The sun is just rising over the crests of the Tolentino Hills, its rays cutting through the morning chill. There is a promise of a very hot day and I feel just a tiny pang of guilt that I’m here while my colleagues are left to cope with running my business in my absence. But they do it well, each in their own way and I feel relaxed that the place is safe in their hands.
San Andrea church at the top of the hill behind me is basked by the morning light but I know that it has been forsaken, both by God and man and it sits empty, doors locked waiting for a flock which has dispersed many years ago and shows no inclination of ever returning and the hills of this ancient landscape are speckled with ruins, dotted randomly and picturesquely as a reminder of another era.
Last night I finished reading “Brideshead Revisited”; a tale told in a time when Catholicism held its followers in an iron fist and so it must have been here, a region which used to be the playground of Popes.
But these weighty matters will now be put aside. My daughter who is eternally hungry has decided that she will bake us pizza in the century old oven at the back of the house; and all this before the sun has reached its zenith. That she’s never used this device before has not in the least curbed her enthusiasm and is confident of a feast. I am more cautious and need to think seriously about a back up plan.
Epilogue: The pizzas fed us well but I think Carluccio is safe for the moment. Rosie’s phrase of the day? “Well, if at a restaurant we might have sent this back but for a first effort not half bad”.
Vincent van Walt
More photos: http://rdubois.zenfolio.com/p210865117