Since arriving in Italy nearly five years ago one of my greatest delights is the closeness and friendliness of my neighbours here in Valdichiascio, near the beautiful medieval town of Gubbio. I am real lucky with my neighbours, they are great, supportive and very welcoming, here there is a real sense of community, something fundamental to me.
I am told that traditionally there was alway a summer valley gathering, a picnic with all familes bringing abundant dishes and in many cases their own valley grown wines. In recent years this has faded, but for the first time last Sunday a large group of neighbours were rallied and met for lunch at a restaurant owned by the family of my nearest neighbours.
Roberto and his team fed us a veritable seafood banquet, it was a delightful lunch, a time to catch up on news – although relatively small the valley is big, or at least houses are well spread out, so often apart from passing in the car we have little opportunity to meet, it is a working valley, populated with people with real jobs, so we are all always busy. There was also time to discuss things that we need to do communally, talk of a new community library in the tower of a recently restored house, deep discussions on the serious lack of water, and crucially the appalling state of public road surfaces that meander through the valley, including that to Bellaugello Gay Guest House need to be resolved.
In an attempt to have them repair the road, I recently had a meeting with the Commune of Gubbio. The road is public all the way to and beyond Bellaugello. The office informed me that the commune do not repair the road – I know – it is public – I know – I can pay to fill in the holes and repair it with a private contractor – why? it is a public road and in the winter, the most damaging time used at speed by hunters at speed in their 4x4s……. Today Roberto and I go back to once again plead our case.
On a bright side, it was agreed that we revive the Valdichiascio Summer Picnic gathering, of course guests staying at Bellaugello at the time will be welcome (but not forced) to attend, and just maybe that will be a suitable time to report on the delightful state of the roads!