In the weekend absence of the builders the boyz have been contentedly exploring what used to be the garden and is now a building site.
In Todi today saw a poster pasted on the side of a building for a town meeting on ' The economic crisis - what it means for Umbria'. This is the first time I've seen any formal recognition by the authorities here that there is a problem. Culturally there seems to be certain reticence within Italy to acknowledging the recession even though Italian exports in January fell by a whopping 26% from year earlier levels. The Bank of Italy last week produced a new forecast for the economy this year setting the level of contraction from 2.0% to 2.9% - at the same time the OECD forecast that the economy would shrink by 4.2% - a more realistic figure. For a long time the press here has been happy to criticise the Anglo-saxons for the mismanagement of their economies . What they have yet to understand is that without the American and British consumers credit driven buying of FIAT's , fashion and food and wine there is a very big hole indeed in demand for Italian products.