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Musing in Spoleto, Italy - 3 February 2016

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Musing in Spoleto, Italy

   3 February 2016

Many of you will know that we have arranged our winter hours, closing on Mondays & Tuesday, so that my staff can be away in January and I can be away in February. The older I get the more I understand why old people go someplace warm in the winter. This year we have chosen to come to Italy – a couple of weeks in the north before meeting friends in Pompeii and heading south to Sicily.

Strolling around Spoleto today, a town that also hosts a summer music festival, I was struck by some of the similarities between our town and Spoleto – it is just a bit of a stretch I know.

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Right now it is 15 degrees here, a little overcast but warmer than it was further north a week ago.  And of course this is an Umbrian hill town, stone streets, ancient buildings, shops selling truffles and mushrooms. There is a lovely little independent bookshop and many, many restaurants. In fact, we’ve been struck often in the past few weeks of eating fabulous fresh meals, that Europeans coming to Canada must be aghast at the food served in our restaurants compared to what they eat here. Mind you it is also more expensive as is everything else – accommodation, gasoline, and clothing.

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What is similar is that at this time of year there is no evidence of any other tourists here. No line-ups anywhere. We had lunch in a tiny place on the main drag – Panini with Mortadella di Cinghiale (a wild boar sausage sandwich) with a glass of local beer. The shop was small, beautifully decorated, wonderful food – and we were the only ones there at lunch time. It must be as difficult here as it is in Parry Sound to make a living in the winter. But, I thought what a perfect new business to go into the former Mad Hatter location!

 

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