Spring Vineyards

RIP Domenico: Friend, Good Neighbour and the Best Tomato Grower!

RIP Domenico Di Felice: good friend, neighour and tomato grower

Terribly sad news that our Bascianella neighbour Domenico passed away yesterday, regular readers of this blog will know him through our posts and that the blog is dedicated to him and his wife…

Domenico and his wife Italia have displayed unbelievable kindness and generosity to us during our various short and long stays in Bascianella. Despite the age gap, our Britishness and poor understanding of local dialect(!) they immediately befriended us upon our arrival in the village, and were constantly checking that we were okay; Domenico introduced us to various local alcoholic favourites, ranging from sambuca-in-coffee to home-made “vino cotto”, none of which were for the faint of heart or pale of liver…but to counteract this he also was a wonderful regular source of vegetable products, ranging from the very very best tomatoes we’ve ever had through to an introduction to fava beans (“eat them raw!”) with some olive oil as well as freshly foraged asparagus, and bucketfuls of other freshly picked home-grown vegetables and fruit, and of course eggs – amazing eggs.

Always to be found wandering around the village in the morning after doing his chores which at 86+ I’d rather not be doing at his age. He was ready to accompany us on the short walk up to food vans when they arrived with a shout incase you hadn’t heard their beeping horns. A quick doorbell ring would tell us that our washing was hanging out over the balcony and hadn’t we noticed the rain as we huddled over our computers working. There is more than one occasion when I wish we had listened to him about the weather, he could seemingly look up into the sky, at the clouds, and tell the month let alone what the day would be like. It was Domenico that would also tell us times to get up or where to go to catch the best light for us the keen (but all too often lazy) amateur photographers.

A sedate sit in the shade in the afternoon until la passeggiata, Domenico was a seemingly perennial figure in Bascianella, with a mischevious twinkle in his eye. Together with Italia they provided a wonderful, oft hilarious (in a good way) window onto an Italian lifestyle, with their arguments, genuine affection, fond mutual reminiscences and much more. He will be greatly missed, although I am sure he will still always be present in Bascianella, a gentle shade entwined in all the village’s daily ambient sounds. Our sympathies go to Italia and all his family, many of whom still reside in Bascianella.

Roddy Newlands

Roddy Newlands is co-editor for lifeinabruzzo.com, Abruzzo allows him to get his mountain-air fix, & satisfy his passion for pasta & panettone. He works full-time for groBlogs where he boosts online business development for clients via his super duper online marketing skills

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About the Author
Roddy Newlands is co-editor for lifeinabruzzo.com, Abruzzo allows him to get his mountain-air fix, & satisfy his passion for pasta & panettone. He works full-time for groBlogs where he boosts online business development for clients via his super duper online marketing skills
  1. Kevin

    Have been talking to Lea about the sad passing of Domenico. She recounted a story from last Summer when both my wife and my daughter visited his house. Apparently Domenico, with a twinkle in his eye, told my wife that he was not married and that he would like to marry my daughter, Nikki.
    Of course everyone laughed including Domenicos wife Italia!! His passing is so sad.

  2. kevin and Lea

    This is such sad news – we are thinking and praying for Italia and her family

  3. LifeInAbruzzo

    Thanks Domenica, we were so lucky to live next door and learn so much from him.

  4. domenicacooks

    So sorry to hear of Domenico's passing. He sounds like so many wonderfully endearing Abruzzese characters I've known over the years. Condolences.