Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Truilli and Gratefulness

It is a beautiful October day here in Umbertide. I am in a reflective mood thinking back on the great visit we had with our friends, George and Eileen. We so enjoyed their company and the exquisite vegetarian food that Eileen prepared for us. In Italy food is a form of love and nurturing, and I know that the food Eileen offered us was her gift of love. It was received and eaten in deep appreciation for our friendship and time together. Italian society is not one that says we must eat in order to live, but rather a society that says we live to enjoy eating as one of life's many pleasures. We loved the food and the company we shared with George and Eileen and were sorry when they had to return to the US to their own lives.

Gary and I have now lived in Umbertide for a year. We have had our ups and downs in adjusting to the transition, to the cultural differences, and in the difficulty in learning the language. We have felt isolated at times from our friends and from one another. We are so very lucky, and grateful that we have had the skills and the support systems to get through these initial difficult times, and have come out the other side smiling at one another, holding hands as we cross the street and being genuinely appreciative for each other's company.  We have bonded together by laughing at the insane people who have passed through our life. I am so very grateful that Gary and I truly like each other and respect each other as human beings. Retirement with someone who is not a real friend would be a drag that no amount of frenetic activity, jumping out of airplanes, going to concerts, kayaking across the bay, can cover up. I can see why Baby Boomer divorce rate is climbing faster than any other age group. If you don't like your husband or wife now, I can guarantee you that you being with them 24/7 will not improve things. It is hard, at our age, to think of divorce, but sometimes the best plan is just slip out the back Jack, hop on the bus Gus, make a new plan Stan, or Dave or whomever. Just get yourself free.

But the Stoic One and I are now doing fine. He is off tomorrow morning to harvest olives (la raccolta) while I await the return of the Sonos man who hopefully will work on our music system. This will be the Stoic Ones first time at picking olives. He has gloves and a warm vest. I'm sure his experience will be worth at least another blog!

Enough reflections, now on to Truilli land. A trullo (plural truilli) is a stone hut with a conical roof. Our house guest, George, is an architect, and he had read about them and definitely wanted to see them, so we left Lecce for the day and put ourselves in the very capable hands of our guide Anna. If ever you are in the area, I recommend her. Her English is very good and she is knowledgable and kind.

So truilli are found in Puglia, particularly the area around Alberbello. They are so darn cute. They look like little Hobbit houses.

Apparently years ago, there was a tax on permanent houses, and so the ruler at the time said, let's build houses that can be taken down quickly in case of an inspection from the tax man. Thus, according to the sweet Anna, truilli were born. They are dry stacked with no mortar and can easily be disassembled. In 1996 they were designated a World Heritage site. UNESCO List
The little top of the roof is a signature piece of the architect and designer who build it.

You are looking up at the inside of the room of a truillo. Interesting how each rock is fit perfectly one upon the other. This is another example of that great Italian style that we have all come to love.


  1. I followed a link and came across your blog, Susan, and am glad I did. I love Italy and especially Umbria, and shall enjoy exploring your gorgeous photos. I agree with you too about the big adjustments retirement brings. DH and I have had our moments since we retired, but life is good.

    1. Hi Perpetua. Welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy perusing the comments and photos. Thank you for your comment. Susan