We have been dealing with a heat wave for almost two weeks. It is getting into the upper nineties to the low hundreds and predicted to last another week. No rain either so it is very dry. Luckily it has not been terribly humid, and it does cool off as soon as the sun sets. We are still able to sleep with the windows open and a fan. We have been using the AC in the living room in the afternoons. We do what I call “window and shutter management”. At night all the windows are opened wide to encourage the cool night air to come in. In the morning I generally sit on the terrace to take advantage of the coolness. About 10:30am or so I close the shutters on the piazza-facing side of the house and I close the windows. This makes it dark and cave-like. The windows facing the river I leave open for a while longer but as the sun comes over the house they too are shuttered and closed. The living room gets hotter because it has no attic. And it is a big room with a big window with no shutters. It does have the shear shade that I close. That said, I am working in the office right now and it is very hot in here. We eat at about 8pm and mostly we eat outside. The sun is setting just after 8pm now. We have a small TV that we use on the terrace. It is lovely to sit out there and watch a movie of an evening. So now you know how we are beating the heat… or not as the case may be.

Last Friday we were treated to a concert in the piazza. DikDik was the name of the band. They drew quite the crowd. They are a 1960s band that mostly did English tunes translated into Italian. For instance, they did “Hey Jude” and “California Dreamin'” to name two. We sat outside at Bar Mary and enjoyed people watching. They had a hair dresser setup in a tent where women were getting up-dos a la the 1960 beehive look. Later they had a contest. We retired upstairs just when DikDik started at 11PM. But of course we could hear them just fine up here!

Yesterday, Sunday, we planned to go to “Movie night at the castle”. This is the Civitella Ranieri castle that I have written about before. They invited everyone to bring a picnic and eat on the lawn. Then we all went into a courtyard where a sheet was hung to project the movie. It was a 1960s black comedy called Mafioso. It is out of print and has been deemed notable enough to be saved by the Criterion Collection. It was a beautiful evening and just being at this beautiful 15th century castle is a treat. Here are our friends Michelle and Paul and Luther at our picnic.


Tomorrow we have plans to attend a performance by the Royal Conservatory of Scotland of excerpts from Rossini called “Raucous Rossini”. It only lasts one hour and is being performed in the Teatro dei Riuniti here in Umbertide centro. It is in a medieval building that sits just next to the castle fortress, La Rocca. I have not had a chance to see the theater yet so I am excited. After the show there is a reception at Galeria Littlewood, a small art gallery and shop. AND after that, we have reservations at Calagrana for a specialty evening of Italian “small plates”. So it is shaping up to be a fun time. I will report back.

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