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The Venticello is Gone With the Wind

We arrived here two weeks ago to the most amazing weather.  It was hot – in the 90s – but very low humidity and and the most delicious breeze, the venticello.  That breeze kissed your face and brushed your body with a gentle coolness that made you feel like a goddess frolicking around Mt. Olympus.  And we were in heaven.  It was the best welcome we could have asked for.  After divesting ourselves of most of our worldly goods, quitting my job, and giving up any official ties to Atlanta, we were pretty frazzled.  As stressful as that sounds, it was about 100 times worse than you could imagine.  Then we got here and the Italian sun was shining on us and the breeze from the gods was filling us with all the scents and sensations of Tuscany.  It was magical.

This week, that breeze stopped.  It’s hot here – around 100 – with bright sunshine most every day and almost no breeze.  You really can’t go out between about 2:00 – 7:00 without feeling like you’re going to melt.  I know now why they have the siesta in the heart of the afternoon.  We still have low humidity and thank God for that.  But that wonderful breeze is gone.  And most places here don’t have AC, including our house.  We marvel at how cool it stays, especially on our first floor.  When you walk in from the outside it feels like you’re stepping into an air-conditioned room.

We’re finally getting the hang of the whole window thing.  Every window in Italy has a set of shutters on the outside and a set on the inside.  It’s a window sandwich.  I’ve always noticed that they

keep the exterior shutters closed almost all the time.  We like to throw them all open to let in that glorious light.  However, doing that also lets in that oppressive heat.  I opened the interior shutters on one of the windows the other day and could feel the heat radiating from the window.  I promptly closed them.  Now we keep most of the exterior shutters closed during the day and during the worst of the heat we close the windows and the interior shutters.  It does an amazing job of keeping things cool(ish).

Lemon and Strawberry – Yum!

The only reason to venture out during the middle of the afternoon is for gelato.  We did that today, which is, I think, the absolute hottest of the hot days.  It did wonders for us while we were sitting in the shade eating it.  Then we had climb back up the hill in the blazing sun.  We were very proud of ourselves for doing it – it was like some kind of initiation that we passed.

The temperature drops between 7:00 and 8:00 pm by about 7 to 10 degrees.  That’s when people start to escape their shuttered homes and live outside again.  It gets down into the 60s at night, which is delightful.  The world comes alive after 7:00 and we are right there with it.  Tonight we’re going to Citerna, a really, really small village nearby, to an outdoor concert.  Tomorrow night we’re going to an outdoor dinner and concert in another really, really small village nearby.

So for now we are adapting to this new environment – venticellos, no venticellos, hot Mediterranean sun, cool Mediterranean evenings, and window sandwiches.  We take it all one day at a time, because, after all, tomorrow is another day.


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