Yodel-Lah Hee-WhOOOOO

The incredibly scenic Bernina Express train ride wound up and down and through the Swiss Alps.

It’s been really hot here in northern Italy. I pity the foolish tourists further south in sweltering Florence or in the Inferno that is Rome. If you have access to the European news you know that behind our designer sunglasses we have been sweating through our stylishly skimpy clothes in record setting fashion. Last week in the UK the mercury rose to a point never seen before at any time on any date in the history of The Empire. If Churchhill was in London now instead of the 1940s the quote would be, "Nahva in the field of human perspiration was so much sweated by so many in so few days." At midday, mad dogs and Englishmen were spotted in local pubs, trying unsuccessfully to cool off by drinking lukewarm British beer.

The gang from Acqui stops talking and laughing only long enough to take this picture.L-R: Sergio and Nadia, Mario and Tilde, me, Nani and Franca, Teresa and Piedro.

How are WE dealing with the heat? Without A/C it’s been hard. I would bitch-slap the next person who tells me, “but it’s a dry heat”, except I’m too hot and dry to move that fast. In the shade with enough un-British very cold beer it is tolerable, as long as you don’t budge and don’t have to think too hard. Next summer we will be in our house which sits on a hill and is much cooler than the town-apartment where we are now living, or more accurately where we are now sweating.

We passed by several glaciers on the train ride to Livigno - a good omen for the cool weather we would find there.

We’re surviving on salads and sandwiches – avoiding anything that involves turning on the stove or god-forbid the OVEN, which I’m currently using as storage for winter coats. I was getting prickly just seeing them hanging in the closet so had to move them and the oven is the last place I’ll be looking in for awhile. It’s been so hot in the apartment I’m convinced we could cook on the stove without turning the blasted thing on.

There is never a fear of going hungry when you hang with Italians. Lunch began with an antipasti of salumi and cheese followed by this plate featuring a local specialty, buckwheat polenta, topped with a giant wooden skewer of grilled meat. Of course wine, dessert and coffee were included.

We could go to the coast for relief, like lots of Italians do. The beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea is only 70 kilometers (44 miles) away and a sea breeze would feel lovely. But neither Chris nor I like sand between our toes. So we headed in the other direction. We spent the weekend happily shivering in the cool of the Swiss Alps. I’m gonna like living where you have those kinda options.

Our destination, Livigno, is a duty free town. Needless to say everyone shopped till they dropped or ran out of euros.