It has rained through the night, and yet we wake to find the sun pouring through the windows like an unexpected gift. Since we can’t let such largesse go to waste, we decide to head south to Arone and sample the sights there. But our car seemingly has other ideas and we find ourselves on the road to Spello. Who are we to question fate?
It seems fitting that on our last day in Umbria we revisit a town with which we fell in love. And, indeed, this second visit is even nicer than our first. The flowers are vibrant because of rain and the people are just as friendly as we climb higher and higher on the narrow stone steps and finally reach the crest the town. From there we can see the ancient Roman Arch and below us the panorama that is Umbria.
We even eat at the Bar Giardino again and sit in the same spot in the garden and are waited on by the same cheerful waitress. As we await the cooked ham, mushroom and artichoke flatbread sandwich, I wax philosophical and wonder whether we leave a part of ourselves in a place we love or whether we take a part of that place with us. Perhaps we do both.
We said as much to Mike’s niece yesterday when we met for lunch in Colfiorito. We had chosen this place because it is halfway between Annita’s home in Civita Nova Alta and Sig. Ettore’s farm, but we had no idea what to expect as we drove the by-now familiar zigs and zags of the ‘little mountains’ until we suddenly and unexpectedly arrived onto level flatland. We had reached the top of a mountain!
So we had lunch on the top of a mountain in a small hotel in Colfiorito, and if the place was calm and peaceful, our conversation was animated. Annita is passionate about politics—i.e. Berlusconi. He is anathema, a man of no morals, a disgrace to Italy. “Thirty percent of our young people are unemployed because of the policies set by that man,” she told us. “He has stolen money from the government, cut services, weakened education.” In short, Berlusconi must go.
These views were echoed by everyone we met during our trip in Umbria. Young people have begun a conversation by asking what we thought of Berlusconi. Others simply shake their heads and say that, hopefully, he is on his way out. But politics in Italy seem to be as confusing as politics are anywhere in the world, and nothing can be done immediately.
In the mean time life will go on. We will take the train to Rome tomorrow and from thence homeward. And once we are back on familiar soil, we will, I know, look to our right every morning hoping to see Trevi sitting high on the crest of the hill.