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Monday, 27 April 2009

Saturday 18 April 2009

Saturday brings us another warm and sunny morning, the view today is spectacular, there’s no mist to speak of and you can see the sea in the distance, the snow on top of the Gran Sasso looks like fondant icing as the light dances across it. We sit outside and eat eggs with yolks the same colour as the sun as Christina Aguilera sings ‘Beautiful’; a perfect compliment to the view. As I clear away the breakfast dishes the Pretenders begin to play ‘Tequila’, it’s barely a minute long but Chrissie Hynde’s voice is always good to hear, distinctive and comforting, I’ve had years of listening to it ever since they released ‘Stop Your Sobbing’ back in 1979 and it’s like an old friend. Today we are heading into Chieti for the first time, the Sugababes are singing ‘Girls’ (Dennis Christophe Mix) as the car bounces down the lane, we notice two houses with sale notices on them as we sail past and make a note to stop and take a look on the way back. The journey to Chieti seems to take forever, we haven’t bothered with the sat-nav and just follow signs as we see them, however we seem to be getting further away. We fill up with petrol at an automated station: why don’t we have these in the UK they’re so much better, just punch in the pump number and the amount of euros you want and it does the rest for you. We eventually arrive in town and park up outside the centre and decide to walk in the rest of the way. I say ‘walk in’, what I should really say is walk up, the climb up to the town centre requires you to be half human, half mountain goat. No wonder the people here live so long, they’re in a state of perpetual fitness, just from popping to the shops. We watch an elderly gentleman in front of us juggle a shopping bag and a flagon of wine as he slowly trudged onwards and upwards. We cross a bridge, something that I don’t handle very well suffering from vertigo, I have to stop three times just to steady my breathing and fight the desire to leap off.
Chieti, is quite a large town and we spend sometime just wandering around looking in the shops until we come upon the duomo, re-built by bishop Attone I in 1069, part of the original roman crypt still remains. After several earthquakes, the church was rebilt again in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Baroque style. We head off down Corso Marrucino following signs for museo archeologico nazionale d’Abruzzo on via Villa Comunale. The museum is located in the centre of parkland, here children ride bikes and roller-skate, fathers play football with sons and young lovers cuddle up on the benches. We enjoy the museum very much, the highlight being coming face to face with Guerriero di Capestrano. (Warrior of Capestrano).

We use the sat-nav to get home taking half the time it took to get here, including a stop at the supermarket, Iper to stock up on provisions. (For provisions, read red wine). I find a copy of the new Gianna Nannini album, which is a bonus. Back at the house I sit reading and enjoying the late afternoon sunshine with a bottle of Peroni, the only sounds being an occasional bird and the rattle of a Piaggio as it trundles through the narrow streets. Dinner tonight is a mixture of many mushroom varieties, (purchased earlier) cooked in white wine, with a béchamel sauce, with the remainder of the sausage from yesterday chopped up and the whole lot is mixed with pasta, rustic and hearty. Dessert is a long walk, to work off some of the calories as Snow Patrol sing ‘Warmer Climate’.

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