We extinguished the furnace in Rocca Malatina and moved our winter headquarters to Stimigliano. We brought our more tropical plants, yucca, begonia, jade, that we can leave outdoors at least for the time being.
On Friday, we drove to Rome where we were actually able to leave off a ballot at the US Embassy. We continued on to via Margutta, where we are going to be in our first ROME show in December. I was bursting with excitement with no one to go out and tell. When we got back to Stimi, we shared our news with some locals. One, Gianfranco at the bar, is going to show our work at this place, too.
On the way back we stopped at an out of the way restaurant, La Cuccagna, for lunch. It turned out to be one of those experiences where you felt like you were meant to meet this person all of your life. It was a restaurant that catered to those escaping Roman summers for fresh air and cool breezes. It could easily serve 200 people, but today it was just us and two other tables. The fire was lit, and the little girls who lived there were making selfie-music-videos. The owner took our order, and came out later to discuss the food. The “stringozzi cacio e pepe” was truly the best I ever had; the ravioli pumpkin very good. We shared an “abbaccio” of lamb for a second course, from sheep grazed nearby. I talked about how much I liked cooking, but was a painter. He wanted to know what we did in our lives to have made a living. He graduated from Berkeley music school in Boston in the 1970s, but returned to Italy to run the family business, which he was doing with his sister. A drum set and a big stage were vestiges of this past, and perhaps hints of the future.
The painting atmosphere around Stimgliano is considerably different from Roccamalatina – unfortunately we left the two paintings of fall color in the Apennines at the other house. The colors down here seem a bit faded, in shades of gold, pink and green: appliance colors from the 1960s. It has not stopped us from painting through our windows.
As you probably know, Italy has been devastated by bad weather triggered by the Sirocco. There is dust everywhere, and cleaning the house up North required two vacuum cleaner bags. The rain is likewise overwhelming and Harika’s exercise is minimal.
Tomorrow we are headed to Rome again, this time to mail a package from the Vatican, a service only available on Monday. It’s a lighter tourist day around there and I hope to see St. Peters. Although I am not religious, I feel good about people worshipping a supreme being other than the bank. We’ll hopefully drive to the sea afterward, weather permitting, and paint the sand.