July 30


Seli & Braho, your neighbors,  gave me more tomatoes; they have been so kind and generous.


Aug 1


Today’s excitement was going to Fornaci, via train.

With the onset of the August holiday, the train schedule is limited, so my best option was the 9:05 train.  I made it there in time, and the train was on time, too. The ticket validation machine is not working at Ghivz, so I just got on, yes, with a ticket. And here comes the ticket agent (she was bellisima, too), and she was checking all the people getting on. On the way back from Fornaci to Ghivz, I had the same train; it must have gone to Piazza al Serchio, and was returning. Same beautiful ticket agent and she checked all the tickets again. It has been my experience in Italy that they have been checking tickets regularly. I have been to the Pisa Aeroporto a few times, and they check every time between Pisa Central and the Aeroporto. The only time I was not checked was going from Firenze to Lucca. On a ride from Pisa to Lucca, the agent came through and checked everyone except me; I have no idea why. But the lesson is that I would not take a chance without a ticket, unless you are ready for the hassle of what might happen. They seem to have stepped up their checking. (for the summer)

Fornaci is a busy town. I see how people really get out and do their business in the mornings here, and then break for siesta. I did laundry.  I stopped at a bike shop to look for a spare part, but I may have to take the bike there to get it sorted out properly. Even with limited Italian, I manage to get my inquiries across, and to unerstand them.

I stopped for a drink and dolce (sweet)  before I returned to Casa La Pace.  Sitting along the main road. I was observing the old italian men who sit around in the morning and talk and drink. I am sure they have solved the world’s problems many times over.

Back at the Casa La Pace , I was messing around with the window blinds. I finally figured out the use of the blinds, inside shutters, and open/closed windows. In the summer it works well to have the (mini) blinds down, and mostly closed, to keep the heat of the sun off the windows. The existing blinds are quite effective at limiting the heat gain in the house. With the blinds down, windows closed, and the shutters open, there is a very pleasant cool light in the house, but no big blast of hot air coming in.

Off to Lucca tomorrow.