Before and after the storm

Saturday morning. It was sunny and no fog. Always a good start. But it is chilly. And windy. We are headed to our first freeze on Monday. During the night the wind had come up and it was rattling the shutters, which I had to partially close to stop the banging. When I looked out our big picture window I saw, across the horizon to our north, a large cloud bank. I thought nothing of it. I looked out at the piazza to check the mercato. Half of the vendors didn’t have their tents erected because of the strong winds.

I did some chores and returned some time later … the cloud bank had crept closer. I checked the weather report. Sure enough, Città di Castello was getting a storm. In a short time the cloud was looming ominously. I took a picture. Such blue sky ahead of the storm.

Suddenly, the rain came lashing down. I could hear it pounding on the high, terra cotta ceiling in the living room. I worried about the vendors. But they had figured it out and had gotten their tents up in time! The rains lasted only a short, but violent, time.

I was cooking a pot of black beans on the stove but as soon as they were done I headed out to the market with my big camera to shoot some photos. I also visited the stalls and purchased some nice produce. I dropped in on Books for Dogs. They weren’t busy so I chatted for a bit. Next I visited CeramicArte, the Deruta ceramics shop here in town. Laura Tomassini is the proprietor and incredible artist. I had purchased a small luminary which I wanted to pick up, and I also wanted to take some pictures of her beautiful works for sale. I plan a blog in the next day or two about Laura and her shop. Here is a picture of my luminary. A candle goes inside.

So without further ado…enjoy the photos. First, the clearing after the storm…

Just some of the veggies in the market.

The extremely huge green vegetable below is not a big celery, although it looks somewhat like it. It is called gobbo in Italian and cardoon in English. I made it once but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

I took a little stroll and noticed the oak tree in the parking lot was loaded with acorns. Too bad there are no squirrels to eat them. These oaks do not lose their leaves in the winter, unlike the ones I am used to on the US east coast.

Our new path behind our house and down to the river is finally finished. New cobblestones and lighting the whole way. It WAS awfully dark back there. So nice!

I went to the Egyptian vegetable stand for avocados. They have consistently the best. I am making chilli and wanted them to go with it. I stopped into Angelo’s Alimentari downstairs from our casa as my final stop to grab some cans of tomatoes, they are also for the chilli. I love a good chilli on a cold night. I told Angelo about it. He and I like to exchange recipes. Like all Italians, he loves to cook, eat, and talk about food. And he speaks no English…so I get to practice my Italian 🙂

12 thoughts on “Before and after the storm

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Carlo, the wet street with the man silhouetted is my favorite too. I only wish the car were not there. The panettoni are everywhere in the stores now. I steer away from the mass produced. We will be ordering our pistacchio panettone soon! Amazingly good!

  2. Carlo

    Your mention of Laura Tomassini‘s name brought back memories of my youth in Caracas, Venezuela. Our Italian neighbors, the Tomadini’s, presented everyone on our cul-du-sac with a large, gift-wrapped Panettone they imported from Italy every Christmas.

    P.S., the photos of wet streets after the storm are particularly beautiful. Thank you. —CR

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Christy! Yes another “day in the life” post. I’m so glad you liked it. And that you told me! Nancy

  4. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Aw. That stinks. Our ceramicist always signs her work and if I commission it she puts what I want her to write on the bottom. I must add that fact to my next blog about her.

  5. Christy White

    Another charming post about life in Nancy’s Italy! Thank you, Nancy! I especially loved the rain on the roof, the shutter, the Egyptian vendor, the cardoons…

  6. Matthew Daub

    A number of years ago we bought several small bowls for making pinzimonio from a shop in Gubbio. They were signed in blue – “Gubbio” – on the bottom. When we got back to the US, I immediately removed them from the suitcase and washed them. “Gubbio” ran right off in the sink! We didn’t care where they were made; that’s not why we bought them, but we certainly felt cheated by a dishonest shopkeeper.

  7. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Gregory! Yes it was pretty ominous as it approached. But happily it didn’t last too long. I bet the sea was rocking and rolling in the wind. Glad you enjoyed the fotos.

  8. Gregory Mark Adair

    I was driving in Umbria late yesterday when that storm hit! it was intense. And the wind at Ostia Lido later on left no doubt that it is finally winter here… Great photos, thank you.

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