Posts Tagged With: walk

Earthquakes, Traumatic Treks, Castrum Sarnani and Opera…

Buongiorno,

I wrote the blog below before the terrible earthquake struck central Italy yesterday morning.  I’ve experienced two or three earthquakes now in Italy and I thought the others were quite strong but nothing like this. The epicenter, where the most damage was done was only 24 miles away as the crow flies. I woke up at 3.36, like I think almost everyone else did in central Italy and it felt like I was in a washing machine. It’s very difficult to orientate yourself, or even get out of bed when everything is shaking so violently and things are falling from the walls and smashing around you. There wasn’t any warning – it doesn’t slowly warm up, it just hits. And it went on for such a long time, well over 2 minutes. Myself and the neighbours all convened outside. Each year in August, families from Rome come to stay in their holiday homes in the hamlet so there were about 10 of us outside in our night clothes on the road for 3 or 4 hours too scared to go back inside. We gradually began to get dribs and drabs of information about those that weren’t so lucky. Watching the terrible scenes unfolding from the worst hit places has just been heartbreaking. Over 240 people are dead and there are still lots missing.  Obviously terrible things like this happen all the time but rather unjustly, when it’s so close to home, it really puts things into perspective. My neighbours and I have all been very lucky.

There have been dozens of aftershocks, lots quite strong and each time everyone rushes outside again. The families from Rome have all gone back to their main homes and so there’s just the core of my little hamlet here now. It’s a lovely community spirit and everyone watches over everyone else though so I don’t ever feel too alone in that regard.

The house is full of cracks, a couple I’m a bit worried about but apart from a few glasses and a mirror broken, all is pretty much as it was. Someone will come today to check that all is ok and I hope it will be. There are 30 families in Sarnano who are not so lucky and have had to move out of their homes as they’ve been classed as too dangerous to stay in. AirBnB have a disaster relief scheme and I’ve offered my spare rooms on that, even though I’m a bit nervous to sleep in the house myself until the aftershocks calm down a bit. Last night I slept in my tent. Of course, life goes on and you can’t not sleep at home for fear of something that will probably (fingers crossed!) never happen, but at the moment it’s just not a very relaxing thought sleeping under concrete whilst there are still aftershocks (even one as I write!). In fact, there were at least another couple of tremors last night, one fairly large but under canvas (and putting aside the concerns about everyone else), it’s less scary and more awe-inducing!

Lots of friends and family have been in touch worried about me so thank you for your concerns and well wishes, it’s much appreciated 🙂

So that’s the earthquake. My thoughts (and hopefully more practical things like blood and clothes in the not too distant future!) are with the people of the towns worst hit. On a lighter note (though admittedly not much the first part of the update!) here’s everything else I’ve been up to!

Last time I wrote was a month or so ago so there’s another mass of things to update on. Summer here in Le Marche just seems to be very busy with things to do and people to see which is nice of course. Anyway, first things first.

The walk in Gran Sasso I was about to embark on the last time I wrote…

It was absolute stunning. I need to go back there again under my own steam to take more photos. However, I feel like our “day out” could be made into a disaster film without using much imagination. It was not a 10 hour trek as planned; it was 16 hours and consisted of more climbing than hiking (a particular challenge given I’ve never climbed before!). The fixed ropes that should have already been in place were not there, ladders fixed to the side of the mountain were missing the majority of their screws and rocks the size of footballs fell on our heads (thankfully  only on the ones that had helmets). We got down to the bottom of the mountain on our return just before nightfall and then had to try and find our way in pitch black to the cars. Nobody had phone reception to call for help, nobody had enough water (mine fell out of my bag), angry horses chased us and the angry wolf-killing dogs protecting them chased us too for good measure. And to cap it all I broke my very expensive camera…. On the whole it wasn’t an enjoyable experience and I eventually got into bed 24 hours later; an exhausted, sunburnt, aching mess. I haven’t quite worked up the courage to go out for any more group excursions since!

