By the time we’ve reached the front gate of Bettona, the  halfway point in our walk around the town walls, we can all tell the storm is coming. Rocco crouches low, flicks his head, and looks up at me. Yes, its almost here. We’d better get home quickly.

The storms that pass through the valley are remarkable for their intensity — winds pushing the clouds down from Cesena like some grey Armada with their walls of rain cutting paths across the valley and on towards Spoleto.


Sometimes the clouds part revealing the Apennines in the distance and sometimes patches of sun break through illuminating the dome of Santa Maria degli Angeli or the plains around Bastia. And sometimes, when the wall of rain is not very wide and the sun is doing its best and you happen to be paying attention at the exact right moment, you can catch sight of a rainbow on either side.

And then you get to make a wish.