Thursday, December 9, 2010

To Market--Diamante

It’s Guido’s turn to blather about life in Calabria. We’re about the only part of Europe that is not having snow, so I won’t whine about rain--since that’s over with for now, and we are enjoying just great weather again. Wednesday was amazing with a high temp of 25 (77 F-the Italians were saying "fa caldo" it's hot) and another festa, so school and some businesses were closed. 

We visited Diamante about 25 minutes away where the biggest market of the year for this area was held. It was laid-out in a linear fashion thru the town along the waterfront and probably covered 2.5 kilometers. A lot of walking! Most of the vendors were “typical”, but some were unique and we looked and bought. 

Di didn’t find the right size rug. Guido bought one of those 5€ shirts for work and painting as well as jumper cables for the car. I recently watched a woman try to start her car during a torrential rain – crossing herself and praying each time she turned the key. Next time, I’ll be ready for chivalry with my cables.

What is this used for anyway?

I counted 3 big food stands and all were doing a good trade and there were pet vendors selling things including those tiny turtles complete with plastic water trays and the little palm trees. I have not seen those for 50 years! These boa snakes knew the big turtles were not something they could deal with, but the snake on the left sure was interested in those bunnies next door :

Whilst Di was looking at some ear rings or something, I stopped next to a mirror vendor and played with the camera--aint he cute...

 The market was very popular and I’d guess several thousand people made there way thru with many buying things. It reminded me of a Christmas bazaar and there were many colorful, seasonal things for gifts. We spotted our first real xmas trees. I’ve got to tell the story of an expensive artificial tree (the norm here) in a local store – it has a combination of fir and pine needles.  They couldn’t fool this old forester:

These are real

Back on the home front, Di discovered that the new boiler (water heater) in the guest space gave only a 6  minute shower. To convince the plumber, we had him watch the water run in the shower and go cold rapidly.  He’s replacing it. He says an 80 liter tank should give 4 showers. That equates to 2-3 American style showers--or 1 for my daughter.

With Christmas around the corner, Di says maybe she’ll get me the clothes drier I want. It’s hard for
a spoiled American like me to wait two weeks for dry weather to hang clothes on the line. Maybe I’ll surprise Di with a nice compost bin with a big ribbon around it in return. 

Cordiali saluti, Guido


  1. The food pictures make me hungry! Thanks for posting.

  2. I always look forward to your posts. The market looks fab as does the handsome man in the mirror.

    hmmm A compost bin with a ribbon around it, I bet Di will have something to say about that!

  3. Thanks you two. We always look forward to your comments!

  4. If there is something I would like it is the candy

  5. Looks fun you two! And I'll forgive the "shower" comment!

  6. Hello there!

    I thought I would write to you immediately and introduce myself. I just discovered your blog today and I wanted to say its wonderful to read!

    My sister Steffanie and I just purchased a farmhouse and property in Serra d'Aiello (near Amantea) We will be staying in the house for the first time this week and we will be there for Christmas and New Years. If you have the time to meet up for a coffee or if you would like to send me an email response to my sister's blackberry its

    She can send and receive emails without too much issue in reception.

    We will be soon starting our own renovation project and it is so encouraging to see a final result that is so stylish! What a great job you did! Love the bathroom!

    Looking forward to hearing from you and have a great holiday season!


    Laura Hamilton

  7. Hi Laura, I sent an email to that address. Our address should be shown at the top right of the page. Talk with you soon doug

  8. Just found your blog after speaking to an expat in Tuscany. My ancestors and my heart is in Calabria. I love your postings and pictures.
    Never had I felt so at home as Acri in a newly-found cugina's "hotel/apt". I slept like a baby.
    I am thinking about doing a 3 month stay in different areas of Italy to test the waters. I do like warmer climates and the sea. What do you suggest?
    Keep the lovely posts and pictures.

  9. Hi Barbara,
    I do have some suggestions, but please remember that Calabria is not tropical. I don't know where you live but the climate is similar to Southern California, not Hawaii.
    Winters (Jan-Feb is the worst) can be damp and cold.

    We live in a Hill Town and you have to decide whether you prefer close to the sea to viewing a big view near the sea. In this area my favorites are San Nicola Arcella, Praia a Mare (by the sea) and Santa Domenica Talao and Maratea for Hill Towns. I like this area better than the Adriatic side of Calabria because the coast is so much more scenic--I think. My opinions. Others will disagree, I'm sure.



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