Anne, My Dear,19 June 44
Mummy has probably told you that we are again living in the mountains of Italy, and I heard of a couple of small villages away back in the hills all by themselves, where the people have been living for years, insulated from the rest of the country. So we decided to go see them.
We motored up the flat valley some ten or twelve miles and then turned off onto to a small side road and by noon started to climb the side of the mountain. The higher we went, the more twisty and curvy the road became as it wound around the rocks and up the side of the hills. Iíve tried to show you what it looks like when you get near the top and looking down, see the road twisting and winding around and down the steep hills. The mountains here are very high and as these two towns are away in the middle, you have to climb right over the first peaks before you come to them.
It was pretty cloudy when we went yesterday, and before we had climbed very high, we were driving right through clouds and were well above them by the time we had reached the top. Thereís nothing but hard rocks and a few scrub bushes up there, although we did see some little boys minding herd of goats who were grazing on the bits of grass growing between the rocks - a very lonely job for a little boy donít you think? These little boys always carry huge blue umbrellas, and when it rains they open these up and sit under them!
Well, at last we got to the top and found there a broad valley, completely surrounded by the high mountains - a lovely valley it is too, rich small fields marked out with stone fences and looking very much like a huge checker board, as each field was a different colour according to the grain or corn that was growing there. And away in the distance is a tiny town on a hill, as they always build their towns here. So, down into the valley we go, and there the fields which look very like fields you might see in Canada. The road is lined with tall trees and a broad stream bubbles along beside the road.
At last, after another steep climb, we come upon the little town which is built half way up the cliff, on a ledge and the great rock cliff towering high over it. Iíve tried to show you what this town looks like at the top of the first page.