Friday, February 28, 2014

Meeting Up With "Renovating Italy" Friends

Amazing how life, as it chugs along, seems to still go faster than I can keep up with. Although we work from home I am always baffled how the day can slip by and really all I seem to have accomplished is a number of replies to enquiries, sometimes quite involved replies, which may, or may not, turn into bookings and our daily nourishment.  To be honest I do spend a fair amount of time exploring and experimenting on new dishes and breads, usually in the vein of future possibilities for our guests or plain ole traveling by way of food from foreign places. It's all good, of course, but that "to do list" doesn't seem to be doing much shrinking.
Skipping down the path of whatever else comes along today,  I wanted to share a bit about our newish friends, the Chiodo family,  that are transplanted Australians to nearby Val Pellice.  Just over the tops of the peaks that we gaze at everyday, this family of four found a little slice of paradise and decide to work on a little "fixer up" of a home in in a small borgata towards the end of this historical valley that is called collectively along with our two valleys over here as the Valdesian or Waldensen valleys. I have written a bit about this history a few times so if you are interested you an find out more about that part of our history in the post previous to this one, here, and here also.  That of course is another story.

Our friends, Lisa, Sam, Carina and Luca are the heart and soul of their blog  "Renovating Italy"  that shares their journey through life which currently takes place just over the way from us. Follow the above highlighted link to their blog and go over and meet them.
I ran across them a few years back on my travels around the internet and was immediately drawn in by the title of their blog and Lisa's eye for beauty in old structures and objects that I have a fascination for as well. She really unearths a vast array of visual treats in her like and her digging around the internet as well. I casually followed along with them on their blog and Facebook page for awhile, enchanted by her photographic treasures and intrigued by their story. To my astonishment one day I came across a post of them mentioning that they had been to Pinerolo market. Hey, wait a minute, that's here. I quickly backtracked over their posts to discover that they had bought a property in Vall Pellice and where just starting to find their way around here. I couldn't wait to meet them.

The miracle of the internet never ceases to amaze me. I am able to talk with family and friends over the internet once I am able to coax them though the stages of how to set it up, as well as promote our mountaintop inn tucked into a part of the alps that not all that many people know about, as well as reconnect with childhood friends through the amazing social media called Facebook. I have also  come to "virtually" know a wide variety of people all over the world by exploring interests and meeting online friends as well as friends of friends and friends I have never met. Are you still with me?

Anyway, I contacted Lisa and it wasn't long before we were able to coax them over to visit with us last spring just before Easter.  It was still quite cold and during the winter months we tend to have most of our building shut down waiting for the warmer months and steadier stream of guests to arrive. We deified to fire up our pizza oven and make pizza with them as we know kids are always game for that. We had a great visit with them and enjoyed finally meeting our virtual acquaintances. What a delightful family and their enthusiasm for Italy in general and living a rural life quite different from they one in Melbourne, is quite infectious and admirable. I love listening to Lisa as she finds her way down the path of country life in which she embraces it all, good, surprising, sometimes disturbing, or discouraging but always fascinating as I read her missives. Sam has a great gusto for everything as well and the kids are charming and gutsy in a way that is really refreshing.
Now fast forward a few months and we finally get ourselves over to visit them in their home in our parallel valley. It s truly amazing to me that in some ways we are so close, as the crow flies, but when it really comes down to it, a visit over the ridge comes as a bit of journey. Never mind, it was a delightful day when we asked on short notice if they had time to visit with us and wouldn't you know it, they did, and we did. What a great spontaneous day of visiting we had. It was the tail end of the Christmas holidays, la Befana, so the kids were still out of school so we got to visit with the whole family.
What gracious hosts on such short notice. Sam cooked a wonderful carbonara, and some sausages and peas, while we had brought along a chocolate layered icebox cake that we devoured in spite of feeling pretty full from lunch.
Naturally, we need to have a look around and walk off some of the sluggishness of lunch, so we got the full tour of the borgata and neighboring houses and stream nearby. What a lovely spot and what work they have done to make an Italian nest for their family. They have by no means chosen the simplest of paths, but by far a most rewarding one, that they relish every step of the way. I love their "can do" spirit and grit along with their unflinching view of their new life in the country. Helping to kill and butcher the neighbors pig as well as having to light the burner to have a warm water shower and keep the fires going to make sure the family is warm, is not everybody's idea of a good time, but you would never know that from being with this family. I love how they embrace it all and share their journey with anyone who cares to travel along with them. I think one day we'll be reading a book about their journey, and I am so grateful to have shared a bit of their life on a few occasions. It's nice to hang out with positive people that you share similar interests and lifestyles. Too bad we are still separated by those big ole mountains, but then their is the power of the internet and that has made all the difference.
A very belated thank you Sam, Lisa, Luca and Carina, for a day well spent and a memorable friendship. Can't wait to see your place when it's all green again, which is something truly to look forward to!



3 comments:

Wynne said...

I, too, met Lisa via FB and through my European travels this past fall, had the distinct pleasure of staying with her family for a few days. It was enchanting! I would love to see your place someday as well. Enjoy the adventure!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

How amazing that you kept up with Lisa and family and found out they were back in Italy and their new home. Yep the Internet does great things.

Marla Gulley said...

The power of the internet is mind boggling. So nice to have met you Anne and now you Wynne, through the internet. Thanks for stopping by here and commenting. Hopefully we will meet in person some day.

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