It was with lots of sadness that we said goodbye to Penny and Jacob yesterday as they continued on their travels to England and relatives. We had a great month together – laughing, learning, and exploring.
Together we learned, somewhat, about the flow of things in Roviano. When things are open, when they’re not (although we were completely thrown yesterday: stores were open in the morning but no one reopened at 4:30 – what the heck!) . When exactly one switches from saying “Buon giornio” to “Buona sera” (we think it’s 4:30pm). That it’s totally okay to hang out in the piazza, for as long as you want, alone or with others; although the premium time for hanging out there (based on the number of people) is from around 5:30 to about 7:30/8 – you know, until suppertime.
We learned about food together too. Penny got totally caught up in an Italian cookbook in the house and made dishes with salted fish, Romano artichokes, and oxtail. We learned about how things work at the Frutta e Verdura – only ask for one kind of fruit or vegetable at a time; and at the Macellaria – want ground pork? Just ask and they slice off a hunk of meat and put it through the grinder; want chicken breasts? If there are none out they will just cut up a whole chicken. Want that breast finely sliced? No problem. Fascinating how we are so used to having things all put on display. And we all took a pasta making class – cuz really, in Italy how could we not!
We explored in and around Roviano. We found our way to the old Roman bridge, down to the river, across the valley to Anticoli Corrado, and along the valleyside to Arsoli (we went back there for a fantastic meal at Hostaria 36 before Penny and Jacob left). We wandered the streets of Roviano itself – still finding new nooks and crannies even on the day they left! And we went further afield – to Tivoli, Rome, and Ostia Antica.
A great time with great friends making great memories.