The views were stunning though…

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Valle dei Tre Santi

However, I have been on more successful walks and Valle dei Tre Santi was one of them: to discover the Valley of the Three Saints. It was a local walk, about 12km long and included some lovely little waterfalls and a “gola” (basically where two large rocks/mountains meet and leave a gap).

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Monte Vettore

I also finally made it up to Monte Vettore, the highest mountain in the Sibillini range at 2,476 meters. It’s the highest place I’ve ever walked up to so I’m pleased about that! It’s been on my list of things to do for months 🙂 Here are some photos…

Around Sarnano

I also had some visitors here so did some of my usual “tourist” route activities with them!

Montemonaco

We also went to Il Tiglio, a very plush Michelin starred restaurant in Montemonaco. We went for the “degustazione” menu – a tasting menu where you try a bit of everything on the menu. I had a vegetarian version which was very tasty. I think the best bit was just the sheer creativity… as a starter a branch came out with “berries” stuck on made of parmesan etc. Pudding was a sort of custard poured on the table with fruit and granola type stuff which sounds pretty normal but then the waiter poured liquid nitrogen over it to freeze it! It was a very interesting dining experience all around.  On the way back we stopped off in the town and took some photos…

Rocca Varano

We also made it to Rocca Varano, a castle on the outskirts of Camerino. I’ve often driven past and wanted to investigate. It looks particularly elegant at night, all lit up. So we headed there and predictably it was shut! We still had a wander around though. I’ll have to go back and explore the inside at some point.

Pescara

Pescara is another place that’s been on my list of things to do for months. It’s a city about 2 hours drive from here on the coast. I met a friend for lunch and a quick walk around the town so didn’t do too much exploring but it looks quite a nice town on first impressions.

Opera at the Sferisterio

I’ve also been to see the opera at the Sferisterio, a sort of ancient semi-circular Colosseum in Macerata. It was quite an experience. I was pleased to note that most of the Italians don’t understand what on earth is going on either. Even with the subtitles which were flashed up at the sides, it’s difficult to understand what’s happening because it’s all in ancient Italian that often doesn’t bare any resemblance to Italian nowadays. I think they could have been a little clearer as well in terms of the scenes and costumes (it took me a while to work out that there were two separate main women as they both looked the same, dressed the same and sounded the same…. note: I am reliably informed by my opera singing expert friend that they didn’t in fact sound the same).

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Castrum Sarnani and the Serafino

Finally, last week, we had Castrum Sarnani, a big medieval festival in Sarnano that happens every August. It’s a great event with things going on every day for a week or so. It kicks off with the Serafino, a competition between the four zones in Sarnano where they compete to win things like tug-of-war, tree-trunk cutting, tree climbing and a race with a jug of water on your head!

During the taking of these photos above, I got stung by a wasp. Over a week on, my finger has only just gone back down to normal size!

Once the Serafino has finished, the real party starts. Sarnano is filled with medieval demonstrations – candle making, flour milling, juggling, singing and falconry. There are 4 or 5 different “taverns” to eat at within town and you can pay for everything using special coins made by the resident blacksmith! It’s just a really lovely event – I highly recommend it!

I think that sums up the last few weeks. I hope you’re all having an excellent August 🙂

x

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Why not to get a bike, being Indiana Jones and chocolate festivals…

Buongiorno a tutti!

How is everyone?

I hope you’re all well. I’m somewhat light on the photo front this week you might be pleased to know!

I had a flying visit to the UK last week. As usual it’s not ever quite enough time to get around everyone I’d like to but it was still lovely to see people. It wasn’t quite so persistently gloomy on the weather front either which was a nice change! In fact, when I left London it was gorgeous sunshine and when I arrived here it was raining… That never, ever happens! It’s always the opposite way around!

