Monday, April 20, 2015

Santa Domenica Talao is a Palestra!

Before we moved to Italy, we both worked 40 hours a week and came home to a commercial-hobby organic farm that we worked on constantly. We stayed in-shape with work. Becoming pensioners has been a change in many ways – including our bodies. Because we are in a hill town, we walk 58 steps up to the piazza (30 meter elevation gain), then another 3-400 horizontal meters depending on where the car is parked. This is done sometimes 3 times a day to include shopping in Scalea, shopping in the village, or driving to our language lessons, or to the palestra (gym). Carrying a couple shopping bags or soil and water as shown below does take a little muscle, so it’s good for Guido☺. Some of the funniest comments we hear are from folks who run to keep in shape but are aghast at all our stairs. For us, it's easier to be forced into it by life as we were on the farm. 

When the weather is good, we walk uphill to the cemetery which is about a 350 meter elevation gain. If we have time we can walk a 3 km loop around the village, but the cemetery walk is our favorite because of what we see and encounter – buildings, people - sheep and goats. Of course, we had no sheep with bells in the fields when we took these images.

Cemetery uphill from the main piazza
Many towns like ours placed their cemeteries up high – apparently so the dead have a final room with a view! It is very serene up there with the vistas everywhere; roosters crowing, animals grazing in the background with their bells clanging. And of course, if you venture through the cemetery you can look for old friends you knew, or just meet more families because most crypts have a photograph of the deceased. You don’t have to be particularly spiritual or religious to feel at-peace up there. So keep out of the cemetery by going there!

Pastoral scene from the cemetery. Imagine sheep out there normally!

Oh – walking up there at a steady place is a good aerobic experience too. And without much stress to Doug’s arthritic knees, etc.

The living quarters above the palestra - nice digs!

Okay. Then there is the rest of the body. For that we have our own local gym (palestra) which is fully equipped to work on any body part you wish. It’s open Sept-May and we go twice a week to keep our backs, arms and other things “toned”. We don’t dream of building bodies, just maintaining what there is!

We and our friends Walter and Rosanna are sort of the grandparents of the other 20 somethings working-out in the gym!  Everyone is kind. The couple is also one of our more frequent partners for pizza or dancing. Next comes summer when our exercise is leisurely snorkeling or flipping over on the sun beds at the beach!

As we finish this post, we find that a project that the comune is doing, has started. Now our primary route to the piazza is blocked by construction that could last as long as a year. The detour route is much steeper (55%), so we shall be even more fit a year from now ☺

Saluti, Guido e Diana

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