Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cielo Chiaro Vistas, Part 1

Cielo Chiaro means, in Italian, clear skies, and we’ve had mostly clear skies so far while being here. This has afforded us the chance to take a number of pictures of the house and the surroundings, none of which do it justice. And it’s not just that we’re poor photographers (though I’m no Melissa Punch). The way the house is built, it’s divided, sharing a wall with another separate address. This seems to be a regular occurrence in Italy (we’ve had this happen in past Amici spots we’ve stayed at), not just in towns an cities, which might seem obvious, but also in the country, such as we’re in now. But even though we share a wall, I haven’t yet heard anything via the wall from our neighbors (I think most of the shared-ness is against our bathroom and the “cantina” below it--the “cantina” here being not a mess hall/dining area, but a storage area that’s almost underground, like a below-the-house storage area. An area that would, by the by, make a good set for a horror movie). Because of this sharing, it’s hard to get a feel for our “house,” Cielo Chiaro and show it completely in manner that fits its graceful and understated design. But I’m going to give it a shot anyway, and give some of the views around it (I’ll do it in multiple posts, like a slow unveiling. Because there is no need to rush things).  Let’s start with the driveway, where you can see both our leased Peugeot and the iron gates, which make me feel slightly regal each time I drive through them (I’d probably feel that way even more if I didn’t have a problem opening them each time. I know there’s a trick to unsticking the latch, but it’s one I haven’t gleamed yet):

From the driveway, you can either walk up the stairs and in the front door, or walk around the front corner of the house, which will take you either to the big fenced in dog yard (pics of that in a second post), down the lane to the little house (which is almost ready for visitors) and the extended yard, or around the house to the spooky cantina (one of the ornamentations the house had that I enjoy, both for their solidity and their rustic feel are the wooden-slatted shutters on view in this pic):

Walking inside, you pass through the hall, and then on your right through the common room/dining room (which I’m skipping for now), and then in its left corner go into the “master” bedroom. It’s the master bedroom cause it’s the one we sleep in (and we rule), because it’s the one bedroom with one bigger bed instead of two smaller ones, because the bed has a mosquito netting (and mosquitos go for the masters), and most of all because it has a balcony. It’s not a giant balcony, but big enough for two (or two dogs and a person or two), has a wrought railing, and two tall, elegant, doors with two of the above-mentioned shutters on the outside. Here’s the view looking through the bedroom:

and here’s the view when standing on the balcony in the middle of morning, when there’s still a hint of fog on the hills and the sun is beginning to take control of the day:

Of course, it’d be enjoyable to stand on the balcony from dawn until dusk to watch the Umbrian day unfold like a green blanket, but it seems the dogs are barking, so I’ll walk back inside (if anyone notices that the master bedroom is a little less than masterfully clean, remember, we’re still unpacking. Or just messy):

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