Monday, 21 January 2008
My first week of living in a small, mountainous Calabrese village has been and gone in a flash of activity. The first thing bel ragazzo and I did was to visit the local comune so I could apply for residency. I am very fortunate as thanks to my dad being born in Italy, I have dual citezenship with Australia and Italy...the only thing lacking is my residency which means I can get an identity card of my own amongst other more important things. (I am so excited however at the thought of getting an identity card. I hope it will be one of the old paper ones as I don't want a new plastic variety.) So the ball is rolling now so to speak and hopefully I should not have any problems getting residency in this village.
So legalities out of the way, bel ragazzo and I have been very busy indeed! Living in a small town which is 700 odd metres above sea level and nestled into the mountains means that in the winter time it is very cold. We therefore have been to the campagna to collect lots of fire wood. When I say we have gone to the country to collect the fire wood I do not mean that we are randomly cutting down trees - we are cutting down trees but they are on bel ragazzo's families land. (Ok, so I was not actually part of the tree cutting - I will admit that bel ragazzo and il fratello did all the hard work while I snapped the odd branch here and there. I have never cut down a tree before, there has never been a need.) His family live in the town centre, but have numerous other uninhabited houses, one which I call la campagna as I cannot recall the actual name.
This house has water and electricity, a kitchen and a simple bathroom and is a place to: have dinner/bbq's, make the years worth of tomatoe pasta sauce, store the wine in the cantina, chop down the trees for the fire places etc...
So with the fire wood out of the way, bel ragazzo and I have also been to collect 50 litres of home made wine from another one of their uninhabited houses, this one aptly named la scuola because it is an old school where his dad used to teach. An elderly couple used to live here and in exchange for rent the family used to get a share of the freshly grown fruit and vegetables, home made wine etc... Now a days the elderly couple live down the road but their goats and chickens still live here...and perhaps one day il fratello and la fidanzata once they are married.
It has however not been all work and no play, as I play the tourist very well...next of the list of things to do is drive down to Taormina on Friday to collect some suitcases that I left there, and then on Saturday we are heading over to my dad's town for lunch with some family friends.