Yes, I know it’s only April and Spring has only just arrived but I am here with my iPad frantically filling in the dates when daughters, friends, business associates are descending and trying to make our necessary trips back to the UK fit in around them plus wondering if there will be any time left to do the things which we actually want to do! One event has gone out of the window already because Ryanaire prices shot up dramatically from one day to the next meaning that I felt it necessary to say that some visitors could arrive a couple of days earlier thus curtailing a trip we had planned.
Oncc you know WHEN visitors are arriving the next job is to decide what to do with them! This very much depends on what category they fit into!
- daughters …. the easiest because they have been here, done it, know the boiler may break down, will probably not be able to slerp in the heat, will climb into your bed if necessary, are used to everything closing at 1pm, know they are going to sweat, don’t mind scorpions, are used to climbing hills in 35C . Will eat anything. (You can see I broke them in well as youngsters!) However! This time a daughter who has never driven on the wrong side of the road …. in an English car …. up a hill road with 20 corkscrew bends plus Italians drivers?? That will be worrying. So worrying in fact that I will probably spend two weeks as a chauffeur….gladly!
- Friends …… who say they are used to the heat because they have spent lots of holidays in Turkey and Egypt ….. on resorts. …… in 5* hotels. ……… wearing nothing but bikinis all day ……. With air conditioning. …..room service. …… ice ……. swimming pool …….. On dear! These are the difficult ones because wearing actual clothes , even shorts, is absolutely purgatory and walking ! Well!
- Then there are the colleagues who you think you know so well and so think that entertaining them should be a doddle! But they are so different away from work !
- Then there are the very well planned and ‘I want to see’ brigade …….. they have an agenda. Monday, Rome. Tuesday-Florence. Wednesday- Assisi ….Thursday-Orvieto. And so it goes on!! But of course they expect you to know exactly what form of transport, the times, the fares, where to eat …..! They also expect that you will provide a magic formulae to give them the energy to do all this and are quite put out that you don’t want to accompany them!!
Generally English people just do not understand life in an Italian community. They cope in a resort where accommodation, shopping, food and even opening hours are fixed to placate tourists but in REAL Italy? NO!
They don’t realise that it IS necessary to get up and out early if you want to catch attractions or shops before they close. They don’t appreciate that one does need to be dressed decently when walking round villages and towns and grumble because churches wont let them in! Or that there may be the occasional fly, mosquito, lizard (or even scorpion!) . They can’t understand that restaurants won’t open till at least 7,30pm or that a little knowledge of the Italian language may be necessary! And yes! Only mad dogs and Englishmen do go out in the mid-day sun!
Having said all this I am still here looking at what Sagra or Festa will be ‘on’ for my various visitors. No matter what month they are coming there is bound to be at least one that they will enjoy and, of course we do like to be good hosts don’t we! But that will be the next blog!