Friday, July 23, 2010

Borgo Life Blues...

The Borgo in quieter days...

It’s 7:30AM and I am sitting on the terrace typing away. It has become my favorite part of the day, or maybe better put most peaceful part of my day. Most people are still asleep. I feel a breeze on me (rare these days), hear the sound of birds and even my own typing. This will all change shortly.

Our little borgo above Lerici is home to probably 50-60 people, mostly elderly who have lived here all their lives, and a few of us “exceptions”. When Lui and I moved in 5+ years ago, we brought the age median down by a good couple of decades. Over the years we accrued a few more under 45 neighbors. Still the borgo remains small, quaint and tranquil...until July and August.

I am going to guess that 40% of the dwellings in the borgo are summer homes. Who can blame them? The place has a wonderful climate, amazing views and is just far enough away from the beach by foot (10 minutes by foot) to escape the seaside mayhem that attacks the area every summer. But a disturbing trend has hit our borgo. I refer to it as the “Invasion of the Inlanders”.

These summer homes, probably each no more than 65 square meters (less than 700 square feet about) and usually just one bedroom apartments, become a “summer party house” for families. Ok, so they may be avoiding the stifling humidity and heat of their home towns (usually Parma, Modena, Milano), but with 4-10 people crammed into these little places, they need all windows open just to get a little air in the tube they are temporarily living in. Which leads to the noise. (Ahhh, let me relish in the morning silence for another moment...)

Ok, back to the noise. These people are on vacation. I can accept that and their need to have fun. But as a working girl with a husband who leaves for work at 6am, I think we have a right to feel irritated when the kids next door are playing and screaming out the window at 11:45PM. Unfortunately, our bedroom window is un-strategically placed just a meter or so above the window of a posse of Modenese with 3 children under the age of 5. This is painful. Last night, I feel asleep to the white noise of the TV and a fan in order to drown out one kid’s toy piano playing “Twinkle, twinkle Little Star” (if only that song could make him sleep like most babies!).

Our bedroom window to the right,
the "Gaza Strip" to the left

Right now, we are surrounded, literally. Family of 8 just below our garden, family of 6 to the side of us, family of 5 above us, family of 3 to the left. I am constantly dashing toy trucks, bicycles, kids running amuck and yes even a dirty diaper left on the ground, whenever I go outside the gates on my own home. It’s hot as hell so open windows lead to hearing 6 conversation going on at one time. There is no parking and 75% of the cars do not have a pass to park here. It’s a zoo. No other word to describe it.

Beauty with a price???

I know I sound like a curmudgeon, but these dreaded months can make a working girl cranky. I have about a 1/2 hour before rumblings begin (one in particular that wakes up with a blood curdling scream of “Nooooonnnnnnaaaa” each morning should take place preciously at 8:30AM). It’s my time to enjoy the borgo and to (usually) get some work done in peace.

I’ll be more pleasant in my next post, promise.

Charming but not necessarily cozy right now...


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I'm completely, totally with you on this. I was scolded a bit last year when I wrote that I was happy to see all the "others" go back to wherever they came from, but I can't help it. Like you, I realize they're on vacay but some of us are just trying to live our daily lives, and well, it gets annoying...having to wait in lines at stores in the village is another pet peeve during these months! Gaaaah! Hahaha :)

Megan in Liguria said...

Are we becoming "borgo bettys" michelle??? ha! So glad you can feel my pain! :)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I am also with you on this one Megan, just like Michelle.

I know they are on holiday, but to have children up and being noisy near to midnight is disgusting, and I understand about the Nooooooooooooooooooooo.. early in the morning too, have it here when the children are walking to school.

Not sure I agree with Michelle about the store queueing though.

Saretta said...

That sounds just awful! Don't think you need to apologise to anyone about expressing your frustration with a difficult situation. Buy earplugs, at least you'll get some sleep!

Anonymous said...

I've just come across this blog while looking for Italian travel blogs. I have this uncanny feeling that this is going to become one of my favorite blogs. I'm so glad to have found it and I so envy the fact that you live in Italy...I've been there quite a few times and I hope to live there someday (soon?)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I feel your pain. For me it's not a Borgo situation but drunk American students/people on pub crawls yelling down my narrow street until 3, 4 or 5 a.m.

I'm so looking forward to winter when Rome returns to the locals.

And when my lease is up I'm moving out of the Centro Storico.