My post of two days ago chronicled my rescue of a piccione intrappolata. A trapped pigeon. And if you read that post you’ll know I got someone to open the window and free her. But, the pigeons, being stupid birds, all decided to come back, and go in the window. Sigh.
Pia Bianca did not come back for a while since freed. But she is back now. I think she’s got a nest in there. So I was able to snap her photo. For those who care…here she is.
Nowadays we are careful about getting together for just about anything. We have space on our terrazzo for only four to dine together. So I can only invite two at a time. Today was the second time since lockdown that we’ve had friends over for a meal. The weather couldn’t have been better. Sunny, breezy and the perfect temperature. I set our round table outside.
My menu was: Bruschetta with avocado, gazpacho with mozzarella, shrimp risotto, peach cobbler. Some pictures.
~~~~~~ Stay safe everyone. Andrà tutti bene 🌈 And so it will. Ever hopeful.
I think and hope I saved a pigeon today. I’m not a huge fan of pigeons. Messy dumb birds and we have so many they are a nuisance. But I just can’t let one starve to death while I watch. There’s a small window across from our living room in the Comune. It has been left open and pigeons are living in there. I’m sure it’s a disaster inside. It must be some sort of storage or utility area for them not to have noticed, even though the building is empty.
Anyway, yesterday I noticed someone had shut the window, but I saw they’d shut a pigeon inside. I gave her the name Pia. Her mate was outside and quite distraught. For a pigeon the stuckee was pretty. Almost totally snow white. I tried to find some help this morning, and finally in the end was knocking on the Comune door and hoping a caretaker or workman was inside. Irene, at Bar Mary called to me and I told her the problem. She called someone and they said they’d let her out. So I had my fingers crossed. ~~~~~ Good news. Later the window was open. I kind of wish they had shooed her out and re-closed the window. It’s got to be a disaster inside. And now all these pigeons are right back inside. 🙄 I’ll try to get a picture of Pia to post.
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!
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!
In Europe the virus is making somewhat of a resurgence. France has become the new hot spot in Europe. As for Italy, we had 642 cases here yesterday, that is even with the numbers on May 23. It had gotten down to only 100 cases a day at one point. So, there is cause for concern. In my last post I made an error. The Italian officials have closed all of the Discotheques. The spread here, as in most other countries, is due to the young people flauting the rules, gathering in big groups, no social distancing, and no masks. The new cases everywhere are overwhelmingly among the young. But then, they bring it home to grandma and Mom and Dad who tend to get much sicker. I just heard we have 4 new cases in Umbertide. Kids who vacationed outside of Italy and brought it back.
In every country, people experience this pandemic in different ways, depending on what they do for a living, where they live, their race, etc. If they are poor and live in crowded conditions, must work, and have no health care, they have it much worse than someone who is say, a professional, perhaps a white collar worker allowed to work from home who still has insurance and income.
From a Washington Post article… “Not everyone is experiencing the same level of stress, and everyone’s pandemic struggles differ. Any “essential” worker exposed to high-risk conditions day after day has more urgent concerns than someone merely stuck at home and missing out on summer barbecues.“
“No question, epidemic fatigue or pandemic fatigue is real. We are experiencing it,” Markel said. “But throughout human history, there have been terrible pandemics and contagious threats. Every civilization, every nation, has come through to the other side. And we will, too.”
I do know about epidemic fatigue. Just about everyone I know has it. Here in Italy we are a bit freer to do things, but everyone feels the threat of the virus, and has the fear of another lockdown. It kind of looms over us. The US hasn’t gotten there yet. They’ve got a ways to go but I see a downward trend so that’s a good thing. Still, that damn virus will loom over us all. Until we get a vaccine. But humans are pretty adaptive and resilient. Amazingly so. We will get through this…as long as we stay careful until then.
~~~~~~~ Dinner out tonight. With new friends. We went to San Giorgio in the Piazza. It was nice to have a good amount of time to get to know each other better. Here are pictures of what I had to eat.
~~~~~~~ I scored two big, fresh Porcini mushrooms yesterday at the market. They are destined to become tagliatelle funghi for dinner tonight. I adore these big meaty mushrooms. It is not possible to cultivate them, they must be gathered from the wild.
~~~~~ Stay safe everyone. Now is not the time to let down our guard.🌈 Andrà tutto bene…
I was super gratified with all the support I got after my last post from people who regularly read my musings. Thank you! I will keep on posting, I will try to always be fair and I will just try to tell my story. One thing…we’ve been here 6 years. We left during the Obama administration. Many people now are seeking a way out of the US. But that was not why we came here. We did not leave the US because of any disgruntlement. We came here for the adventure. For the opportunity to learn a new language. To experience a new culture. It keeps us young (ish 😉). I will add, we are glad we are here now where it is easier to ride out the pandemic. At least for now…
~~~~~ I mentioned Rocky has been sick. It came on very suddenly. He began sneezing and digging at his nose and face with his paw. His eyes got very runny. We waited a bit and he was no better so we took him to the vet. We had only had gone to the vet once since we have been here and that was merely an introduction visit.
I had thought it could be a dental problem since he has never had any dental work done. But, in looking at his teeth I saw no obvious problems. Laura, the vet pretty much only did one thing. She listened to his chest and said he had some congestion. She didn’t take his temperature, nor did she look at his teeth. I asked her to do that. She said his teeth looked good for an eleven year old cat. I was kind of disappointed she didn’t do any more extensive examination. She gave us an antibiotic prescription and we made a follow up appointment.
