Friday, August 10, 2007


How often have you found, by chance, as we did on the Adriatic Coast, last weekend, a really lovely looking hotel, well appointed, three star, wonderful views…………..the works in fact.

However, although the hotel was all we imagined, the noise factor was something else. OK, so we changed the room for the next night, and of course, the quiet rooms didn’t quite have the same outlook.

This hotel, which shall remain nameless, had;

1. Kids kicking tin cans
2. Sing-song in the bar in the evening
3. Cars, doors slamming, and engines revving
4. Lambrettas, and you know what they sound like
5. Motors / Air Conditioning? / Refrigeration compressors?
6. And as for the disco down the street………..
7. Other people’s bathroom noises
8. Cliccktey, klacckety footsteps in the hallways
9. Guests talking, and shouting, from balcony to balcony
10. Staff talking in the hallways
11. Floor cleaning machines in the fairly early mornings
12. And the delivery vehicles, and the metal roller blinds on the shop fronts, and the street cleaners and dustcarts, from 5am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Outlook from the quiet room,
1. Blank walls
2. Drainpipes
3. Dead pigeons

At La Preghiera, our home in Umbria, central Italy, many of the walls are some half a meter thick, all windows have internal chestnut shutters, most external doors are in double pairs thus with a small lobby, and thermal and acoustic insulation has been incorporated into the shell and fabric of the building.
1. No kids, with or without tin cans, no sing songs, no vehicle noise, no motors / compressors
2. No discos, master blasters, roller blinds or delivery vehicles.

And if the sound of fresh coffee percolating annoys you, best stay away. Oh, I almost forgot, we’ve got a little gurgly stream, and broom plants, plantagenista, which sometimes open with a pop, bird song and baking bread slowly rising. As for the noise of the stars twinkling, well, it’s almost insupportable, and ………..nightingales…………………well, they drive one mad!

And the outlook,……………. not a blank wall, a drainpipe or a passed-over pigeon in sight.

When are you coming……………. to listen to the sound of quiet?

John & Liliana Tunstill