We arrived in Rome around 8 this morning, got the Renault lease car (it’s cheaper and less hassle if you plan to stay at least 21 days) and drove to the country farm house in the Le Marche Region where we’ll be staying for the next month. Rome was gray and cool with patches of occasional sunshine. We gained a little more sun as we gained altitude approaching the passes of snow-capped Gran Sasso. I couldn’t help scoping the limestone cliffs for climbing routes as we whizzed by and was pleased to spot at least one climbing party enjoying their Saturday. We passed through tunnel after tunnel and I couldn’t help wonder at the work that had to went into drilling straight through mile after mile of mountain. After going through the longest and highest tunnel, we re-emerged on the Adriatic side of Gran Sasso in a completely different weather system: rain. The rain tapered as we approached the coast and was gone altogether by the time we reached the farm house.
The farm is studded with hazelnut, peach, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, apple and of course, olive trees. Lavender, sage, rosemary and a lot of other herbs I couldn’t name make up the landscaping. Our friends here, Ben– a mosaic artist– and Lisa– a web moderator-trainer-guru, are British expats who’ve lived here for more than a decade. They’re heading to India to start the next chapter of their lives. Lisa figured we’d have enough Italian food over the next few weeks, so she cooked us an incredible Indian meal, washed down with a few bottles of Prosecco. My sister Kerry has known Ben and Lisa for about two years. After just an evening, I now consider them friends.
Tomorrow night is The Party. Ben and Lisa are inviting a lot of the locals and some fellow expats over for a farewell (to them)/welcome (to us) party. Sounds like an interesting bunch. Ciao.
Persimmons and rosemary in the yard