Today, another Lady of the Village said we must be frying in La Casa Grande. I said no. It was relatively cool, if we had obeyed the hard-fast Italian Rule of shutting every window & door to the invasion of the Sun & Heat off the aia. Humidity is A Lost Cause. She seemed surprised. She said that that part of the house was always the warmest spot of il Poggiolo, come winter or summer, as she remembered it from her childhood. I suggested our recent work might have changed those conditions some. More windows & stucco-ed walls, for instance. So, off she scuffed.
I mentioned this to Our Next Door Neighbor and she confirmed what the other woman had said… La Casa Grande was warm year round. Hmmm… Good News & Bad. Our Inaugural Pranzo inside was very…? Very…? Very not hot for a Heat-wave-y Saturday in June. And, when I come down in the morning to open up a few windows, closed for the night, the interiors seem enclosed. Does that make sense? Like it might be fine in the winter… not COLD.
Now, in Day Four of Our Heat-wave, it’s essential to be cool. No air-conditioning, you see. Any where. ONLY natural air-conditioning of stone walls against Mother Earth. But frankly, I do not want to pass more than a passing moment in The Coolest Part of il Poggiolo, La Stanza dei Tini. It’s Our Water Resource Room & corridor to the Laundry Room & Bathroom. No thanks.
From my experience, the coolest living part of il Poggiolo is La Casetta in the summer. It has no Southern exposure, part of the first floor is above a cooled passageway which runs from the ramp up to il Poggiolo to a house squeezed into the borgo behind Our Neighbor’s house. I have spent two winters & summers in La Casetta and I can say there is no better place to be in the summer than in the Salotto out… of… the… sun. And, at night, all it takes is to open the BR window… the rush of the Aullela’s waters outside… and the other in the Salotto. Ecco! Natural air-conditioning. It’s called a breeze.
The winter is cozied by an excellently functioning fireplace. Superbly spews hot air into the Salotto and also into the BR & Bath out of vents strategically placed. The weather can do whatever it wants outside. However, the First Floor is a bit frosty thanks to a HUGE vent in the Kitchen. The Law requires it… dammit. Italians are not good with gas. Palazzi explode regularly from ill-fitted or maintained gas fittings/equipment/other. But, all it takes for that chill to flee is a flick of the thermostat, if you are copacetic to paying those HUGE energy bills from ENEL. I’m not. The gas company is a State monopoly. The Italian State gets enough of our money… new taxes of late… to miss-manage.
The Apt. Azzurro is the warmest, nearly all the time too. This is A-OK by me and The Dogs in the pits of a January Beeg Freezing. Not now this June’s Heat-wave. I had two hysterical Dogs panting in my REM Deep Sleep… AS IF I WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMN HEAT!!! I discovered that the door out to the Terrace and the open-space’s window out to the Garden must be wide open to induce that all desired b-r-e-e-z-e. Once established though… at 2:30 AM!!!… an air-conditioned Peace reigned… for both Canines & Human Being.
The trick in the winter is to get the fireplace going in the Apt. Azzurro… STILL NOT COMPLETELY FINISHED, thanks to the crack tactics of the Builder for two air-vents… and keep it going until the tall flue heats up to cut the cold in the open-space of the Apt. Then, it’s as cozy as La Casetta. Maybe more so with two snoring Weimaraners curled under my feet.
So far, La Casa Grande is a delight in the mornings. Sweet air comes in from the Garden. Ditto for the morning’s sunlight. After Noon, however, it’s IMPERATIVE to barricade shut everything towards the aia until 6PM. After that, one can live with the Kitchen window open, etc.
In the end, Heat in the winter is more important. I used the same rational with My FIAT, bought in Switzerland. The number of days demanding air-conditioning there you can count on one hand. Heat is not a discussion, however. I have survived the choice and hope to with il Poggiolo. However, if it’s absolute cool I must have during a desperately hot day & night, I can just throw those two Weimaraners in My FIAT, drive an hour and a half to Genoa, hit the 3rd Floor elevator button, open the door and find myself in an air-conditioned apartment. Personally, I prefer the adventure of finding cool or warmth as it happens. What fortitude!!! Gads.