My cat Batfink (so named after the cartoon cat that had large ears… but he’s grown into his ears now and he’s a very handsome feline) seemed reasonably pleased to have me back. He’s hormonally active at the moment – I was told he was only supposed to have 3 weeks worth of err, hormones, but he seems to have fallen for his sister and they’re constantly hanging out together now. It would be quite cute if I wasn’t worried for the health of their future children. I was in charge of the neighbour’s dog today and we went for a walk up the road. Batfink came too, weaving in and out of my legs. I think I must look like a crazy cat lady to the locals.

I found an English language speaking group in Civitanova which I met up with on Friday. There was a good turnout with the majority being Italians wanting to practice their English and there was one other English girl. I’ll definitely go again, it’s just a shame it’s not a bit closer to Sarnano (it’s about a 50 minute drive).

Just before I left for the UK I bought a bike. It’s probably 20 years since I rode a bike (apart from one outing in Richmond Park). Anyway, let me tell you!!….. Buying a bike, when you live in the mountains and you live in a country known for the crazy drivers, is the silliest idea ever. I don’t know what possessed me. I have ridden up and down the road a few times on it which is absolutely exhausting and alas far less than a kilometer. Not to be defeated though, on Saturday I went to Abbadia di Fiastra, a lovely, large, flat (woohoo!) park and cycled for about 8km. It’s a great place to go to cycle because it’s all off-road so there’s no imminent danger of being hit by a car. However, I’m not used to cycling and by Saturday night, I felt like I’d been hit by a car anyway! Why do they make the seats so horribly uncomfortable?! I definitely bought the wrong bike – I want to be upright, with a basket on the front (and perhaps with a motor)! Still the deed is done so I better try and get a bit more in shape for it over the next few weeks.

On Saturday evening, I went to see my first play here in Italy. It was Madame Bovary at Civitanova Alta. I didn’t know quite what to expect. All the towns here have dinky little theatres. Having lived in London with the massive professional productions that often carry on for decades, I was expecting, well, less to be honest. However, it was anything but. It was very well performed, with excellent actors and a really creepy and original way of portraying Madame Bovary’s daughter. All-in-all, it was very impressive and I’m a bit sad that it was only being performed for one night, particularly after it must have taken months and months of hard work for them to prepare.

Sunday, rather than not get out of bed (everything ached!), I went for a walk around San Severino with a friend. San Severino is a lovely little town and it’s surrounded by hills (or rather mountains the size of Mount Everest for someone that is already aching everywhere). Walks in Italy are never straightforward. I had a book with me which described the walk, and we had downloaded a GPS map and there was also the occasional sign and yet still it wasn’t clear where we were supposed to be going! Still we made it back. The whole walk took about 5 hours. It was 19km with a climb of about 1km. As exhausting as it was, it was a really nice walk and it was good to see the Eremo di Sant’Eustachio, a monastery built in the 11th century that was partly carved out of the mountain. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones wandering around there. There’s also a lot of caves dotted around and the ruins of a mysterious round looking tower. On the whole, it was very interesting.

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See what I mean about feeling a bit like Indiana Jones discovering some secret lost temple?!

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This was the inside. There’s more rooms underneath and to the side of the Eremo, a cave that looks as if something interesting used to go on inside!

I think I must have burned off a reasonable number of calories over the weekend but after the walk, we discovered a chocolate festival in San Severino so the diet all went to pot. Still, I can highly recommend you all try white chocolate ice-cream and chocolate orange ice-cream 🙂

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Mmmmmmmm chocolate…

 

In other exciting news, I’ve been invited along on another Blog Tour so I’m excited about that 🙂 More details to come as and when I get them but it’ll be in June. I’ve also got a few friends lined up to visit me later in the year which is going to be good.

And I’m famous! I’ve had an interview published on http://www.expatfinder.com – I wrote it probably over a year ago so it’s somewhat out of date but still, I’m famous! Click here for the interview.

Anyway, I hope you all have an excellent week.

