Not just the kind I’ve experienced in Britain. We are talking the Mother, Father and Uncle of all thunderstorms. Noises like a giant Rolf Harris wobbling his board above your head. Or a huge empty metal cabinet being dragged along the floor in the flat about you.
Lecco, just North of Milan; Lake Ledro; Verona and Rabac in Croatia have been the kings of the thunderstorm. Verona was the end of Aida in the Amphitheathre – a story told later. The first one was Lecco – our second day in Italy. We were staying in a large field, our first Fattore Amico – where we had our first, you speak Italian, we’ll speak English, we’ll both laugh, a little embarrassed, but get the gist and move on gratefully.
The lightning started at about nine, as it was getting dark. Lighting up the grey clouds, a pinkish blue. But it was the thunder that was extraordinary. To the point, where one clap; at about one in the morning; was so loud and close to my head, as I stood near the vent in Nerys’ roof, that I screamed, nearly as loud as the thunder.
The storms in the lake were long and ferocious. My favourites have been in Croatia. Looking over the sea, we have a view point so we can watch them roll in. The clouds create some fabulous shapes, there has even been a rainbow. The sheet lightning has been like spotlights at a pantomime. The fork lightning has traveled to hit the sea. Everyone camping along the edge of the cliff, stands in front of their tents and vans and enjoys the spectacle. If the rain and wind catches us by surprise, we all run around grabbing towels off the line and hammering pegs in to hang on to the awning. I love a good thunderstorm. It is the ultimate in nature’s theatre.