Italy - second work-away

Blog Italy – second work-away. Written on: 21-9-2023

Overview day 284 - 301

13 August - 30 August 2023


Km’s Cycled







Route san-marino tot Rofelle
San Marino - Rofelle

Our second work-away

From San Marino to Rofelle, where we have our work-away, it is about 60 kilometers by bike. Not very far, but because of the steep roads it takes us almost the whole day. Alessia is waiting for us and when the gate opens we are curiously sniffed by two wet dog noses. They are Punto and Virgola, Dot and Comma in English. Alessia shows us the house and the garden and soon we are part of the household.

Rofelle is a small village, as far as you can call it a village because there are 30 people living there, and is very remote between the hills of the Apennines. Less practical for the bike, but the surroundings are beautiful. We don’t really have to do a lot of work, but of course we can. And because Rob likes to make himself useful, and Isabelle is very happy to have a kitchen at her disposal again, quite a lot happens. But our most important task is to look after the animals when Alessia goes on holiday for a week.


The first week Alessia is still at home and together with her we go to various events, parties, lunches, dinners, a barbecue, birthdays, it’s busy! Almost every day there is something to do at this time of year. In principle, we do not turn anything down and are happy to go along. English often turns out to be problematic, and our Italian is almost non-existent, so unfortunately it’s difficult to really talk to someone at the parties. But we are already happy to be able to experience it. And the food, Mama Mia, the food is amazing. Leave that to the Italians. Turning down food is not a good idea at all because then they can become quite furious, we now know from experience. No matter how full you are.

The house
Rofelle uitzicht
View from the garden
Rofelle uitzicht
View from the garden

House- and pet-sitting

After the first week, peace returns to Rofelle, at least for us. Alessia goes on holiday and that means that we are less mobile. But we don’t mind that at all. The fridge is full and everything we don’t have we get from the vegetable garden or the chicken coop. We do some chores in and around the house but also enjoy the peace, the animals, the environment and the simple fact that we actually have a house.

After a few days, Alessia returns home unplanned, her travel companion had to return for a job interview or something like that. We don’t know the details exactly. And immediately that evening we have another birthday, and the day after is Alessia’s birthday. After that, Alessia goes to the sea again for a few days, but this time less far away. So we look after the house and the animals again.

The animals

Punto and Virgola are the dogs we look after. Punto is not the most clever dog and is a lot tougher behind the fence than he actually is. Virgola is clearly more intelligent and likes to drive the chickens into the coop in the evening. She also has a nose for truffles!

The cats have a lice life here. One of the cats barely goes outside and spends most of the day sleeping on the couch. She wakes up to eat, and then goes back to her spot on the couch. The other cat still makes an occasional round outside, but sleeping is also one of her favorite activities.

Kip Piep-Piep

The fox

The chickens go inside in the evening but scurry around in the garden during the day, or outside the garden. Unfortunately, a fox has also gotten the view on this and after 3 weeks of babysitting, two victims have fallen. Luckily for us, it also happens when Alessia is at home. Very unfortunate about the chickens but because they are free to go wherever they want you run the chance that they end up as fox breakfast. Of the 20 chickens, 18 remain. We just hope the fox is happy with it.

In conclusion

We started with two dogs, two cats and 20 chickens. Two chickens are killed. However, there is a mother chicken that is breeding on 5 new chickens and they are born a week after our departure. As far as we are concerned, we end up with two dogs, two cats, three extra chickens and a very happy fox. Not bad.

And there was enough time to relax as well. We made a “beautiful” hike on a non-existing path (never again) and there was a small natural pool nearby where we could go for a swim.

zwemmen Rofelle waterval

Departure day

On Wednesday 30 August we take it easy. We pump up the tires again, pack our things as much as possible and Isabelle gets a masterclass Tiramisu making.

It’s over for us. Glad we had some time to further map out our travel plans, make the photo book of Morocco and wash our clothes properly. But the leg muscles are tingling again, we feel like cycling! We have to leave the Apennines and then we’ll continue to follow the Adriatic coast. Further south, hopefully towards a beautiful late summer!

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