Arrivederci, Paterno

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Tonight is our last night in Paterno. We’ve cleaned house, put unneeded items in the attic, checked all the doors, locks and various padlocks around the property. There are about 36 keys to which lock I know not. Most of the locks have found their keys. We’re washing the last load of laundry. We went into town to get a photocopy of Kerry’s brand spanking new Italian Identification card (turns out we didn’t need it after all, since Bob’s new printer has a scanner/copier). The copy was needed in order to attach to a letter to the phone company to terminate the landline service. Nothing is exactly simple here. Kevin, her American real estate agent, took his daughter to the US Embassy in Rome the other day to get her passport. His Italian friends were incredulous that it took him all of 16 minutes inside the embassy to accomplish this task. In Italy…? Days, weeks, months… who knows?

So instead of getting the copy, we got pizza at a restaurant we hadn’t tried in Ripo San Ginesio. Excellent pizza. We declined dulce after dinner, but when the waitress learned we were not locals, she brought us some of the local Christmas cake and little glasses of vino cotto, a sweet, fortified Christmas wine, for dipping the cake in. A nice little treat. Caught a gorgeous sunset on the drive. Our visitors this evening even mentioned it.

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Our little Renault Clio gets 52 miles a gallon, maybe more. I shouldn’t say “little,” because it’s really not. It would be considered an economy or intermediate car in a US rental fleet. A small station wagon, it seats five, has good cargo space and is about the size of a Toyota Matrix. Like most cars here, it’s diesel. No, it doesn’t smoke (but takes a long time to warm up). It gets 52 miles a gallon. Did I mention that? Let me say it again. FIFTY TWO MILES A GALLON. And there are far thriftier cars running around here. I’m happy if my car at home gets half that. Why oh why can’t US car buyers get cars like this? 

Classic Italian bureaucracy. Amazing fuel mileage. They shouldn’t really go together, but they do. Like pasta and wine. Olive oil and vinegar. Sea salt and pepper.

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Tomorrow, we’ll tour the Roman ruins at Urbisaglia (the Roman settlement was actually Urbs Salvia and was down the hill from the medieval town of Urbisaglia. More on that tomorrow. And on Rome—where we’ll spend the night and board our flight back home on Wednesay. Buona Note. 

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