Passo a Campagna
Walk in the Country
Out of the villa we had several easy walks. The best through the hamlet of Rapioli and turn down the rolling side road and along the ridge. Three or four hillside medieval villages in view, the odd farm even a castle or two. Hill tops decked with woods, lower down the olive groves and the vineyards. Ploughed fields with heavy clods ready for the winter seed and sunflowers once so bright and hopeful, now black with death.
But our favourite this year was along another ridge with its views across the Tiber valley to Montecastello. Down a pine grove to the big house with its cats and young caged dog. I had to explain to a friend that if they were going to talk to dogs they had to speak in Italian. Along a track past a mellow fruitful fig tree and down into the valley.
Up a long track to the farm houses, here dogs on chains gave a punk rock concert and then back onto the road. Here was the village cemetery. The rows of mausoleums like neat council houses , complete with their dull plastic flowers and boring photos, all defying Italian style, taste and charm. But none are deserted or left to ruin. Here families still rule OK.
On the way home down the hill we would pass homeowners and farmers. Bon Journo, Bonna Sera we would wave. They would reply, we hadn’t a clue so we would smile the gormless, illiterate rictus of the well meaning tourist. One day inspired such pleasantries I picked wild flowers. Blues, purples, pinks, yellows, not a bad bunch. Back in our hamlet two old ladies were on a terrace. Could have been a very ancient mother and daughter. Hardly a white tooth between them. I gave them the flowers. Brexit, they have to know what they are losing.