Day 6 – Vietri sul Mare to Miralaghi
- Barb: Next!
- Mike: Ceramiche
- Jen: Photos
- Barb: Hello Hilltown
- Mike: Decorated squalor
- Jen: Castle-dotted landscape
Three or Four Words
- Barb: Goodbye Vietri sul Mare
- Mike: Sent my first text
- Jen: Free ceramics samples
- Barb: The rain stayed away until we had our walk.
- Mike: I survived the week without locking our sole key in the apartment.
- Jen: Paintings and mosaics can dress up any city.
Today we moved from Vietri sul Mare to Miralaghi, a 750-acre property that was originally a hunters’ reserve. It’s in Umbria, just over the border from Tuscany. Nearby towns are Citta della Pieve and Paciano.
We spent the morning walking around Vietri sul Mare, further exploring our immediate surroundings and taking pictures.
Today’s themes: Routine, Public Art, Change of Scenery
We’ve been buying food from the same handful of tiny shops for five days. I’ve been longing for a larger grocery store so we can stock up on staples. I’m not used having so little food in the house, and it sort of makes me uncomfortable: What will I do if I get hungry at an odd hour—like the middle of the day or maybe Sunday?
At home, we shop by the truckload. Purchasing a small bag of bread, cheese, fruit, and veg every day is weird. Plus, it takes a surprising amount of time, and I, for one, have no desire to spend time shopping every day. If only there were a more substantial supermarket around.
Well, get this: If we’d ever taken the “road” out front to the right instead of our usual left, taken a right at the corner, and walked a few yards, we’d have discovered a more substantial supermarket. It’s basically on the same triangular block as our flat! It was just on the half of the block that we never walked, though it also leads to the bus stop and parking area, same as the other half of the block.
Go figure. We went that way today because we thought it might be a slightly shorter walk to our car, and we were carrying all of our luggage.
Shame on us for not exploring our immediate surroundings more thoroughly.
See Mike’s two-word summary and my sentence summary. There are some dumpy elements to Vietri sul Mare. Some things are just old, some are not well maintained, but there are decorative details here, there, and everywhere, primarily paintings, ceramics, and mosaics. They’re on walls, stairs, sidewalks, windows, ceilings, floors, doors, pillars, lightposts, rooftops, porches…you name it, it’s decorated.
It’s fun, it’s pretty, and it makes me happy.
Change of Scenery
We left the city behind and drove out to the country where rolling hills are topped with ancient walled towns with castles and towers. Hill towns aside, I thought it was a lot like driving through southern PA. Stretches of farmland with neatly cultivated quilt-block squares remind me of the midwest. A high muddy river offered proof of the wet winter they’ve had.
Driving instructions from Maria Luisa, the property owner, told us that after a dangerous curve we’d turn left onto a “dirty” road. She wasn’t kidding. With all the rain, it’s muddy and rutted, and also rocky, narrow (of course), twisty-turny, and fairly steep.
We’re staying at the top of the hill in a stone farmhouse built in the mid 1800s. We had our choice of two apartments in two different houses since we are the only guests here. We opted for the one with a view. It’s spartan and was very cold at first, the heat having been off all winter.
We were having trouble remembering the name “Miralaghi.” Milaghari…Miragali…what was that again? Barb suggested we ask what it means so that we might better remember it, but asking isn’t our style, and before we got around to it, we did some pondering on our own. Mike wondered if it had something to do with “lago,” which is the Italian word for “lake,” as there are several lakes nearby. It took a while—the “h” threw us—but it dawned on Barb that “laghi” is the plural of “lago.” Then, with “laghi” out of the way, I recognized “mira” as a form of the verb “mirar,” which in Spanish means “to look.” Eureka! “Miralaghi” probably means “watch the lakes” or lake views, which is appropriate, as that is exactly what we have in the light of day.
Isn’t language fun? We’re doing that a lot.