Luni Days in the Lunigiana

It’s a bit scary to come back to your vacation home in Italy after a seven month absence. You never know—disreputable people might be home-sitting for you or some such (and they undoubtedly smoke like chimneys). Yet the woman who cleans the place had turned on the heat the day before and when we arrived last night everything was warm and spotless. And best of all, everything worked. Not only that, the computer’s quaint modem detected a wi-fi signal. Had high speed internet arrived in our tiny village? We’ve yet to find out, but we are absolutely giddy with anticipation.

Saturday morning dawned damply. The heat didn’t feel so hot. Martha turned on the stove to heat a pot of water for some warming tea. The flame sputtered weakly. After a bit, it disappeared, little by little, a petite mort. Baby, your light is out.

Drats. On a Saturday. You never know if people work on Saturday. A few hasty calls, and then wait. Best to wait at the Aulla open air market, conveniently blocking the cities streets on Saturday. Best to buy a flannel shirt. (It’s American. €10 That’s about 95 dollars with the war-weakened dollar, which hit its low yesterday. Ok, it’s only $15.36, but still.)

And then there was the sock guy. Scruffy beard, but fat socks. So we pick up some. Every pair of socks he has is “morbide”, soft. He demonstrates this by rubbing each pair against his scruffy beard. Ok, we get it. We buy 4 pairs of fat wool socks for €8, hoping his beard hairs aren’t part of their heft. Perhaps they started out as thin summer socks, and after so many demonstrations…

When we returned home the LuniGas truck followed an hour later or so and soon our tank was full. Finally we can anticipate our roast pheasant and braised Belgian endive tonight.

$1.54 for a Euro. Good thing you can still buy a 2 liter jug of wine for €2 here in God’s country.

Luni Days in the Lunigiana originally appeared on , updated: Mar 10, 2008 © .

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