Sunday 28 February 2016

The day of rest...

Day 7 dawn, Brando Suite, Palazzo Barbini, Castiglione del Lago, Italy.

At first all I could see was a dull glow seeping through the shutters, a faint background noise that might have been hot water in the pipes as the building shrugged off the night chill and made the world a more comfortable place. Above me I could see five of the six nightlights on the chandelier gently giving off enough light to give form to the unfamiliar room. When we first saw them glow last night they seemed designed to scare the bejesus out of any unsuspecting traveller but that soon turned to comfort as the purpose became apparent.

Clare's alarm clock...
As I opened the shutters the dawn chorus hove into my consciousness, a mix of birds chirping and calling to bring in the new day. Just as the tolling of the bells in the church opposite will bring Clare chirpily in to the morning. Or something like that. Occasionally I hear a voice down in the street below as the town stumbles sleepily in to the light. I hear another sound, which might be a drip and occasionally I think I hear the white noise of rain but all this is dulled by the decidedly non 16th century double glazing.

I open the window to take a peek and I’m immediately struck by how good the glazing is as the gentle dawn chorus becomes a roar with distant birds suddenly becoming audible. It’s definitely raining, but that’s okay as the plan for today is to not go haring around the Italian countryside en route to our next destination, instead we are being contrary and staying in a place two nights running because it’s simply perfect.

Actual faded grandeur
Sure it lacks the pristine perfectly styled French glamour of the house in St Jacques de Grasse, nor does it have the grandeur of the elegant dining room in the Grand Hotel Acqui Terme and I even doubt it will have the stunning vistas of Volterra. But it does have something, it feels like a home and I think that was needed, a brief break from the nomadic existence of the last week. There are coincidences too, as with Contrary Towers Clare’s room is to the left, mine to the right. There is a terrace overlooking water, albeit a lake rather than a canal, and the small kitchen is in the living room. There are even Italian neighbours! Though admittedly I think these ones will be both less irritating and less inclined to induce our ire.
An actual home from home.

The metaphor will be expanded later if we vaguely stick to plan as there will be a walk around the lake though this will rather depend on just how big the thing is. But first breakfast, which will involve going out to forage for bread and milk.

Just as I did last weekend in Contrary Towers.

The bells have started, Buongiorno!

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