These last couple of days have been spent truly living the “normal” life of an Italian. Yesterday morning, after our daily brakfast of a capucchino and a brioche, we headed out for a morning stroll into town. As soon as we made it maybe 100 yards, we ran into my mom’ best childhood friend who was on her way to visit her loved ones at the cemetary. In Italy, visiting the cemetary and taking care of the flowers at the gravesite, is a weekly, if not, a daily activity! It is also a big social meeting place!!!! I wanted to go, since the last time I visited this cemetary and I had tried to find my grandparents’ grave, I failed terribly because I searched and searched but never found it! Therefore, since my mom was with me…and she knew where they were….I wanted to go. Armed with my camera, we followed my mom’s friend to the cemetary!
Wandering through it, they began reminiscing about such and such, and noticing their graves, they were reminded of someone else! It may seem like it was a macabre subject, but in reality, it was not in the least bit sad. They were actually being reminded with happy thoughts of the deceased. The dead are never forgotten in Italy….the flowers are always well taken care of, and the cemetary is part of everyday life. They are beautiful and peaceful places, with gorgeous monuments, sculptures, and flowers. As my aunt said, “We have to take care of the gravesites because that is really our final home…not the one we currently live in!”
After our visit to all the family and friends that have gone before us, we were invited impromptly for lunch at my mom’s friend. Therefore, she stopped at the local butcher and bought some fresh prosciutto and salami. Then she stopped at the bskery and bought some delicious bread. By the time we got home, we were salivating! Our simple lunch was delicious, and being invited into the home where my mom spent so many days of her childhood was incomparable. This friend lived down the street from my mom, and according to her friend, they used to constantly run from one house to the other! It’s amazing that this woman has lived over 80 years in the exact same house!!!!
Spending all day with the ladies, despite being very interested in their stories, was taking a bit of a toll on me. I needed to get out and walk a bit. Therefore, as we were leaving, on our way to visit my aunt, I told my mom that I needed to get out and move a bit. She decided to come with me, and so, instead of taking the main road to get to my aunt’s, we took the backroads and crossed through fields and made friends with some local chickens!!! It was wonderful! The smells of fresh grass and hay immediately brought me back to when I was a little girl and used to come to Italy!
My aunt had some more stories to tell, but again, I felt like I needed some youthful interaction….and so my cousin came to the rescue! My mom stayed with her sister and they had some quiet time together while I went out for some woodfired pizza! There is nothing like Italian pizza! The crust is paper thin, with a little of a burnt edge, topped with prosciutto and mushrooms….a delicacy not to be missed. Only that in Italy, there is no sharing of food – everyone gets their own pizza….and they eat the whole thing! No doggie bags here!!!! Happy and content, I ended my day in anticipation for the next day’s event…and the reason for our trip here!
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