The contrast with home during my break this year near the tiny walled
Etruscan village of Murlo about 17 miles south of Sienna, was very pronounced.
Home in SW London is busy, developed, bustling and cosmopolitan.
Home for a couple of weeks in Murlo overlooked wonderful landscapes
largely empty of buldings and development. The pace of life was
almost languid and mostly the people seemed to be from the immediate
locality. The art and architecture not only of Sienna but also
of hillside towns like Montalcino and Montepulciano not to mention their
wines were great to savour.
The sun shone and baked as apparently it had done for three months.
Our return to London covered in grey skies during a deluge of rain
did however remind me of some words from a local in Buonconvento during
a meal there, when she said how good it would be if they could take
some of our rain in exchange for some of their wine.
The downside of such lovely living it seems to me is largely
weather driven. The long siestas, the onslaught of flies and mosquitos
if windows are opened to relieve the heat during the day; the
absence of many human signs of life from about midday to almost (British)teatime
yet despite the tranquility away from the car, the larger roads appear to
be in a state of permanent rush. Possibly this arises from
Italian drivers being more hot blooded than their British counterparts
but is more likely I think to be caused by the Italian
siesta breaks creating 4 daily rush hours compared with our two.