The produce van came today at 8am. Much as I hate to get up that early, I have been craving fruits and veggies. The van doesn’t come again until next week so I thought I’d better stock up.
The quality is excellent. When the vendor saw that one of his cantaloupes had a very slight soft spot, he gave it to me for free with apologies. He also had prunes like my grandfather used to grow, not produced much in California now because they don’t fit the ag-industry model.
I took a walk up to Olda, one of the nearby towns. Views from the road inspired me to keep going.
I stopped in a tiny little church in town dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes.
Packs of pellets for the stove sit in a corner awaiting the winter cold.
Each town has at least one water trough fed by the rivers nearby.
Back in Sottochiesa, I decided to interview some of the vacationing women who relax on the terraces in front of my lodging. When asked about doing an interview, Carmelina picked up a cucumber that happened to be on the table, a gift from a neighbor’s garden, and began to improvise.
She got a great laugh from me and the circle of women friends who sit around each day and enjoy each other’s company.
The place fills up with cyclists and bikers, the latter wearing heavy outfits that must not help in this heat.
The next day I decided to visit an agricultural cooperative that was putting on an event for kids in the afternoon. My plan was to take the bus part way and walk up the rest of the way as it was quite far.
But the little minibus sped right past me despite my standing at the stop, so I had to walk the whole way. I had no trouble finding the agricultural cooperative but saw no signs of the event. I kept climbing up to the next town of Reggetto, where the water I drank from the local fountain was the best I’ve ever had.
Reggetto also has a tiny little church. Looking out its door you see the pastures surrounding the town.
At one time much of the area was terraced with stone walls. Farmers grew corn and potatoes along with grazing their animals, but now only a few terraces remain. The rest have fallen into ruin as people have gone away from the valley leaving no one to care for the land.
After the long and unplanned hike up to Reggetto, I decided to treat myself to a good lunch. I did not want a hot meal given the heat. I tried the local cheeses and even enjoyed the salume, while feasting on the view.
It took quite a while to find the event, as the waitress told me it was back down the mountain. After walking down, I bumped into a family also looking and they gave me a ride back up to Reggetto, where it turns out the event was being held down another road over the fields to a rather large farm complex. A few signs would have reduced confusion, but maybe the Italians thrive on confusion.
Kids loved seeing the two-week old calves, as did I.
The actors presented Italian fables in a very large barn. The attendance was quite good given the challenging setting.
The actors wore masks in the Italian theater tradition.
I managed to get a ride back from the director of the art residency. Unfortunately some farmers decided to take the road up with their hay bales just as we and the other audience members were coming down.
Back on Sottochiesa, villagers had been decking out the town in anticipation of Ferragosto and Ascension Day, to celebrate Mary’s rise up to heaven.
We had an aperitivo while a couple of the other artists prepared over Campari Spritz for their presentation tomorrow.
One of them set up a projector to see his work, on climate change, projected on the woods.
Tomorrow should be an interesting day as the four artists who have been here the past two weeks will show their work.