Winter State of Emergency in Italy

We are here waiting. The winds from Russia have hit the eastern and southern parts of Italy with a vengeance. The news tells us of villages cut off by the snow, of farmers in the earthquakes areas having to bring their cattle into barns, officially out-of-bounds, because weakened by the quakes, just to save them, of hoboes dead of hyperthermia in cities like Florence and Naples, of snows in areas which haven’t seen the white stuff for almost fifty years. In short, for the next few days Italy, supposed land of sunshine and vino, for ALL of us living here has been turned into a facsimile of a Siberian province  .

(The situation around Naples!)

Strangely we, in Tuscany, haven’t seen much snow except on the mountain tops. Our valley is still bathed in blue skies and golden sun. But it’s deceptive: the temperature is just above freezing at noon and our ducks are wondering why they can’t swim in their pond even at lunchtime.

Our thoughts go with those persons who are now living in tents because their homes have been destroyed by the quakes and those farmers whose animals may soon die because of the abnormally low temperatures (descending up to twenty degrees below zero in some areas of the Abruzzi).

It’s odd to think that many visitors to Italy have only seen this beautiful land in the summer. For them the trees are always green and the sea is always swimmable in. Do remember, however, that Italy has the widest range of temperatures of any European country and that in winter anything can happen. Indeed, we are now paying the full price for those balmy spring-like days over Christmas. Time to stock up with essential items (e.g. pasta, cat food and wine) before the snows reach us here in Val di Lima?

It’s also a good time to view feature films in the evening. Last night we saw a film (available on youtube)  directed by Dino Risi and starring Lino Capolicchio who has since gone on to become a director himself. It also starred a girl who would become my wife. Here is a photo I took of the dance sequence. Sandra is the girl looking at us and wearing a white dress (which she still has somewhere in her wardrobe I’m told). Just by the way she moved in the film I knew it was her…and that’s just one film Sandra has starred in!

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Ah well….. I suppose winter evenings in sub-zero temperatures have their compensation too!

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