Category Archives: Tiber photos

Rainy days and Mondays… 🎶

It is the last day of August. The summer has passed. It feels like fall. The temperature was in the upper 90s just a week ago and today it won’t get out of the 60s. It is also raining steadily. Soaking the fields. The growing season is nearly done. The corn is drying on the stalks. The sunflowers are sad and drying as well. The tobacco is halfway harvested. The wine harvest is just starting. I am sure the rain is not appreciated by the vineyards. But it is just raining for today so I imagine the growers can let the grapes dry in the next sunny days and all will be well.

1,365 new cases in Italy. The good news is the summer vacation season is over today. So I hope our numbers will steady, or better yet, decline. 23,000,000 people were on the road going home from vacation over the weekend ! Considering there are only 60,000,000 people in Italy, that is quite the onslaught. I’m glad I wasn’t out there.

School is scheduled to begin in person classes next week. The kids won’t have to wear masks, but the teachers will. I’m not sure of the reasoning for this. They had to scramble for more desks because kids traditionally sit at two person desks. Now they can’t. They also mandated the school buses only carry half of the capacity so there is a shortage of buses. Our Italian teacher told us they have a rule the kids can only be on the bus for 15 minutes. This is creating its own set of problems and issues. For example, her son rides a bus for an hour to his school. Now what? I don’t know the answer.

~~~~~~~
Stay safe everyone. Sooner or later we will get that vaccine. It is the only thing that will really help end this thing. But we mustn’t rush the process. Better safe than sorry.
🌈 Andrà tutto bene!

Update on Covid here, and my morning walk today

I had a hard time with my title today. It is definitely not a pithy headline!

Numbers here in Italy have been fluctuating. For a few weeks they crept up steadily. Then the last couple of days they dropped from around 1,200 new cases a day to 800 or so. But yesterday it shot back up to above 1,400. Sigh. At least I know the people in charge are watching it carefully.

I am happy to note, since the closing of the discotheques and the new mask mandate our piazza has calmed considerably. No longer does Cafe Centrale have bands or loud music. They have a sign that all must wear masks. This has definitely dampened the party atmosphere. I am feeling good about this development.

There have been a couple of publicized issues here regarding anti-maskers. It is the law you must wear a mask on public transportation. A German tourist on a Vaporetto (bus boat) in Venice, was forced off the boat by fellow riders for repeatedly removing his mask. He was kept from reboarding by the passengers.

The MSC Italian cruise line started limited cruises out of Genoa along the Italian coast. They have taken extreme precautions to keep the ship virus free. They try to keep everyone in a bubble. All transport drivers are vetted. All shore tour guides are vetted. The rules are if you go into port you stay in your tour. A family decided to go off on their own in Naples even though they were told they could not. When they tried to re-board the ship they were denied. They were left in Naples.
~~~~~~~

I’ve been very good with my walking since I decided to do it first thing when I get up. All my life I’ve excercised in the morning. For 20 years I rose at 5:30am to run. Then I changed to walking with my neighbor In Alexandria and we met outside at about 5:30am everyday. I find if I put off my walk until later, well, I simply won’t do it. It is also more pleasant in the morning. It’s cooler during these hot summer days for one thing. And I enjoy the quiet of the morning.

Today I walked along the river. Behind our house is a colony of feral cats. The latest batches of kittens are out and about. Someone built a little lean-to house covered with plastic and there is food out. No sign of mamma but here are two of the kittens. Tiny ones.

The Tiber in the still of the morning.

~~~~~~
Stay safe all…🌈 andrà tutto bene…spero di si!

Fishing competition on the Tiber!

Una bella domenica! A beautiful Sunday. Our weather has settled down into August. Typical hot weather. But at least it’s not scorching. Highs from 35C today up to 37C later in the week. That’s 95F to 98.6F for you non-metric folks.

Anyway, I decided if I didn’t walk in the morning I wouldn’t walk. So off I went about 8AM. My intention was to walk along the river. But I was thwarted. There was a sign that said “International Fishing Competition”. And there were maybe fifty people with all their gear along the river, blocking my way. This is not unusual. It happens almost every weekend here. I paused to take some pictures.

Fishing here on the Tiber is a “Big Deal”. This is the fishing capital of Italy. Really. I’m not making this up. As with most things, it is very orchestrated. The participants gather In Umbertide, and are given numbers which correlate to spots along the river. They all then go rushing off in their vehicles to set up. You don’t want to be on the narrow roads leading to the river at this point 😳!

Once they get to the river they unload and start preparing for the starting gun. The fishing here is NOTHING like any fishing I’ve ever seen anywhere before. They don’t cast. They have very long rods that are in pieces that they fit together to extend them about 10 meters or 35 yards out over the water. I looked this up and I think it’s a form of Feeder Fishing, although none of the pictures had rods as long as these. They have complicated stands on which to prop the rods during construction and afterwards to help hold them above the water. They have very fancy, collapsable chairs with matching umbrellas. And a creel which is a canvas tube which goes down the bank into the water in which they keep any fish they catch alive. The fish are never kept, but returned to the river afterwards. The Tiber teams with fish. The fish are Common Carp, Common Barbel, Common Roach, Catfish, and Asp.

When I got down on the path, it was dead silent. Everyone was intent on getting everything set up perfectly and not scaring the fish (I assumed).

This looks chaotic, and it IS! It is a sea of poles!

A little closer to the action. Today I saw my second female fisherman ever. It is a mostly male sport. Today, though, a lot of women had accompanied the men. I believe since this is an “international” competition these people could be from far away and the wives don’t have much to do. They sit in the shade and looked quite comfy.

Note the creels going into the water. This picture looks almost organized. Now, they wait for the starting gun. We can hear it from our house and these competitions happen almost all year, but mostly in the spring, summer and fall.

