Village Ladies Perching Insieme

April 15, 2013 / Local Interest
Piegaro, Umbria
ladies-perching1…on benches, balconies, at windows and in doorways.

Day and night in a small village, you will find the ladies sitting outside with their friends. When they cannot join the others in the piazza, they stay connected to us by watching from windows or balconies. In the upper piazza, in the lower piazza, in the new piazza outside the village walls and in the piazza of Antico Borgo, we all have our favorite spots.

ladies-perching7Life in a village is predictable and the social mores don’t change much over the years. We can count on this life and it is so easy to stay connected to one another; the only change is the players.

When an elderly lady passes on, we grieve for her and her irreplaceable part in the fabric of our lives. Soon a younger friend will join us on the bench or at the window, on the balcony or in a comfortable doorway.

The village of Piegaro is not much different than other ones in Umbria, large or small, ladies perch together: young and old together, insieme, sempre insieme. (always together)




Colleen Simpson

by Colleen Simpson

Colleen followed a long-held dream and made a home in Piegaro, which is a pristine medieval glass-making village south of Lago Trasimeno in Umbria. She is the innkeeper at

17 Responses to “Village Ladies Perching Insieme”

  1. Iris Mathewson

    Wonderful article Colleen, I recognize these lovely ladies…. they are in small villages everywhere….truly the fabric of our lives. Let’s sit and join them!

  2. Angela Sopranzi

    Oh, I forgot to ask…please explain the banners with the cross. Is it Easter related?

  3. Teresa Mastrobuono

    I, too, am an innkeeper in a small town in Abruzzo. This is one aspect of the life there that makes me happy to have an in-town house as opposed to one out in the country. It is so lovely to watch life happen from the balcony and the street! Thank youm, Colleen, for underscoring this pleasure!

  4. Barbara Esmonde

    On my visit to Fontevivo, near Parma, we stayed in the small village and loved it. I took particular note of the ladies having coffee in the morning, together at the small tavern in the square. The night before it was filled with men drinking beer and wine and watching the soccer match. In the morning, at the same tables, the women…dressed in skirts drinking coffe, bellisima!!

  5. Linda Boccia

    I am sure that small village life is comforting to many as your friends come and pass away with new ones entering. Yet some of us also appreciate the hustle and bustle of a larger city like Roma where change is, in many ways, constant, yet the shadow of antiquity is also there. My husband and I are planning to move to Roma as it is the city of his birth and we have lived there from time to time and love it. While New York or Paris would not be of interest Rome has always been fascinating.

  6. Who would we be without the validation and reassurances of our women friends, our sisters, mamas, nonnas, even our neighbors? Sharing a laugh with another woman who has “been there, done that” has gotten me through each stage of life. Adored your explanation of the friendship circles and how they evolve, Italian style. The photos are a hoot, too! In California, the only eyes watching the streets from windows and doorways belong to perched, all-knowing cats!

  7. Joy Huffines

    I loved your story and the photos; the Italian village version of Neighborhood Watch! We are lucky to live in a small community where people still care about their neighbors and know what’s going on. Unfortunately, everyone seems to be too busy to sit in their windows and look out…….or be afraid of being called a “snoop”. Too bad; it would be kind of nice to watch the world go by in that manner.

  8. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    This is the kind of note that warms your heart. A glimpse into Italian life. Enduring bonds with friends, a place and persons with which one can end their days. that is the good life.
    Questo è il tipo di nota che scalda il cuore. Uno sguardo nella vita italiana. Legami duraturi con gli amici, un luogo e le persone con cui si può finire i loro giorni. Questa è la bella vita.

  9. Pam Horvath

    Collen, lovely article and it brings back wonderful memories of Piegaro and my stay at your villa! Nice to see the pictures of the ladies!

  10. Patrizia

    That’s how I remember Ascoli Piceno where I spent my childhood summers. I still see the older men sitting outside the coffee “bar” smoking, talking and drinking espresso. It’s nice to know that life still exists.

  11. Colleen Simpson

    Grazie mille for all your sweet comments about the nurturing and enduring friendships among my women friends in Piegaro. And these were just a few of many, many scenes each week of our daily life together. Some of the banners were from different years of our celebration of Corpus Domini and others were from our Medieval Days festival. I treasure my life where I have become one of the ladies who perch!!

    • What fond memories you brought back. I also love these type of pics as well as the pics of the elder men playing Baci ball.


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