Life in Italy (Humidity) – Haibun – March 10, 2016

Padua Sunset

Padua Sunset

Italy, often called “sunny Italy” because the 19th century rich English aristocrats who came from their wet “gloomy” island felt Italy was a land of marvellous eternal sunshine (as well as quite impossible to visit in full summer due to its extreme heat).  One must admit that for them it seemed true; with exception of the Alps in the north of the peninsula and other mountain areas, “real cold” has never been a frequent visitor in winter.  If it should happen to snow, for example in Rome, the event lasts for a day or two and is cause for a National crisis.

Winter in Italy means rain and in the Po Valley fog.  Long grey wet cold days of rain, that seeps into one’s bones after a while and certainly into the walls of those quaint century old buildings.  Old castle walls, made of stone may often literally weep with water.  In the 1950s, during reconstruction, unfortunately, builders to make more money cut corners with their material and so, a whole new generation of weeping walls were erected up and down Italy as you may find when visiting your student son or daughter (as I did) in one of these places where you’re welcomed with the stench of mildew.

Italy can be lovely in the spring and glorious in autumn but one must be careful about choosing one’s home, or get used to “eau de *muffa”.

winter rain and damp seeps
into the hallway

© G.s.k. ‘16

Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille

To make this challenge a bit more challenging I have a few “rules” for your haibun:

+ A maximum of 250 words (including the haiku)
+ Try to use a “kigo” (or season word) in the haiku of your haibun
+ Your haiku doesn’t need to follow the classical 5-7-5 syllables count, I even would challenge you to create a haiku with 3-5-3 or even lesser syllables

(*muffa – mildew or mould)

Note:  I actually wrote a first draft of this haibun yesterday when I was writing for CDHK ‘s prompt on rain … here is a link to that POST

About Georgia

I love to read...I like to write...I've travelled the world and seen the sites. I'm past my prime and feel so young, especially when near the young. I'm writing this blog, to remember, to think and to share...with the hopes that someone else will make a comment that will stimulate new thoughts and pathways. Actually, I'm a gabber, so the logical extension of gabbing is blogging! ;-)
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11 Responses to Life in Italy (Humidity) – Haibun – March 10, 2016

  1. Pingback: Life in Italy (Humidity) – Haibun – March 10, 2016 | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

  2. kim881 says:

    I know that “eau de *muffa” so well, and not just in Italy. We have it here in our cottage! Lovely haibun Georgia. My daughter is in Tuscany at the moment, sorting out the final details of her wedding in May. I am so jealous!

    • Bastet says:

      Well, as I said, Italy can be so beautiful … but don’t be envious … I do remember days when I’d gladly have seen the whole place sink into the sea for a little central heating. Of course many of the old world homes have that characteristic perfume as you’ve just pointed out! One never realizes how ivy covered thatched roofed cottages may also have similar problems if not their own particular twist 😉

  3. Suzanne says:

    What a fascinating insight into life in Italy. Those weeping walls sound quite a challenge to live with.

    • Bastet says:

      Hiya Suzanne .. sorry I’m late reading this. Actually living in Mantua back in the 70s I remember just such walls. The building i lived in was made of stone and they’d just covered the walls to make them smooth with a stuff they call natural plaster. The walls literally wept with water – it was ghastly! There are still places like that here in Italy though I’m thinking the tourists never see them now days unless they’re abandoned castles or whatever.

  4. seeps into the hallways and I imagine old bones, too. Good discriptions

  5. julespaige says:

    This description certainly fits for the heat of the summer the one year I was visiting. It seemed there wasn’t enough water anywhere.

    And it also reminds me of one home I had in Indiana, which had stone and pointing (the grout for the stone… At one point the hornets found a way in and built a nest between floors!

    Here now with spring we have another wonderful smell ‘eau de manure’ for the farms. A petrichor perhaps different than mold…but I am sure just as ‘stunning’ 😉

    • Bastet says:

      Ah yes … hornets … we always have to be careful of hornets and keep a look out that they don’t try to winter over in the house. The year we put the new roof up on my present home some wasps built their nests in the cracks of one of the old roof beams that we kept because still sound and very characteristic, when we moved in just after Christmas that year and turned on the heating the darn things thought it was spring and the whole nest woke-up from hibernation (I’d forgotten that) what an adventure! We get more eau de manure in autumn for some reason here … As for the summers – they can be pretty blistering!

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