|on a bridge in Venice|
My village is small, you can drive through it in 3 minutes or less. City Hall has a board that says we have 8,000 inhabitants but I think they are counting the people who live outside on their farms, and maybe a few deceased. This gives you an idea of the size. If you plan on moving to Italy I would suggest finding a village outside a large town, one with public transportation. That was our choice, and it was a good one.
|Those hills in the back are ancient volcanos. The wine from|
these hills is above average and worth investigating if you are here looking for wine.
|A foot and a half deep|
|Persimmon tree in back|
At the far end of my village a farmer has a plot of grapes. He makes enough wine for his family. There are other grape fields nearby, and the wine that comes from these grapes is exceptional. I took this shot as I was thinking most people have never seen a grape field in the Fall.
I like to see this kind of shop still making a go of it. I worry about this man when all the older people who wear only leather shoes die off and we are left with people who buy throw away shoes that are not of leather.
The workers wear red hats, and red aprons. They are paid a good salary that is not minimum wage, and the state of Italy has a wonderful health plan. The lady is always smiling (not fake) to see me and listen to me order in Italian.
Those dried fish you see are cod, caught near Norway. Italians make a dish called baccala, which can be served cold or hot. They eat a lot of this in the winter. I don't think that Italians understand about the over fishing of cod. I feel there is a need to be aware of this.
Walking in the center of the village you will find 4 bankomats. This is my "bank" that talks to my bank in America. It is difficult to have a bank account here and also is costly. They charge for the service. Forget about your money making interest in an account here. That interest would be sucked into the coffers of the banks!
To give you an idea of money exchange, right now a euro is worth $1.09 American, which is much better than what it was some months ago, at $1.39! Now that we will have a new president, I am sure this will change for the worse. People here do not have much faith in the future for America.
But only in Summer
Next door is the real estate shop, and on the left is a flower shop. I skipped the pharmacy a bit further back. That's it for the shops around the piazza.
Rounding the corner you see the furniture store. I think they have the weirdest furniture in that store. Actually, I think that Italian furniture styles are totally strange. Couches are inches off the floor and look uncomfortable. Chairs are small and look like they were designed for looks rather than comfort. Some of the stuff they have remind me of Danish furniture of the 50's.
I have never seen anyone in this store to buy anything in the past 6 years. I walk by this store everyday, never seeing a customer. I don't know how they stay in business! Maybe it is tax write off. BTW a HUGE majority of Italians but their furniture from IKEA. I think IKEA would be a good stock to buy if you are looking for an investment. Sunday we were there and parking places were full, people drove around for ten minutes to find a spot. (The parking lot is HUGE!)
|Italian style furniture|
Another window of the furniture shop shows this turquoise lamp. To me, this is hilarious, and might fit in with a southwest decor, but no one here knows what that is, unless the local American Hamburger joint needs to pick up a few more display items. I wrote about this place some time back.
Next we get to my vegetable shop. This guy is a hard worker, from 9:00 until 9:00 he is there providing fresh produce. He also sells several types of wine pumped from a barrel, nuts, and this month he is pushing chestnuts, which he roasts outside in a fancy roaster.
|Denis, my veggie guy|
Denis gets a little help from his family in running his shop. His mother comes quite often, and even his nephew was working their during the summer. You can see different dried beans behind Denis, and bags of potatoes. They call sweet potatoes, American potatoes, in Italy.
Denis also sells dried fruit, and lots of different kinds of nuts. Because of me he sometimes stocks avocados which we use to make guacamole. Avocados are kind of a new thing for Italians. I bet that 98 percent of all Italians have never tasted guacamole.
He also sells pinto beans and tomatoes in a can. Pinto beans in Italy are called Barlotti, while the small black beans are called Mexican beans.
|take home vino|
|Hot item, roasted chestnuts|
On the right you see bags of chestnuts. These are ready to roast and is a favorite of northern Italians. Chestnuts are roasted in the center of the city of Padova, and eaten like a snack food while you walk. BTW Italians don't usually eat and walk, but this is excusable.
During WWII food was scarce and chestnuts were gathered and made into flour. You can buy chestnut flour here, and I have brought some to some kind friends in America.
That is a trip around my quiet village. For some of my readers who are considering moving to Italy, this is how it is. Quiet, calm and crime free. Thank you all for taking the time to read the blog posts.
|Missing the great beer in Prague|