Yes, me banging on about how the weather is disappointing is no more. It is finally hot dry and sunny! It is a bit of a shock to the system though as I was hoping for a nice slow steady increase in temperature to acclimatise but no, it is suddenly hot. But I am not complaining, honest… Now the fire is no longer in use and the ceiling fan is on during the night. We are not part of the heatwave covering northern and central Europe thank goodness, but it has basically been around 30°C since the start of June.
The lidos and bars have their sunbeds and parasols out on the beach, waiting for people to swim and sunbathe. More and more people are visiting, as the schools close for the summer from the second week in June until mid September. The roads are gradually getting more visiting and passing traffic. It is also getting busy by us, the other properties which are normally empty, have people staying. Luckily so far, they are nice, although we sometimes struggle to communicate. But it is fun.
It is basically heating up in all ways.
If you have noticed, I am a bit later with my post this month but thought I would wait until the festival Scalea in Piazza happened. I will tell you about that later.
So, what has happened this month?
John had to renew his UK passport. We thought it would be a nightmare as we are now living here, but still not officially residents (yes, we are still waiting to hear about that). So, we could not get the passport sent to us here as there is no proof of residency. But after speaking to a few people there, the passport office said we can get it sent to a UK address. Yay!
We sent John’s passport to the passport office by registered Italian Post (Poste Italiane) after renewing online and had the new one delivered to John’s daughter. That whole process was mighty quick, it had taken just over a week. So, as we wanted to get it back ASAP, we arranged for it to be sent to us by Parcel Force Global Express 1 working day. But after the 2 working days, it did not arrive. Tracking showed it was at Paris… then it went to Milan, then Reggio Calabria. It actually took a week to get to us, after it enjoyed a full tour of Italy. It was a bit stressful though, as we were not sure if it would arrive or just forever enjoy a holiday around the country. But, thank goodness it did arrive and now John doesn’t feel like he is an illegal immigrant anymore. But it did prove that Global Express is a complete waste of money, as normal post gets to us in the same amount of time!!
San Giorgio Albanese
We visited a different part of Calabria this month. A beautiful hilltop town call San Giorgio Albanese. Apparently, it was one of the many places in south of Italy where people from Albania escaped from the Ottoman invasion between the 14th and 18th century. I think it is a quintessential Italian hilltop town. It is very high and the views are just stunning.
The reason we were there, was that Tony (our estate agent friend) just happened to talk to someone called Roy on a flight to or from the UK. He is born in Britain, but his parents ran away from San Giorgio and Italy to the UK just as WWII were starting. He told Tony that there are quite a few properties there for sale. So, he had to visit, and we had to go along, with me taking walk-through videos of the properties and John taking photos.
It was a great experience. We visited about 10 properties and a few of the owners offered us drinks, usually their own homemade wine, which was very nice and seemed quite strong. One person even had a cellar with wine barrels, the old roman type vases/amphorae that in the past held wine and other products and we were given a glass to fill from the barrel and were also offered homemade salami.
During our visit, the Mayor had just been re-elected for a second term, a rare occurrence in Calabria apparently, and there was an evening event to celebrate. The locals all got involved, supplying free food, pancetta or sausage panini, some fried dough things and all sorts and of course free homemade wine. There was also a local band playing in the main piazza. It was great to see a small community coming together for a celebration. They are just really friendly people, happy to meet, have a chat and don’t really care if we don’t speak the language.
It was a great couple of days and the properties there are varied. Very interesting and great value, even to me, someone who knows nothing about property.
Scalea in Piazza
During the last few days in June, Scalea held a performing arts festival called Scalea in Piazza. There were street artists who each set up in a different piazza to entertain the crowd. There was a jazz type band who went from piazza to piazza, a juggler who had flaming batons and balanced on a circular piece of apparatus, a comedy type entertainer who was swallowing swords and doing all sorts for a laugh. There were also some traditional type toys which were on the street for all to play with. The kids seemed to be having a great time playing with the wooden puzzles and toys, I guess it is different from plastic or mobile phone or tablet games. There were more things happening around the town, but we didn’t have a chance to see it all.
But one thing we did see which was quite dramatic, was something called Piccolo Nuovo Teatro (Small New Theatre). It was a grand production where the cast were on stilts and there was fireworks and other pyrotechnic effects. I was mesmerised. I thought it was just unexpectedly brilliant, as at the beginning I had no idea what the show would be.
If you are interested, further information about the festival in Italian is on the websites www.scaleainpiazza.it and www.piccolonuovoteatro.it
Hope it comes back next year.
I will sign off now as I have to get ready for our weekly Sunday night out at our closest restaurant Il Corsaro, the owners and staff are great and of course so is the food.
And that is that, June is over, looking forward to see what July will be like.