Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Brutto Tempo!!!

Well this weekend they were showing 3 feet of snow in the mountains only 2 hours from me. It had blocked the A3 for 3 days and this is the main (only) highway from Naples to Sicily. It’s a great highway to drive as you’re riding along up in the mountains all the way to Sicily. The highway has many tunnels and each seems to change directly into a bridge that gives you a great overlook and you feel on top of the world. However, being “up” in the mountains seems to have a drawback when the snow comes. So shipping things south of me was impossible by truck and vice versa. That made me worry. A lot of produce for sale here comes from Sicily this time of year. We still have beautiful tomatoes and zucchini at the market thanks to the warmer and wetter conditions in Sicily right now. I never thought of it before but now is probably the best time for growing things in Sicily. In the summer it’s too hot and dry to grow things except olives and grapes. You would need to irrigate a lot and there aren’t many lakes a rivers use. This country is amazing when you think about it. It has roughly the same area as Nevada and yet it has all the climates of the US. In Sicily and here it’s roughly the same as Florida or Southern California and up north they have bone chilling cold and snow like New England. We even have the unwritten division between north and south. Which is really funny when you look at how Italy really runs east to west. Those Burlesconi loving fools up north are always calling this area “il mezzogiorno d’Italia” (literally… the midday of Italy) or even worse North Africa.
Now today the rough weather seems to be hitting Brindisi. This morning the temperature was about 38F but somehow a cold wind brought in a mix of rain, hail, and snow, all at the same time. I mean it, we had all three types of precipitation falling together. The snow melted as soon as it touched the ground but this combination made for a most unusual sight. I was at work so I couldn’t get a photo. It was bad enough for people to stop work for a minute and look out the window in wonder. By lunch the sky had cleared up and it was sunny with hardly a trace of the bad weather. Maybe I’ll head up into the hills this weekend. I hear they may have snow in Alberobello for those of you who have been here, can imagine what that would look like? The goofy little round trulli houses with their cone shaped roofs covered in snow. I’ll try to get a good picture.

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