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Summer nights at the Duomo

ITALY | Sunday, 9 June 2013 | Views [205]

Nightfall, Amelia

Nightfall, Amelia

The wind is making the shutters shake. When the shutters were first installed the workmen must have decided that the fastenings must not be too close to the shutters, they could after all lock in place and no one would want to be stuck with immovable shutters! So the shutters shake, squeak and bang. Through the roar of the wind and the banging of the shutters, a different sound can be heard. A sound of drums. If you lean out the window, the warm wind will embrace you and bring you the echoes of the drums from across the valley. Apart from these noises there is nothing. No trains, cars or planes, just silence, wind, drums and shutters. The duomo, which is situated just behind my house and whose bells announce the coming of a new day, only a tad too loudly, dragging me out of my gentle sleep, is now silent.

Usually the old women are sitting outside my window in our little garden. ‘Our’ little garden is a small terrace overlooking the Umbrian countryside, it is situated on the top of a hill crowned with a city that has clung to the rock since before time began. A Neolithic wall separates us from the modern world below, in the valley. The streets up here on the mountain are not wide enough for cars, not that this fact prevents either cars or busses from driving here, gradually wearing down every house corner in the city until there will not be a sharp edge in the whole town. The streets, covered as they are in marble cobbles, provide a lethally slippery route down hill which ought not to be pursued in shoes with leather soles.

The sun has set long ago and usually the women can be heard chiachierano outside at this time of the day. However, today they seem to have retreated due to the strong gusts shaking the shutters, making the trees fizz. The yellow light from the street lights is also penetrating into my room and I rejoice in the magical light, which seems to emanate from a story book rather than from the street outside.

This is where I live, where in the morning, as the sun reveals the valley beneath our hill, waves of mountains, dotted with pert cypresses will be seen against the horizon.

Tags: amelia, duomo, women

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