Fun fact of the day: Lucas’s family has a house in Italy. In a tiny little town called San Donato Val di Comino. Fun fact number two: He didn’t use that as a pick up line… but if he had, it probably would have worked…
It goes like this: His grandparents came to Canada in the 50’s but they never sold their property in Italy as it has been in the family for many, many years. At one time the house was something of a mansion. As time went on sections of the very large house were sold off until a small section remained. This small section belonged to Lucas’s great-grandfather. When he died he left it to his 3 children. The children decided to break up the space into 3 small apartments. So one of these apartment’s now belongs to Lucas’s dad and his two siblings. The space is shared between the 3 of them as a summer vacation destination. As flights to Italy aren’t exactly cheap there is never a problem sharing the space.
Last August (2014), I was lucky enough to visit their beautiful home with Lucas and his parents for a total of 3 weeks. Sheer perfection doesn’t even begin to describe my trip. As we were there for quite some time we were able to do a lot of tourism and traveling around but today’s post is going to focus solely on the little town of San Donato.
Hidden away in the Italian mountains, this little town rests. Quiet and peaceful. For reference if you are looking at the “boot” San Donato is in the middle of the shin. Between Rome and Naples. I love this little town but it is not by any means a typical tourists destination. The population of approximately 2000 is mostly made of of elderly people.
Life moves at a simple pace. Wake up, walk to the piazza, have your morning cappuccino. Residents work from 8 am to 1 pm and then close up shop for lunch. Lunch is usually from 1 pm to 3 pm and then it’s quiet time, or as I like to call it nap time. Seriously everything is still until about 4 or 5 pm when people go back to work until 8. Dinner is served around 9 pm and then everyone goes for an evening walk or passeggiata. Some people just walk around and then go home but some walk to the Piazza and enjoy a drink. Everything there was so carefree. Lucas says it isn’t like that in the winter and people are only so easygoing in the summer because of festa. We got there after festa but basically its two weeks of holiday. People do nothing but party, or so I’m told.
The town is literally sitting on the side of a mountain. One day Lucas and I walked through the town all the way to the top. The view from anywhere in town is spectacular. You can see everything coming in and going out because there are only 2 entrances/exits. One at the bottom of the mountain and one at the top. Lucas’s home is located in the very center of the town and therefore has the best view. It is so good, in fact, that during WWII the German Nazis occupied the house and used it as their home base. On door frames and window frames there is writing and drawings. Likely drawn by soldiers who got bored while keeping watch. Apparently there used to be a large swastika in the front entrance way of the house but it has since been covered up. The history in the town, in the buildings is so rich. For someone like me who has only ever learnt this history from books it was a very eye opening experience.
The house in San Donato was the perfect place for us to stay because it gave us a relaxing homey atmosphere where we could make our own food and enjoy evenings on the patio. And it was also central enough that with a vehicle we were still able to go on touristy adventures.
Stay tuned for more of my Italy adventures!