We no longer travel a lot by train, as we once did. But it always takes me back to our early car-less years here. When my husband rode an old moped 12 miles (20 km) to work – rain, snow, or sunshine. Italy’s public transport enables car-free living in some areas. But no buses passed our cluster of houses near that village in Lombardy.
Italy’s streets and piazzas are usually full of people, even in the evenings. But with the lockdown all that has changed. A ghostly calm and quiet has settled on the strangely unpeopled streets and towns.
As I’m sure nearly everyone knows, we’re going through a strange and most unusual time here in Italy, with the nation under nearly total lockdown. An unprecedented happening for our time and day in a democratic nation. And living through it seems quite surreal.
Moving to or even visiting Italian villages is a unique and sometimes perplexing experience. Expect people to stare (and I mean really stare) as you walk down the street, without letting it give you a complex. No, you are not funny looking or strange. They just don’t see many outsiders, and curiosity is one thing people don’t lack!
There is but one road leading to the isolated town, our summer village. A place little touched by time, by technology’s progress, or by the frenetic pace of getting ahead. Thirteen years had passed since our last visit. And though fewer and older, the inhabitants somehow seem to remain much the same. Many of old and wrinkled pass on, while others take their place. Different, yet the same. With the same lines of suffering and hardship. The same bleak look of hopelessness.
Our village nestles between the rolling hills of Abruzzo’s Apennine mountains and the Adriatic coast. Covered with vineyards and olive groves, with snow-capped mountains in the background! Abruzzo truly is beautiful, and we feel blessed to live in such an area! Largely an agriculture region, it’s famous for its Montepulciano wine. And also for its long beautiful beaches, gorgeous mountains, and great cuisine.