~~~~~~
Buona domenica everyone. Stay safe…andrà bene🌈

Springtime walk and Kilometer zero market – late February

I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having by going on walks and (of course) visiting our little Saturday market. It has been brisk but sunny and blue skies. Late afternoons feel like spring. Too early but I shouldn’t complain. I snapped a few photos. First the walk.

Sky is so blue with stark branches.

Reflections. Our little town – Umbertide.

A small road heads along The Tiber river. It was the ancient Roman road through this valley. This is a quintessential Umbrian view. Umbrella pines, cypress’, brilliant green winter wheat in the fields.

And the kilometer zero market today.

Apples.

We have a baker who comes every week from Panicale. It’s a sweet hill town south of Lago Trasimeno. They love the whole grains and lots of seeds! I struck up a conversation with the woman, who is German.

The winter greens abound.

There are two local cheese makers. This one makes fresh ricotta and yogurt.

Primroses.

Winter salad. I bought some. We’ll see how it is.

March is usually when the spring flowers really pop out here. I’m looking forward to it!

Autumn colors!

November has arrived with it’s many yellow hues. I do miss the brilliant oranges and reds of the maple trees on the east coast of the US. But I can still admire the colors here as well. Buon Autunno a tutti!

Strolling along the Tiber.
autumn_tiber_strollers

From our big picture window.
picture_wind0w_view

I love this one with the soft mountains in the distance.
yellows_of_fall

Vendemmia 2017 Festa in Montefalco

Sunday was the last day for the Montefalco Wine Harvest festival. It’s a four day event to celebrate the harvest of the famed Sagrantino grapes among others. We had made reservations for lunch in L’Alchemista for lunch and invited new friends to join us. The weather was perfect. Very fall-like, a bit cool at lunch as we were seated next to a downward tiny street up which a strong, cool breeze was blowing. montefalco_street

Lunch at L’Alchemista was good, as always. They were packed so service was a bit slow. As we sat there crowds started gathering in the piazza and announcements were made from an upper balcony on the Comune building. And a group of costumed women sang folk songs. There was to be a parade of floats pulled by tractors. I love stuff like this. No pretensions.montefalco1

Down the main street we found the building where they were holding the wine tastings. This was our main reason for going. You pay 10 Euro per person and you get a glass and a little bag to wear around your neck to hold it. Then you can do unlimited tastings. There were a LOT of tables with a LOT of wine. One of our friends concentrated on the Sagrantino while I tried the Montefalco Rosso as well as the Sagrantino and a white made from Grechetto, Vigonier, and Chardonnay. All were very good. The Sagrantini were very dry to the point you felt all your saliva disappear.

wine1 wine2

Once we’d gotten our fill we headed back up the hill to the piazza where the parade was in full swing. They drive the tractors up another street into the piazza and park them around the edges. The floats, of course are wine oriented and lots of fun to see. Here are some pictures.

I love how this guy had put a yoke and harness on the front of his tractor, like it’s a horse…I guess it is, more or less.
parade1

And these folks are sitting on the float “a tavola” enjoying wine and a repast! parade2

Loved this giatantic wine bottle on one float.
parade3
parade4
parade5

It was one of the best Sagre I’ve ever been too. I’d go back!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Storms over Umbertide

A couple of pictures of the major storms we woke up to on Saturday morning. The storms here generally come from the west. Our view is West/Northwest. These storms relentlessly moved from left to right and ever so slowly got closer and closer. Finally they got here but we were spared the brunt of the rain. Later in the day I noticed the Tiber river was swollen with rainwater and brown with mud. All came from up-stream where these massive storms must have dumped copious water!

Pigeons fighting the winds.
pigeons
storm_castle
storm

New Years Eve

Yesterday I took a lovely walk along the Tiber. Cold but super clear. Here are a couple of pictures.
dsc06563

dsc06564

Today is New Years Eve. We decided to take a ride over to Lago Trasimeno for a lake fish lunch. Really pretty, cold and clear day. All our days are very cold now. Nights even colder. My little lemon tree is safe in the kitchen. Anyway, we visited San Feliciano. A pretty town on the lake. Not much happening there in the winter other than people strolling in the lakeside park. We found a new restaurant called I Bonci. I had the zuppa di anguilla or eel soup. It is the traditional New Year dish. It was good. Served over bread. Luther had the warm seafood salad and lake perch. The views were pretty. Here is from our table through the window to the outside.
dsc06574

And here are a couple of lake photos from the park and also over the mountain on the way home.
dsc06576

dsc06583

dsc06586

Tonight there is a band on the piazza and all the citizens will party. Fireworks at midnight. It will be below freezing at midnight. We will watch from the window if we stay up long enough. I had meant to cook my Cinghale stew today but I decided, since we had lunch, to save it for tomorrow. I’ll take pictures.

See the tree, how big it’s grown…

We brought the Christmas tree that we bought the first Christmas we were here inside for the season. It lives out on the terrace throughout the year except for December. This is the 2016 tree. it is sitting on the floor.
dsc06535

And THIS is the itty, bitty 2014 tree. It is sitting on a stool to make it taller. That’s no longer necessary!
dsc03732

Here is our town tree all lit up.
dsc06561

Today was an exceptionally foggy day. And, unlike many days, it lasted all day. I braved the cold and went out to see what sort of images I could get. I thought they would look better in black and white. Very atmospheric. Here are a few. Click for a larger version.

This is la Rocca or our fortress with a smoking chimney in front of it.
dsc06538bw

The bridge over the Tiber.
dsc06544bw

Road along the river.
dsc06550bw

Interesting tree.
dsc06554bw

The town walls and houses above it from across the river.
dsc06556bw

And finally, a lone fisherman.
dsc06543bw