It is with great joy, we left the Adams Family and their castle to move on to the next high spot. When you see the pictures of the castle, you’ll think it doesn’t looks great. It is, in many ways. It has HUGE potential. Particularly once it gets some staff, luggage racks, physical access, a pool, bar, a bathroom bigger than a postage stamp, and other things you might expect in a hotel/castle. Telephone reception would also be nice as well as another occupant or two. I don’t need to have the all male “staff” to where uniforms, but something other than print Bermuda shorts and a clean shirt must be nice.
We made the two hour ride to Pistoria but not to the place we rented. That’s not ready until Saturday. I already have misgivings about it. I know it’s not luxe and don’t expect it to be. We small “typical” ancient farmhouse with fab views, so I expect that. But after the last few days, I’m worried. I have certain things that really make me nuts. Other things I can live with. Jim and I are SO alike EXCEPT on this one issue, particularly when we travel. Where the most important thing to him is the temperature of the room and can he get ice, the most important thing to me is does it have charm and do I love being in the room even though I’m rarely in it. I want to wake up and FEEL like I’m in the country I’m in. NOT THE USA. So if I look out over the Dolomites or the Pyrenees or vineyards, or look up and see wooden beams from the 17th century, I’m happy.
The amazing thing about the Adams Family castle it was started in 600. Not as in 600 years ago but as in 600!! And you’d believe it if you saw the place. We had to leave breadcrumbs to find each other. I discovered from the morning guy who spoke some English that the place was no under the ownership of the municipality since the actual owner died several years ago. If you have to depend on the Italian government to get something done, forget it. They’re notorious and for good reason. The more time we spend here, the more sense we get about the Italian mentality which is SO different then ours obviously and even the Spanish and French. A very anarchist spirit runs through this country. There always has been.
P.S. I do NOT blame anyone for not speaking English, I only blame myself for ONLY speaking English. My father spoke FIVE languages. I barely get by with my native tongue. Speaking of my father, he was engaged to an Italian woman but gave her up when his mother said not to bring her home. It saddens me to know so little about him and, in particular that I learned about from a now deceased aunt. Her father was the mayor of his town or city or village or whatever. That’s all I know. I wonder what city the woman was from? Italian was one of the languages my father spoke, obviously.
Anyway, the Adams family castle and the entire city was essentially abandoned after World War II. It’s only in more recent years people have begun to return, making an effort to revitalize the tiny and very beautiful city. Since the more direct road to the castle remained blocked, we used the excuse of Jim’s age to leave saying he couldn’t make the mile trip up and down the rock/cobblestone streets every day in the blazing sun. It is REALLY hot here. Not to mention it was a HARROWING ride to get from the castle. We had to have someone drive us while I closed my eyes!
As soon as we were back on the road, the entire energy shifted. We felt SO relieved to get out of the place. Even Jim admitted that it was spooky and labeled it the staff the Adams family. Except for one young waitress who was lovely and sane. Her ONLY problem was that she, like the rest of the so called staff, wore some form of sweet perfume ala Shalimar or White Shoulders. I loved that fragrance in high school. But then I took a big turn. I HATE perfumed anything, any unnatural scent, and I immediately get either nauseated or a headache.
So the san fragrance lovely man, David, the rental agent, whom we rented the house we’re going to Saturday, also owns charming apartments. We’re staying in one of his place 10 km from where we move to Saturday. The apartment is tiny but sweet and charming and perfect for the next two days. Normally, I would’ve been on the internet, trying to find the perfect hotel to make up for last night. I’ve either become older or less neurotic.
Pistoia, where we’ve staying and never been, looks fabulous. The two hour ride getting here from the castle was extraordinarily. We saw snow in the far mountains which makes me think we looking at the Alps in the distance. I have to look it up. The formation of the mountain and height makes me think it was Alps, but I’ll have to Google it. My geography stinks.
So while I write this, Jim and the mutts are cuddled up in bed. Theirs a restaurant attached which if it is half as good as the decor, I’ll be thrilled. Today consisted of a half focaccia sandwich with – you guessed it – prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula and tomato and a glass of Prosecco. Trust me, I could live off the fat of the land for a long LONG time. Although I have now set a record of being in Italy for 48 hours and having yet had a gelato!
So, in the scheme of things, are these big problems? No! They’re just the kind of bullshit you have when you’re on holiday in countries where you don’t speak the language, book things on the internet and hope for the best because you’re an eternal optimist! Life would be a LOT easier if I kept expectations lower. Optimism can be a curse.