I Went to Italy

Sunday 20th October 2019

I visited the Marche and Abruzzo with Aunt Lavinia and Cousin Lavinia and Cousin Mathew. The best bit was trying to explain at the filling station that the petrol gauge of the car wasn’t working, then that we wanted more Screenwash. At one point we had three garage attendants attending, wielding mops. I was determined not to descend to Franglais or rather Italinglese. But finally had to give in. ‘Ah, Screenwash,’ they went. The second best bit was lunch with the Marchesa who didn’t speak English. We were taken by my cousin who lives in Italy. The Marchesa had self-cooked the lunch. Beforehand we viewed a papal lily pond with gazebo where the Pope in question had engaged in contemplation. There was strict placement at the lunch, arranged by the Marchesa who had to have two men either side, so that was two men who didn’t speak Italian necessarily. But it was amazing what could be done with minimal grammar and no tenses and quite a few prepositions missing. I wasn’t bored at all. I caught that we were having the ‘ultimi pomodori’ so I go, ‘Quando il stagione di pomodori commenca…?’ Not the right word for ‘begin’ but never mind. Had to make it up. Marchesa proceeds as if I spoke perfect Italian. Gives full account of the cultivation. Later remarked that her father had lived to 90 after a by-pass procedure or something like that but her mother had died young. In the drawing room I relayed all this to her husband who was English to check my comprehension. ‘Nonsense, her mother was 84,’ he said. The Marchesa must have said, ‘Piu giovedi’ and I only heard ‘giovedi.’

After that I had banter with the ticket seller in Raphael’s house in Urbino re: the number of Italinglese words that are creeping in. He had a sign above him which said, in English, ‘no concessions for over 65s’ (mean) then in Italian ‘niente di concessionze per over 65.’ ‘E les stesse parole,’ I go to the young man who wasn’t that bothered. I was explaining at lunch back in England the other day how Val worked out that ‘stessa’ (agreeing) must mean ‘the same’ when we overheard some people at Milan airport in about 1992 who were looking for a suitcase. ‘E la stessa coloure,’ they said gesturing to another case. Someone at the lunch remarked that it was such a boring story. Other Italinglese manifestations I came across are: ‘checkout’ and, as already mentioned, unfortunately, ‘Screenwash’.

We got some fab new recipes. The Marchesa did a risotto with peppers which she’d made up, she said. Peppers cooked to a puree, no skins. Her main was squid casserole which was excellent but I’d never attempt it myself. Her pudding was a baba, very light, just with cream. There was cheese course as well. Another day we had a superb artisanal lunch near L’Aquila. Three new pasta concepts: with basil cream (not pesto). Basil cream is with potatoes and onion to give body; with saffron and roasted tomatoes. Saffron is huge in Abruzzo. I also heard of a chicken with saffron. Finally flat strips of pasta which I’d never seen before with a mushroom and truffle sauce.

So that was Italy with Aunt Lavinia and Cousin Lavinia and Cousin Matthew. I’ll get onto the art and historic visiting later.

Nice Views near Pesaro in the Marche

Nice Views near Pesaro in the Marche

Sunset with Gas Cloud Effect

Sunset with Gas Cloud Effect

Gazebo Where a Pope Sat

Gazebo Where a Pope Sat

 

 

 

Posted Sunday, October 20, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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