I wandered out for a little in the morning to get my head shaved (“Posso avere un zero, per favore?”, along with the mime of a razor going over my head from front to back). Sadly I don’t know the name of the business, but it was on the corner of Via dei Sarti and Via delle Prigioni. He was an older gentleman, and a few other men were hanging around inside and gossiping incessantly with him. Is this a normal thing in older barber’s in Italy? Anyway, it was nice to see. When getting my head shaved, sometimes I only spend 4-5 minutes in the chair, but this old pro took his time – he was methodical and exacting, and did a great job – I spent about 15 minutes in there. I’m not too sure about outside the old town, but a headshave is €14-€15 – a bit more expensive than back home. Once he was done, I mumbled “Sono molto bello ancora.”, and he had the good grace to smile at my attempt at humour, and, wonder-of-wonders, he didn’t wince when I handed over a €50 note to pay!
At around 14:15, thought, I grabbed a couple of sandwiches from La Sosta del Priore for lunch. Elena (I think that’s her name) knows me by name now – so that’s good service. I hope to return the favour and ensure I remember hers. On holidays, I get so fixated with sitting down in restaurants to get something to eat, when some of the best stuff you can find is street-food, and so it was a long time before I tried this place. Anyway, if you’re in the area and are peckish – give them a shot. Their Tripadvisor score is 4.5 after nearly 1,000 reviews. Anyway, I got a porchetta (roast stuffed pork) sandwich, with caramelised onions and pecorino. *Drool*
When the shops re-opened in the afternoon, we realised we’d have to get the ingredients and makings for food for the next couple of days. We knew that tomorrow (today, as of the publication of this!) was Ferragosto. This holiday is celebrated on the 15th of August every year and conincides with the religious feast of the Assumption. A great many Italians take the day off and spend it with friends and family.
As it falls on a Thursday this year, I suspect that many will also take the Friday off and make an extra-long weekend of it. With this in mind, we headed out to get meat, condiments and veggies for meals. We noted that the insurance office below us was taking advantage of an extra-long weekend, and it turns out so was our local greengrocer. We headed up Via Gramsci to go to another one, passing the owner/manager of La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo (we’ll eat there again soon!), Roberto, was outside talking with friends. He gave us a friendly wave and hello as we went past. We found that one shut too, and so headed past Roberto who nodded and smiled at us again. We had decided to look for chicken breast in the butchers, and were halfway back down Gramsci, when I suggested we just get everything in the Co-Op supermarket. Our walk to the car, took us past Roberto yet again in a matter of a minute, who looked at us amusedly, saying “And one more time!”.
We got almost everything we needed in the Co-Op for a beef ragú for one day, and chicken and veg stir-fry for another. We have a residents parking permit, but it doesn’t guarantee you a spot. We have ridden our luck a lot in our favoured car-park, and once again managed to grab the last place upon our return. After a nice little struggle up those stairs to our apartment, we settled in for more relaxation.
That evening, I had a second go at making an all’olio, aglio e peperoncino dish, this time correctly using spaghetti. Still a little undersalted, but better again than my last time.
It was tasty enough – and is a nice and light pasta dish to have if you’re not ravenous!
Later on that evening I went on patrol to check out what was happening about town. It was a lot quieter than it had been over the weekend! There was something going on in the pinacoteca (art gallery), but I’m not sure what it was. People were dressed-up a little and stopping to pick up a brochure at a table outside. I moved along, and somehow ended up with gelato from L’Isola del Gusto… don’t know how it happened, but I wasn’t complaining!
This morning, I decided to see if I could walk fully around the walls of the old town, and I made it. Some days, I struggle, some days I feel great… this was one of those latter days! Here is my route (click it to view a larger version – walking clockwise, about 4.3km):
Naturally, I took some shots along the way.
You can clearly see the Tyrrhenian on the horizon today – that’s over 30km away.
Today, being our first Ferragosto here, we have no idea what will happen, but expect that most businesses will be closed, and that the traffic will be cataclysmic around the town. We couldn’t belive how busy it was on Pasquetta (Easter Monday), when we were over here for a couple of weeks in April. Nonetheless, we’ll head out and about to see what’s what, and report back.
As we are collecting a guest tomorrow morning, we’ll have to tidy the house, empty some of the wardrobe in the guest room (we’ll have no wardrobe in the master room, until it gets delivered towards the end of the month). Fun times. It also means that there will likely be no blog tomorrow, but they will recommence on Saturday.
Ciao, and to anyone from Italy reading this: Buon Ferragosto!