I am an Englishman brought up in London and for the last six years I have lived in Velletri in a small house surrounded by nature, breathing the pristine air, loving the silence. I well know that some complain about our town, especially when the train into Rome misbehaves, as it frequently did during the long hot summer. What I would like to say though is that I unequivocally love Velletri.
The peace after a long day in central Rome is soothing, the sky on a clear night dazzling, with at the moment Jupiter bright and high in the sky, while to sit at the bar in Piazza Cairoli contemplating the ancient tower and watching the passegiatta is blissful.
In my six years here I have seen constant improvement. The newly pedestrianised streets are a pleasure to stroll up and down, our kids are safe as our wives browse ever-improving shops. We now even have a beautifully designed bookshop that can get foreign editions. I love to browse in there. My son, born here three years ago loves his school, Santa Marta, immersed in green with views to the sea and to Monte Artimisio.
The real love I feel for the town stems from something that I have learned to do over the years, lately with real success: the raccolta of my olive trees, and the production of their heavenly oil, fresh, green at first and sharply piccante. There is no greater pleasure than seeing my trees transform in the spring from flower to bud to berry, and finally to the busy, friendly frantoio, where the shiny berries are transformed into this wonderful oil.
Now I come to the real reason for wanting to write to the citizens of Velletri. For this year, dry, with no rain, was a wonderful year for the yield of olives, full of oil, until disaster struck me down and I fell from a height onto my back onto a metal ladder. For moments I couldn