Rumour has it there’s a market in town on Thursdays. We’ll take our Italian language skills on a field trip and see if we can avoid coming home with half a buffalo and a gallon of lard. We stopped for a quick coffee at the little bar on the piazza where we park – the owner knew we were ‘the Australians’ he had heard were coming. Due cappuccini down the hatch and on to the car…
Geez! It’s bloody cold though – ice on the car and a wind that cuts through the many layers we’re wearing. There’s also snow on them there hills. Nothing above 3 degrees today. We found the market down a side street near the top of town and after minor parking and manoeuvring debacles, we descended, with burning cheeks, into the clothing stalls and worked our way up to the food stalls, stopping only long enough for Pip to purchase a thermal undershirt from a bloke with a few tables of underwear and a cheeky smile.
Foodwise we started with a cheesemonger and tasted a few cheeses before a settling on a picante caciocavallo and a bag of fennel tarralle. Our biggest challenge, which Pip lunged headfirst into, was the fruitmonger, who spoke a dialect and worked at 100 mph. Still, we managed to obtain bewdiful little tomatoes on the vine, continental (!) parsley (which the fruit guy inexplicably bundled with half a stick of celery), spuds, eggplants, onions and the free gift of a lemon. We didn’t join the thronging masses walking away with bags of clementines and pears, but might hit those next time.
The supermarket was next on visit list and it lives in a shed off the main road out by the edge of town. It provided us with the rest of the essentials – milk, grated parmigiana, etc (where etc = wine and aperol spritz in tiny bottles). This would set us up for general life.
You need to take account the fact that whatever we purchase we have to lug 500m up from the piazza where we park, so our excitement for new things is tempered by the reality of the walk at the end.
After a tomatoey, cheesey lunch we snoozed a while (which is quite easy in 1 degree temperatures if you take the IKEA chair by the radiator) and took a turn around the village at dusk (round 5pm) before we headed home and Pip cooked up a delicious pasta with some of our hard won produce from this morning. We have noticed that the locals are very friendly – everyone offers a polite buona sera as you pass them and greets you in stores as they enter and leave. Nice.
Tonight we will offer up a silent prayer for the heating and internet to be fixed (well, I would if that was a thing I did). Tomorrow we plan to go for a drive to Melfi and possibly Potenza, snow on the roads permitting.