Saturday, 28 June 2014

By the river on a hot summer day

One Summer, when I first came to live in Italy my husband suggested a bike ride. We were soon out of the town and going along country lanes. at first the breeze in my hair was refreshing but very soon the Summer heat became too much. I wasn't used to this heat and the memories of being stuck on top of the cliff in Swanage made me wary of being far from water on a hot day. The empty road stretched ahead and I asked if we could turn back to get a drink. My husband told me it wasn't much farther. I pedalled on puffing and panting. It was worse than Swanage, much, much hotter and I had no idea where we were going. We started pedalling up a hill and Just as it had become unbearable we reached the top and free wheeled down straight into the courtyard of a wooden hut. It looked really hot and dusty but as we got off the backs and walked round the side it was like going into an oasis. There were tables set out under huge mulberry trees (gelsi)by the side of a river. Oh the relief, the bliss, the ecstasy. It seemed the most wonderful trattoria I had ever seen. There was a choice of Bigoli con ragu, braciole di maiale and their speciality pescetti fritti-fried whiting.
We have been back there many times over the years and now a new generation is running it. The menu is more varied and they have live music and aperitifs and happy hours, but there is still the same peaceful scene of the meander in the river and the same wonderful feeling as you sit down to study your menu. We went there today, another very hot Summer day, the young man who brought us our drinks told us the names of all the geese and ducks. He pointed out a heron and a cormorant. He had  Thin white Duke tattooed on his arm, in honour of David Bowie. There was couscous on the menu and lots of other new items, but there was still the little fried fish from the river,

Sitting in the shade of Mulberry trees by the river on a hot Summer day

Abramo, Gedeone and Ginevra

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