I am often asked how many people were on the transhumanza. The number changed daily. Sometimes it changed part way through the day as people met up with us or left early. Here is what I remember.
An American family living in Rome: a mother, father, two sons and a niece from Portland, Oregon. Because the sons were preparing to audition for a place in an orchestra, they left at times to practice.
A British family: The mother and father own a house in the French Alps and the grown daughter lives in Vancouver British Columbia.
A British couple: He painted wonderful watercolors in his sketchbook and claims to never make any watercolors bigger than the landscapes he produced on this trip. She was lively and friendly making for a great hiking companion.
An American woman from Alabama who lives in Kyoto where her partner teaches American history: She was working at the farm for 5 weeks on a trip devoted to studying organic agriculture in Italy. We spent many hours together hiking. She was happy to find another “single woman” on the trip. She tried to advise me to be a balanced woman and sometimes do things for myself. I assured her that I was an artist and possessed a healthy dose of selfishness. I felt a connection to her very quickly because my son just returned from a Rotary Youth Exchange in Japan. We talked about many things, including the differences between the Japanese and the Italian cultures.
An Italian mother and daughter: The teenage daughter was the same age as the American niece from Portland
An Italian woman who generously taught me Italian when we hiked together.
A Northern Italian hippie couple who drove a VW style van. I thought they would have been family friends if they lived in Eau Claire. They were also on the WWOOF program to learn about organic farms. They stayed on to work at the farm. We had many wonderful conversations, but I am afraid they were mostly in English and the man sometimes felt left out of the conversations.
An Italian couple: I did not talk to them very often. He is the one who took my picture with the big loaf of bread and often helped to pour wine from the big jugs. She had blond hair tied back with a headband. They definitely seemed like experienced hikers.
Italian sisters from Pescara: They interpreted for the English speakers whenever needed. They spend lots of free time at the farm and treat Nunzio, the owner, as an uncle. They would like to own some property in the country, but Anversa is too far from Pescara for a daily commute.
Young Italian couple with a five year old daughter and younger son: They hiked enthusiastically with us during the first day. On the second day, they met up with us in Scanno.
Another American Family living in Rome: The parents and tween daughter and son. They are friends with the first American family, but arrived the second day. They were soon moving back to America for a change in assignment. The husband works with food aid and the wife is an artist.
An Italian man and his Italian speaking Guatemalan wife: They were very friendly. I muddled through my first long conversation in Italian with him. I was so thrilled. We were comparing Catholicism and Buddhism. I am sure I do not know how to say pray, but we communicated.
An Italian man with a big camera: He was there for some of the trip.
I am counting 30 here, but may be off.
Of course there was Nunzio Marcelli who sometimes walked with us and sometimes organized parts of the trip on the side with other local businesses. Also there were the shepherds (maybe 3), the horse handlers (in one picture I see three of them), Domenico, the bald man in the red T-shirt who worked at the farm and often took up the rear of the hike, and the Romanian cheesemaker. Nunzio’s staff delivered food or sleeping bags at various points along the way.