July 25th

I wake up first at about 9:00am. The house is quiet and dark with all the shutters closed. It is a perfect temperature in the house, and the light that does filter through makes the home look beautiful and peaceful. I walk out onto the cobbled street and find somewhere to buy cappuccinos. I come back with croissants and coffee. I am enthralled with this place. Every local greets me with a smile, and I get the local discount, as they think I am a Saggese.

John is nursing a hangover, but after coffee, we take  his niece for a walk around the village square. The water fountain provides the best fresh water, and everyone stops by to fill their water bottles for the day. We drink some of this lovely water, watch the kids play in the square, play in the park, and eventually head back.

In the afternoon, we drive to another tiny village for a late lunch. As we head over, we see another storm move in, and just as we get to the restaurant, the heavens open up, and we are whipped with winds, hail, torrential rains and the thunder and lightning are right above us. The streets flood. We run into the restaurant as soon as there is a break. The restaurant opens on demand, and it is basically like being invited into someone’s home here in Italy. Everything is fresh cooked for us right there and then, and they just keep bringing food and wine out. It was delicious.

By the time we are done, the sun is out and the storm has moved on. We drive down to the river, and on the way see a sheep herder with all his sheep. The light is beautiful.

Later that evening, we go to someone’s 18th birthday party. 18 is a big year hear in Italy – like our 21st birthdays in the USA. It is a little overwhelming when you don’t understand much, but everyone is so welcoming and friendly, that in the end, it does not matter how many words you understand. They make a huge effort to communicate and make you feel very welcome.

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John nursing hangover and trying to wake up
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Niece running through fields
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Desiree and niece
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Train station in Sicignano
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Castle in Sicignano
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Views from Sicignano
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Sicignano

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Morning visit from niece
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Drinking water at village fountain
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Using floor mat as shield against pounding rain
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Watching from the safety of the restaurant
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Hail on the car
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As the storm rages and floods the roads
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Sheep with herder

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