We drove four and a half hours to Umbria. I pointed to a house at the top of a hill and said I’d like to live in that one. “That’s the one,” Stefania told me, “that’s the one we’re going to.”
Fabio met us at the door. That’s a door built in 1610, by the way. My jaw dropped when I walked in. The whole house is original. From the massive wood beams to the brick ceilings, stone fireplaces and plaster walls, this place is like a living a museum. Fabio is a small healthy man with smooth skin and a full head of hair. He’s 82 years old but apparently he’s been saying that for several years. We’re not sure what the truth is but he looks my age with white hair.
He took us through the house, the history of the world, the garden and the truth. It took several hours and Stefania fed us sometime during the experience. In the meantime, I’ve learned to understand quite a lot of Italian and I think I need a house just like this one, only mine.
The countryside here is as beautiful as Trentino, if not better. As far as you can see there are rolling green hills, dots of villas and castles, and huge blue skies. Here you can have horses and endless fields to run through and there’s no snow. Fabio gave up life as a big builder 31 years ago and has lived here off of the land ever since. He was inspired by St.Francis and compares his life (and ours) to him. His house is built for guests, and many come regularly, but he has very little need for people or money. He grows his own food without machines or chemicals and he doesn’t have a car or need of one. He has a whole library here and he must read a lot because he seems to know so much. He’s certain that the direction of the world is changing, must change, and it needs to return to a more spiritual and ecologically friendly place.
Tomorrow we’re going to Assisi. He says it’s a monumental spirit that touches you there. Like women. He’s never been married because femininity is overwhelming. Stefania told me that a woman recently told her that men are interchangeable, but us women, we’re goddesses.