A house coming to life
Our last summer, actually the first summer IN the house, was determined by two phases:
First, we were still hectically arranging the house to move - ourselves - in, and prepare the basics for our first guests to come.
Second, we were finally spending our first holidays together with friends and family in our new Italian home.
Our dream came true:
Having a holiday house by the sea
to reunite with friends and family
while living abroad
In Summer with friends (part I), I described the arrival of our first guests - a dear German family with two kids from my hometown Stuttgart. Our time together was like a dream where girlfriends would chat and have drinks, the men would chat and cook, the kids would run around, eat and play - and from time to time - between meals and drinks - we would walk to the beaches to cool down in the crystal clear sea.
But if you ever wondered, what happened in Summer with friends (part II), I have to admit, it just continued that easy going way:
The morning, after my lovely German friends had left....
|guest departure accompanied by running JUVE fan|
Our helper Rosy did a great job, like always, mainly de-sanding the floors from sand that had fallen off sandy feet - and cleaning after Angelo, who was still working in our "guest residence" downstairs in the garden floor.
I had sent our second visitors, an Italian family from the Veneto, the same picture as last time to indicate the left turn into the pizza.
So, in the evening of their arrival, I was waiting there, at the entrance to the piazza and looking for their rented car to come in sight. It was then, when I suddenly thought I had run out of sparkling wine and went across the street to buy a bottle of prosecco for a welcome drink. Of course, when I was standing at the cashier waiting for the change, they had arrived. So we couldn't do it as last time (one of the visitors gets out of the car and walks with L to the house while I would sit in the car and give direction). But there was no need. The piazza was so crowded in the evening that the car could only drive at walking pace, and through the narrow alleys, you are even faster by walking.
After dropping the luggage we went for a "pizza in piazza". And here we were sitting, a large Italian family: our new guests, the cousin of my mother-in-law, his teenage son, his wife, my friend, and the wife's brother - together with my small family, and the Italian parents-in-law.
Meanwhile it was August. The piazza crowded with locals and tourists from other parts of Italy and Europe. We had to wait very long until our dinner finally was served.
Same on the beaches, people everywhere. But my guests, coming to Calabria for summer holiday since many years, knew how to find the good spots:
|Torre at Briatico beach in August - not far from Pizzo by car|
When it was becoming too hot at the beach, we would drive home for lunch and an afternoon nap.
|Italian lunch time ...|
There was a slight difference, between the German and the Italian during preparing lunch:
Italian men leave the kitchen territory preferably to the ladies! - The pic above shows them totally concentrating, almost meditating, over their laptops, iPad and guitar. - And there were less aperitifs too... (probably its the Germans fulfilling the Italian cliche when in Italy).
For the music, with a music addict teenager in the house, we would listen mainly to rock bands. Not only the new stuff, but also the good old Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Very educational for my little boy...
|local fruit for desert|
|cipolla di Tropea, pomodori e chili di Calabria|
For cooking we used the fresh locally grown products, like sweet onions from Tropea (cipolla di Tropea), super tasty tomatoes and Calabrian chili - displayed in my new orange Murano glass bowl.
For desert we would just serve fruits on a fruit plate and cut a melon.
|Italian light summer lunch with salad, bread, wine, and pasta|
Italians don't eat bread for breakfast (that much), but for lunch they need to have bread on the table (like the French). Here there was no time to unpack the bread for a more beautiful setting... so it's still in the brown paper bag on the table. - And if there is no fresh bread, a pack of kind of crackers will do too to accompany the pasta (and mozarella, and salad):
|pasta with tonno a la Fiore|
These pics (above and below) were taken by my friend - the wife of the cousin of my mother-in-law - and I hope, she does not mind I post them here on my blog. I like them! Grazie!
|2 1/2 Italians|
The garbage collectors in Pizzo usually come every day through our street. But for the long weekend of Ferragosto, everyone, included garbage collectors, are at the beach. So, for a couple of days, lots of garbage was piling up in front of our house... and I don't want to imagine the smell...
But I cannot finalise a post with rubbish. - Therefore, I am posting another beautiful pic by my friends, who liked the view from our balcony, especially when small fisher boats pass by:
We needed to fly back to Bangkok before our guests left Pizzo for northern Italy, because son's international school starts in the middle of August. - I am sure, they enjoyed their last days of holidays, without us. Although the house is much more lively and fun with lots of friends!
("Summer with friends (part I)" was written in September 2011 and can be found here)