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Country villa with garden, solarium, porch, large lake view terrace and patio. Country style decoration inside. 190.000 €. View Property.

Magnificent villa of 650 sqm for sale, elegant interiors. Abruzzo.

Villa for sale, completely designed by the architect Walter Franchini, in Abruzzo, Italy.

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Colledimezzo, Where my New Italian Home is!

Posted by on in Testimonials

Chapter III

 With a castle built around 1,200 ad sited directly next to the church, it is certain that settlement has been around the site of the village for many centuries. Colledimezzo literally means ‘Hill in between’, in fact the village is located on a hilltop between two higher mounts.

The hill of Colledimezzo is a solid limestone rock, so of course stone is plentiful and most of the houses have been made from this and the local surrounding stone. The houses in the village are connected by a network of streets that are all stepped to accommodate this large rock, many of the houses are not accessible by car but originally mule would have been an option of transport.

Under the village, in the rock, are a number of caves and cellars that were carved out of the hill, perfect for keeping stores of food cool in the summer.

Clearly a feudal system of some kind was in place over the centuries, with the bigger land owners co-ordinating the effort of the villagers in exchange for farming harvests of crops and olive oil supplies as well as other goods needed to maintain the village life. This was clearly exchanged with other outlying towns especially Atessa and Lanciano. To a large extent the Abruzzo area has been self sufficient for centuries.

The manor house that is most certainly known through the later generations, is the ‘Old Doctors House’ which sits just under, on a path to the side of the church and looks out towards the river. After his death in the early 1960’s the house has been lying unoccupied as he left it, it’s like an untouched time capsule. Within this building, there is an insight into how life was for the people of Colledimezzo in the past. Generations of doctors in the family treated the local villagers with their ailments, as well as dentistry and midwifery. Large storage areas under the house indicate how grain, salamis dried meats, oil and wine were stored to see them through the cold winters.

Last century the village had a number of shops with much activity around the market day which went up the Via Roma. The fountain was also a meeting place as women would collect their daily water and carry it in copper vessels on their heads back to their homes. Even today some of the women can remember doing this as young girls. This area was self sufficient needing very little from outside of the area to live from.

Of course it should be noted the church has a dominant presence in the village, it is still very highly valued by village life today. There are in fact three, two in the centre, the smaller church of San Rocco and the main church of San Giovanni Apostolo ed Evangelista, and at the top of the village Sant´Antonio at the opening of the cemetery.

All catholic churches often hold different services for their saints. With many saint days in Italy, Colledimezzo have a number that are acknowledged in particular. San Rocco is of course the favourite with San Giovanni close behind. On some saint days processions can be seen either up and down the main street to the saint, from one church to the other. I have attended mass on a number of occasions and I love the sense of community that it brings to the village.

Hardship has been quite usual in the village. When work has not been possible to find locally, it is quite common for families to have periods of separation in order to bring money home to feed the children. Sometimes families have left to migrate elsewhere, returning many years later to resettle. Like layers of lasagne the people of Colledimezzo, like their forefathers are quite a community. Often living well into their 90’s they have spanned up to 4 generations. They have no difficulty in sharing their fascinating past with you.

There are many things I love about the village and people here. They are always happy to say hello.

There is still a village shop, a small hardware store, a post office not forgetting a bar. In the village piazza the commune office sits with the bar and many people can be seen coming and going throughout the day.

The Emy bar, I am sure has many stories to tell, as they are of course the hub of village life and provide a place to sit, enjoy a coffee or a drink. It’s really much more than cafe’s, as it is quite normal for visitors simply to be there and have chance to speak to their friends, play cards or simply watch the world go by.

There are many things I love about the village and people here. They are always happy to say hello. They often offer more than I am used to in England, and think nothing of inviting me for a drink or meal or to take a walk with them.

I love that they still follow the traditions that their grandparents would have had. There is an instinctive rhythm in their day and year that has been followed by their forefathers. They still make tomato pasata on the street, make wine from their grapes and pick olives together from their trees.

Fruit grows in orchards, figs and apple, pear and cherries. People often meet and talk about their recipes and what they have cooked, this is both men and women. Men too often get together and have a cooking session. They love their own food, the food of their Abruzzo area is a passion. Of course pasta is made by hand and is still a daily meal for most. The recipes are different across the village with some having less egg to flour or some no egg at all.

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Author: Zoe Adams

Bio: With her children grown up and a successful career behind her, Zoë Adams bought her small property in Colledimezzo, Abruzzo Italy. This brought about significant changes in Zoe’s future. She has now reconfigured her lifestyle, spending 3 to 4 months of the year in Italy where she pursues her love of art. The other months are still in the UK working on temporary assignments to help pay the bills.