Having moved from a quiet corner of the south coast of England, I find myself in the middle of a small, but perfectly formed and utterly beautiful, medieval Italian town. And a whole lot of noise!
Admittedly, I am not on a high street in the middle of a city and so, somehow, the sounds of Italian life have a rhythm and style of their own that moves you through the day.
Throughout the night, we have the church bells – yes, it took a while to get used to not counting the chimes on the hour and 30 minutes later! Then, in the early morning, we have the sounds of the little Ape trucks struggling up the hill outside our house and dogs around the town shouting at each other and barking the day awake.
The birds seem louder but, then, their human counterparts here lay down the volume battle lines! The chatter as people go past ebbs and flows throughout the day, from the “Buongiorno!” in the morning, to the more casual “salve!” and “Ciao!” throughout the day and then settling down to the “buonaseras” in the afternoon and evening. Always, there is time for a greeting and a discussion about the weather, the cost of prosciutto at the macelleria, the irritation of the parked delivery truck, or the way Beppe has pruned his olive trees this year.
And then, of course, we have the crickets and cicadas… the sound of heat and sunshine, from dawn until dusk, and late into the night…