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.