Montone has been around for a very long time. I’ve heard that they’ve found evidence of people living hear dating back to at least 800, and sometimes I think that the wiring in our house dates back to that era! But, I’ve been thinking about all the changes that have occurred in just the six years that we’ve lived here. As we were closing the doors on the old Erba Luna, Luciana, our neighbor walked in. I said to her, “Doesn’t it make you sad to see the restaurant close?” And she said, “Boh! No. I’ve seen so many changes in this place. I was born here, this was my grandmother’s house.” Then she pointed to an open space over the stairs and explained that that was where the rainwater cistern had been. The sense of time passing here is very different that what I am used to in the U.S. Everywhere you look, you can feel history, the stones in the walls indicate where old doors and windows were, neighbors will stop by and tell you stories about your place. Supposedly, the Germans spared the inhabitants of our house during World War II, because of a Madonna statue in the niche in our front hallway. That evidence of history seems to give the Italians a different respect for life and aging, there isn’t that incredible hunger to stay young because the passing of time is unstoppable. There is an acceptance that the town will evolve and that we are just passing through. We’ve lost another citizen of town today, an older gentleman whose time had come. It makes us all wonder what Montone will be like in 10 or 15 years when more of our valued elders pass on. But, I guess that’s life, and we will just have to wait and see.
The scenic picture is the view this morning on my walk down from the restaurant. Here’s how the front terrace looked this morning, and the kitchen piled full of clean glasses. We’re waiting for the bar to be fully installed so we can finally put away the glasses. And ‘piano piano’ things are taking shape.