The GP’s office in the village is the center of the universe. Here, anyone who takes a prescription medicine provided by the national health is required to see the doctor once a month to get a refill. In this way, the medical system ensures that any obvious problems can be identified quickly. The visiting dottoressa comes for an hour or two weekdays (except, mysteriously, not the day before a public holiday) and those who see her regularly memorize the schedule, which is different depending on the day of the week.
On my walks in the countryside I keep passing wheat fields so green I want to roll around in them. Eventually those grains will ripen, be harvested and milled, and metamorphosize into the piece of saltless local bread on the table next to my plate. The lack of taste discourages mindless nibbles while we wait for the antipasto, but it’s terrific for a scarpetta (“little shoe” of bread) to soak up the not-to-be-abandoned olive oil or juices from my dish or for bruschetta with new olive oil. Read more