I mentioned in my post last weekend that the weather has started to get colder and it feels as though autumn has arrived. While it's still over 20 degrees when the sun is shining, the drop in temperatures nevertheless seems to have provoked the appearance of the cold in everybody I work with.
The Italian body is particularly sensitive to environmental changes. Italians catch cold by standing in draughts and die if they go into the swimming pool after eating, so it's hardly surprising that most of the people I've been surrounded by for the past week have had sore throats and runny noses. I finally succumbed somewhere around 6 o'clock on Thursday, when the germs made their presence known somewhere around my tonsils and by Friday night I was curled up on the sofa drinking mint syrup made up with hot water (the closest I could find to my normal cold remedy of hot Robinson's). I would highly recommend it, firstly because it tastes good even when your tastebuds are covered in gunk, and secondly because I'm convinced it cured me: I had a great sleep and my cold has now moved to my chest. This kind of progress would normally take at least a week for me.
Anyway, the main reason for sharing that delightful story was to explain the fact that I have had a properly domesticated Saturday this weekend. In the morning, I did some laundry and then went over to my friend's to help her explain to her cleaning lady why she didn't want her to come any more. (The real reason is that the lady is a tad overzealous and possibly completely crazy but she's also the porter in the building, so we had to find a more diplomatic explanation in case she started hiding the mail).
In the afternoon, I met another friend in town. We went to a famous panzerotti shop to get lunch and ate it sitting on the steps of a church in a square full of other people also eating panzerotti from the famous shop. I'd never had panzerotti before. They're a kind of fried pizza, which sounds like something only one of the more dubious Scottish chippies could make up, but they're actually really nice – like a melted cheese sandwich with a coating a bit like a savoury doughnut. Not healthy, but tasty! After that we were planning to go to an art exhibition but it turned out that it wasn't open, so we went shoe shopping instead. People who know my shoe-shopping woes will understand how difficult it is for me in a country like Italy, where the shoes are beautiful but designed for people who have tiny feet and never have to walk anywhere, but I finally found a nice pair of ankle boots in a sale for 30 euros.
This evening I've been cleaning and surfing the net in my beautiful flat and feeling very at home. Buona domenica a tutti!