November 27, 2018


One doesn’t have to be an American Woman in Italy to have the chimney stuffed full of straw birds nests, feathers etc.  Our pellet stove here in the tiny hamlet of Mazzarelli had sounded its alarm about a month ago. DANGER!  The repairman finally came yesterday after all these weeks.  The chimney is blocked.  It’s straw and birds nests. We are SO lucky that one of our neighbors is expert at working in high places. He kindly stopped by today to have a look at our blocked chimney and, additionally, just to add to our woe, the leak coming down through the antenna.  We live on the third floor, the attic above has a bit of water on the floor.  It’s been raining a lot.  The neighbor, Giuliano, helped us last spring stave off the pigeons, multitudes, that like to perch and poop on our kitchen windowsill.  Hopefully, he’ll resolve the leak and chimney block tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain.

Giuliano is a member of the local senior citizens club, of which we are also members.  He is one of our immediate neighbors whom I know well enough to talk to.  We see each other at the dinners sponsored by this group.  Senior citizens here are active–continuing ed. and physical ed. classes and sponsored trips around Europe.  We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary at one of their “anniversary” dinners.

We are leaving to return to US in about 10 days.

Bye bye Marco and Christian.  Our village, Paciano, has two small bars/caffes.  The tiniest one is changing hands again.  Marco and Christian, two young guys, have called it quits.  Hard to make money and boring to stay stuck in the bar all the time.  We don’t know who will run the place, but it should open tomorrow.  We don’t know if there will be changes to the coffee, to the drinks, to the atmosphere.  We’ll go check it out.

I dream of my “expresso macchiato” when I’m in the US.

Today Bob hiked to the top of our local Mt. Pausillo (Purgatorio) during my Italian lesson with Dani.  Ironic because I’ve been studying about Inferno (Hell) and Purgatorio with Dani, reading, studying Dante.  I’m also beginning to write a story about Peonia, the hen turkey, saved from death at Thanksgiving, by the Epiphany witch.


Quirks: Aldo’s Bar (Il Gallo) in the neighboring town of Panicale is hugely popular.  If you have seen Bob and me on Househunters International, you will have seen us filmed there. Everyone loves Aldo’s, especially in summer, when one can enjoy a drink on a lovely terrace in the main square.  Aldo’s bar sold Bob on coming to move here, he liked it so much.  He plays bridge there Wednesdays with the boys.

Aldo’s son opened a restaurant across the piazza a few years ago.  Last summer he installed a platform over the cobblestones outside his restaurant, thereby increasing the space for outdoor dining and making that space level and safe.  You have never heard such howls.  How ugly!  How invasive!  What nerve!  How did he get the permits?  Blah blah — a half year later the platform is gone, victim of pressure from the Belle Arte (fine arts) committtee.  So what gives???

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