Saturday is market day in Greve—time to shop for life’s essentials, decide Saturday night’s dinner, check out the latest fashions and, mostly, time to socialize, to catch up with friends. We did these things yesterday.
Walking down Via Roma, where an old medieval lane of Greve leading to the piazza once was, gave us a chance to see what shops were still there and where empty windows stared out at us. The lady in the laundry ran out to say “ciao” and give Ken a hug—he made friends with her as he jogged past her shop every morning. Supposedly, he will be doing that again this year—time will tell.
Cinzia, whom I met when I was here in 2005 looking for a perfect home for the next year, works in Roberta’s, the leather store on the piazza. When I walked through the door, the exclamation of surprise and the big smile were all that were needed to lead to inquiries into each other’s life this past year. How was Tommy, her son doing in school? Had Casey grown? The hope that we were moving back here. The disappointment that we were not.
We discussed the slowness of business this year. Americans aren’t coming and the Europeans aren’t buying. It isn’t looking very good for small tourist oriented shops. Cinzia asked if I knew how she could sell her collection of Andrí carvings in the
Next was Bruno’s gastronomia—our dear friend whose embraces are truly bear hugs. He talks at me a mile a minute in Italian, of course, and I just smile and say “si, si, si” as any good Italian does. His enthusiasm and vitality is contagious and I always feel the day is a little better after seeing him.
Then came Luca, my hairdresser in the piazza—Studio 20. When I first went to him, Judy of Divina Cucina fame, told me how to say that I didn’t want to look like a pumpkin (I easily turn orange.) A relationship that begins with a laugh is sure to be a good one and that is what Luca and I have. I poked my head in to say ciao, assuring him that I would let him work his magic before we go back home. Luca is also an accomplished photographer having published several “coffee table” books of
In Antica Macelleria Falorni (a famous butcher shop), we found Flutera. In
A stop in Il Portico, our comfort restaurant in the piazza—another venture of Bruno’s family—brought more hugs and making a reservation for dinner at our favorite table.
And there were more—Casey’s teachers Maestre Agatha and Anna Maria and English teacher Susan (don’t ask about why that), stopping at the hardware stall at the market for wine stoppers, Roberta in her other shop… Then there were the ones we missed today but will most certainly see as the days pass.
We picked up our produce—tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, garlic, melon and apples—at the same stall we always patronized; next checked out the fresh seafood but didn’t get any—now I wish for some of the large, fresh prawns for tonight but it’s too late so will settle for asparagus pasta; then to the little green grocers shop for fresh zucchini blossoms to fry up for a wonderful antipasto along with carrots and zucchini before dinner tonight.
Later in the day was a trip to the COOP for basics—olive oil, 00 flour, milk, eggs etc, etc, etc. Stopped in the beauty store (I needed some) for the gel I forgot.
And, of course, what’s a day without gelato? Not having to twist arms, Casey and Camilla joined me with yet another trip to town—well, sort of town. Casey was so happy that they had After Eight—his favorite. I settled for melon and coconut. For all who love
A Year? Really?
Well, this is long so I'll wait for dinner with friends Valentina and Riccardo and Casey's friend Tommaso till next time. Ciao, Ciao