A few days ago I was sitting with my former neighbour having a chat about stuff. We were having a catch up as we haven’t seen each other for a while. I was sitting there on her front porch looking towards our other neighbour, the farmer, thinking about what ‘my Italy’ constitutes. Initially I was a tourist, but then I became a resident in a fairly rural area – an area affectionately known as the Tuscia – northern Lazio. There is a lot of wheat grown in the area, some of which ends up in De Cecco pasta.
So what is my Italy then?
It firstly involves this area – that of northern Lazio. I’ve lived in Tuscania, Montefiascone and Capodimonte – all towns of varying sizes and all close to Lake Bolsena.
I’ve lost count of how many photos we have of Lake Bolsena. I loved walking along the passeggiata or riding my bike in Capodimonte near the lake.
Being a resident means that you get involved in the bureaucracy of the country. Amazingly up until yesterday, I was still resident in the local town council which we stopped living in three years ago.
Although no longer living in the country permanently, I did have some tasks that permanent residents would naturally do. Such as go to a local cooperative (where they sell hardware goods) and buy individual garbage bags that were weighed to work out their cost.
I also queued in the post office to pay a bill, wondering why the number I had picked, supposedly to pay a bollettino wasn’t being called…
Fortunately we stole a few brief moments to have a coffee in the morning before getting to work. In the past I have favoured plain brioche, so I was surprised to discover that I really rather liked ones filled with jam.
There was certainly no diet restrictions during our trip, particularly given that our lunches mostly constituted of pieces of pizza of varying types from the local supermarket.
Then there are the people. The locals that we managed to catch up with, both in Tuscania and Capodimonte, some of which we hadn’t seen for a long time. What was particularly nice was an evening spent with friends, BBQ meat, rice salad and to finish the meal, a friend’s utterly divine pineapple tiramisu.
Now that we have sold our house, future experiences of Italy will be different. However high on our priority list is a trip back to this area to have a proper holiday catching up with as many people as we can. Plus hopefully there will be opportunities to visit many of the places that I haven’t got to yet.
If you have been to Italy or live there what is your Italy like?