Thursday, 26 June 2008

Off to Tuscany (10)

One of the things I find very charming about "my" part of Italy is how old folks cling stubbornly to the rural life in the villages in which they are born. Even if they move away to work in their youth or middle life, they long to return to the old village to end their days.

As a consequence, some of the hill-villages are like old folks homes, with fitter neighbours looking after those less fortunate than themselves.

Sometimes, when I have passed through a village such as this one, Aiola, all sweaty and weary from a long hike, the old folk have appeared at their doors, clucking their tongues at the state of me and offering ice-cold drinks.

On Sundays, the winding roads up to the hills are often packed with cars as families make the weekly trek to see to their old parents and grandparents in the villages. It's an Italian way of life

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