Buonaserata!

x

 

 

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Long Walks of Achyness, Sightseeing in Emiglia-Romagna and Umbria and Megabugs…

Ciao all,

How is everyone? It seems it’s been a while since I’ve written so thought I’d give you a quick update…

The Long Walk of Achyness

Just after I wrote the last blog post, some friends came to visit me in Sarnano and I thought perhaps it might be the ideal opportunity to combine their desire to see the Lame Rosse (the cool rock formation I wrote about in the last blog installment) with something new I was keen to see, the Gole di Fiastrone (literally “throats of the Fiastrone” referring to the river and the formation of it). I dug out my map and found a route that would take in those two features but also another sight: the Grotto dei Frati.  I estimated it would probably take about 6 hours which isn’t bad really – we’re all fairly fit and enjoy walking.

It was indeed 6 hours but half of that was up a near vertical slope! I enjoy walking but I’m not cut out for climbing!!! So, it goes down as the hardest walk I’ve ever done but I’m very glad we did it. About midway through we came across a sign that said the trail was for “expert hikers”. I felt proud and stupid all at the same time!

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The cat helping me find the best route…

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The Fiastrone riverbed. To continue the walk to the Lame Rosse we needed to cross this river. I did attempt it – I took off my boots and waded into the river and about 2 feet in, I wimped out and came back. It’s cold and slippery. We sat looking mournfully across the other side of the river eating our lunch and were fortunate enough to come across some people coming from the other side of the river wanting to get to our side. We watched as they made their way precariously across the river on some broken tree branches and debris. None of them died so them having set a precedent, we followed shortly thereafter.  In fact, one of our members actually braved walking across the river wielding his dog.

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This was taken on the way down from to Lago di Fiastra. You can see the dam at the bottom of the river. That’s where one of our cars was parked, a depressingly long distance away and that was about 4.5 hours into the walk!

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This is part of the Grotto dei Frati, a little area cut into the rock face that still seems to be used for religious ceremonies.

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And from the Grotto dei Frati, you can see the Gole di Fiastrone (where the river meets the rock about the center of the photo). To get there I think we’d have had to have waded up the river. Definitely more of a summer activity!!!!

Forli and Giovanni Boldini

The following day I went to Forli with another friend to seen an exhibition of the wonderful Giovanni Boldini. He does some amazing portraits and it inspired me to get back into trying to get good at drawing portraits again.  The day ended up taking us on quite a road trip and we stopped off at Citta’ di Castello and then Gubbio in Umbria.

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One of the squares in Citta di Castello

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A sculpture with her breasts out in what seems to be a type of courtroom – an effective way to appease a jury no doubt.

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Little church dedicated to baking pizzas in Citta’ di Castello.

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Cutie pigeons taking in the scenery around Citta’ di Castello.

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Citta’ di Castello – it’s a walled town, as many of them are but this one seems much more intact.

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This is the beautiful town of Gubbio

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Gubbio again with the rains approaching!

The Science of Happiness

I finished my Science of Happiness Online Course last week which I started earlier this year. It’s free, online and you can do it in your own time.  It’s my first online course and I hadn’t realised there was such a wide variety to chose from. I went for this one because it appeals to my interest in psychological things and well, I think I’m pretty happy but there’s no harm in looking to see if there’s something else that could make me happier eh?

I think people always have a view of psychology as being a bit of a “fluffy” science, but this course wasn’t by any means. There were a range of topics covering the links between happiness and empathy, compassion, social connections, forgiveness, self compassion, goal setting, generosity and gratitude etc. Information was presented in conjunction with corresponding scientific studies including not just how feelings are affected but how our physiology is impacted too and why happiness-inducing behaviours might have evolved in the first place. My favourite titbits – did you know that rats can laugh?! And quite a heart-wrenching finding – “touch” is so important to us humans that until caregivers were instructed to hold and touch babies in orphanages, many of them died. Have a read here

In other news…

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I made pitta breads – they taste exactly like pitta breads! I’m reasonably impressed with myself! (They don’t have pitta breads in Italy as far as I can work out).

