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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our wonderful neighbours.

Since we moved here back in the spring we have been showered with gifts from our wonderful neighbours Annunciata and Bruno. Fruit and vegetables from the garden, delicious home cooked meals when we have been invited to join the family, a beautiful indoor plant on my birthday and bottles of their new season’s white and red wines.
The produce from their orto is always in vast quantities, look at the photo of last weeks offering. They always insist that we should be asking for produce as and when we need it as they have plenty to share. Every time I tell her that they are so kind and that it is much appreciated but that I would never ask. She insists I am far too shy, meanwhile she continues to supply us on a frequent basis, despite our efforts with our own orto. They obviously think we are not producing enough, although we were actually pleased with our results this year considering what else we have been doing. We will make every effort to do better next year when we will have more time for the garden, with the major renovations finished. I have a feeling though that we will continue to be looked after!

These are just the physical gifts that Annunciata and Bruno have given us. Despite neither of them speaking a word of English and with a strong local dialect which we often find difficult to understand they have given their Inglese vicini the gift of friendship. They are extremely patient with us and have guided us through the seasons, teaching us how to deal with all the fruit, nuts and other produce that our land produces. They have advised us on what varieties work the best on this soil, when and how to plant, pick and cook them. Bruno even came and rotovated an additional patch of land when Annunciata decided our Orto was not big enough!

Although not that much older than us, they have led a very different life, Annunciata certainly never even having ventured far from this area. They both work so very hard on their land to ensure that they are virtually self sufficient, not just the two of them but their son, daughter-in-law and grandson who live in the larger part of the house. They certainly never seem to have much relaxation and sitting down usually means it is either mealtime, or time for ‘una pausa’ in a shady spot in the heat of the sun. During the summer months one of the most important times of the day for Aunnciata was the early evening ‘passegiata’ with which ever neighbours were around at the time, myself included, a brief respite from her chores, time for a gossip and a laugh before returning home in time to prepare ‘cena’. This is a lifestyle that has mainly disappeared from the UK, certainly in the south east where we have spent most of our lives. How much less stressful it is to be in harmony with the rhythms of the seasons.
This is a lesson that David and I have really been trying to learn since moving to Italy.


  1. Oh Linda, your neighbours sound just like ours - Vincenzo & Maria. They are always dropping by with fruit and veg or a chicken or salami for us. They too work hard all year on the land and Vincenzo has a couple of other jobs to supplement their income whilst Maria also cares for Vincenzo's elderly bed-ridden mother. Their daughters and son also help out and watching the family working together for the common good is lovely to see - and their love for nonna is palpable - beautiful people!

  2. What lovely people - you are so fortunate. It's so nice to be able to give produce to people - the growing conditions this summer were so good that we were able to give away a lot, which was lovely.
    As for the concept of living in tune with the rhythm of the seasons, yes I couldn't agree more. It's such a peaceful and relaxed way to live and in the SE of England it's virtually impossible, although it can be attained to some extent in Chadhurst. We are really so lucky to live here but sometimes I long to find somewhere much more rural where we can go a few steps further in that concept. Still, should be happy with what one has and not forever be seeking greener grass!!

  3. Lesley and Anon, thanks for your comments.

    Sadly such couples seem to be dying breed in the UK where life has become so stressful and media led!

  4. Hi lindyloumac...Thank you so much for commenting on my blog...I love Figs and Lemons too, such a fun site.

    You are so right, such a dying breed in the UK, some days, I don't even speak to one person, they don't bother..! Such a shame, even my neighbours are like that.

    Will call back again soon. :-)


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