Wednesday 26 June 2013

La Rosa dei Venti

Many years ago I worked in a bar in Piazza Matteotti, right in the centre of the Umbrian town of Citta di Castello. Flanking one side of the Piazza there was (and still is) a large building with three clock faces. Two of them sit side by side; one indicating the hour and the other the minutes, and perched above and in between the two lower clocks is a third which has, to the uninitiated, a rather puzzling series of letters around the perimeter. These letters, I soon discovered, indicated the wind direction and was a sort of two dimentional  weather vane.
Though most people grasped that the lower clocks indicated the time, I lost count of the amount of tourists, both foreign and domestic, who asked me what the letters on the top clock represented. To begin with I would scuttle off and ask a friendly regular to remind me of those that I had forgotten but eventually I learned them off by heart which wasn’t easy; my Italian wasn’t great then and most of the words were totally unfamiliar to me and as a consequence, much more difficult to remember. Mind you, gazing up at the clock did help!
The bar is sadly no longer there though there are other bars in the square so should you happen to be in Città di Castello, eating an ice-cream or sipping a coffee/aperativo with family and/or friends, you will undoubtedly impress them no end if you can tell them what the clock indicates and what the letters mean.  

So, beginning at the top;

Tramontana, Grecale, Levante, Scirocco, Ostro, Libeccio, Ponente and Maestrale.

And if you can learn to pronounce all of those words correctly the rest of the Italian language will be a  doddle! 

Until I took the above photograph the other day I had rarely (if at all) seen any other type of wind but the chilly Tramontana in the winter and the hot, dry Scirocco in the Summer. Maybe the dial was stuck or something; who knows! Anyway, show-off if you ever have the chance. Trust me, people will be impressed!

If you are house hunting and decide that Città di Castello is the place for you then Abode have a selection of properties in and around the town. For example Casceri is a recently restored top floor apartment with a roof terrace, two bedrooms and a funky interior. Bear in mind that a roof terrace means stairs, so if you prefer to be nearer to ground level but still require an outside space, then you may need to consider a town house with a garden.  Casa Giardino is one such property and is a rare commodity as there are probably only 30 or so in Città di Castello. This ‘L’ shaped, low level house has direct access to the garden from both the living and sleeping areas.  It’s very pretty! Finally, Casa Secondo is ten minutes from Città di Castello in the amenity rich village of San Secondo. The property comprises a restored rural building and annex. It is literally steps away from the shops,bars and the railway station and again, has a garden.

If you require further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us; we want to sell you a property!

C A Rossi 

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