Saturday morning is the most lively time of the week in Pineto in the winter. The streets in the center are overtaken with market stalls. Vendors sell socks, underwear, household goods and a variety of clothes. Many people are out for a passeggiata. There are lots of bambini in strollers.
I bought a small piece of ribbon from a stall with sewing thread, scissors and buttons. I barely bought a foot or 30 centimeters. When I asked “quant’è?”, “how much”, the vendor waved me goodbye with that friendly flick of the fingers that they use here. He didn’t want any money.
The food market at the edge of downtown is also in full swing on Saturday. There are many fruit and vegetable stands, as well as cheese, porchetta, salame, dried beans and honey. I bought brown rice or rici integrale at a stand and the man started to speak to me in English. I told him I was trying to speak Italian. Later, I realized that I had just used a phrase from the lesson I took with an online teacher via Skype the previous night. I also realized that I used it wrong. Provo a parlare is correct for I try to speak. I said provo di parlare. When to use “a”, when to use “di” and when to use absolutely no pronoun between the two verbs is confusing and a matter of memorization. My teacher grouped the verbs together in a logical organization, but it will take practice.
I watched the crowds and bought a few apples at the stand where people were filling bags with apples. One of the men at the stand started to loudly hawk their offerings. I didn’t understand a word of it, but it was like music. I continued to be amazed at the fresh tomatoes and artichokes in January. My bag was gettting heavy when I bought a head of Romaine lettuce at another stand and handed the vendor one euro. He motioned for me to wait. He came around and put my lettuce in a bag where he had already placed a large cabbage. Now my bag was heavy and my heart was light.
While sitting in the pines and viewing the sea, Karen rewrapped my sprained ankle (mia storta alla caviglia). The bandage (la fasciatura) that I bought at the farmacia had the sticky part on the wrong side according to Karen. She deftly fashioned a donut with some cloth she had, placed the donut around my outer ankle joint and wrapped tightly. Her advice was to walk in the sand, ride a bike and take my first day of hiking easy.
I rented a bike not far from my B&B and rode on the bike trail to the northern edge of the town where the path turned to gravel. I passed campsites and public beaches. Atri, a hilltown I visited on my last Italian trip, was on a hill in the distance. As I rode back to the southern end of town, I found a group enjoying bocce ball.
After I returned the bike, I talked to Julie who I had met online. Julie, an amiable midwestern woman, married an Italian whose family owns a hotel in Pineto. She arranged for me to meet Vito who could help me with obtaining dual US/Italian Citizenship. Vito helps applicants from South America and has an apartment in Roseto degli Abruzzi where he houses people while they acquire their citizenship. This typically takes three months in Italy. I had an appointment at the Italian Consulate in Chicago set for late November to hand in my application and documents for citizenship. The latest news online was that it would take 2 years after your appointment in Chicago to hear that your citizenship was finalized. Vito could do it in three months and I had an apartment lined up. His prices were not too bad, but of course much more expensive than Chicago. I grabbed a slice of pizza and walked quickly to Julie’s family hotel.
Julie interpreted as Vito does not speak English and my Italian is intermediate at best. Vito has been a friend of Julie’s family for a long time and I felt comfortable that he was reliable and professional. I showed him images of my grandparents’ birth certificates and we talked about the logistics. At one point, Julie was called away to work at the desk and we talked with no interpreter. I understood maybe half of Vito’s conversation. This was all very exciting. At my age, 3 months versus 2 years seems like a big difference. I walked back to my room with the satisfaction of having accomplished two goals – I found an apartment in Pineto and a way to gain my citizenship more efficiently.
I moved to a B&B, Sogni D’Oro Guesthouse, closer to the town center with a view of the hills from my balcony. When I booked through Booking.com, I did not need to use my Italian to make the reservation. To add a day to the reservation or to check in I had to call the owner … Continue reading →
I left Rome in a downpour. While walking to the Metro, someone behind me talked. I thought that I had dropped something. He was trying to sell me an umbrella. My new rain jacket with hood was working just fine. Right then I wished that I knew an Italian swear word.
I took the Metro from Termini to Tiburtina and then found the bus depot. Later in the day, I saw a photo of Metro stairs with water pouring down. Both the Red and the Blue lines were closed for part of the day.
Luckily I found the bus depot easily and bought my ticket with some time to spare. The map shows the bus route from Rome to Pineto. There were many tunnels and much rain. At one point we went through a tunnel and there was no rain. The driver continued on through another tunnel and the rain returned. The bus made several stops when we got close to the Eastern seaboard. I asked the driver to let me off at the Hotel Lunik in Pineto. Then I walked to my hotel on the northern side of the town.
Calascio is the red dot above the line and near Santo Stefano di Sessanio.
My first view of the Adriatic as I walked to my hotel.
This was the door to the balcony.
The room was advertised as having a sea view. If I stood on the balcony, I could see the sea.
The room was newly painted and the owner was working on updating the hotel.
During the night, I could hear a storm coming in from the Adriatic. Suddenly, along with the noise of the tempestuous wind, there were loud scraping noises downstairs. I realized that when I came in there were two entry doors. One door was sitting in its frame, but the wall was not finished around the frame leaving gaps open to the outside. I think the owner was trying to fix this before the storm hit. So I had another night with little sleep.