Most Thurday mornings I go for a walk in Pisticci with a friend. The purpose being to spend some time together, explore Pisticci, practise our Italian, enjoy a coffee, and get some exercise.
Today was beautiful. Not too hot for walking, but hot enough to wear sandals and no need for a jacket.
We usually start off from my studio and taking our time and saying "Buon Giorno" to virutally everyone we meet , we stroll through Dirupo on the way into town.
At this time of year the light is fantastic and today the blue skies and tiled roofs, the white houses and the geraniums were so picturesque that we were obliged to stop every few yards to take another photo or chat to the man on the red scooter or take a detour up a narrow set of steps and then wonder if we had walked into someone's backyard. Even the washing blowing in the breeze looked pretty.
We could see the sea in the distance looking silvery in the sun and the mountains almost as blue as the sky. Am still wondering who lives in the tall house with the blue shutters. It rises up higher than any other building in Dirupo and used to be a bit of an eyesore before someone painted it and made it look pretty. I have heard that an artist lives there! We had all the time we liked to wonder and look about us.
We wind our way out of the narrow streets and then my friend stops to look at a woman putting something out to dry. She asks what it is - it's dried peppers- they are like crisps. She invites us in and shows us how she has made them, they are dried in the sun, and then apologises for not having many she could give us. While she is wrapping some up a neighbour pops her head in and says that she has plenty so we have to go to her house and get some more. We go into the next house and it is breathtakingly beautiful. From outside it looks like an ordinarily pretty Pisticci house but inside it has curved brick ceilings and goes on back into a sort of bricked cellar. It is like going back in time. I love this kind of building. To actually live in a house like this would be dream for me, but presumably it is normal here.
While she was putting some more dried peppers and tomatoes into a bag the owner said I could take photos. I did, but they don't really show what it was like.
Coming back into the sunshine in the street again, we thanked both ladies profusely .(Rosa and Grazia) and headed onwards and upwards marvelling at the kindness of strangers and bemoaning our lack of ability to speak better Italian. Not that we are not both of us, very good at using, faces, hands and bodies to talk. It is true that a lot of communication is done without words.
After meeting the man on the red scooter twice more, we reached the corsa and remarked on the fact that it was built so that you can always be in the shade. It was quite hot in the sun.
Leaving the Tabbacheria someone called out "Ciao Bella". Feeling 20 years younger we went into the cafe and ordered coffees. No sooner had we sat down (after our long but extremely slow and intermittent walk - so much for exercise!) than a man brought over a plate with a heap of pieces of chocolate on it and put it on the table. It was for us to taste. It is apparently wine flavoured chocolate. (So much for diet!)
It was very nice.
So after sampling about half of the chocolate, we left in great spirits and strolled off back towards the studio. As my friend said "Today everything looks beautiful" and I replied "That must be the secret of happiness, to appreciate all the little things - and in Pisticci there are just so many of them.