We knew our first day living in Villa Velina would be a long one. We entered and saw our beautiful new cucina, table and chairs, in person, for the first time! Then we practically ran into the bedroom to check out our new bed. These were our only possessions in Italy, except for the beautiful dishes we had just picked up in Positano and the extra suitcase of linens, bath towels, a Pottery Barn duvet cover made in Italy and a down comforter we had brought with us.
The many other home furnishings we would need would have to be purchased locally, and we had decided the more local, the better. The Casalvelino area is a small somewhat remote area and we felt it important to support our local town and businesses. We knew there was an Ikea located near Salerno, about an hour and a half north of us, so we had come “armed” with an extensive list of items we had compiled by walking through our local Ikea in Philadelphia. But our plan was to buy as many things as we could from the closest Supermercato, right down the hill from us.
After a quick view of Villa Velina, we quickly departed for the Supermercato, our first local activity. It was almost 1:00 pm by now and we knew at some point they would close for afternoon siesta, and not reopen for a few hours. What we didn’t know were exact times.
As we entered the store, we got some interested looks. After all, this was the end of November and tourists or foreigners (aka stranieri) were not commonly found in the area at this time. We were greeted first by a nice lady who inquired if we were German (Deutsche?). We said “No, Americani”, and got a huge smile. We then had an exchange that consisted of her local dialect, our beginner Italian and some charades. All parties seemed to feel we understood each other. She then took us to some of her work colleagues and introduced us. One thing that really surprised us was – Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
In the Supermercato, the food is on the main level; upstairs we found a wealth of household goods ranging from crystal wine glasses to toilet seats and chandeliers to pasta pots. We immediately went upstairs and began grabbing everything in site that we needed starting with the important items like a corkscrew and wine glasses (no need to explain this one, right?) and a toilet seat. Yes, Villa Velina came with a toilet, but not a toilet seat! This is apparently a very personal decision. So, after we filled our cart to overflowing with pots, pans, glasses, etc., we went downstairs to check out.
Once outside the store, we realized that they had shut all of the doors and turned off the lights. “Oh”, we thought, “this must be the start of siesta”. Later, we learned that these nice ladies had kept the store open 30 minutes past the start of siesta just for us!
As we returned to Villa Velina with our “catch of the day”, I turned around to look at the hill behind us as George unlocked the outside door. George almost dropped the keys as I let out a scream, thinking I found a viper or something. I had spotted a rainbow (arcobaleno). God’s sign to me that all was well and I was where I was supposed to be!
P.S. Rainbows are very meaningful to me and follow me wherever I go. For more information please see the Facebook link below to Rainbow Blessings and visit our YouTube channel.