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Italy in a week

ITALY | Friday, 22 February 2008 | Views [948]

No, we are not doing Italy in a week, we've just been in Italy for a week. How is it you may ask? Well, here's the thing - I don't really know.

The scenery all around us at the moment is breath-taking. There are old stone houses built and lived in for generations that sit perched up on the hillsides amongst lush evergreens, or dainty gnarled oak trees.

The colors of the sun on the bright terracotta splashed buildings, or over the silvery olive trees, their branches scattered on the ground (they are currently being pruned as it is the season)is delightful.

Everyone is so friendly and there is an air of timelessness that creeps through the peaceful mists that sometimes shroud the distant rolling hills.

The cities are distinctly different from any where else I've been (not that is really saying much...) - so far EmJ and I have visited Terni, Tarquinia, Rome, and have driven quickly through Orte, the village near to where we are staying.

Every corner you round brings you to another picturesque scene - if I had all the time in the world I would love to paint the Italian views in oils... Too bad I don't have any with me!

WWOOFing, which is to say, the program World Wide Organized(?) Organic Farms through which we are staying here, so far seems to be a valuble learning expirience. You really get in touch with the local culture, and even better, you get to see the far-out places that tourists don't really visit, but are still as delightful in their own ways as some place like Rome.

Rome is interesting: to me it seems like an accident waiting to happen! I have describe London as an artistic accident, but the whole of Italy? Just an accident! I say this mainly because there doesn't seem to be one right way to do anything in Italy - particularly when it comes to the driving! Just as you might see a massive tractor going down the road at any point in time, you will also see many of the perculiar three-wheeled, one seater truck things that seem to populate the country and cities alike. To be true, the drivers seem to avoid incidents, but I am sure that this is because of luck and years of practice considering that everyone parks everywhere and the roads go from two lane to one way in a matter of seconds!

Speaking of roads - they say all roads lead to Rome and perhaps this is true - certainly history does, because for every backstreet, every cobbled ally way, and every small car you ever see parked all which way in Rome there is a piece of Roman history - statues, arches, columns, temples, fountains - so many ruins from the past. It's amazing, and whats even more so is that everything is left out amongst the public. I guess it might be an Australian thing, but we lock all our valuable stuff away - it might be visable but it's still locked up.

When we visited The Musuem of Archeology in Tarquinia (along with the Narcopolis) we where surprised to see that except for the most fragile painted sarcophigous and antique pottery we could actually touch the marble tombstones and sarcophigi. It was cool to see them up so close.

There is so much more to say on the subject of life in Italy, but I will finish now. Although I will leave you with a note to imform that this Friday we are heading up to Florence to stay there for the last two weeks of our stay in Italy. Although this wasn't planned, EmJ and I feel it will be money well spent as we would not get a chance to visit Florence otherwise.

Still learning to communicate in Italian,

Ciao, b.

Ciao Everyone! (Yes, ciao is both hello and goodbye!) EmJ here!

Sorry I missed the last update, b. did it when I wasn't looking. :P

Actually b. has forgotten that we've actually been in Italy for just under two weeks. If you asked me I'd be more likely to say that we've been here for a month, it certainly feels like we have! We're missing everyone already, but coping ok.

What to say about Italy...... b. is right, it's SOO beautiful. Elz, the lady we are staying with, has been kind enough to take us walking with her in the evenings a couple of times. Even though we are tired from pruning, sawing, chopping and moving wood we have enjoyed strolling through the Italian countryside. We have seen so much, from castles on distant hills, caves in the village, the place where Orte olive oil is made (not sure what they call it) to SO many vineyards and olive groves. The people in Orte make a LOT of wine and olive oil. (Not sure if this is custom all over Italy, will let you know when I've seen more.)I'll re-echo what I said before - it's beautiful here.

Our daily routine is pretty easy:
7:45 is when we get up (It's 8:15ish on the days Elz is working, and that's not just us - we got the idea from the other WWOOFers!).
9:00 is when we head downstair after showers and Bible readings.
9:30 and we're out to that pruning, sawing, chopping and moving wood.
2:00 is lunch time (the food here is SOOO good, it's prepared by Elz's Brazilian maid, Mas, who only speaks Italian and Portugese.)

4:30 We head inside as it gets to cold to be outside.
8:00 Is dinner. (Also very good.)
9:30ish - zonked, ready for bed!

The weather is nice and warm during the day with the sun nice enough to go sleeveless - but when the sun goes down!! HOOBOY, it gets cold! Also 'cause Elz's house has all tiles on the floor it traps the cold. (Three pairs of socks to walk around at night!)

There's a whole lot more I could say, but I better sign off now. I'll just add to b.'s note that we are changing farms tomorrow (Friday) and also that we decided to leave that farm 2 days before we head to Scotland and have booked ourselves a Hostel in Fiumicino about 50 meters from the Mediterranean Sea!

Ciao and hugs, EmJ

Tags: Culture

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