The legnaia, or "woodshed" as it is translated, was a bonus, a room we hadn't seen during our original property tour, which rests below our flagstone terrace and, like the cantine, is chiseled out of the mountainside. It currently contains about 30 big glass demijohns ready for a trip to the local winery, along with a discarded bathtub where, legend has it, potent moonshine was once-upon-a-time brewed up. The legnaia is roomy and cozy and may one day be converted into a taverna or office. We're told we can hack away at the rock to enlarge it, if we should ever feel the urge.
View from the village edge to see how it is built into the hillside
The terrace is going to be a fabulous space once it is weeded. There is room for a bistro table and maybe a wood-burning grill. There are stone built-in planters for herbs and a banco for sitting. Giovanna told me that women would sit there to shell peas or mend clothing while chatting. I foresee a pretty wrought iron gate at its entrance and wisteria or honeysuckle on an arbor. I will sit there and enjoy my cappuccino while taking in the view and listening to the church bells clang out the time.
Below, in the garden that we are told belongs to us, a nest of cats live in playful harmony, climbing a tree trunk up to a cozy perch of dried foliage that looks like they have taken over an eagle's nest. They are probably descendants of cats who roamed this village with roots dating back hundreds of years, like everyone else who lives here. We are the newcomers, the only foreigners in town, but we have been told that since my heritage hails from a nearby village I am already considered a paesana. With warm smiles, friendly chats, rounds of caffe, and helpful assistance given freely, I have already been made to feel like a local, confirming our choice of this house and this village.