On my return to France I found that there had been little progress onboard the yacht and it remained inaccessible to all crew and would remain so for at least another week! As there was not really much that I could do work-wise I checked whether I could get to Abruzzo again to ensure momentum on the house was not lost. When one has opportunity one must seize it!!
So I booked flights to Rome and car hire for the 9th returning on the 14th and advised the architect I would be available to open the house for them to complete the measurements they needed to get the ball rolling.
As always I stayed with my lovely friends at Abruzzo Segreto in Navelli and as I was arriving late we decided to meet at a local restaurant called The Crocus where they were meeting other expat friends. I arrived at the restaurant close to 9:30pm after a few glitches with picking up the car and heading out of Rome in peak traffic. It was nearly 10pm by the time we were seated in the restaurant and we ate very well on a selection of local products – everyone having something they enjoyed mixed bruschettas, pizza, mixed grill, veal escalope and pasta with cinghiale the local wild boar. The two new faces I met were professional photographers from Ireland – one has a house in a town called Carapelle and another in Capo d’acqua to be restored and the other was experiencing Abruzzo for the very first time! We talked late into the evening and I was more than shocked as I glanced at my watch to see it was nearly 2am as I headed to bed!!
The next morning Maurizio called and advised he was still in Rome on business but would head to the house Sunday morning and start measuring and taking photos. I was quite happy to have a quiet day after the late night out and spent the morning reading. In the afternoon our expat friends arrived and we had a few coffees then headed to the house to be restored in Capo d’Acqua. I looked through the property eagerly as it also needs quite a lot of work done to it and as yet there are no immediate plans for the restoration except for an idea of what will be where.
As we surveyed the outside of the building and were surrounded by many Italian hounds with the longest ears I have ever seen on a dog in my life we were waved over by a neighbour. The neighbour Toni or Antonio insisted we come inside and sample his wine. We were overwhelmed by his and his wife Angela’s hospitality and enjoyed homemade orange cake and espresso as well as a very nice vino rosso. It was a little hard to leave as they enjoyed the company as we did their’s.
We headed up to my village and I showed them my ruin. Both photographers armed with their professional cameras immediately took to the house photographing different aspects which caught their artistic eyes! As the light was slowly waning we headed up to the Bar Aufinium for a quick drink before returning to Navelli and then another meal at The Crocus which we proclaimed would be pizza night! There we bumped into another expat living in the nearby town of Capestrano and invited them to share our table for some further conversation. Another late but interesting night, I was grateful for a good night’s sleep and a not too late start.
Arriving at the house I was met by Maurizio’s lovely wife and assistant as she sketched the outside of the house and I found Maurizio next door on top of the winery taking photos of the house. I unlocked the house and set to tidying the garden further and removing rubbish from the garden. Then I sorted through the beautiful collection of old bottles left in the house and put them neatly away in a cupboard so as not to be damaged should renovating commence in my absence!
As I fossicked (kiwi for rummaging) under the stairwell for any other ‘treasures’ I found an old sack and was surprised I had not noticed it before. Inside I found a traditional Chitarra for making a traditional pasta a square shaped ‘spaghetti’ for lack of a better description. I showed the architect and his wife and they were very excited by my find and suggested I keep it and rewire it for future use!
We stayed at the house together until around 12:30 before parting ways happy to have completed the measurements to be able to complete the next stage of the process the planning permissions. We agreed to speak before I returned to France and I offered to meet them in Pescara.
Stay tuned for updates and photos tomorrow!