You may have wondered where I’d got to. There again, maybe not. Any way, I’ve spent a few days settling into my Italian home for the next two weeks. I have come 100 or so miles south, just inland from Anconna. This country side stretches away from the tops of rolling hills in every direction. Gentle valleys contour around slopes and folds of land like the swirls created by a gymnast ‘s ribbon. Fields of browns & tans and earthy hues jigsaw together with the green bubbles of deciduous trees and woods. Farms and barns are scattered over the land, in between the steeples and spires and walls of hilltop villages which draw the visitor like a magnet. In the distance the panorama is framed by the turqoise waters of the Adriatic around a rim of truncated volcanoes that explain why this area is subject to earthquakes.
This is the view from our terrace:
My home is set down a ‘white road’, rather a pitted track which one can get up if driven in first at 20km an hour. I am surrounded by the patchwork fields of La Marche. My silence is only disturbed by the call of circling buzzards and in the distance the metallic squeaking of harvesting tractors that quietly roar their wayup and down the gradients and then chugger to each other as they summon up the strength for another run. Within a few hours the crop is harvested & taken off, the remnants bailed and left littering the field in haphazard cuboids and deep silence descend around me again.
Cupramontana is the closest settlement of any size, just up the road. Not a lot goes on here. As the day comes to an end and the buildings give up their heat, the locals grab a chair or find a seat in the shade and ponder over events and share anecdotes and gently wind down with friends and neighbours before disappearing inside as darkness falls. Everyone seems comfortable in their groups which tend to be gender and age specific with little mixing it up.
Can life really be that simple?