Thursday, May 5, 2011

La vita quotidiana a Zagarolo

An olive tree and rose bushes frame the path to the house.

Daily life in Zagarolo

Now that the sun has been out for several days, I find that I have a little slice of paradise in my new home. For instance, while I write this, I'm sitting on the patio in the sun, listening to a variety of birds that are hanging out in the numerous trees in the yard. There are fig, plum, olive, cherry, hazelnut, and almond trees, along with one tall pine, of the variety that produces the expensive pine nuts that are used to make pesto. Wild rose bushes are in bloom throughout the yard, and several varieties of wildflowers are scattered here and there in the grass. Numerous wind chimes play a variety of melodies in the breeze. There must be a good acre of land here, as it's easily three times the size of my yard in Kansas. In the background, I can hear a rooster crowing.

A fig tree up close; an olive tree, a cherry tree and the orto in the background.

There is also a small orto, or vegetable garden. Tomatos, red lettuce, arugula, and artichokes were the only plants started when I arrived, but I added about 20 basilico plants, bought at the Saturday market for 1 euro. Not one euro apiece, like they would be at home. No, there were about 30 small plants in a container that cost one euro. In addition to basil, there are huge bushes of sage, rosemary and thyme. Now if only I were a better cook! But I'll soon have two of the main ingredients for making pesto: basil and pine nuts.

More of the yard, with the pine tree in the background.

I've discovered that the sun shines on the southeast side of the house and patio for several hours in the morning, and comes around to shine for several hours on the west side in the late afternoon. So I try to take advantage of that time, sitting in the sun to write, read, or just savoring the ambiance of the setting. In the evening, if I walk down to the end of the yard, I can see lovely sunsets over the hills of Rome. It's lonelier here than it was in Florence, but at least I have the cats for company, and all of nature. Somehow, it feels more satisfying to be in such a peaceful, lush environment.

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