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The Roman News: Country Life – text only version

<Left column image, Illustrated by CHRISTIAN HOOK> TIME OFF: Stop at a bar for a rest and a tasty hot snack.

 

<Continuation from City Life>

 

... than in many other towns. Most wheeled carts are banned from the city center during the day.

 

The bad news is that the nights are filled with the noisy rumble of cart wheels over cobblestones—you won’t get all that much sleep if you stay overnight!

 

When you need a break from your sightseeing, pop into a bar for a glass of wine and some tasty soup or stew. There are lots of bars around—these are where most Romans buy hot meals, as only wealthy families have kitchens.

 

Don’t rest for too long, though—in a city as wonderful as Rome, there’s always something new and exciting just around the corner, waiting to be discovered.

 

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<Right column>

COUNTRY COUSINS

 

IT’S VERY EASY to mock the country bumpkin who’s never visited a town. Yet some of us have never left the city! What’s life really like down on the far? The Roman News sent a reporter to find out.

 

HERE IN TUSCANY we’re three days’ travel from Rome—and it feels like it.

 

There’s hardly a sound, apart from the crowing of roosters and the gentle creek of farm carts.

 

Set on the slopes of a fertile hillside, this estate is a heavenly place to live.

 

The owner’s two-story villa is as fine as any wealthy family’s townhouse. The large rooms are decorated with intricate mosaic floors and colorful wall frescoes, and are set around a lovely courtyard garden.

 

WORKING ON THE LAND

 

Behind the villa lies a busy farmyard with outbuildings around it. There are rooms for the 40 slaves who work on the estate, and sheds for tools and carts.

 

The stables are here too, housing the oxen that pull the plows, and the donkeys used for carrying loads.

 

Geese, goats, rabbits, and chickens are penned nearby, and there’s also a pond full of fish.

 

It’s late summer and the olives are ripening in the sun. In the farmyard, the slaves are treading the grapes for wine. The barns are already full of wheat, and the storehouses are packed with dried fruit.

 

Much of this produce will make the long journey from the sunny peace of Tuscany to the noise and dust of Rome. And the next time I’m sipping wine in a street-side bar in town, I shall close my eyes and dream of Tuscany!

 

<Advertisement with illustration> COUNTRY ESTATE FOR RENT, NORTHERN FRANCE All the comforts of Rome though far from home! High walls and a gatehouse separate the magnificent villa and private gardens from the farmyard to the south and the vegetable gardens to the east. Farmyard outbuildings are all in a good state of repair. Box No. 7105

 

Extracts from The Roman News by Andrew Langley and Philip de Souza, Candlewick Press, reproduced with permission of Walker Books, text © Andrew Langley 1996.