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Nov 27, 2013

The Dogs of Rutino Scalo

Part of the appeal of the area was that it's quiet with hardly any traffic. With the railroad station closed, most of the cars that move back and forth do so first thing in the morning, around lunch and then after school. I wasn't thinking of ME, I was thinking that Tala could play outside with the other dogs that are in the area.

Poor Diana, the three-legged youngster lives outside all day, all year. She craves attention and will bully off any other dog who comes for petting while she is getting some. She's also the neighborhood thief. That mat under her paws disappeared and the next day, she came back with another one, from another house.


Kika, the orange and white lives up the road and although she is a hunting breed, she's never had the chance to sniff out game and walk proudly after fulfilling her life's purpose. I've been asked to please ignore her as she quietly tries to scratch her back against the underside of a bench. The movement, although innocent seems obscene.

Snoopy is the little brown ratty dog that belongs to the beautiful young woman across the street. Angela. She's the first Angela that I've met. Snoopy is a tiny dog with a courageous heart. Although the smallest dog on the strip and perhaps only a third the size of Tala, he is the only dog willing to take Tala on in play.

The young hound....I'll add him because he was beautiful...so beautiful that either someone took him or he wandered off looking for his old owners. It seems a number of these dogs were just left in the parking lot in front of the church and they fell to the care of the women on the upper part of the street. Rafaella, Bruna and Angela leave food out for the outcasts and the lovely hound was one of them. He appeared one day just skin and bones, but when he disappeared, he had once again returned to being vibrant, shiny and healthy.
Snoopy, the missing hound, Kika's rear end in the distance, Tala's rear end right up front.

Ovidio. I'm going to be mean here because Ovidio is the short, little man down the road but I think this post is more apt for him. He's a retired, Matlock-a-like in his last years who talks in the same tone that pigeons coo. He's taken a dislike to me. Why? Because I wasn't interested in going for walks, trips, eating dinner, kissing and hugging (only, or so he said) or accepting gifts of food from him. He did not know how to take kind and gentle "no's" to his suggestions and I finally ended up being rude. He hates my dog and with little reason, has come to bang on my door yelling at me that I have to keep Tala tied up...no explanation why this came about, just that I have to do that.

It didn't go well for him because I was again rude and shut the door on him while he was still yelling. When I found out the reason, I went to reassure the woman who had been afraid to pass Tala on the road and found out that Little Ovidio has made passes at other women here, even the ones who are married. He himself is a widower of five years, and evil thought occurred to me that death would certainly be faster than divorce.

Sorry, no photos of Ovidio.

I am more careful now with Tala when she goes out. I don't want her to disappear one day and end up on doggie slave market nor do I want an angry old man "accidentally" hitting her with his car.

So much for the nice, quiet road where Tala could play with other dogs in peace.


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Nov 18, 2013

Rutino Scalo


How did I end up here? I like to find out of the way places, but this one takes the cake!

I was looking for a rental, NOT a vacation type home that provides all the necessities of everyday life, but I needed furniture. Did you know that here in Italy, many rentals come as an empty shell? I mean, without a kitchen! I can't believe that people are obliged to rent space, but own their fridge, oven, kitchen sink and whatever else they need or want in their kitchen.

Anyway, I was looking and this place seemed perfect. Quiet town in nature perfect for my dog...from the pictures it looked like it had a view. Yes, it does...of the roof of the old school and church and a literal stones throw (my piddly arm strength too) from the train tracks. But one doesn't show that when they are trying to generate interest, now do they?

Luckily, from inside I don't see this while I am at my desk, BUT I still hear those trains go by. Now I know what type is going by just from the sound they make. Boy am I good!

If I hadn't been desperate and anxious to find a place, I might not have taken it. So here I am, experiencing life as it was back in the day, which means, there is no heating installed, just a little fireplace and single pane windows. I must be insane!

Diana, the three-legged dog and the neighborhood thief.
There are seven or eight families that live on the street. That's it!
The station is now closed so there is little traffic, but likewise, no cafe, no stores, no nothing. Luckily, Omignano Scalo is not far, Vallo Scalo is a little further but better (especially parking-wise) and Vallo della Lucania might be considered the hub.

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Oct 26, 2013

The Republic of San Marino

Famous not only because it is a separate country right in the middle of Italy but also because Valentino Rossi, from MotoGP fame, was born here.

I wanted to visit for quite some time and since I had the opportunity, the suitcase and my four-legged friend  were loaded into the car and we were off for our adventure.

Would you be surprised if I told you it was situated high up on a hill?

 I like to think about what life was like when this castle was in it's hey day. It was amazing.




There's a well maintened path that runs from tower to tower, past some cafes and a few of them have awesome views.
Piazza della Libertà
 And because I love doors...this one is not old an full of character, but I liked the composition all the same.


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Oct 25, 2013

Jumping Back In

Almost two years silence. 

If I were to answer my own question to my blog “Where does this lead?” I’d have to say figuratively and literally speaking, “Through narrow, winding roads, dark tunnels and steep hills.”

It wasn’t a journey that I’d anticipated – love is indeed blind – but in the end, it was one of self discovery and self love…still is. The romance with the human fizzled and almost went out and I tear up now, not because of that, but because I am touched that once again Mother Nature, in the form of Italy and a four-legged companion came to the rescue. The romance with Italy flourished, as I found myself once again trodding on new ground, exploring old villages, my spirit in tune with the muted melody of ancient secrets hidden in the stones themselves. Can a land nurture? Yes, when eyes fall on beauty around almost every curve and a disheartened spirit can’t help but feel grateful and tranquil. 

And the physical romance continues. There is something there, strong and passionate that even though diminished with a certain burden during these two years, managed to remain lit. Forgiveness, acceptance, patience and who knows what else, was part of the difficult equation that fanned an ember back into a flame. 

While I am still curious as to where this Romance will lead, I’ll leave some tracks as to where it just took me. 



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