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Entries about terrace

Church bells

Well, I am still only managing to shower once every three days, but at least now I am writing. In my spare time with a baby, I still don't get basic hygiene done like at home, but instead of cleaning the house and running errands, now with free time I write and hand wash our clothes. This morning, as I was hanging our clothes out on the clothesline on the terrace, the church bells were ringing and chiming, and it was magical. It was late morning and all the families were headed to church on this warm summer Sunday in Amalfi. The birds are chirping, our clothes are swinging in the breeze, I am listening to the songs of hymns and many people's voices as they sing. It give me a spiritual feeling, and I want to head over to the church to be immersed in the music and the bells. Bodhi is napping, Chris is cooking, and I dress to go down to the piazza but I don't go. I just listen from our perch above town, right next to the church, literally I am adjacent to the singing, and the ringing bells.  I could get used to this. My husband and I are already contemplating asking the owners to call us if they consider selling this place. But these places never go on the market here in Italy - they get passed down generation to generation over a long time. As we found out in Ostuni on an old olive farm, we asked the man how he came to own this beautiful place. He said, my grandfather's great grandfather bought this farm from a friend. exactly. and every son has owned and worked it since then, and forevermore. That is part of the mystique and allure of these old farms and villas, I think, is their unattainability and the generations of family that have slept, ate, cleaned, worked, washed, created, birthed and died here. You can literally feel the cycle of time and that you are but a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of the place, that has been there and will continue to be there for a long long time. Italians just do not replace things and move on with the frequency that we do - there is a rich tradition and they hold onto everything. The apartment we are in probably has been unchanged for at least the lifetime of the current family...definitely nothing has changed since we were here eight years ago, and this is pretty typical situation here in Italy. If you like a place, and send your children there when they grow up, it will probably basically look the same as when you were there 30 years before.  Maybe this is part of the reason Italians do not mind waiting - their sense of time is different from ours - they are just not in any rush to innovate, to renovate, to get things done. They know the good things last.

Posted by globalmomma 23:01 Archived in Italy Tagged church bells morning terrace amalfi laundry Comments (0)

When life gives you lemons, make limoncello

May 20

Yesterday, my son was still on and off with a slight fever and needing more rest, but overall much better. Today is back to normal with rolls of laughter, eating hungrily, and sleeping soundly. We are in Amalfi now. We had a frustrating day yesterday trying to decide where to go, how to find an apartment with what we needed (a fridge, a terrace, Wifi), and finally I decided it was worth a try to check the place I had been dreaming about. A little apartment in Amalfi center right next to the beautiful bell tower, up several flights of narrow stairs, to a panoramic view of ocean, lemon trees, mountainside, town lights. So I walk into the town center (while Chris and Bodhi idle in the car) and use my intuitive senses. We rented this small apartment eight years ago, on our last trip through Amalfi in April 2003. I remember we rented it from a man named Andrea, who worked in the town photo shop, who was a photographer. So I made my way to the photo shop and asked for him. Oh yes, they said, we know who you are talking about - he worked here before, and he is around town but no longer working here. His sister Maria works in a small souvenir shop by the bus depot. I walk over to the bus depot and inquire: Maria Lucebello? until I find her and explain that I would like to rent an apartment from her family, if possible. She looks a little puzzled, like obviously they are not advertising this place much, and calls her brother. Yes, you can stay, she says, and it is a nice price. Brother Andrea comes to meet me while Chris tries mightily to find a place to park the car (quite difficult in Amalfi in the summertime). He takes me to the apartment and I am realizing that you really do, over time, emphasize the good parts and forget the hassles of past travel experiences; and when you go back to a place, you see all the good and the bad aspects again. Like the million stairs we have to climb to get to the apartment with the nice terrace by the bell tower. I guess I remembered the two flights up once you reached the family's home, but forgot about the 4 staircases leading up to it. Utoh, Chris is not going to be pleased with how far he has to haul all of our gear. Traveling with a baby, you also are aware of a different set of foci than prior to a baby. Like my god, the terrace is totally unsafe. I have to watch him constantly as the slats are wide and it drops down two hundred feet to the beach & town below. Babyproofing new places all of the time takes ingenuity and STAYING IN OLD ITALIAN APARTMENTS REQUIRES VIGILANCE.  For example, today, I saw our son pulling on the gas hose behind the stove. We had to cinch two wooden spoons between the cabinet doors to keep him from being able to get the cleaning supplies. And like I said, the front door stays shut at all times, due to the precarious stairs and the loosely fenced terrace.

But ahh, we are in Amalfi. And life is good. After the bags are all settled and the baby is sleeping, Chris and I are sipping our ice cold glasses of limoncello overlooking one of the best vistas in the world.

Posted by globalmomma 10:57 Archived in Italy Tagged apartments terrace amalfi babyproofing Comments (1)

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