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And…. I came across this bug… It was almost exactly the same size as my car. I’ve decided to call him Megabug.

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And….I cleaned out the Snake Pit under the house – this photo was taken part way through. There were actually no snakes in it very much to my relief. I took a golf club down there just in case.

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And…. I went to a jazz concert at the local theatre with a friend which was a mix between really very good and very bad (this latter review is not an indictment on the musicians, who were brilliant, but instead, my ability to retain interest when listening to the more “unstructured” jazz pieces). I was definitely impressed by the good bits though and I have resolved to find some good jazz tracks to get into.

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And….. following on from my recent “Driving Guide”, this photo was taken in Forli and nicely demonstrates the appropriate distance between parked cars when parking in Italy.

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And…. finally on the photo front – we’ve got kittens in the neighbourhood! These belong to Batfink’s aunty and father (who are we to judge?). There are another three (true brothers and sisters to Batfink) too. I want them all.

I think that’s it for the photo journalism! I hope everyone is having a good week.

x

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Bull balls, Scorpion Dens and Snake Pits…

Buongiorno!

How is everyone? It’s been lovely here! I had the first evening without the heating on yesterday. As much as I love the stufa (woodburner), it does get a bit tiresome lighting it and cleaning it out everyday so that was a nice break.

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This is near Macerata, isn’t it pretty? Now that the yellow flowers are out, I’ve established that the bitter veg that the neighbours have given me is actually oilseed rape.

I’ve been trying to make the most of the sunshine. Here’s a run down… If you’re interested in this week’s exciting “Property of the Week”, skip to the end!

Walks – Lame Rosse

I’ve been meaning to go to Lame Rosse for months after seeing some photos of some weird and wonderful rock formations online. Last weekend, I finally decided to do it and printed off some instructions for the walk. True to form, the walk instructions bared absolutely no resemblance to the actual walk, and in fact, were positively misleading. I had to ask directions from an old guy who kept on looking me up and down and said how I couldn’t, as a woman, go on my own and it was dangerous (he couldn’t be specific although I did ensure it wasn’t because the route was frequented by rapists and murderers). It’s not like I was wearing stiletto’s and an evening gown for goodness sake! In the end he gave me the directions but said that he wouldn’t be accountable for anything that happened to me because he didn’t approve of my going!!! So, the red rag had been waved and I decided to do it anyway. When I parked up, I joined a little group (two disabled guys and their girlfriends no less!) that were also doing the walk. The path is all up hill for an hour and a half but it’s not too steep and it’s a nice wide gravel path with limited options to make mistakes, unlike all of the other walks around here!

Anyway, Lame Rosse was spectacular and well worth the up hill journey. Don’t let any old guys put you off – apart from the incline, it was a breeze.

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My next “big” walk is going to be to locate the Gola di Fiastrone (the throat of the Fiastrone river) which is again, only a few minutes drive away and the photos I’ve seen online look amazing so I’m looking forward to that.

Sightseeing in Visso and Frontignano

My lovely neighbour and her sister took me to the heart of the Sibillini mountains on Sunday.  It was a spectacular drive and not too far away at all really. We had a wander around Frontignano which has ski slopes up Monte Bove – I definitely want to try out those slopes next year. On the way back we stopped in Visso, a beautiful and brightly coloured little town in a mountain valley.

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It has some ruins which I believe you can walk up to – I’ll do that next time I’m there.

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Visso taken from a very majestic war memorial on the hill side.

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Sunday in Visso is market day and there were lots of cute little crafty stalls.

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And this was taken by Frontignano.

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This delicacy, in a butchers in Visso, can literally be translated as “Balls of Bull”. I’m assured that it’s not the real thing but I’m not convinced.

