We had a house in the country a few kilometres from Zagarolo, near the Roman Hills, at the foot of a small hill on which stood the town of Gallicano nel Lazio.
We had bought it, charmed by this secluded little town which appeared suddenly at the mouth of a deep gully cut into the tufa: it gave us the impression of entering into an ancient world still untouched by the waves of holidaymakers who had invaded the surrounding villages. A thick wood encircled the area, accentuating the seclusion: one entered almost on tiptoe. The house we chose also stood amidst a sea of green. It needed a complete renovation and this was precisely why Francesco had fallen in love with it. As soon as it was ours, we had moved in with our camper and parked on the large terrace in front of the house and there, in the summer evenings, we spent many hours enjoying the night scene of the little town that we could catch glimpses of through the trees, twinkling like a Christmas tree, while we made our renovation plans. When night fell the woods filled with a thousand sounds. We watched in silence the reawakening of the hidden life that escaped our attention in day time. We saw snakes mating, the darting of fireflies like so many shooting stars, a family of weasels that later became almost domesticated and took over a corner of the garden, moving around quite undisturbed. One night I found myself face to face with a fox. Its eyes, two points of light that stabbed the night, saw