As expected, the christening lunch was a wonderful seven course affair. The specialty of the restaurant is fish so the main courses featured this, and asparagus as it is in season locally. There were other celebrations happening alongside our own, but the food arrived promptly, was hot, tasty and beautifully cooked.
It was a long day but great to see cousins and elderly aunts again. Love them all to bits and we met the three new members to the family: Viola, Filippo and Alessandro. Total of cousins now has reached 34 and that does not include the wives and husbands, so add another 15 or so. So as it is impossible to cut short any visit to my wonderful Italian family, we stayed until Wednesday morning.
After a phone call to our builders we annoyingly found out that due to delays in re-building the balcony, the terracotta floors have not yet been treated and we need to organise that when we arrive. This was supposed to have been done while we were in the UK and looks like delaying things by two weeks at least. Thanks again to the generosity of American friend P we will have to use her comfortable home as a base while the floors get done.
Left Spresiano around lunchtime as we hoped the roads would be less busy. Cousins added several basil, parsley, chilli and tomato plants to our mobile greenhouse, and I had bought two pots of ‘Breathless White’ euphorbias and a superb white dipladenia in the market before we left. Added to which we now have the Prosecco, cheese, courgettes and lettuce that cousins have donated.
We arrived at Citta della Pieve around late afternoon. Unloaded the vast collection of plants at the house and saw the rebuilt balcony for the first time. Bathrooms have flushing toilets and running water and the radiators are all in place; we even have lights in some rooms. Is the end in sight?
Citta della Pieve is bathing in glorious scorching sunshine but it is nice and cool in the evening, unlike Spresiano where it was boiling all day and we got bitten to pieces by mosquitoes.
There is a local competition in town for the best floral display outside of a house or in a street. Too late for us to participate, as our flower box was removed from the front of the house when the new floor tiles had to be loaded in through the upstairs rooms. Next year though, watch out!
We had a delicious supper in Bruno Coppetta’s in the evening and a lovely warm welcome from all our friends here in town. This evening, Gigi in Saltapicchio presented me with a plate of delicious oysters and a glass of sparkling Franciacorta. Now, that is a welcome.
Today we spent time clearing the garden of weeds and also trying to find a home for all the discarded wrought iron from the old balcony and staircase and the rusty RSJs. The garden is full of rubbish again, which is a bit depressing, but it seems a shame, and a waste, to just take it to the dump. We popped down to our local reclamation yard, Il Corte del Tarlo, to see if it was of interest. He said it was but that we would have to bring it down. So we shot back to the house as the builder had his truck there (as they were clearing out their tools) to ask if they could move it for us. They kindly agreed to take it down and pick up the cupboard we had swapped the scrap for. Brilliant. We get a cleared garden and cupboard for our bedroom, the builder doesn’t have to take it to the tip and it all gets re-cycled. Enormous thank you to our brilliant builders too for shifting it, as it literally weighed a ton.
Now I can really get to grips with planting everything and we have also organized for the orange tree to be delivered. It has to arrive on Monday as after that the house is out of bounds to everyone, when they come to treat the terracotta. Marco came to inspect the floors and was a bit sniffy about the way they were laid in the kitchen as opposed to the lounge. Apparently, the kitchen ones are very uneven, however they look fine to us, but he will sand the edges down a little, acid clean them, wash them, dry them out for a week or so and then treat them with the magic wax mix. The great unveiling will be around the 14th of June and the kitchen has been arranged to arrive on the 16th.
Now we are here to manage things let’s hope it all goes to plan…… unlike the lighting in the house. But that is another story and Jamie is the one to tell it.