Buon Natale a tutti!

I have been a very bad blogger! A quick catchup!

Way back in November we were invited to another Thanksgiving extravaganza hosted by our good friends Susan and Gary at Calagrana. Ely outdid herself preparing a 15 kilo turkey, or about 35 lbs. Twas excellent.
We all brought side dishes and got totally stuffed. There were 14 of us.

We have a new American in town named Jennifer. She is here without a car which is challenging given our lack of convenient public transport. We decided to a girls day out with three of us taking a bus to Città di Castello. It was quite quick and comfortable and we learned something useful. We also visited an art museum while there and had lunch.

This is a winged pupi.

One of the towers in Città di Castello.

But there is good news about the train that used to connect Perugia, Umbertide, Città di Castello and Sansepolcro. This train stopped running about two years ago because of track issues and lack of funding to fix them. A bus nominally is filling in. Well, UmbriaMobilità has gone belly up and the rail system was taken over by TrenItalia. This is good news. And sure enough crews are hard at work pulling up the old tracks, grading beds, laying new track and the concrete ties. Right now they are going north from Umbertide. In the past Umbertide was on a main line from Perugia to Arezzo. And now it looks as though we will be again!

Locomotive with flatcars full of new ties. Photo courtesy of Tom Gilmore.

Still working on our Permessi. Lots of new monkey wrenches in the works this year.

Last weekend I also made a US style turkey dinner with all the trimmings for our friend Vera and her family. The little girls were agog at an entire turkey cooked and on the table. This is not done in Italia. Turkey parts, yes, but entire birds, no. And this morning Luther took the carcass outside to the feral cats in the woods behind us and we watched from our apartment as the feast ensued.

More big news came out over the weekend. There seems to have been a coup and the entire town council resigned and the mayor quit. So we are leaderless until the spring when special elections will take place. Unfortunately we have heard this will impact public works projects and we are crossing our fingers they will finish the outside work on the Comune. The men are still working so that’s a good sign.

Umbertide has its share of people who have physical and mental disabilities. They are accepted as part of our town life and people watch out for them. One that we see often stops by the bakery every morning and they give him a roll. He happily munches on it as he walks back to the Piazza or Bar Mary. This morning Luther was returning from his jog and this fellow flagged him down as someone he recognized and reached in his pocket and pulled out a watch. Luther thought he was going to try to sell it to him but he motioned that he only wanted Luther to put it on his wrist for him. Luther came back and told me about it and said it just a funny thing that happens in small towns. He said, “no one ever asked me to put his watch on for him before”.

Batch of chocolate chip cookies as a gift for Irene at Bar Mary and Angelo at the Alementari. Two sweet people who work hard for a living and would do anything to help a person.

And finally, our Christmas cakes, or Panettone. We always disliked them in the US but these are worlds apart! Trust me. Buon Natale a tutti!

4 thoughts on “Buon Natale a tutti!

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Kathy! Oh your scenario sounds so lovely. I’m in the US visiting relatives right now. Fly back Dec 30. Umbertide has been very, very wet! Normale! Buone Feste!

  2. kmack

    wonderful! I miss you and Umbertide alot!
    expecting big blizzard today on top of our current 6″. Makes me so happy. fire lit, wood in, presents awaiting wrapping, christmas music playing and all is right with the world…..well, maybe not that.
    be well. hoist a glass of vino!
    Buon Natale!

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    I was feeling pretty guilty for not posting. Part of it is that my computer resides in the cold part of the house! Auguri a voi!

  4. Carlo Rodriguez

    Hi Nancy, thank you for the blog posting. I was beginning to feel withdrawal symptoms! I love the humongous turkeys and the great little vignette about Luther and the man who asked him to help putting on his watch. Those small town encounters and relationships are heartwarming, especially when I step back to consider the many thoughtless acts I witness around me nearly every day. Ciao e migliori auguri! –CR

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