Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To TV or not to TV

For us, this question has always been easy at Villa Cappelli. I mean, have you seen Italian TV? Everything I’ve ever seen is consists of a lot people sitting around talking, which Italians do love to do, so it makes sense, but it’s not something I’d really sit down and want to watch, especially at my stage of Italian language. Without action, how the heck do I even know what the talking heads are talking about?

But this week we had our first group of Italian guests. And apparently, they wanted to visit a beautiful, ancient villa and watch TV. So…cut to a day into their stay and we had to install a TV antenna, and I’m sick to my stomach. It’s like painting a moustache of a Mona Lisa. My apologies to out guests, but it’s disgusting.

So, as soon as the guests’ cars leave tomorrow, that antenna is coming down. And if you come visit the villa, we’ll entertain you with great food, some fun card games, amazing laughs, great friends and sorry, but no TV.

Monday, February 13, 2012


It snowed. I moved away from NYC and didn’t think I’d see the stuff for a bit. But there it was. A white blanket covering our ancient courtyard. Who was going to shovel this? Where are the building maintenance guys? Oh yeah, that’s me. Darn it.

Luckily the rain came the next day and washed it all away. We are so much luckier than the rest of the country or the continent. And I’m especially lucky. A south Texan is not used to dealing with snow. Heck, we shut down every major highway and overpass in Texas when it just drops below freezing.

But the cold has given me chance to get into a rhythm. Now I can now listen to my Italian lessons while doing chores, mostly cleaning and making lots of orange marmalade. I’m pretty sure now I can ask someone in Italian if they want something to drink. And with all this cold weather keeping us inside, that’s a VERY important thing to know how to ask.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Major" snow storm

Just experienced our first major snow storm here. Snow is quite rare but this winter has been very harsh throughout Europe. We were spared until yesterday while the rest of Europe got pummeled with snow and freezing temperatures. Over 150 people dead throughout europe.
Since we come from NYC and Boston, this is hardly a major snowstorm - maybe 2 inches max. But it's enough to create havoc. In fact, we haven't gone out of the villa since it started and already beginning to feel a bit of cabin fever.
Had to fix the makeshift covers we had on the citrus trees. The snow was too heavy and they came crashing down. Ruined some of the branches but I think generally they'll be ok. The temperature is staying just ever so slightly above freezing. The cats are huddled up next to each other. Our dogs are pretty sturdy so they'll be ok - especially Pony who sleeps in our room. Yes, he's spoiled.
With the cold the rain and the snow, we've been spending most afternoons making orange marmalade. The oranges are in season so they are fragrant, sweet and inexpensive. We're making about 35 jars a day.
Next up: more Tropea red onion jam. Then we'll have to fumigate our clothes.