
- It’s close to the train station.
Things I don’t like about the flat:
- You can hear trains all night! Exhibit G below.
- The bedroom monstrosity ceiling light! See Exhibit H.
- We have to buy a bombola (a gas canister) for the gas just like we’re camping. I love camping, but not in the flat.
- We have to turn on the hot water and wait an hour and a half for it to get hot and then it only manages to fill an inch in the bottom of the bath.
- There is dark imposing shiny furniture everywhere. I prefer lighter furniture. And I prefer bathroom doors that aren’t so dark that you headbutt them because in the middle of the night they look like they’re open but in fact they’re shut. And I prefer that they’re not so shiny that if there’s background light, it looks like there’s someone walking full pelt at you.
- None of our neighbours appear to have left their wifi unprotected. Suspicious lot. We’ve had to buy a dongle.
- We’re overlooked. I think there’s at least 20 other flats that can look into every room in our flat. I might be forced to get net curtains. See Exhibit H below.
- You need a parking permit to park anywhere near the flat. Pfft!
Conero Crafts has gone a bit quiet of late – I’ve been chatting to someone on the Etsy website that has suggested I try and produce some smaller, easier pieces to send through the post. I completely agree. I sent one of my items to Canada recently. The conversation in the post office went thusly:
Sue: I’d like to send this box to Canada please.
Post office worker: That’s difficult.
Sue: OK. I’d still like to send it.
Post office worker: It’s not easy.
Sue: Huh. Erm. Well, I’m sorry about that.
And it went on a bit like that before finally costing 30 Euros to send so I made a bit of a loss on that.
Mystery biting / stinging creature in the car
I’ve been stung! Or bitten. And down my dress too! And whilst I was driving. The Italian public were very nearly subjected to a screaming stripping girl at the side of the motorway (but they did get subjected to a screaming girl just flapping about like a lunatic). It got me 4 times! I spent the entire next day sensing things on me but assuring myself I was being paranoid (after all, yelling and running to the bathroom to strip off manically to get rid of a non existent bug can’t be sustained in the long run)……..Only then I found that one of the “sensations” was indeed a wasp on my neck. I’m considering getting myself one of those suits that bee-keepers have.
Out and about around Le Marche
I was invited to a university school outing yesterday by one of my language swap buddies who’s a university professor in Ancona. I had a lovely day out. It reminded me of when I first came here, investigating new places. We went for a nice long walk in a couple of pretty little villages around Arcevia – Piticchio and Montale. The trip was linked to some work Regione Marche are doing to boost tourism in the area. I’m bursting with opinions so I’m going to write to them to offer my services as an enthusiastic and somewhat full time tourist here!
What’s a bit odd?
When there’s a baby born they put ribbons up outside the house. In Arcevia they put massive “So&So has been born” type signs and the entire street seems to be decked out with ribbons! Quite sweet really.
Right, that about sums up this week.
Have good weekends all.
Thanks for giving Falconara a good press. I was sure there was more to it than the refinery! Last year we were in Italy on Sunday May 12 and took part in a procession organised by our contrada in honour of Sta Maria della Salute, who is one of our patron saints, so I think that’s what yours must have been. See my blog post http://alysb.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/what-is-the-connection-between-santa-maria-della-salute-and-italian-unity/ . Le Marche tourism does a booklet entitled I Paesi Alti sul Mare, which includes Falconara. You can download it (I hope!) from http://www.turismo.marche.it.
Last year we were in Italy on Sunday May 12 and took part in a procession organised by our contrada in honour of Sta Maria della Salute, who is one of our patron saints, so I think that’s what yours must have been. See my blog post http://alysb.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/what-is-the-connection-between-santa-maria-della-salute-and-italian-unity/ . Le Marche tourism does a booklet entitled I Paesi Alti sul Mare, which includes Falconara. You can download it (I hope!) from http://www.turismo.marche.it.