Saturday, February 15, 2014

Settling into a routine in San Salvatore

Saturday, February 15
We docked at Savona Wednesday, which marked the end of our Mediterranean cruise. We had to transfer trains at Genova, Viareggio and Lucca before finally pulling into San Salvatore at 4 p.m.  We thought we’d buy some milk, juice, cereal and something for dinner at Matteo’s little grocery store, but in true Italian tradition, it was closed. Lucy had thought this might be the case, because for some reason, little grocery stores usually are closed on Wednesday afternoons. It’s one of the “charms” of the country.

Luckily, the Conad chain store in Chiesanuova is not as charming, and Luca took us there after he collected us and our luggage. We grabbed a few essentials and arrived “home” at the Casolare dei Fiori and cooked up some pasta in the same comfy apartment that we have lived in part time since 2011. We spent most of Thursday taking it easy, and then yesterday morning Luca and Roberta backed up their van with all of our kitchen supplies and furniture, and we spent much of Valentine’s Day leisurely unpacking. Lucy is still fighting a cough she picked up on the cruise, so she has to take it slow.

I did go out early to a local nursery and bought her some flowers that Suzye requested I deliver on her behalf, and later I rode my bike back to Conad to buy more food. On the way back, Ivo Seghieri flagged me down and welcomed us back, bringing me up to date on some local news. He is without doubt the friendliest and most colorful person we have met here, and talking to him always renews my motivation to improve my language skills so I can get to know him even better.

Ivo on his barn roof, trimming
a fruit tree.
In our one-sided ten-minute conversation, he told me that it had been warm but very rainy this winter and his wife was still in Russia dealing with her mother’s and her own health issues. He also told me that cousin Libero had died unexpectedly last fall, which was a big blow to Libero’s family and also to Ivo, because the two were close to the same age and had grown up together. He said it was a good reminder to appreciate life and live it simply and free of concerns over money, possessions and other worldly cares. From what little I know about Ivo, he could be the poster boy for this type of life, as he always seems cheerful and content. His farm provides many of his needs, and the countryside also supplies him with wild herbs, mushrooms and snails, all of which he has learned to use from his contadino upbringing.

I took my first trip to the church archives Friday evening and started the slow process of trying to find a record of every Spadoni born in Ponte Buggianese prior to 1920. The idea is that if I encounter more Spadonis who came from this town, I can easily place them into the family tree if they can give me the names of their grandparents or great grandparents. Of course if I really wanted to do a thorough job, I’d have to do the same for the archives of about twenty other small parishes in the region. That’s probably not going to happen unless I move here full time or live to be around 100.

The Ponte Buggianese church records begin in 1635 and I discovered that the first Spadoni born there was Lorenza, in 1637, and the second was her cousin Lorenzo, in 1638. This shows that the Spadonis were among the first to move to this lowland area when the lakes and swamps were drained. Lorenzo is in my family line, and I had not discovered his birth before. I had previously thought that his brother Lorenzo, born in 1628 in Stignano, was my ancestor, but apparently he died as an infant, and shortly afterwards the family moved to Ponte Buggianese.

Today Lucy will continue to unpack while I turn my hand to some writing and editing. I hope to have a book manuscript ready when we return in May and then see if I can find a publisher. We will also continue to work on our language lessons with the Rosetta Stone program. But hopefully I won’t spend all of my time sitting on my
culo. We have brought with us two books about hikes that we can take in Toscana and Umbria, and we hope to try some of these out in March and April.

1 comment:

  1. Ah hiking in Italy. Now that sounds enjoyable! Ivo sounds like such a pleasure.



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