Both of us have always lived in a rural or suburban setting until we moved to the centro storico of Ascoli Piceno last fall. In New Mexico we had an acre lot surrounded by sage and cactus and only the sounds of distant coyotes. This summer has proven an experience in noise that to which we are not accustomed. The street below our apartment is about seven feet wide and all of the buildings are stone and at least three stories tall. Air conditioning is not common here so in the summer everyone opens their windows in the evenings to enjoy the cooler temperatures.
The problem with this close proximity to everyone is the noise. This week most of Ascoli has returned from their vacanza and with the continuing warm weather, evenings see everyone with open windows. This creates a problem as everyone also seems to own a television with adequate speakers, which they turn up to hear over the neighbor who also has their television on.
Add to this a periodically barking dog, screaming baby, the motorcycle, Ape’, cars and motorini that park on our street and there is a nightly orchestra of sounds. Unfortunately many of these sounds do not cease until after midnight as many Italians stay up late. Those that do not stay up late are up by 7:00 AM starting their vehicle on the street below as they head off to locations unknown to us.
In additional to the sounds from the nearby homes we also have a couple workshops located on our short street and the cross street at the end is a major exit route from the centro storico. With the narrow street all of these sounds seem to echo up the buildings and into our windows. We enjoy all of the convenience and activities that the centro storico has to offer but we long for cooler temperatures when we can close our windows and enjoy some nights of calm.
This has prompted us to begin the search for another apartment, specifically in a location that is piu tranquillo.