As old as the Romans… perhaps older

For all you architectural buffs, including those nutty enough to re-build some stone shack in Italy, there is Good News!!! I have found something to applaud on the local Re-building The Humble Abode Front here in Codiponte. But, let’s review what I so hate…

Italian House - Marsegliesithe buon mercato prevalence of the villager’s love for the marsegliesi roof tiles which: A) look like plastic; B) are destined not to fade: C) nor will they accumulate much moss; and, D) bird-do apparently washes right off with rain!!! Gosh.

Italian House - Intonaco giallothe new technology of stucco and its new fangled colours which, like their sisters, the roof tiles: A) look more than just artificial; B) will not fade; C) will hardly show the unwanted brown blotches of humidity, water infiltration or from too much lashing rain. Gosh again.

Italian House - Ringhiereand the ubiquitous metal railings. As You says… Eeets hardd too beeet sutch ooglinessss. I won’t waste a Gosh.

My major peeve with these construction materials is they have eliminated The Key Feature of Italian Architecture and this is…

Degradazione fa bellezza!!!

So now, some dear folk in Codiponte have chosen to apply a lovely veneer of natural stucco for the house they have been renovating. 20151210_144347_resized 20151210_144432_resizedThe material is older than the Romans. The Ancients mixed sand + lime cooked out of stones in ovens to make a malt for mortar and as a stucco wall covering for external and internal uses. The natural stucco stuff breathes. Yes, all stone walls need to inhale & exhale and the natural stucco allows that. Other attributes are: A) the natural stucco’s varied, light brown colour is its most charming aspect; B) is looks terrific with stone; C) you can paint on it; and D) it ages beautifully too. Degradation makes beautiful!!! Gads.

Agricultural archeology…

Every morning in Codiponte, The Dogs & I go on their prefered AM tour: down the ramps of il Poggiolo to the Medieval bridge, across its 17th Century stones and its ghastly layer of 60’s asphalt to the fig tree at the other end… where first Nina, then Moses pee… then down a long asphalted ramp to the little lane which runs through the flood-plain of new-constructed single-family houses of an untold architectural brutality of pitched roofs & white stucco… at the start of which, Nina habitually leaves a bio-donation in the grassy gulf between the ramp and the sad greyed house in the field next door. Meanwhile, Moses trots off to sniff around the empty aluminium shack where the little lane splits from the spur down to the Aulella River’s ford… on around to the new bridge and through the village for home-sweet-home.

Yesterday, was no different EXCEPT I lost Moses. One moment he was behind me and in the next he was gone. I looked around but no trace of that Weimaraner. I yelled too. The entire village of Codiponte is used to my yelling… MOOOOOSES!!! NIIIIIINA!!! Of late, Moses is either deaf or plain hard-headed. He never responds by plodding back to me. I let Nina loose of her leash to free myself of her constant pulling and to go in search of the Dog. Immediately Nina bolted down a gravel & grass trail at the sandy terraces of the bocce ball courts. I quickly followed to snare her back. No sense to loose both of The Dogs. After a hundred meters, I spotted Moses. He was hobbling and sniffing this’s & that’s beside the most gorgeous yet obviously abandoned stone walls. I walked down what had become a sunken grassy road to re-capture him. I discovered the walls delineated plots of land, probably once-upon-a-time vegetable gardens & orchards and built to protect them from the river’s occasional flooding. Now, none are used for what they were intended for. Struck me as an odd sort of archeological site.

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I ought to thank Moses. I was unaware of this aspect of greater Codiponte.

Il Poggiolo has similar constructions about the path which climbs up to the Borgo Castello. The vestiges have a hedge of spino fiorito… it puts out a small, delicate white flower in the spring… planted to replace the “privacy-protection” of a taller wall destroyed and fallen-down during the ’22 earthquake.

In the future, I’ll let The Dogs show me more of their amblings off their leashes. Who knows where Nina would take me. Scary. Gads!

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