April sunshine, electrical problems and too much pizza

 

(A little pond on the river walk, it looks murky but was quite clear with fish swimming about)

Ciao Amici!!!

As usual, my time here in Italy, is strangely eventful and uneventful at the same time. By that I mean we do what everyone else does, get up, work, take care of the house and kitties, I write my book, think about blogs, we grocery shop, make food, clean up and do it all again. With a few notable challenges, we don’t speak the language yet and I look forward to adventure days. (The fun ones, not the ‘crap my husband just left for Korea and the basement flooded’ ones*)

This last week didn’t bring a flooded basement but an electrical breaker problem. Now, most of us have tripped a breaker a time or two and then we trudge off to the breaker box and reset it and life goes on. This time, when Will reset the breaker it tripped every other breaker. Not only did we not have lights in the basement but not anywhere in the house. A nerve racking concept when you live behind a motorized gate. As luck would have it the rest of the breakers turned back on and power was restored, until you tried to turn on the basement… blackout!!!

I am exaggerating but a blown breaker means a call to our landlord. A wonderfully, sweet, older gentleman that speaks no English. (His granddaughter does and we communicate through her a lot, except that when he comes by the house he comes alone, or with workers, and my mind seizes and I can’t remember a single Italian word I have been practicing).

On Thursday he showed up with the electrician, who also spoke no English. They ask “permesso” to enter and then electrician goes to work in the very loud, angry, Italian way. Meaning he is loud because he is Italian but angry when it doesn’t go right. And loud about being angry.

They track the power all through the basement, out into the garage, and finally to an outside outlet box that had been filling up with rain water and shorting out the system. The whole time telling me in Italian, “Signora, no bene.” He said that a lot and I am not completely sure I know what wasn’t any good. After three hours of not understanding anything except that it wasn’t good, they smiled at me, told me “grazie” and left.

Whoosh!

House problems are a pain and disruptive no matter what, add a language barrier in and my head wanted to explode. But we have lights in the basement, so I don’t have to ride the bicycle trainer in the dark. Even with an exploding head I consider that a win.

On Friday we had a lovely meal with friends at a pizzeria they introduced us too. La Meridiana has wonderful pizza and even though it is not close to us we consider it the best pizzeria in the area so far.

http://www.ristorantepizzerialameridiana.it/

In full disclosure, we haven’t begun to investigate the restaurants near us. Too much to see and do and when you are close to home, eating at home tends to make more sense.

Especially when you are fighting the three P’s! (Pasta, Pizza, and Pastries, which can quickly turn into plenty of pound’s if you aren’t careful)

Saturday was a beautiful spring day, the kind I really like, sunny, warm, gentle breeze, the whole shebang and we went on a small adventure to see Romeo and Juliet’s castles, a quick 30 minute drive from our house. (More like an hour but who am I to question google.)

I must say after living in Germany I was underwhelmed by the castles, I am used to great structures with intricate staircases and what would have been thriving out buildings. These castles were square and boxy with no ornamentation to be seen and little in the design to insinuate that they should be considered romantic spots. I mean, obviously these were never the real Romeo and Juliet castles since they are fictional characters mentioned in various literatures and probably taken off of some love affair gone bad but I guess I was hoping for more. The interior walls to Romeo’s castle were in disrepair or carted off for other uses, one large tower remained, which we did not climb, and the interior grounds (no roof) of the main castle area had been turned into a theater with a stage and seating for patrons. I actually thought an outdoor theater was a neat idea for the castle.

(the further tower is the interior tower to Romeo’s castle)

(Juliet’s castle from below)

 

 

 

 

 

Juliet’s castle was a little more intact as in having four walls. They were doing some reconstruction on it to help maintain the integrity of the walls. It is also a venue for weddings, though, again to my mind, unimpressively unromantic for a wedding. They also had a restaurant that we didn’t try but I read some good blog reviews on the food and staff. The view from atop the tower/restaurant was breathtaking and it made the day very worth it.

The views and this old church on the grounds between the two castles that was very picturesque. I fell in love with the stairs leading up to the church.

 

On a side note, the grounds of both castles were marked out for a bicycle race of some sorts, a couple of riders were getting a lay of the course while we were there. I would have liked to find out more information on that race but a perusal of the interwebs gave me nothing concrete.

After the castles, a bunch of errands and yard work on Saturday, Sunday dawned with the idea of taking our new hiking packs out for a test run. So we loaded them with a bunch of our equipment and water bladders. We got the weight up to about 25 pounds each, we think that is a good 10 pounds shy of our final weight but I will let you know when we pack for the airport!

 

 

The river path near our house is pretty flat and we took off down the dirt. We got many interested looks from passing Italians, we also saw a bunch of Italians willing to bbq their bodies and their food on the riverside. It seems to be a very popular area to go hang out on the weekend.

Three miles wasn’t all that far when you consider that most days we will be walking seven, plus added distance for exploring. But it was a good start. We came home feeling strong and proud of ourselves, about two hours later we were exhausted. Ooops, seems like we are going to need some more conditioning. Those of you who know me know the story of me setting out on a 900 mile bicycle touring trip with a brand new saddle for my butt to ride on. Those of you who ride bikes and don’t know me can still feel the agony I went through for the first week. Let’s just say I learned from that episode and plan to go to Scotland, even though it is only four days, not 21, well prepared with all my gear broken in correctly.

We went to bed pretty early Sunday and Will told me before we went to sleep how glad he was that he had a whole week of work before I started with my next list of errands and adventures. I am not sure quite what to say to that…

Until next week, miei amici, Ciao!

*Germany house story for another time

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