Jan/Feb 2022

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(This is an excerpt—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Postcards from Viterbo

Piano 2 was centuries old yet rebuilt after World War II. Red hexagonal tiles covered the floor, beneath tall and shuttered windows and coved ceilings. Dario switched fans on to move hot air through the rooms, and Francesca whipped along, flipping shutters and circuit breakers. She waved at an intricate trash and recycling schedule, printed and affixed to the fridge: "It's very important to get this right." Francesca indicated how to turn off gas to the stove, should I leave Viterbo for a few days. The clothes washer was topped with four large bottles of the wrong liquid—fabric softener, which would ruin the machine. "Buy detergent," she said. "Sapone. Do not use this."

Heidi Naylor