Getting to the villages of the plain by public transport requires some thoughtful logistic planning, because the last bus leaving L’Aquila and actually stopping in the villages and not just at the foot of the hills, leaves the Bus terminal at 6.45 pm. Luckily there is Gaspari, a bus company connecting the airports in Rome with the Adriatic coast, with stops in L’Aquila, Teramo, Giulianova, Alba Adriatica and San Benedetto del Tronto. And Gaspari runs a few rides, also at ungodly hours . So at the end of the Roma-L’Aquila stretch we managed to take the bus from L’Aquila and drove through all the mountains and all the villages before we got to Civitaretenga, in my mom’s temporary house. At that point son Nr. 2 was shivering with fever, we somehow managed to fix some dinner of canned beans, get him in bed, fish a paracetamol from the bottom of the purse, get him a good sweat and at 12 pm the kids were sleeping, my side of the bed was all sweated and I knew we were home in Abruzzo.
The day after I enjoyed my favorite view on the tower of Bominaco (the village we drove through yesterday ) while sitting in the crisp morning light outside the temporary living unit where my mom has been relocated a couple of years ago. Because only way to survuval for me to plant my quarters 5 weeks alone with the kids here, in a village half destroyed by the quake, with no other kids, no shops, no bar, no post-office and just three buses driving though it every day day, was only feasible with my mom’s car at my disposal.
This all leaves me with two kids to entertain in the hot, quiet summer in the plains. (With no Internet, other kids, bars to pick up an ice cream etc. etc.) It builds character, I keep telling myself.
So the first morning I went to do some basic shopping, read a couple of books, took a nap because that’s what are lazy summers for, and then at 3 pm I woke up because by that time the sun has been shining the whole day on the shoe-box pre-fab house and the heat was becoming unbearable. Which reminded me why my mom fled to her sister in Poland for the Summer.
So off we went. To the lake of Sinizzo where I last swam in 1988 or something like that. It was our swimming spot when studying in L’Aquila.
And driving to the lake, we took a de-tour along Peltuinum, the ancient city on the sheep-route you can still see, trodden for millennia twice a year by sheep, dogs and shepherds moving from Abruzzo to Puglia and back.
And then we went to the lake, to discover that the deep part near the parking lot was the domain of screaming, jumping, flirting, showing-off teens, while the low side, near the trees, was reserved for quiet adults and parents with young children. So I moved near the parents and my pre-teeners were swimming back and forth between the two camps.
And there we swam, we explored, I read, they ate terrible chips from the vendor at the parking lot and figues, I messaged with my friend asking if she was coming with her kids of we would go to them, she messaged back she rented with a friend an umbrella at the beach at Montesilvano and to join them.
So off we went to the sea for the weekend, and now I am figuring out on Google Maps how in the world I will be able to drive in Rome this afternoon, to run a couple of errands, see a couple of friends, buy a pair or more shoes at the Outlet in the outskirts of Rome and picking up my husband at the airport tonight. Without the kids driving me nuts in a car without air-conditioning. Because we fell for it again, cheap flights at impossible hours. Luckily, tonight, we will drive back to the plains by car, with the sun down and a car at a controlled heat.
Because this whole idea of getting to Italy alone with two kids has the added disadvantage that I cannot leave them anywhere for half day while I drive to Rome to pick up their father. So we will have to do. And I am enjoying every second of it.
But I will enjoy it more in a couple of years, when the restauration of our house in Ofena will be done and the kids can play again all day long outside with their friends.
And I can spend the hot hours of the day home, reading books, as the first thing I will do the moment I get the house back is to install a real library.
We will be farther away from the lake though.
But still. Lazy Summer days, you know.
They are there to build character.