There's a reason that ours is mostly the road not taken. Actually there are two reasons. We live in a beautiful valley accessible only by two possible routes, each worse than the other.
Further, with respect to our so-called roads, just when you think they couldn't get any worse, they do. This resigned attitude comes from living in this part of Italy for six years. How many times has there been a rumor that the roads would be fixed? The last one was a close call. The funds were found and the workers were about to come. But then it rained. And when it stopped, something happened to the window of opportunity, and the money for the project got diverted.
Next there was a mayoral election which led to a promise: "Vote for me, and I will fix the road." He won, even without our vote, but still, no road improvements for us.
So you can imagine our shock at finding one day that some of the worst parts of each of the two ways to approach our house--especially that teeth-chattering one that landed me stalled in a ditch--had gotten better!
Some time went by, and then the unthinkable happened to the part of the road that regularly became washed out after a lot of rain. But on one historic day, it became literally impassible because a STRADA INTERROTTA sign said that it was being interrupted so that it could be fixed. Well, this was both good and bad news, since there was no indication of how long this interruption that required a major detour was going to take. Would this interruption end during our lifetime?
We lost faith. The local farmer who knows everything said he had heard about a completion date that we might actually live to see. Serious-looking, heavy equipment appeared. And then, one day, the sign at the top of the road that warned about the interrupted road wasn't there. Jaded souls that we've become, we figured it had blown down. But sometimes you've got to take your risk-for-the-week and believe.
In some suspense, we headed toward the spot... COULD IT BE??
Strada interrotta no longer! There, before our very eyes was something that looked like a real mini-bridge that would not wash out! In fact, it looked to us like a work of art. Taj Mahal, move over! This was a thing of beauty!
We now have bridge pride! We asked our farmer neighbor how this impressive improvement might have come about. He got a twinkle in his blue eyes, made a gesture of beating a drum, and said that an important professore who lives just past the bridge must have known to whom it would be necessary to make the right noises to get the job done.
Welcome to life in Bella Italia! And with a bridge like this, who would want to be anywhere else ?