DIY progress

DIY continues at a steady pace. There’s a door sized niche in the wall behind the sofa in the living room. We’d been wondering what purpose it served. Anyway, whatever it was, I didn’t want it there. I have grand plans for a ‘photo wall’ on which to display my pictures, so I dismantled the niche this week (it was blocked off with wood) and it turns out that it did indeed once be a door. Now it has a floor to ceiling waste pipe in the middle. I felt slightly less guilty about blocking it off having acquired this new knowledge. So, I put some wood up and have plastered over it. However, I doubt the resilience of my blocked off wall. It bends when you poke it. I’m hoping the top layer of plaster will harden it a bit and make it less of a flexible wall!

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First plastering attempt of my Flexiwall! I hasten to add, there will be a top coat of plaster!

I made some headway in the Scorpion Den / Cantina this week as well and cleared out several bin liners of stuff. There’s nothing in there now that I don’t know about (I inherited a mass of junk) so at least that’s a decent start. It does need a lot more work though. I need to clear out the Snake Pit too (this is a little room under the steps to get into the house which has the water stopcock. If any of you remember Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it resembles the hidden passage that the leading lady finds in her room but hopefully without the booby trap skeletons). I do not want to clear out the Snake Pit even slightly. However, the neighbour has said that it needs to be done otherwise turning the water on and off will be even more traumatic than it already is.

I also painted the bathroom ceiling because it was all flaking off. After prodding the flaky bits, whole chunks of plaster came off too so I’ve had to do a bit of plastering there as well. As soon as I had finished painting, the paint started flaking again.  I think I have a special “anti-paint” ceiling.

And finally, I have constructed a garden masterpiece out of some old bricks, a sink and a Christmas tree.

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Just what every garden dreams of… The bricks are occasionally moved around the back garden because I don’t want to get rid of them in case we want to build something with them in the front garden. And the sink is impossible to move so I think it’ll be a permanent fixture!

Art

In other breaking news this week, I’ve made the heaviest object known to mankind. I found a round wooden table top downstairs in the cantina and have stuck a mirror onto it and used up most of my sea-glass as a mosaic around it. I think it looks quite good but I can’t take a picture of it that shows it at its best as I can’t actually move it from the floor so I’m going to leave that photo out until I can somehow get it hung. I think I’ll have to get a crane.

Property of the week – Church of the “Madonna di Loreto”

I walk past this church regularly on some of my favourite walks from Sarnano – it’s in a beautiful location and right next to a waterfall. Here’s a picture and some information, both taken from the Presitigious Building website which has more photos of a stunningly painted inside as well as other properties in the area.

Madonna di loretto

The church of the “Madonna di Loreto” was  constructed in the XV century by the “wool guild” constituted by craftsman of the textile, weaving texture and colouring cloth mill.

In 1619 the church was in part reconstructed and restored as it now appears, for the devotion of the Madonna, in relationship to the promenade from the south that where going on a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the “Madonna di Loreto”, situated north and in the direction of Assisi in Umbria.

The building is constituted of a single central nave in a rectangular form of approx. 17.30 m x 7.30 metres and approx. 8.00 metres in height, orientated with its principal axis north – east,  south – west; the entrance is exposed south – west while on the opposite side is situated the sanctuary constructed in a heavy vaulted ceiling in spider – formation probably built in the XVI century.

On the side adjacent to the stream is positioned the priests residence home developed on a two – floor layout.
The church nave is covered with a barrel – shaped vault constructed of a cane and gypsum chamber supported to the wood truss – beam roof being the main constituted part of the supporting roof structure. The higher part of the walls and the vaulted ceilings are decorated of relative paintings of the Madonna di Loreto,  paintings that dates back to the XVII century and of valuable exquisite workmanship of its perspective.

In the centre of the vault is a configuration of the holy home of Nazareth of Loreto with the Madonna and the Angels, a glimpse partial view of the arcade open gallery is positioned in front of the “holy home”.

The paintings cover an area of approx. 175 sq.m. of  remarkable importance to emphasize the partitioning wall of which contains the altar painted an architectural structure in a canopy form with six red Verona marble pillars, giving a splendid perspective of the perfect elements of a remarkable architectural effect.

