23 Feb 2015

The old village


The seasons come and go with different work to be done on the land and in the garden. At this time of the year the vines need pruning, the bushes need trimming and the leaves that have dropped and accumulated have to be cleared from the driveway.


The shepherd and sheep dogs come down the lane and the sheep graze on the grassy plots of land around the area.





Now is the lambing season and we see mothers and lambs on the land above the house.


We know when our neighbour's geese across the way are being fed because of the noise they make when he comes to feed them on his small holding! He has a hut with a covered eating-out area. He and his wife had a trattoria in the area, but now they've retired and potter around the small holding.



More geese further up the lane - most of the following photos were taken in October.


Although we live on the outskirts of the old village we go there to visit DH's oldest sister who lives with her daughter. Some of the old houses have been restored whilst others are now used as buildings to store produce and farming equipment.



an open-air washing area where the spring water constantly runs off the mountains into the stone tanks - no longer used (old photo)
a barn


We went to look for my husband's sister as she was not at home and her daughter told us she had gone for a walk which was good to hear as she had a fall just before Christmas 2013 and injured her back.  She spent several weeks in a clinic before returning home. Each time we visit her we've seen an improvement with the help of her family as carers. Although frail she was determined to become mobile once more and she reminds me of my MinL who also fell and broke her back whilst she was working on the land around her daughter's house (another one of DH's sisters who lives along our lane near to us). MinL also gained mobility for several years afterwards and it was a privilege to have lived near her in the 1990s. She's much missed.  She would walk up to our house to see us as did my sister-in-law before her fall even though it was quite a distance from the old village.


We went looking for her in the vineyards and found her gathering cicoria leaves that are similar to spinach when cooked.


We accompanied her back home passing some of the old houses and others that are being restored.


One of the village bread ovens
This house is being restored, but only gradually as time permits.
Below is what it looked like about twenty years ago.


Back at the house of the niece and her husband we stopped for a chat, met Pedro, a family pet bird, and then left my sister-in-law to sit in the garden in the sunshine and rest.




33 comments:

  1. Lovely to see around the village. Sending my best wishes for your sister in law, back injuries are terrible things, they can take so long to mend but it sounds as though she's a determined woman, good for her. How lovely to have small holdings around you and sheep and lambs grazing in the fields.

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    1. Thank you Jo. We're all relieved that my SinL has slowly recovered her mobility. Having the farming life going on around us is interesting.

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  2. hello
    on a quitté les brumes de l'Angleterre pour se rechauffer au soleil de l'Italie
    quelle chance
    bonne semaine
    tendresse
    edith (iris) France

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    1. Thank you Edith. The Winters are shorter in Italy and now there are warmer days but chilly still evenings.

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  3. love those Sheep Shots.. all of them, especially the one with the shepherd in stride.. love that bread oven and the building it is in.. glad your SIL is walking again.. i can see by all the photos how easy it would be to fall and get hurt.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. My SinL lives in the ground floor of her home opposite to her daughter's so she doesn't have to climb stairs, which is a good thing. As far as I know the bread ovens are still used.

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  4. What a beautiful village. I love the old buildings.

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    1. As you can imagine, I love the old village and have good memories of holidays there before we built our house. If I restored one of the houses I would keep the original stone walls, but the fashion is to render them and paint them brighter colours than I would choose, even blue and pink, although I do like the traditional terra cotta shade that's used.

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  5. These photos make it clear why you love Italy so much. I know your family is there, but the scenery is just beautiful. Your photos remind me of a simpler (and more pleasant) way of life.

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    1. If only I had one or even two of my children living and working in Italy I would choose the Italian way of life, George. I never get tired of being in the countryside with the view of the woods opposite our home and the high mountains nearby.

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  6. Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Are all the sheep around the village allowed to free roam?

    Oh, to have some flat bread straight out of that bread oven. What a treat!

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    1. The sheep are welcome to graze in the meadows and fields that are not cultivated, but the shepherd is always with them and as you can see the local flocks are not big. Most of the shepherds live on the slopes of the nearby mountains.

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  7. It's a lovely village, traditional and unspoilt. I agree with you though, if restoring one of those old buildings I would keep the original walls if at all possible. We have geese near us, across the hill, and yes we can always tell when their food has arrived!

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    1. Restoring one of the old houses or a barn is a good option now as building from scratch is restricted in this green belt surrounding the abbey unlike when we built ours which is not made of old stone, sadly, but very solid. Our white walls could do with painting, but it's a big job needing scaffolding and time.

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  8. A wonderful village with lovely old and new buildings. I'm really fond of all the animals, Pedro the bird, the geese and above all the sheep with shepherd and sheepdog. Nice you can enjoy that all over there in Italy.

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    1. It's a relatively quiet life for us because we can't keep animals or pets, but we like seeing the shepherd with his sheepdog come past or sit in the field with his sheep and have a chat with him.

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  9. I really like these photos- so bright and full of summer joy! I love seeing herds of cows and gaggles of geese. Where in Italy?x

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    1. Our house and the village is located about 50+ miles south east of Rome, Kezzie.

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  10. Your Italian house is situated in a beautiful location. It's in the middle of the lambing season here too. Our farmer neighbour told us that they have 150 lambs up to now. I love seeing them in the field along the road. Another sure sign that Spring's not too far away. Glad that your sister in law is recovering after her fall. So easily done.

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    1. It's a busy season for farmers who have many sheep to care for. Yes, it's easy to fall and receive a bad injury and it takes much longer to recover when one is elderly.

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  11. It's lovely to see sunshine and blue sky! Jx

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    1. We had blue sky here today, but when I went to the post office I found that the wind was bitterly cold and I nearly got blown away as I walked to the top of the hill :(

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  12. How lovely, Linda - what a beautiful place to live and to visit. I've loved all your photos especially the contrast between the old and newer houses and buildings. I called my husband in to look at the photo of the bread oven as he has been looking into communal bread ovens in this area for a history project:)

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    1. In some respects the old village life continues as some folk update living accommodation and use other buildings as storerooms :)

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  13. Ah Linda I do love these glimpses into your Italian neighbourhood. The photos are beautiful. I hope your sister in law continues her recovery well. P x

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Patricia.

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  14. So lovely to take such a beautiful walk around the village with you Linda, it is just a shame that it is only a virtual walk! I am so glad to hear that your SIL is doing well!! That is such good news. xx

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual walk, Amy. Thank you for your good wishes for my sister-in-law.

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  15. So pleased to hear SIL is on the mend! Upwards and onwards for her!
    I just loved the sheep and the geese, and that old stone has my heart singing. A wonderful post, filled with sunshine!xxx

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  16. Thank you, Dina, for your good wishes for my sister-in-law. She's a lovely lady. Glad you enjoyed this post. :)

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  17. I just love seeing the beautiful old buildings and the country side. How I would love walking here with you and having a chat. What a treat that would be.

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  18. Thank you for this fascinating tour around your Italian village, Linda. It's good to see some at least of the traditional way of life continuing alongside the modernisations. I do hope your sister-in-law continues to regain her mobility.

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  19. What a charming mix of the old and the new where your Italian home is at!

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