Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bussi ... a small town near L'Aquilla

Bussi.... a little town in Italy. How do you get there? Well, you hire a car (with left hand drive of course!) and hope the GPS has an English version. Then you wiggle your way out of Rome. Lots of hair raising moments until you finally make it onto a freeway. Hope it's the right one.... no English signs. Just keep looking at the freeway number. Remember to stay in the right lane. That's the SLOW lane here! Drive for a couple of hours. Get lost around L'Aquilla. And then finally make it to the little village. We spent two lovely nights here with the Paris families. (Stephen's family)

Bussi was affected by the earthquake in 2008 that hit L'Aquilla. Bussi is about half an hour from there. So many of the buildings in the old part of town were damaged. The old part of town is now deserted. Some buildings are being held together with straps. The repair is happening slowly. It will be a while before villagers are allowed to live in the old part again.

A visit to Sulmona. A lovely little town. Known for it's confetti. Confetti is not little bits of paper in this instance. The little plastic flowers in the pic below is what the Italians call confetti. These prettly little artificial stems are used for bombonieri at weddings and christenings.

Sulmona is also a very fashionable town. Just have a look at this glamorous girl in her fur coat and designer bag! Just lovely.

The old Castle in Bussi. A few of the Paris family members were born in the room behind the top right window. So much history here....

Walking thru the top of the old village. All deserted...

Local transport... just love it!

Now the Italians have a wonderful system of having a second kitchen that has easy access to their outside courtyards. This kitchen is used in summer as they eat under the trees almost every day. The kitchen is also used to bottle all those extra vegies and cook up the passata. I want a second kitchen! Here is Frank in his second kitchen under the house. There's a shelf with all of Emelda's bottled preserves. Tomatoes are ripening on the bench. Bottled water is stacked ready for use.

This is the little river that runs thru the town of Bussi. We ate trout that had been caught in this river.

Pasta with asparagus. The asparagus was picked by Emelda on the hill behind her house. Samuele is looking on in the background.

Here Zia Lisa and Zia Emelda are making pasta. I got a lesson! They make it look so easy....

Here's another clever idea. (The Italians are full of good ideas and great style!). This shelf above the kitchen sink has no bottom shelf. The wet dishes are placed on the rack and the door is shut. So the drying dishes are hidden from view and you don't need a dishwasher!

A visit to Mario's cantina. Mario is the elegant gentleman with the red jumper. He does not speak a word of English, but we did manage to get the gist of his very fast, one way conversation! His hobby is making his own wine and sausages. Here we are in his own private cantina. He has 5 large wine barrels doing their thing. We had to try some vinegar, I mean wine, from each barrel!

A simple Italian table. Local fruits are always served after a meal, before dessert! The Italians like persimons that are super ripe. They eat the soft flesh with a spoon. Not really our taste. But we tried it.

Family shot. Here we are with William and Marina and baby Davide. And young Samuele behind Frans.

Our time in Bussi was too short. Sadly. Next time we will stay for longer. We just loved the slow way of life this lovely family enjoy in their village on a mountainside. We'll be back!

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