I spoke with our friend Paul who is a retired vet here and he said they don’t want to spend your money so you have to pretty much ask them to do any tests. But if you’re not a vet I don’t know how you’d know what to ask for? It is actually similar to our own care here. We must advocate for ourselves at our doctor and if we want a test we have to ask for one. It’s not at all like in the US where they, many times, do too many tests and procedures.
So, we returned yesterday. Rocky seemed much better. No sneezing, no pawing his face and his eyes weren’t running anymore. She listened to his lungs and said they sounded clear. I hope that is the end of the saga. We have lots of friends who have sadly lost their pets in the last year or two. And some still deal with chronic conditions. They all tended to go to a vet in Foligno, a town about an hour away. Maybe if either of our cats ever gets very sick, and I don’t feel confident in our local vet, I may go there.
Our first Covid case in months has been announced by our Mayor. A man, who returned from travel in the north of Italy brought the Virus with him. He is being isolated and there is contact tracing so I’m hopeful this will be a one off. We will still stay vigilant. ~~~~~~~
This is Sunday. Beautiful and hot. Just like August should be. Yesterday I made summer soup. A mish-mash of a few recipes I read. It is delish and people have asked for the recipe so I’ve included in the recipe bar above.
Today, we decided to visit Calagrana for Pranzo. It had been too long. What a big crowd they had! Yay for them. A few pictures. The view from their terrace is always beautiful.
My lunch was excellent. My first course was amazing. Deconstructed gazpacho. But…I ate it before I thought to take a picture. Sorry. But I did take a picture of my next course. Seared tuna with a poached egg. Yum.
This next one is for my friend Jen who always loves anything fashion. These shoes, worn by the lady at the next table, and the purse to match, were amazing.
Last night we had the most amazing cloud formation. I suppose it was a thunder head. It towered maybe 50,000 feet into the sky. Love the sun coming over the top. Or maybe it is not coming over the top. 🤔
Today is August 15, also known as Ferragosto. It’s the holiday in the center of the month of August, which itself is the big vacation month in Italy. It is also a religious holiday — The assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. Assumption day.
Ferragosto originates from Feriae Augusti, the festival of Emperor Augustus, who made the 1st of August a day of rest after the weeks of hard work of the agricultural sector.
The popular tradition of taking a trip during Ferragosto arose under the fascist regime. In the second half of the 1920s, during the mid-August period, the regime organized hundreds of popular trips through the fascist leisure and recreational organizations of various corporations. The initiative gave the opportunity to less well-off social classes to visit Italian cities or to reach seaside and mountain resorts. The offer was limited to 13, 14 and 15 August, and comprised two options: the “One-Day Trip”, within a radius of 50-100 kilometers, and the “Three-Day Trip” within a radius of about 100–200 kilometers.
Today, here in Umbria, everything except for bars and restaurants, are closed today. If the Italians aren’t at the beach they are eating and drinking and having fun. I’m happy for them after all they’ve (we’ve) been through this year.
It still is a mystery to me, though, that people whose businesses were closed for 2-3 months and with the economy in the toilet, can still go on vacation. I still see “closed for vacation” signs everywhere. I noticed Bar Mary is closed for three days from today. Normally they take a week in summer. At least they are at the beach as we speak 🥰. Maybe it is the safety net the Italian government has put into place for its people. And they even have incentives for people to go on vacation. The people get to go on vacation and it’s a boost to the hard hit tourist industry.
It is certainly a lot different from the US right now. No one seems to be helping our hard hit populace. No one can afford a vacation. I worry about them paying the rent or mortgage, or even having enough to eat, for heavens sake. Molto triste. 😢
~~~~~~ Please let’s all work to stop this pandemic. We all can help. Andrà tutto bene 🌈
Things have been changing around Europe (and the world) with the virus. Italy has had an uptick, but the numbers are still low compared to many countries like the US. And we have good tracking and testing methods in place. And quarantining.
We are having a lot of people from other places In the EU come in. As well as some other “allowed “ countries, also immigrants from many places. Many of these have brought the virus as a “gift” to us here in Italy. 😕
I’ve also been reading the US newspapers and watching this reopening of schools. I’m seeing it as a poorly thought out strategy. Super dangerous to so many.
In Georgia a high school opened. They said they couldn’t mandate the kids wear a mask. But they can punish a girl for wearing spaghetti straps, shorter skirts and scooped necklines (all prohibited by dress codes), yanking those girls out of class for “distracting” their fellow classmates with scandalous body parts like knee caps. 😳 oh my! Kneecaps! So tell me…if they can make a girl comply with dress codes…why can they not make the student populace wear a mask? Hmmmm? 🙄of course they can! Don’t be dopey.
~~~~~~ Life in Umbria is good, but we also have upticks. Seven Franciscan monk acolytes from all around the world arrived infected, and from them many other Monks in Assisi. A bunch in Passignano from an Romanian guest worker. Perugia has had an uptick also from guest workers. Marsciano 2 cases, both Belgian tourists. I, for one am hanging pretty close to home. Good food, wine and views. Summertime is splendid here.
~~~~~ Andrà bene 🌈 You are your own keepers. Stay safe.💕