nel commune di belmonte14th entry – italy 2014

Sept-6 053The whole of the medieval center has free WIFI, but the best access is outside. Last night after our amazing dinner, I went up the steps and sat on the stoop of one of the albergo dissuso houses and read email and wrote posts. It was such a contrast that I had to repeat it again this morning. The difference is that this morning, I went out in the clothes I had slept in.

The image is Rick-and-Sarah, yesterday afternoon, sitting on the bench in the small piazza where I’ve been accessing the Internet. (I’m temped to ask Sarah to take a pic of me on the stoop, with my laptop and sleeping clothes, blogging.)

So far, I’ve talked to our next door neighbor who is a local. She’s and older woman, my parent’s age. (What must she think seeing me in my T-shirt, Nike-shorts, Croq slippers and Cartier glasses sitting on an old stoop with my laptop and coffee cup? No, I don’t wear pajamas. (My mother would say, ciuti americani – crazy Americans. Also, I would never do this in Aprigliano, because someone would call her and tell her that her crazy son was sitting outside dressed badly, drinking coffee and carrying around a machine. And then she would call me and ask why I was embarrassing her.)

The second couple, I talked to, was from Rome. She was born here in Belmonte and like us is amazed by what Gabriella and her husband have created. I love talking to the Italians; I tell them I’m American, but somewhere in the conversation they want to know why I speak Italian and if I was born in Italy. And then I get to ask similar personal questions. With the couple from Rome, we traded Internet access info – best outside – and where they live in Rome – the suburbs. Conversation with the Italians is a sparring match and you give and you take, but always done with great trepidation and hesitancy. You never want to appear forward of nosy. Mining for information has to be done slowly and with grace. (Americans are way too direct for Italians and Italians then conclude that all Americans are rude and uncultured.)