Back on topic, to our Summer holiday. We headed to Serramonacesca (our neighbouring village) for a wander and a coffee. It was our last day and we wanted to go somewhere nearby as we had to pack and tidy the house.
We always drive through Serra, but never really stop there. It is a pretty little village, a bit prettier than ours I would say because it has retained it's historical centre (having avoided the landslide that devastated our village), although it has fewer amenities.
We found a cafe on the corner and settled at a table to watch the world go by for a hour or so.
You see and hear all kinds of things in an Italian village when you take the time to stop. With the scent of coffee and the perfume of flowers in the air, as Ralph slept in his pushchair and Alfie played with his cards, Will and I laughed as two cars passed, driving the opposite way to one another, then braked, reversed and met in the middle of the road...two friends having a chat. A couple of young men were earnestly discussing the merits of their Mamma's ragu. A nonna scolded her grandchildren for playing too close to the road. An old couple squished in an ape with their large dog parking outside the grocers. A group of friends discussing the weather.... After watching this little tableau of Abruzzen life, we instantly felt more relaxed and less stressed about our journey the next day, although it made us want to stay.
That afternoon, we visited our village's shops and cafe to sadly say goodbye to our friends. Fino alla prossima volta! (Until next time!)
At around one o'clock the next morning, we carefully put our little boys in the car so they could stay sleeping, said a quiet 'Arrivederci' to our little casa and set off on our way.
Around seven hours later, after a long stop where Will and
I slept in the car, we reached the San Gottard....queue?! Surely not again! Yet again, the traffic was horrendous. All backed up because of people using the tunnel. It must drive the Swiss mad, but from the sounds of it their beautiful country is invaded by August holidaymakers on a yearly basis. I can understand lorries and coaches using the tunnel (and you will see why they should on my pics), but other than that, most of those people could have been well on their way on the pass. I remember reading on a film website the following quote from Orson Welles;
"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."
A little unfair, they also make Toblerone and the most divine potato rosti. ; )
|Further on, this same coach meets a lorry coming the other way....that was interesting|
Anyway, on the upside, dear readers, I am returning to Abruzzo next weekend with my best friend, Laura. Laura and her husband Nick have been through all our ups and downs throughout the whole process of us searching for a house in Como, finding Abruzzo, finding a plot/house, having a house built in time for our wedding, getting married in Abruzzo, babies etc, but Laura hasn't been to Abruzzo since 2009 and I can't wait to show her all the new places we've discovered and find new ones too. I am very excited about it and look forward to telling you all about it when I return. Nick and Will are therefore on daddy day care with our children! Buona fortuna ragazzi! (good luck boys!)