Thursday, June 12, 2008

Memories of Italy Part One

The sight of the coast of England being left behind against the blue sea of the channel as we climbed upwards over France in the aeroplane

Leaving behind Milan, the motorway, smaller towns and then climbing higher and higher into the mountains before stopping. the engines cutting and the sound of grasshoppers, of wind in the grass, of dogs barking, of nothing.

The sound of the church bell across the valley striking the hour, a slightly higher pitched 'ting' denoting the half-hour, one church chiming the time about 4 minutes before the other.

On Sundays the haunting sound of choral music drifting across the valley in waves of sound, sometimes loud and clear before tailing off into a murmur on the wind, barely audible before rising again. It was a service, perhaps being broadcast to the workers in the fields.

Walking back from a beautiful meal in a restaurant with no menus and no prices, you ate what they offered you and drank their selection of wines. the road was so dark when a car came one of our party held up his lit blackberry so that we could be seen, even in white trousers on a still, cloudy moonless night we would have been no match for Italian drivers. feeling small in comparison to the blackness. seeing fire-flies darting around, dancing in the darkness to an unheard song, their tails like LEDs.

The low slung mist which wrapped the tops of the mountains as if in cotton wool and hung, ethereal, in the valleys, turning Italy into New Zealand or Japan, the dark greens of the mountains furring in focus as the lower clouds moved past

Truffles on pasta. local fizzy wine. espressos for one euro, glasses of wine for little more. cannelloni, meringue, home cooked beef, coq-au-vin, bread sticks,

Juliet's house in Verona being covered in graffiti with bunches of 'true-love' padlocks fasten to the gate like bunches of wine.

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