"So you live in a big old house surrounded by many trees?"
I hesitated at that question.
You see, Brescia, the city we were visiting, dates back to the Bronze Age when it was settled by the Ligurians. Near its center are a Roman theatre, temple and forum dating to the 1st century BCE.
A project to build a subway in the city is constantly being delayed because the workers run into ancient structures, forcing archeological excavations. Either the ruins have to be moved, or the subway line diverted---the line is now 30 meters deeper than originally planned and zigzags to avoid disturbing the historical record.
The fortress on the hill overlooking the town has been in constant use since it was first built. Although most of it now dates from from the mid 16th century, portions were built on structures from the late Roman period.
The Old Cathedral in town dates back to the 11th century, built over a chapel from sometime around the 1st century CE, while the New Cathedral was constructed from 1604 to 1825.
Smaller town buildings have recorded histories dating back to the 13th or 14th centuries, with renovations at various times in the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries.
So when I was asked whether our house was old. . . Well, I thought, it was built in the 1950s.
I shook my head. "Our house is small. And not so old. But we do have trees."