The entire building is constructed of masonry brick – work in red cotto externally left as it appears.

If you’re interested, please let me know!

Have good weekends all!

x

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Chicks, pizza and TV watching cats…

Ciao a tutti!

How is everyone? All good here…

Cutie chicks

I’ve been feeling very rural. The next door neighbour has been rearing cutie little chickens. I’ve been watching them hatch. It’s like `One Born Every Minute` but for chickens (and with less screaming, and instead of an epidural my neighbour gives the mum sherry or vino cotto which I think is basically the same thing!).

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These chicks are a few hours old.

Bread & Beans

When there’s a quiet moment here (most moments), my thoughts turn to bread. I am in the process of making a sourdough ‘Starter’ and I’ll have a go using that later this week to try and make some bread that doesn’t have a massive hole in the middle like my last attempt at bread making. But regular bread has been going very well. Today’s efforts look reasonably professional (at least one of them does, the other two are completely burnt – note to self: don’t put bread on the top shelf of the oven)…

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Look at my “crumb” (that’s what the professionals say!)

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And what a pretty loaf I made!!!!!!!!

In other bread related news one of the neighbours brought me some of the dried yeast I’ve been searching for here, though it says on the packet it’s only for pizzas and focaccia (how does the yeast KNOW that?! If you put it in a normal loaf will it stubbornly decide not to rise?!). The pizza went reasonably well I think too.

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Apparently the base wasn’t crispy enough and the tomato sauce was too sweet. Some people can never be pleased. I very much look forward to Pane Caldo’s efforts.

I have produced a reasonable interpretation of Heinz Baked Beans. They have to import the genuine article here and it’s a rare find and only ever in the big supermarkets. They’d be more readily available and probably cheaper if I hired an actual Heinz Baked Bean chef to be on permanent stand-by, hence trying to make them myself.

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Not very Italian this dish…

The Science of Happiness

I’ve found a course! Continually doing courses is something I’ve missed greatly about not being in the UK so I was thrilled to find this font of free online courses at http://www.edx.org. I’ve picked what seems like quite a fluffy course: “The Science of Happiness” but it’s founded in years of research and studies and it’s absolutely fascinating. So now, in between thoughts about bread, I’ve been posing myself in-depth philosophical questions.

Walking

It’s been miserable weather here pretty much all of last week – overcast and constant rain. Yesterday there was a small break in the clouds so I went for a walk. One of my new year’s resolutions was to write up my walks – and so I have. I’m  hoping to translate it into Italian and see if the local Tourist Information Office would be interested. Some photo’s from the walk…

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It’s quite a remote path, demonstrated by the cute little birds nests in the hedges along the path.

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Beautiful countryside. This house has a couple of dogs outside in a not very clean cage all day. I’m considering mounting a “Free Doggy” campaign.

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Pretty woodland

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And pretty mountains.

Monte San Martino Forgetting that I’ve already been to Monte San Martino, I decided we should go to Monte San Martino. It’s a quaint little hill top village with beautiful views of the local area. Unfortunately we went there during one of the constantly rainy days so we didn’t see as much as we’d hoped.

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Narrow cobbled streets…

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And wider cobbled streets…

 

Animal watch

I know animal watch has been a bit quiet of late. Here’s the resident animal watching the film ‘Ice Age’ (ignore the mess!). He doesn’t usually watch TV but I think he quite likes animations!

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The cat took a liking to Ice Age and spent a few minutes doing his meercat impression. I think if he was a cinema goer, he’d go straight to the front seats.

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We gave him his own little chair so he could get up close and personal but not so much he would feel inclined to jump on the TV

 

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And then it got a bit scary so he retreated to the sofa for comfort.

I think that about sums up this week. I’ll report back next week – probably with with more bread updates !

x

ps. it’s been rather pretty here in the last week with our first “snow” (or at least that we’ve experienced). Here’s a picture…

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