Umbrian Hilltop Cinghiale


Life has settled down into more of a routine at our hilltop Umbrian stone casa. Help was needed by English couple Gilly and Gordon to give the accommodation a fresh lick of paint before their summer season really kicks in.

So what is a typical Italian HelpX day like?

This differs at every location but this is the run of things here Monday to Friday:

  • 8.15am breakfast
  • 9.00am leave the main house and head the short walk to either The Apartment or The Barn to decorate or maybe a bit of gardening. Sometimes we get the chance to take the dogs out up the hill and meet the wild boars (cinghiale).
Some of the many, many pots.
Lots of future weeding!
  • 11.00am  coffee break
  • 1.00pm lunch (generally with Gilly and Gordon)
  • 2.00pm decorating or gardening resumes
  • 3.00pm down tools, pack away and clean up
  • Free time for a walk or future JWalking planning. The dogs usually tag along if it is a walk.

    “Did we walk too far?”
  • 7.30pm “ish” dinner (with Gilly and Gordon) and just the uno, due or tre glasses of wine.


If we do say so ourselves, The Apartment is looking pretty smart after a bit of JPainting.


We have been helped along with a few tunes from the Italian radio station “Raaaadio Treee” . They play mostly eighties hits with the occasional English jingle and the presenters talk at 100 miles an hour. For those of you out there who remember The Fast Show it is just like their Italian news and weather sketch with what sounds like lots of “…Boutros Boutros-Ghali” and “scorchio”.  Now The Apartment is finire we have now moved onto The Barn.


The Barn

This structure was originally just the 4 remaining walls of a barn for drying tabacco.


Gordon was previously an architect so had no problem redesigning the empty space into a three storey, three bedroomed, three bathroomed holiday home. The bedroom right at the top has doors through to a small terrace with fantastic views so when Gordon asked where we wanted to start off it was a no brainer.


It is right up under the eaves of the roof and the beams in the ceiling slope down to around 3 ft off the floor so Jonno has started the high end and I am in the hobbit end. It is a bit daunting knowing we have eight rooms to fill cracks, rub down, wash and paint but we put in a fair 5 hours work a day and we can already see the difference in just this one room. Thankfully the bathrooms are mainly tiled and the bedrooms all have at least two stone walls but there has been a fair bit of settlement so a lot of filling is needed around the many beams. Note to self: never live in a house with beams!

HelpXers to Housesitters

This weekend we have morphed into housesitters for Gilly and Gordon. Their daughter and son-in-law are over from England and the lads are off to the Italy v Scotland Six Nations Rugby Game in Rome and the gals are off to a spa hotel for a pamper. We are home with the dogs Lady Lulu and Vinnie. After a dry morning and boring jobs like getting all the emulsion and filler off our working jeans, the rain has arrived so time to light the fire and watch a bit of the rugby ourselves.


Although the big match is later which is Jonno v The Hobbit at the enormous snooker table followed by cinghiale e pasta con uno bicchiere di vino- what else! 


13/03 – 18/03/2018


  1. Un bicchiere di vino? Surely una bottiglia di vino at least after all that hard work!! Then again a hangover might not be a good idea up that scaffold. Its tantalising. It looks like it could be magnificent as and when that weather improves.

    Liked by 1 person

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